First, let me say that I greatly enjoy your station. I deliver furniture so I am in my truck all day and I always have KATS on. I find that it gives me the hard-rock edge I need to get through my exhausting (and blistering hot) days. I think you guys have an excellent playlist that has a nice mix of Seventies (AC/DC, Black Sabbath), Eighties (Guns n' Roses, Ozzy Osbourne), Nineties (Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains), and today. I have to admit I like the old stuff better, but many of the new bands carry the hard-rock mantle proudly and I have recently been glad to discover Mudvayne, Hinder and a few others.
One band I didn't discover on your airwaves, though, was Disturbed, and this brings me to my purpose for writing. I am a big fan of Disturbed--I think they have true talent, and I missed their last show on the west side of the mountains only because of poor timing. I thought Disturbed's debut, The Sickness, was one of the best rock albums of this decade and the sophomore effort was very strong as well. I had high hopes for their recent release, 10,000 Fists, and was gratified when the first single off the album, "Just Stop", kicked a more than respectable amount of ass. So I'm a Disturbed fan.
But brothers, that doesn't mean we write them a blank check, and it doesn't mean we indulge them when their artistic instincts lead them astray. I refer to, of course, the cover of Genesis' "Land of Confusion" included on the new album that you have decided to include on your heavy rotation.
I know that you have had people call in and complain about this song because your on-air personalities have taken to reassuring each other that it kicks ass. One of them recently remarked to another, "Y'know, I like that Disturbed cover." To which his co-host responded, "That's because you understand that it's Disturbed doing Genesis, not Genesis doing Disturbed."
Brothers, I've never worked in radio and like I said, I think you do a great job. But if you have to talk your listeners (as well as each other) into liking a song, isn't the writing kind of on the wall? It's not like it would be a hard spot to fill.
I mean, c'mon, Genesis? And we're not talking about the 60s- or 70s-era Genesis with Peter Gabriel. Those guys were actually okay. I'm talking about motherfucking-middle-of-the-Eighties-I'm-fat-and-balding-and-rock-slightly-less-hard-than-Michael-Bolton-and-my-name-is-Phil-Collins Genesis. And there's nothing rock n' roll about that.
I consider myself pretty politically savvy. I understand what the boys in Disturbed were going for when they picked the song. Genesis was talking about Reagan sucking in the 80s and now Disturbed thinks President W. sucks in a similar way. I get it. That's pretty insightful, in a way. But making your point by covering Phil Collins doesn't punish the President so much as it punishes your listeners, and I am a member of that latter group.
Why not cover Springsteen's "Born in the USA"? That started out as a protest song against conditions in Reagan-America until Reagan himself adopted it as a campaign song. Or how about "Blackened" by Metallica--that's actually a hard-rock song. Or "Goodbye Blue Sky" by Black Sabbath? There are all sorts of good, politically relevant hard-rock songs Disturbed can cover where I won't have to feel conflicted about listening to a song where Phil Collins is credited as a fucking songwriter.
So, in closing, I would like to request that Disturbed's "Land of Confusion" be removed from the playlist post-haste and that we all forget this shameful incident as soon as possible.
Thanks for the great station and thanks for taking the time to read this. I'll be listening; keep up the good work.
Thursday, July 27, 2006