Key Notes - an Irish music blog by Steven O'Rourke

Key Notes blog

The Phantom Commute

May 15

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Thursday, May 15, 2008  RssIcon

Key Notes asks is Phantom, particularly during the morning commute, becoming boring and predictable.

Key Notes, you may be surprised to hear, doesn't actually get paid for his endless hours slaving away for CLUAS, and has to commute to and from work just like the rest of you.  4 years ago Key Notes took a decision to accept a job in location A (lets just call it 'Somewhere near the South Coast of Dublin but not quite Wicklow') and then he made the spectacularly naive decision 3 years ago to purchase a property with Mrs. Key Notes in location B (lets just call this 'West Dublin, but the nice part, not the part where they eat each others children').  This decision was naive because it was made in full knowledge of how rubbish Dublin Bus and DART are at actually getting passengers to their destination in time. 

However, 3 years of listening to Usher or Kylie blaring from some kids Nokia was more than enough and in January of this year Key Notes started driving to and from work and, with the absence of MP3 facilities in his car, he was forced to listen to the radio, something he hadn't done in quite a while. 

Now, writing as he does an Irish music blog, and facing the prospect of the M50 everyday, Key Notes turned to Phantom as his source of 'More new music than any radio station in Dublin, more new Irish music than any radio station in the World.'   The reason Key Notes can tell you this is because they repeat that statement after every new Irish song is played.  Every.  Single.  Time.  Please don't misunderstand your curmudgeonly blogger, Key Notes is well aware of what Phantom is trying to achieve, but in fact, its effect is quite the opposite.  Every time Key Notes hears this phrase, it makes him want to physically harm both his radio and the DJ.

The main culprit; Mr. Sinister Pete but, in fairness, this is because Pure Morning and Heavy Traffic are the only two shows Key Notes gets to listen to, as that's when he's driving.  His show is, for the most part, as predictable as REM releasing a 'could this be the comeback' album and, therefore, boring.  As Key Notes is going to a gig (....Trail of Dead if you're asking) today he didn't hear the show this morning (don't drink and drive kids) but this blog is willing to bet that tomorrow you will hear at least three of the following: 1) The Pigeon Detectives - This is an Emergency; 2) The Ting Tings - That's not my Name; 3) Vampire Weekend - Oxford Comma; 4) The Aftermath - Are you not Wanting me Yet and 5) Anything by one of The Rolling Stones, Iggy & The Stooges or AC/DC.  

It all just gets a little bit boring.  Key Notes realises that Phantom is a commercial venture and has certain targets it probably has to meet but surely there is enough new, and indeed GOOD new music out there to ensure that you never have to play the same song more than twice in a week.  Maybe Key Notes is wrong, maybe Phantom's other shows and presenters make up for this lack of diversity, but Key Notes can only comment on what he hears.  Heavy Traffic, for example, doesn't have the same predictability because it throws in some curve balls Key Notes wouldn't expect to hear, and that makes it a more enjoyable listening experience.

To those of you able to listen to your radios during working hours, and who listen to Phantom, is there any more diversity in the playlist during the day/night, or is Phantom, as Ian suggested in his opinion piece, in danger of becoming utterly irrelevant for listeners hoping to hear new and exciting Irish and international music. 

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1 comment(s) so far...

Re: The Phantom Commute

It's probably the most effective model for success in radio: Numb your audience into submission by repeating everything ad nauseum.

I love how that morning guy prides himself on not being your typical morning DJ, and yet he just sounds like the clones on 2fm to me. Big ego, crap sense of humour, no imagination or veering from the script and time filler competitions take pride of place.

By Peejay on   Monday, May 19, 2008