Saturday, December 15, 2007
Overexposure: A Rumination
I, too, had my fill of Eddie Money in the 80's. But he was a good godfather to a lot of powerpop bands, particularly 20/20, and so he shouldn't take too much slagging here.
But it got me thinking about how much damage overexposing a band can do. Decisions about radio play and other forms of publicity are increasingly made by smaller and smaller numbers of people: many young people who aspired to be DJs have left in disgust at the miniscule amount of creative control they actually have. (And now that Mitt Romney owns ClearChannel, I'm sure that will get much better.)
When a song is in heavy rotation, it's often played as much as once an hour. For someone who has the radio on at work, that's eight or nine times a day this thing comes on. You get sick of it. But that skews your response to it, too. It's hard to strip away the associations of a song and remember how it hit you that first time.
Case in point:
(Jesus fuck, Janeane was young! And I swear to Ba'al this has never ever occurred to me before, but we're supposed to hear "My Winona," aren't we? Huh.)
Now objectively, it's a great song. Yeah, it's unusual and innovative to have the rhythm line be the hook, but it totally works on a level of composition, and its earwormy nature ought to be a plus.
But who among us is not fucking sick of this song?
And I'm not defending "Take Me Home Tonight"--far from it. But if "Two Tickets to Paradise" can't get some love, we might as well pack it in and start listening to Radiohead.
So I ask you: is it ever really possible to hear an overexposed song as though it were the first time?