I don’t usually comment too much about the goings-on of reality television, but a recent interview Vino Alan gave to Yahoo’s Reality Rocks just cried out for commentary. Poor Mr. Alan, who allowed X-Factor’s producers to change his song at the last minute, despite his disapproval, says the show simply does not take its older artists seriously (emphasis is mine):
Yeah, I thought it would have been cool for Simon and the show to make a statement that for older artists, who might have gotten lost in the industry, there’s still an open door for them … It definitely was not set up to be an inspiring atmosphere, and I’ve told them that they have to work on that in the future, if they want it to be more artist-friendly. It did seem to lean more towards every other show that’s been out there that’s tried to create something that’s packaged and marketed, but maybe doesn’t move the soul. I mean, if Jimi Hendrix came out today, what show would he be able to go on? What the hell, what would they do? Is he not pretty enough? Now I think these true great artists out there will be gun-shy [about auditioning for 'The X Factor'], because they’ll see maybe what happened to me or how people treated me. I think Simon had a chance to create a different monster of a show, and that is really the only thing I find disappointing.
Seriously … “what show would Jimi be able to go on?” Now that Alan no longer has X-Factor duties holding him back, he should give Jimi’s music another listen and ask himself why Hendrix would waste his time on a “get rich quick” reality scheme when he already had the skills and talent to back his career on his own.
Get back with me, Vino, when you can do this:
A recent Rolling Stone article brought to the forefront the horrifying fact that a #1 rock hit reaches only 13 million listeners, compared to 138 million reached by top 40 pop hits. That, coupled with thousands of DJ layoffs across the country and stations switching allegiances, leaving several cities without a rock station at all, continues to prove that rock radio is dying a slow painful death.
That said, Radio Moscow arrives to give us all a wondrous flashback to the prog-rock and psychedelia of the late 60s and early 70s, when bands actually dared to have a rhythm section, an understanding of the blues and the willingness to push the envelope from album to album. Their latest album, The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz, would be a rock radio wet dream if there were rock stations left to give new bands a push. “Little Eyes” is a prime example of what makes the band work, featuring the best elements of Zeppelin, Hendrix and Clapton shoehorned into a song so ear-crunchingly raw it’s positively refreshing.
Without rock radio DJs to help give bands like them the push they deserve, it is up to us on the Internet to show that great rock music isn’t dead and gone. Even with just a cursory listen I think you’ll agree, Radio Moscow’s got its fingers on the trigger of what rock fans need as we head into 2012.