Lack of decent radio station leaves Joplin culturally dead

Nate Billings - Executive Editor

Nate Billings – Executive Editor

Nate Billings

Joplin’s music just has a lame soul.

There are certain things I have taken for granted over the years that are starting to bug me. One of them is the lack of a decent radio station in the area.

Yes, some may disagree, but they are entitled to their opinion and their cowboy hat/tennis shoe combo.

To start, today’s country music is so horrid, it is not worth explaining. Leave it there.

If it isn’t country, then it’s “classic rock,” which we seem to only understand as covers from the late 80’s and early 90’s. Remember, radio is free, as long as it’s “Freebird” or “Free Falling.” I don’t remember when they exactly became classics, but someone sure must think the last 10 years was extremely long.

This then brings to mind how many times a song is played here in town. Frankly, three different versions of We Are the Champions is more than enough, especially when not one of them is from Queen.

Today’s pop music is about like its country counterpart. Until one listens in full, one will never know how masculine Michael Jackson sounds in comparison to boy bands.

The oldies stations are well appreciated. At least they stick to a genre one can seriously identify with. Of course, you don’t have to be 40 or older to understand the lyrics. These songs are the origins of inspiration for some of today’s music.

The origins of our music are the most important aspect to consider. But still, the songs do get old.

Classic music can’t be forgotten either. It has inspired millions everywhere – including Metallica and Rage Against the Machine.

No one can give up the radio. Music fills the soul and allows for relaxation in the most stressful situations. Joplin’s music scene, probably causes more stress than it relieves.

Garage bands and local groups give us some relief. At least they try to boost the scene. However, it just might not be enough.

Not everyone can afford XM radio, and lugging a computer around in the passenger seat isn’t too practical (unless it’s computer dating, forgive the pun).

The alternative is to burn CDs. That’s a decent start. Streaming and ripping are great for sounds that can’t be found around here. People can buy MP3s just as easily as they can share them. FYI: there are free MP3 sites out there who know poor college kids want music without a charge. All one has to do is search.

So, what do I think this area needs as far as music goes?

I may have odd tastes to some, but then again, I was fed up with today’s music a long time ago. My favorite Canadian bands wouldn’t cut the mustard, so here is a list of what we need in a station, or at least in a true mix station.

* One: a pure jazz station. Yes, the term “jazz recording” is an oxymoron, but the genre is one of the largest to choose from. The closest station, sadly enough, is in Aurora.

* Two: a station focusing on international rock and punk sensations.

* Three: Who can forget an alternative rock station? There is a heck of a lot of good stuff that comes from this genre.

One must remember many top bands actually started in this category. It’s constantly changing and has only one true glue – there’s no other place to put it. The underground is growing; it’s about time Joplin kept up the lawn.