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Thursday, January 29, 2009

What am I bid for JJJ?

John Butler of the John Butler Trio expounds on Australia's compulsory pay youth radio network:

This time of year, we are reminded of Triple J for two reasons:

One is that on the annual trip up the Pacific Highway, there comes a time somewhere between Taree and Kempsey when you can't pick up any radio stations. Usually through the miasma, loud and clear comes the sound of rock music. The first song will usually be some grungy, white middle class male singing tunelessly about something or other. And so will the next, and the next. If you hang around long enough to listen to the announcer, you will note that they sound as bored as you are (hard as that may be to conceive) - and then the call sign - "You're listening to Triple J".

But only because you absolutely have to.

The other reason we are reminded of Triple J at this time of year is their annual Hottest 100. Self-proclaimed as the world's largest annual music poll, it could also double as the musical selection for StormFront Youth. While Australia's pop music charts would generally include (maybe) 30 per cent black artists, those searching for black artists in JJJ's hottest 100 list are risking serious eye strain.

Ironically you will see Aboriginal flags all over their website, but no Aboriginal artist - like Jessica Mauboys - who is prominent in the current national charts.

This year the number one song is that cautionary tale of fire safety, Sex on Fire by the Kings of Leon. Not that there's anything wrong with that - people should be allowed to be honest about their musical preferences. It's just that it tells us a great deal about Triple J's demographic, white, male, middle class, homogenous, confused. The song that sums it all up would be this year's number 23.

That's if Triple J could be described as having any demographic at all. As this post points out, more 18-24 year olds listen to golden oldie stations.

The reason no-one listens to the station is that it's duller than the Michelle Grattan Variety Hour. It has come to this because the luvvies who produce it have no targets to meet, no reason to entertain their audience, and no fucking idea how to do it anyway. It's exactly why socialism doesn't work.

One of the major arguments for the existence of Triple J is that it encourages talent. However, the truth is that it encourages a much greater number of untalented artists. We would all be better off if they were focused on trying to produce music someone might pay to listen to, or else looking for some kind of gainful employment.

The sale of the ABC would raise and free up billions of dollars for Australia - money we could use for something useful, like a new dam, or even a golden toothpick and earwax spoon for every one of us.

Triple J deserves a position at number one - but only as a lot number at that great ABC auction of our dreams.

6 comments:

infidel tiger said...

Triple J is the only "yoof oriented radio" in much of regional Australia. Many regional areas of Australia have alarming yoof suicide rates. Coincidence? I think not.

blogstrop said...

Ratings? Schmatings!
Arts festivals don't need 'em, and neever do we!
What do you mean "bring back Chris Winter" you ancient geezer?

Boy on a bike said...

I gave up listening when I turned 40 (that kind of skewed their demographic, didn't it?) It was great for keeping me awake on long road trips - mainly because I would get so angry at the announcers, the rage would keep me going for hours.

Boy on a bike said...

PS - we have JJJ to thank for Helen Razer, which says it all really.

Egg said...

Hehe, caught said deadspot many a time; there is an alternative (also on the FM band): Radio National, where there ... will usually be some grungy, white middle class male ... lecturing one ...

infidel tiger said...

Who needs JJJ? When driving in the country i like scanning the dial for new Gene Pitney songs or farm reports. Always pays to be aware of what a peck of barley or hogshead of rapeseed oil is fetching at market.