On the Edge

Nice Article reproduced on a mailing list here

Its about Pirate radio stations and how popular they are. A cool lil thing is how listeners ring the stations mobile and hang up while some song they like is playing. It gets logged as a missed call. This missed call is a way for the kids listening in to say they like that song without paying money to tell them. Cheap and handy. The station gets to see which songs are popular and so can stick em on a heavier rotation.

Major labels know that if they sign an artist that is big on pirate radio,
they also acquire a guaranteed fan base. BMG, whose roster includes the
urban superstars the Neptunes and Whitney Houston, has courted pirate
stations for 10 years. “We were among the first to set up ‘street teams’,
whose job is to find out what is going on on pirate radio,” explains Mervyn
Lyn, BMG vice-president of European marketing and promotion. “Now all the
majors do the same. Pirates are simply too influential to ignore.”

Find this pretty fucking Ironic (yes thats a big I ) that the major record labels who sue 12 year old girls and 80 yer old grannies over file-sharing and take all the money off college students who share music so that they end up not being able to finish their course and they are the same ones that are sucking down all this information as to what the kids really want.

“We switch on and we hear the nucleus of what black Britain has to offer,”
he says. “And it will remain that way until we are properly included. It
will end when the BBC has black people in positions of power and when
record companies and mainstream organisations have enough black people in
place. Until then, there will always be pirate radio.”

Jazzy B (Soul II Soul dude ) said that and he is wrong. Theres always going to be an underground. Be it in radio, television, writing, music, art or… Theres going to be the most popular thing almost force fed to us nowadays and people will happily go along with this like sheep until interest wanes and then the marketing giants will find out what will appeal to the masses next and give us that.

Some people will not want to be associated with that which is bland and mainstream and they will seek out something on the edges, something underground and all along they probably hope it will be the next big thing so they can say “ahh yeah sure I read his work years before it was popular” or ” ah I heard her when she was underground”

We’ll get status in our community for being someone that can spot future trends and we’ll be happy but this will fade when we realise that the beautiful thing we thought we discovered becomes over-played and too common and cheapens and will be tarnished for life. So we’ll move on to something else and find another up and coming trend.

Theres people that do this a lot and theres people that hunt these people down and watch them and see how they can define cool.

It’d be cool to be on the edge though all the time. High entropy and constant churn. Possibly tiring too but never bland and never the same. I started this post with the intention of thinking out loud why we take stuff from the edge and make it mainstream and how the people that can do that are very powerful. But I’m not sure is that the point I made.

One Response to “On the Edge”

  1. Kevin says:

    I’m reminded of that t-shirt hell shirt “I used to listen to nsync when they were underground”

    Don’t think it would be that cool to be on the edge all the time. Sometimes I’m put into that situation by accident. Remember getting David Gray’s “White ladder” about a year before he became popular. At the time I was saying to everyone “no really, it’s really good”, and everyone was like “who?”. Then he became hugely popular and my opinion was swallowed up. Now I just find him unbearably bland. Same with a few other bands.