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New music marketed to old people: AARP Internet radio

Though the Red Hot Chili Peppers and I more or less parted ways right around the time I declined Anthony Kiedis's invitation to fly away on his zephyr (which, for some reason, always sounds to me like a synonym for farting quietly), I will admit that there was a time when I loved "Under the Bridge" — you know, the song everybody loved when they were fourteen. But that was a long time ago, and while I'm not going to argue that it wasn't a good song, I'm sick of it now.

The reason I'm sick of it? Because it's still getting played on the radio. Two decades after it came out, KTCL still has that song in rotation, forcing me to press the NPR preset and retreat into my comfortable castle of liberal elitism. Apparently, though, now I have a new option.

Gentlemen, let me be the first to welcome you to our bizarro future, in which old music is marketed to young people on the radio and new music is marketed to old people on the Internet. Not long ago, AARP — yes, that would be the American Association of Retired Persons AARP — fired up an Internet radio outlet via its website toward the goal of familiarizing said retired persons with what the kids are doing these days, which is listening to the Internet because regular radio blows. The player features eighteen distinct channels mostly devoted to the hits of the '60s and '70s (because old people are apparently not sick of "Sweet Emotion" yet), but the AARP is not giving up on teaching retired persons new tricks, either: One channel is devoted to new radio hits, of which the player reassures, "You heard these hits on the radio or at a friend's house."

Speaking of "Sweet Emotion," it will no doubt come as good news to the Internet radio station marketing new music to old people that Aerosmith, all the members of which somehow have not died yet, went into the studio last week to work on a brand-new album, its fifteenth full-length and the successor to 2004's Honkin' on Bobo, which, fittingly, sounds like some kind of unsettling octogenarian sex act. And while an album of more Bobo-related honkin' has been clamored for by exactly nobody I know, if there's good news for people outside of the Retired Persons set, it's that perhaps recording will at least temporarily distract Steven Tyler — now officially the nation's most embarrassing dirty old man — from trying to use his American Idol judge-ship for soliciting blow jobs from persons born after "Under the Bridge" came out. We can only hope.

Until then, my parents are expected to use the player as soon as AARP can figure out how to make music come out of a word-processing document on a yellowing Pentium 486.

 
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7 comments
Yoga Teacher Training
Yoga Teacher Training

Cary is not the only one who is over 50 and still rocking! You will be surprised how many of the elderly are 'techie' and into great music that is not limited to the golden oldies

Cary
Cary

Furthermore, AARP does not stand for American Association of Retired Persons any more than NAACP is an organization of "colored people." You have some real issues with agism, dude. Get a grip. You'll be 50 one day, and I hope you're 1/8 as rockin' as I am. Somehow I doubt you will be.

Cary
Cary

AARP membership begins at 50. I'm 55 and go to concerts and clubs three or four times a week, gorge myself with CD and iTunes purchases, have joined Spotify, listen to music on satellite, and probably know more about music of every era than you do. So fuck you for this "old people" shit!

Goat
Goat

my parents are expected to use the player as soon as AARP can figure out how to make music come out of a word-processing document on a yellowing Pentium 486.???? OUCH!

saracsit
saracsit

KTCL is still playing that because it's owned by Clear Channel aka the devil. I never ever, ever listen to corporate radio stations and even though AARP would love to have me as a member - no way. There are people who are in their late 20's/30's who are old and listen to the same stuff over and over and they are older in their heads than I am at 53.

Jef Otte
Jef Otte

Aside from that the AARP does in fact stand for exactly that, I think you're missing the point a little here, Cory. I have no doubt that you are 55 and rockin', as you say, and that's awesome. You are clearly not the demographic the AARP is marketing to, here, because this is obviously not a service you need. The AARP is marketing to old people who fit the stereotype by not giving a shit about new music, and that's what I'm making fun of. Rock on, dude.

Goat
Goat

every radio station, nearly without exception is a corporation. Yeah for the 50 somethings who are still hip and like new music :) Count me among them at 56.

 
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