Charles A. Mackenzie (cleanhead42) wrote,
Charles A. Mackenzie

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Dealing with certain sounds in the workplace

In the past two years, I have been working in a few warehouses and for the most part, I have been able to adapt to most of the conditions and sounds of such workplaces. However, there is one sound that I am subjected to that I have difficulty in reconciling with, that being the sound of "Classic Rock" radio. One station in particular, Rock 101 plays nothing but Rock hits from the '60s, '70s and '80s. Hearing it makes me think of people 35 or older who won't listen to anything other than what they were listening to when they were 'teenagers. I find this to be very sad as it suggests to me that these people have given up.

What I find grating on me is that these songs sound like tired old cliches to me. Sure there was some great music from those times. As Leonard Cohen once said, "Every generation produces its' fine wine". I will even concede that The Stones, The Beatles, The Doors and other bands wrote some fine songs and made some fine records. And I still like that Steven Stills song "For What It's Worth" even if I prefer the Staples Singers version. With that said, whatever impact this music had has been worn out and reduced to prepackaged nostalgia.

Sometimes, I feel like I could lose it if I have endure one more time "Whole Lotta Love" with Robert Plant's orgasmic histrionics or Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" (the Rock equivalent of "Eensy Weensy Polka Dot Bikini"). I can't help but wonder, are there really people who still care about Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, Elton John, Pink Floyd, Supertramp, The Police, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Rush, Bryan Adams, Loverboy, Boston, Grand Funk Railroad et al? It also seems that the repertoire of these stations seems to get smaller. I imagine that it could fit onto two CDs with some room left over.

The disc jockeys are also annoying. Sometimes they remind me of the jocks in high school that tormented me then. However, What I find galling is that they make a pretense of being "bad ass" while playing it safe in the records they spin.

I should state here that I have a particular dislike of oldies stations be they "Classic Rock" or "Soft Favourites" or whatever. These stations are the bane of the airwaves. Being subjected to them makes me feel like I'm trapped somebody else's time loop (actually, a manufactured time loop). Perhaps it is also as I get older, I am less prone to nostalgia.

Despite that my taste in music has changed and broadened and that I am in my fifties, I still love Rock and Roll. I am tempted to wish these stations would play what I know to be great Rock and Roll classics such as "Rumble" by Link Wray, "Say Man" by Bo Diddley, "Surfin' Bird" by The Trashmen, "I Wanna Be Your Dog" and "Search and Destroy" by The Stooges, "Maggot Brain" by Funkadelic, "Frenzy" by Screamin' Jay Hawkins or "Bikini Girls With Machine Guns" by The Cramps. And it would be neat to hear on the radio such performers as New York Dolls, Dick Dale, Hasil Atkins, The Damned, The Sex Pistols, The Dead Boys, Nina Hagen, The Meteors, The Guana Bats, (Johnny Thunders &) The Heartbreakers, Richard Hell & the Voidoids, The Stranglers, Teenage Jesus & The Jerks, Iggy Pop, The Fuzztones, The Pogues, Andre Williams, The 5 6 7 8s, The Reverburators and The Deadcats as well as Screamin' Jay Hawkins and The Cramps. However, I know full well that radio stations would find a way commodifying and cheapening this music. Also, I suppose they would have potential problems with their broadcast licenses if they played such songs as "Bite It", "Constipation Blues", "Can Your Pussy Do The Dog", "Let's Get Fucked Up" or "Bend Over I'll Drive"

Rock and Roll is meant to be dangerous and subversive. Rock and Roll is supposed to a threat to social order. By its' nature, it thumbs its' nose at(and sometimes moons) and gets under the craw of authority. It should evoke Dionysus and/or Loki. If it doesn't do these things, it ain't Rock and Roll. It's just Rock music.

On another note, in the warehouse where I work, there are those of us who, when we get fed up with this oldies crap, or when no one is looking, we just switch the radio over to CBC2.
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