Thursday, 24 January 2013

Reflections on Musical Tastes Across America

My travels in the United States being mostly done by car, I find it amusing to listen to the local radio stations all across the country, visit record stores and just talk to people locally about what kind of music they listen to.
     My personal favorite is when I find a radio station that provides a "Best Of" countdown. I remember listening to one in Philedelphia once which I considered to be just about the funniest thing I've ever heard for several reasons, one of which being the placement of "You Know What I Mean" by Lee Michaels ahead of Ziggy Stardust and Let It Be on a top 500 classic rock songs list. The songs were all in the 194-196 positions. Please tell me you think the good people of Philedelphia made a mistake here. I mean, I wouldn't even consider You Know What I Mean to be a rock song, I'd say it's pop. To each his own I guess?
     Prog rock also tends to fare well on the East Coast in general. They sure love Genesis and Yes out in New Jersey, I was hearing their big hits and obscurities all over the radio in the time I spent there. I got a little worked up when they played Changes by Yes as that is one of my favorite songs and one I'd never heard on the radio until then.
     The West Coast stations tend to suit my personal tastes in music better, probably a reflection of my coming from the West Coast. You're more likely to find a rock station that leans more in the late 80s hair metal on the West Coast, and you tend to hear more variety on the radio, a lot of stations that specialize in trying to play a variety of different kinds of rock music. Being a fanatic of the obscure and underrated myself, I just love that.
     There are no places in the States that really embrace Canadian rock music but your best chances of hearing some Canadian classics are in the northern states that share a border with Canada. While not all this country's music is palatable, some of it sure is, and I can definetly think of a few artists that should have made it bigger outside their own country. I've been really addicted to Honeymoon Suite lately, and of course Triumph and Red Rider and Streetheart are great.
      And in the south, to no surprise, you have your best chances of hearing country, blues, jazz, bluegrass, folk, and the like. None of those genres are to my personal taste but I appreciate the greater versatility there and there are some very fine rock stations too, of course.

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