Thursday, March 11, 2010

6Music: Economist bitch-slapped by reader using facts

Clearly, the Economist doesn't bring its usual considered approach when it talks about pop music. The magazine covered the 6Music closure this week:

In 2002 the BBC introduced 1Xtra, a digital urban-music station that bore a suspicious similarity to Xfm, a commercial outfit. It followed up by launching 6 Music, an alternative-rock station, and the Asian Network. The stations received plenty of promotion on the corporation’s television channels.

Oh really, asked qwertymartin:
Why let mere facts trouble you?

Absolute Radio plays "roughly the same kind of music" as 6 Music? In the last 30 days 6 Music shared 11% of its playlist with Absolute:

"Suspicious similarity" between 1Xtra and XFM? In the last 30 days 1Xtra shared 0% of its playlist with XFM:

The only things that are rough and suspicious here are this article's interpretation of reality.

You can just about understand why a superficial listen might think Absolute and 6Music is "roughly the same" - guitars, isn't it? - but how on earth could you think that 1Xtra and XFM are similar? Unless you think "there's some music and then some talking" qualifies? Or is it because they both have X in their name?

[with thanks to @alanconnor]


Robin Carmody said...

This is something far more dangerous than mere fogeyish ignorance. There is a definite desire on the right to destroy 1Xtra, actually much greater than any anti-6Music sentiments, because it represents the strongest UK-wide platform for the voices they are determined to silence.

This week's chart is an example. Tinie Tempah is at number 1 because 1Xtra were able to develop the artist/song and provide an initial outlet, then - after it had come through there - it could get on the Radio 1 playlist and be pushed to the next level. If this was forcibly stopped, the tyranny of the informal Cameron/Cowell alliance would have absolutely no meaningful opposition that wasn't ghettoised to fuck - it would have absolute control over British pop, maybe forever. And this silencing of voices who don't come from their own cosy little world is *exactly* what the Economist wants.

I don't think they or the other right-wing publications have the slightest concern about the more traditionally highbrow BBC output either, despite pretending to so as to keep their "heartland" readers on side.

steve thack said...

suspect the original article was badly editted and they intended to compare 6 music to xfm. a comparision that might be closer than comparing 1xtra a xfm but still pretty far from the mark.

i dont know enough of 1 xtra 's output to really comment but 6 music is distinctive quality radio that has no real competition. believe me if 6 goes the right will then me making pressure for further cuts so now would be a good time for everyone to stand together.

Robin Carmody said...

Indeed so. While I am not such a great personal fan of much of what 6Music plays, it has a far broader range than *any* commercial station has had probably since XFM was taken over by Capital all that time ago. I completely agree that 6Music must be defended *whatever our personal tastes* - "thin end of the wedge" may be a horrible cliche, but it holds up. And "first they came for ..." is not an exaggeration in this context.

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