From time to time this site gets comments criticizing The Hardline for doing music segments. The last one was in the string of the last set of comments, from a listener who calls himself "rhyner never died, he just tries to act too cool for school. what a "rebel" he is. said..." I paste it here, somewhat sanitized:
"Ah, The Tardline at its worst: golden oldie bands that nobody [cares] about but this is what WE'RE interested in so [the hell with] you talk. I swear Rhyner is unable to express a coherent thought. Like Cuban said to Skip Bayless "you speak in generalities." That's what Rhyner does, and it's maddening to listen to. Buffalo Springfield? Are you kidding me? They have one, count it, one song they're known for; one tune that of the 40% of their listening audience who actually knows of Buffalo Springfield only 5% know anything other than that song: "For What It's Worth." Ah, but now it comes to light, it's all a cover to talk about, once again, the extremely overrated Neil Young. Young, Dylan, Springsteen, The Tardline never quite can get enough of them; listener be damned. Well, guess what Rhyner, [intercourse] you right back. I'm done with ya. From here on out, the moment WTDS ends, I'm out till the Morning Musers.
"The Tardline: Talk for Us, Not You."
OK. A little intemperate, but a point of view that a number of Confessors seem to hold.
I am not one of them. I like the music talk. It's not nostalgia -- Buffalo Springfield was not in my wheelhouse -- I just find it interesting. Rock and roll is important to The Ticket demo. Irrespective of whether you're at the younger or older end of that spectrum, the bands Mike features on "Old Music Wednesday" or whatever he calls it were for the most part influential or unjustly overlooked. He thinks his listeners sh old know about them. He appreciates them, and it's an emblem of his respect for the listeners that he wants to pass his reasons for that onto them.
Unlike "rhyner never died," I thought Mike was terrific today. First, it was good to hear him do an entire segment, with Corby listening more-or-less respectfully, tossing in a question or a comment at appropriate intervals. The leisurely pace almost sounded like storytelling to me and I thought at the time -- I'm enjoying this a lot.
I will concede that the Springsteen/Neil Young/Petty worship can be tedious (although ol' Neil is one of my personal favorites). Surely these guys have broader tastes than that. But The Hardline is kinda in a no-win situation: If they talk about popular groups, or groups they're obsessive about, they're boring. If they talk about obscure bands Danny and Davey are listening to, they're musical snobs. I do wish they would invite Jake to do a segment on some hip-hop he would like to call to our attention, and I could even go for a Ty Walker metal segment (Ty, if you're not a metal fan, I apologize -- I don't think Rich P is around in the afternoon).
But this begs the question: Should The Hardline and the other shows even be spending segments on music? I understand the point of view that there is already not enough hard sports on The Ticket. Frankly, I don't mind the pop culture stuff. (Exception: BaD's movie and teevee talk, the difference being that movies and teevee shows have plots that anyone who might want to watch the show or movie based on their discussion will not want to hear.)
So, is it correct to say, as "rhyner never died" does, that they should "talk for us, not you"? On reflection, I don't think so. The genius of The Ticket is that they have great hosts who make their shows sound like overheard conversations. I don't want them guessing what "us" wants. Listeners have come to trust and like their weekday heroes, and, for better or sometimes worse, they want to know what's on their minds, not what they think might be on ours.