How Borg Are You?

Has your public station been assimilated by the Borg of public radio? Chances are, you’ve probably already figured that out. But you can be sure if they’re playing a preponderance of songs on the following lists — from the Triple A charts and the Americana Music Association (here). (Click to enlarge.) Not coincidentally, both WUMB and KUT are “reporters” to Americana, reporting their spin counts to the AMA for their favored status.

If you look, for instance, on the KUT.org website, you’ll find the “Weekly Top 60,” detailing the songs most played during the week (below). And you can see how many of them come right from the charts. That’s how you know cybernetic KUT has become . . .

THE WEEKLY TOP 60 – 9/20/10

  1. Bill Frisell / Beautiful Dreamers / Savoy
  2. Robert Plant* / Band of Joy / Rounder
  3. Arcade Fire / The Suburbs / Merge
  4. Ray LaMontagne* / God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise / RCA
  5. Michael Franti & Spearhead / Sound of Sunshine / Boo Boo
  6. The Black Keys / Brothers / Nonesuch
  7. Band of Horses* / Infinite Arms / Columbia
  8. Ryan Bingham* / Junky Star / Lost
  9. Los Crema Paraiso / El Debut / Cultupra
  10. Mavis Staples / “Wrote a Song for Everyone” / Anti
  11. Herbie Hancock / The Imagine Project / Hancock
  12. Sahara Smith / Myth of the Heart / Playing in
  13. Isobell Campbell & Mark Lanegan* / Hawk / Vanguard
  14. Mumford & Sons / Sigh No More / Glassnote
  15. Black Angels / Phosphene Dream / Blue
  16. Fitz & the Tantrums / Pickin’ Up the Pieces / Dangerbird
  17. Ra Ra Riot / The Orchard / Barsuk
  18. Andreya Triana / Lost Where I Belong / Ninja Tune
  19. Best Coast / Crazy for You / Mexican
  20. Seu Jorge & Almaz / Seu Jorge & Almaz / Now-Again
  21. John Mellencamp* / No Better Than This / Rounder
  22. Lissie / Catching a Tiger / Fat Possum
  23. Richard Thompson* Dream Attic Shout!
  24. Luisa Maita Lero-Lero Cumbancha
  25. Dale Watson* / Carryin’ On / LCMedia
  26. Junip / Fields / Mute
  27. Jenny and Johnny / I’m Having Fun Now / Warner
  28. Darker My Love / Alive as You Are / Dangerbird
  29. Tame Impala / InnerSpeaker / Modular
  30. The Walkmen / Lisbon / Fat Possum
  31. Broken Bells / Broken Bells / Columbia
  32. Land of Talk / Cloak and Cipher / Saddle
  33. Los Lobos* / Tin Can Trust / Shout!
  34. Alejandro Escovedo* / Street Songs of Love / Fantasy
  35. Ed Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros / Up From Below / Vagrant
  36. Jimmie Vaughan* / Plays Blues, Ballads & Favorites / Shout
  37. Bobby Bare Jr. / A Storm-A Tree-My Mother’s Head / Albino
  38. Eric Clapton / Selections from “Clapton” / Reprise
  39. Bryan Ferry / “You Can Dance” / Astralwerks
  40. Alex Cuba / Alex Cuba / Caracol
  41. Jack Johnson / To the Sea / Brushfire
  42. Tom Petty / Mojo / Reprise
  43. Nas & Damian Marley / Distant Relatives / Universal
  44. Sleepy Sun / Fever / ATP
  45. Black Mountain / Wilderness Heart / Jagjaguwar
  46. Dungen / Skit I Allt / Mexican
  47. Cee Lo Green / ‘Forget’ You / Elektra
  48. The Books / The Way Out / Temporary
  49. Punch Brothers / Antifogmatic / Nonesuch
  50. Of Montreal / False Priest / Polyvinyl
  51. Justin Townes Earle / Harlem River Blues / Bloodshot
  52. J Roddy Walston & The Business / J Roddy Walston & The Business / Vagrant
  53. Red Horse* / Red Horse / Red House
  54. Dean & Britta / 13 Most Beautiful Songs / Double
  55. Kings of Leon / “Radioactive” / RCA
  56. Old 97’s / The Grand Theater / Volume
  57. The Posies / Blood & Candy / Ryko
  58. Tired Pony / “Dead American Writers” / Mom + Pop
  59. John Legend and the Roots / “Wake Up Everybody” / Columbia
  60. Lost in the Trees / All Alone in an Empty House / Anti
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3 Responses

  1. […] addressed by at least two recent posts at this site. See WUMBier (here) and How Borg Are You (here). In those posts it is easy to see the influence of the Billboard charts in the posted playlists at […]

  2. Well, at least you were given some kind of answers, even if it was Hawk’s usual BS. While researching a piece on this same subject I had sent musical director Jeff McCord an email asking for some basic information on how songs are selected for play at KUT. Since I am a paying member of KUT I believed I had a right to know something about the process, even it was just some sort of form letter. That was 2 weeks ago and I still haven’t heard a peep. I’m still writing the piece, but it’s now shifted to how “classified” such information must be, even to those paying the bills.

  3. A year ago, I had a long phone call with Hawk M. at KUT. I told him that I had a problem with forcing the DJs to alter their play lists… he said they did not have required play lists. I asked if they had to play certain music during a given show, and he told me they had to play recommended artists. I’m not sure I can tell the difference.

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