That’s the question that sometimes compels me to tune into a local country station to study up on what the average mainstream music listener in 2012 conceives of as ‘country music.’
More often than not, I end up surprised, reminded of why I stopped listening to country radio some time ago and haven’t bothered reviewing any singles since last April. (Basically, I got tired of being disappointed all the time and decided to focus more of my attention on things that don’t drive me crazy.)
Now, my friend Trailer at Farce the Music has done the impossible – he made commercial country radio tolerable again! – by turning the format’s mediocrity and abuse of familiar calling cards into a bingo game, which you can find here. Never one to turn down a good game, I sat down in front of the radio with my printout to gauge how well Trailer’s joke actually summarizes the current state of country radio.
And the result?
After getting my first bingo within 20 minutes, it took less than 10 more to rack up two additional bingos and get within spitting distance of a full blackout:
One song by Justin Moore and I would have been set.
Most of the tracks I heard were recurrents. I’d like to say the picture is brighter looking ahead, but within hours of completing this exercise, I received Mediabase’s list of this week’s most-added songs at radio. Up at the top, with twice as many adds as most anything else, I found
RASCAL FLATTS/Banjo (Big Machine) 69
JANA KRAMER/Why Ya Wanna (Elektra/WAR) 48
To summarize: the most disingenuously-titled song ever by a Nashville-based boy band, followed by a debut country single from an actress on the CW show “One Tree Hill.” Both doing quite well.
Oh, so that’s what I’ll miss out on by spending my listening hours with new music from The Little Willies, Gretchen Peters, and Darrell Scott. Oh well.