“Alternative” radio — an unnecessary evil

Grant Tillery

What Minneapolis doesn’t need is another “alternative” radio station. The recent advent of Alt 93.3 is a sad reminder that some consumers buy into a meaningless phrase that promotes watered-down dial tones as edgy musicians. The artists spinning on 93.3 — including 311 and Linkin Park — lack any street cred whatsoever. While these bands endured trials and tribulations to even ink a deal, they function as marketing ploys, preying on the dollars of listeners whose disdain for inventive music borders on irreverent.

Clear Channel (owner of 93.3) is intent on airwave domination, to the detriment of any independent radio that stands in their way. If local listeners crave non-independent music, they need not look further than the Current or Radio K. These stations play plenty of non-independent bands; bands the most pretentious of music fans would deem “sell-outs.” But the “sell-outs” spun on those stations possess musical merit and a backstory that goes beyond being assembled by some crony in Sony’s studios.

Call me a hater, but given the choice between the radio-station that plays A-ha’s “Take On Me” for nostalgia’s sake and the station that blasts Coldplay ad nauseam, I resolutely stand with the former.