Remember when a number of rock radio stations (as in, hard rock to metal to modern rock) were dropping like flies all over the country? It wasn't that long ago and it seems like the sackings have tapered off for the time being. As of late, I've noticed a trend with a lot of songs that were mainstays in the format: they are getting a lot of play on talk radio.
These days, I hear songs by Pantera, Guns N' Roses and Van Halen used as theme music for a number of talk shows. It doesn't matter if it's a liberal or conservative show; I hear them on both. I find the usage rather cool, but I'm a little confused: why hard rock over other kinds of music, like dance and pop rock? Is the intent to grab the listener's ears? Maybe it is, but why do so many shows use this kind of music?
Hear me out: I still dig this music even though I listened to it much more when I was in middle and high school. Hearing "Mouth for War" again reminds me of the good ol' days of Headbanger's Ball and Beavis and Butthead. These songs still hold up, but I find myself listening to other kinds of metal (like Converge and Dillinger Escape Plan) more than anything else. Maybe it's different levels of angst that people go through that bring such desire. I think it's about having a variety of music in one's diet.
In some martkets like Dallas (where its Eagle was blown up and then turned into a lite rock station), the chances of hearing this music anywhere on the radio dial is slim. The Edge, the modern rock station in town, adopted some of the Eagle's playlist to accomodate listeners, but it's still a modern rock station. Yes, it sounds a little weird to go from the Killers to Nirvana to Metallica to Korn, but at least it's something.
I'm amazed at how this music is being recycled by a completely different format. Adults listen to these kinds of shows more than teenagers, so I'm puzzled by the song selection. This is the kind of music that is perfect for sports arenas, but we're talking about talk shows here. No physical violence is going on. There is no cheering crowd. There is no scorecard. What is the connection between these two formats? Is there a connection at all or is this just a trend?