K103: The 80s, 90s and Today

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    It just occurred to me that we have now moved into the third decade of “Today”! Perhaps, it’s time for a different phrase.


    I understand that sentiment, semoochie. However, to play the devil’s advocate, “80’s/90’s” is a feature of the programming that apparently is still important to the brand. I am not inside the building there, but that is my best guess. Plus saying we play the 2000’s is just awkward.


    Can’t tell you how many times I said, “Playing favorites from yesterday and today on (Fill in the blank call letters_____________)


    It’s not like I’m jumping into this. It’s sounded out of place for a decade now!


    Over the holidays, I noticed that the Hot AC in MSP (KS95) is using the tagline “Today’s Variety… 2k to Today”. Something like that could be an option for K103 down the road.

    However, K103 is still playing a lot from the 80s and 90s. It could just be my perception, but it seems to me they play more from the 80s than the 90s. Maybe music from the 80’s mixes better with today’s AC?


    The first decade of the 2000s do not have a catchy name. However, I seriously wonder whether the branding used at K103 is designed to prevent the listeners from feeling old. 1980 was 40 years ago. Listeners who were teenagers when 80s music was on the charts are pushing 50 (I just celebrated my 46th birthday on January 4).


    46? Ya punk kid, get off my lawn!


    Ranking the past four decades in the “hit” music category:

    1. 1980’s
    2. 2000’s
    3. 1990’s
    4. 2010’s

    And yes, I am old. I remember when color tv was a new fangled invention. I also remember when tooth paste was white.

    Andy Brown

    Ranking the past seven decades in recorded music content quality:

    1. 1970’s
    2. 1990’s
    3. 1960’s (except jazz really kicked ass that decade)
    4. 2010’s
    5. 2000’s
    6. 1950’s
    7. 1980’s

    Hit music is mostly crap. For every decent song that was a hit, there are nine more that are completely worthless. People listen to it, sure, but 42 million people voted for drumpf and he’s crap, too. Half of hit music is corporate conceived, corporate created and corporate marketed. Quality is not one of the attributes of that rather large segment.

    My name’s Joe, I’m the CEO
    Yeah I’m the man makes the big wheels roll
    I’m the hand on the green-light switch
    You get to be famous, i get to be rich
    Go get me a kid with a good looking face
    Bring me a kid can remember his place
    Some hungry poet son-of-a-bitch
    He gets to be famous, I get to be rich

    Or bring me a girl
    They’re always the best
    You put ’em on stage and you have them undress
    Some angel whore who can learn a guitar lick
    Hey! Now that’s what I call music!
    ~Tom Petty

    And it’s one of the secondary reasons why radio failed.


    Perhaps, I was too subtle in my previous post because I did not want to come off as a jerk. The message that I was trying to convey is that stereotypically, radio stations like K103 are primarily designed for “soccer moms” and professional women. This is the demographic and psychographic that fears 50 because that age is associated with being “over the hill.”


    1. 1980s (tie) (disco, new wave and alternative really kicked ass in these decades)
    1. 1970s
    2. 1960s (psychedelic just-about-everyting in the 60s, and psychedelic rock is awesome)
    3. 1950s
    4. 1990s (start of the Autotune era)
    5. 2000s
    6. 2010s (the past 10 years have been one of the darkest, most depressing and least creative eras in music)


    With regards to the criticisms of the 2010s, followed by the 2000s as the least creative eras in recent times, I recently saw the explanation that the reason for this is that a very large number of the hit songs in those decades have been composed by one person–Max Martin. I am not criticizing the talents of Mr. Martin or the various performers for whom he has written music. From a career success standpoint, I think that what Martin has achieved is rather impressive. Are there, for example contemporary writers, chefs, software developers, aerospace engineers, or film directors whose work has that kind of ubiquity? There could be, but if there are, I don’t know about them.

    The (depressing) flip-side, is that I think that contemporary music has reached a state in which it depends on various “formulas,” and that is what is killing the creativity. The ideas of one person (see the previous paragraph) dominate contemporary ballads and dance music. Recording has largely gone from encouraging experimentation to produce new sounds (see Bohemian Rhapsody, for example) to “solutions” built around digital audio workstations that allow recordings to be made quickly and inexpensively. A rapper can now be placed in a sound isolation booth with a microphone, and the music is created on a computer using software–in some cases sampling pieces of already-existing recordings, rather than anything new being created.

    I am now starting to sound like radiotvphononut with these rants.


    Disco pretty much died at the end of 1979. “Can’t Stop the Music”(movie)was released in 1980 and absolutely bombed! It had all the necessary ingredients but was celebrating something that didn’t exist anymore. I think I was the only one in the theater!


    My only disagreement with Alfredo’s post above is that in the second paragraph he uses the word “music” to describe what the rapper is doing. I just can’t equate either rap or hip-hop with “music,” and I confess that my perspective is that of an aging 64-year-old who threatens to become a cranky curmudgeon….



    I actually meant what I said about the 2010s being dark and depressing in terms of the overall poor production values that seem to have overtaken this decade (yes, *this* decade; 2020 is the last year of the 2010s decade). This has been the decade where sampling and talentless media-whore hacks have dominated: witness Justin Bieber, Adele, Future Islands, Daft Punk, Lady GagMe, and I could probably go on and on and crash Dan’s server. (Or run a playlist enquiry on KKCW’s website.)

    The late 2000s and the 2010s have been the period when you could be a fat English bitch who can’t sing a note to save her life, or some dude who just grunts and moans like a gorilla on a combination of crystal meth and monkey dust with a drum loop behind him for half an hour, and go platinum in your first week. In fact I had never even heard of Max Martin until you mentioned him, but that near-monopoly he appears to have would explain the general blandness and derivativeness (new word I just made up) of much of the 2010s content. I do agree with what you are saying, though.

    Nothing wrong with ranting like phononut; ha does make a lot of valid points.

    Disco pretty much died at the end of 1979. “Can’t Stop the Music” (movie) was released in 1980 and absolutely bombed! It had all the necessary ingredients but was celebrating something that didn’t exist anymore.

    Disco evolved into new wave and (early) rap. Disco definitely survived well into the 90s, in some form or other, but it was different from what was popular in the 70s, which was mostly gone by the end of the decade (no thanks to certain media events e.g. the infamous Comiskey Park affair of ’79).

    Go to the UK, though, in the mid 80s and it was a different story.

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