The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Missing Music

Kaitlyn Conway | Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Over break, I was trying to find a new pair of jeans when I noticed that the radio station the store was broadcasting was playing a Mêlée song. This filled me with joy.

I’m sure many of you are now racking your brains, trying to find the significance in that. A song by Mêlée? Who’s that? A long lost band from the 80s? The newest sensation? Why, I simply must buy their CD on iTunes immediately!

… Okay, maybe not the last part, but let me enlighten you a little. Mêlée is a contemporary band, no worries, and a very good one at that. They’re an alternative rock group, with emphasis on the piano. And wonderful. Completely wonderful. Their first album is a little rough around the edges, but the second is full of feel-good songs that’ll bring a smile to your face any day. I first found out about this wonderful band when they opened a concert I was at, and it was love the moment Chris Cron (the lead singer) jumped up on the piano stool for “Frequently Baby.” This band should be all over the airways, and yet I’ve heard them on the radio maybe all of twice. Although, Mêlée is doing better than most of my favorite bands- their song “Stand Up” is on the soundtrack for Sydney White.

However, this has brought me back to a problem that has long plagued me. Why are so many bands that are so good get absolutely no airtime, while I hear Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood every twenty seconds? No joke, when “Before He Cheats” was new, I heard it on the radio twice in fifteen minutes. And I flipped stations while I was home, and heard “Love Story,” beginning to end. Yes, on two different stations.

Now, I’m not saying that these artists don’t have their merits and aren’t enjoyable, but let’s give some other artists some airtime! Now, maybe I’m not listening to the right stations, but I have never heard fantastic artists like Mae or Anberlin on the radio. How about Motion City Soundtrack? Jack’s Mannequin? The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus? The only airtime I’ve heard these guys get has been on Pandora or Last FM.

The question I pose here is WHY. These artists are all brilliant – some are probably better than what we hear day in and day out! And yet the same songs remain on the air, played time and time again until I’m singing along despite the deep desire to plug my ears. Bands like Mêlée get left behind so that “the popular songs” can be played every fifteen minutes. Wouldn’t want us to forget the words, now, after all.

So, radio stations and anyone else, really, broaden your horizons. There’s more out there than what we listen to every day, and it’s a shame it can’t make the broadcast playlist more than once in a blue moon.