erockster: Horrible Name, Not Entirely Horrible Playlist

Apr 29th, 2008 // 14 Comments

erockster.jpgI’m having a hard time deciding how to feel about the new Clear Channel initiative erockster (no caps, please). First of all, anything that comes from Clear Channel is immediately evil, right? I think we’ve cleared that up already. Secondly, the station’s debut in the Coachella area this weekend was hokey to the max, with billboards declaring the station as “pirate radio” with voice-disguised DJs spinning tracks from Coachella acts past and present. Thirdly, a press release dreamed up by CC’s marketing execs in San Antonio that declares erockster “breaks all the rules” isn’t helping any cool quotient the station might have. (And the city that isn’t exactly on my good side right now, anyway.) But when you look at the playlist, you realize that the format may not be not the worst idea.

erockster’s site provides an opportunity to listen to the station, watch videos and read crappy blogs–nearly the same content as every damn site on the internet these days, complete with social networking aspect, obvs. But the playlist is large and allegedly expanding every week, and it features the sort of music that’s in my iTunes playlist already. So is it bad form to complain?

Clear Channel Radio today officially launched erockster – a vast collection of on-air, online and on-demand content for music fans of all genres. The collection will reach some 5000 songs over the next month, adding 1000 songs per week. From music to blogs to a social network and user-created content, erockster is created for 13- to 34-year-olds with hopes of appealing to music lovers of all ages.

Helmed and produced/inspired by Eric Szmanda, along with his childhood friend and business partner Tyler Malin, erockster brings a remarkable level of listener involvement and interaction. Listeners can sign on to, register their preferences, and influence the content that erockster features.

“Our main focus will be on quality and we’re going to give a lot of bands that don’t have a chance to be heard on the radio that opportunity,” said Szmanda, best known to audiences as Greg Sanders on ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’. “We want to be playing everything from indie rock to hip-hop to classic rock to soul to dance rock.”

The wildly diverse group of artists already being featured include Radiohead, the Ramones, My Morning Jacket, the Rolling Stones, Grandmaster Flash, Johnny Cash, Hot Chip, Prince, the Beatles, T Rex, Al Green, Jane’s Addiction,, Daft Punk, Pink Floyd, the Kinks, Bjork, the Who, Arcade Fire, Ray Charles, the Verve, Air, Otis Redding, Pharcyde, Velvet Underground, the Clash, Pavement, the Roots, The Police, David Bowie, and Kraftwerk.

The station will occupy the HD-2 slot for alternative rock stations already within Clear Channel’s grasp (do you have your HD radio yet? I hear they’re all the rage) and apparently be granted its own two-hour blocks on FM stations as well.

Wait, did they say Pink Floyd? Forget it, down with erockster and the creep from CSI running the thing.

erockster Breaks All the Rules [Business Wire]
erockster [Official site]


  1. Anonymous

    what’s wrong with san antonio?

  2. Anonymous

    Yeah, but it’s still Clear Channel, so while you listen to it, it’s simultaneously feasting on your soul.

  3. Dead Air ummm Dead Air

    Sorry Hawk, you’re redundant.

  4. AL

    @GotanOrange: Spurs up 3-1 on Suns in NBA playoffs.

  5. Dan Gibson

    @AL: Yep, that’s it.

  6. Clevertrousers

    So, in other words, Clear Channel kills diversity on radio than replaces it with faux-diversity online? Meh. I’ll stick to WFMU. Fuck that bullshit.

  7. Clevertrousers

    When I hear of a coproration “breaking all the rules,” I think of this (apologies for the raw script – couldn’t find it on YouTube):

    [Simpsons #4F12] The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show

    At “Itchy & Scratchy, Intl.”, Myers has called a meeting of the writers along with Krusty and a lady from the network.

    Myers: I have figured out how to rejuvenate the show. It’s so simple, you egghead writers would’ve never thought of it! What we need is… a new character! One that today’s kids can relate to!

    [writers look at each other, uncertain]

    Oakley: Are you absolutely sure that’s wise, sir? I mean, I don’t want to sound pretentious here, but Itchy and Scratchy comprise a dramaturgical dyad.

    Krusty: Hey, this ain’t art — it’s business! [turns to Meyers] Whaddya got in mind? Sexy broad? Gangster octopus?

    Myers: No, no. The animal chain of command goes mouse, cat, dog.
    [to the writers] D-O-G.

    Weinstein: Uh, a dog? Isn’t that a tad predictable?

    Lady: In your dreams. We’re talking the original dog from hell.

    Oakley: You mean Cerberus?

    Lady: We at the network want a dog with attitude. He’s edgy, he’s “in your face.” You’ve heard the expression “let’s get busy”? Well, this is a dog who gets “biz-zay!” Consistently and thoroughly.

    Krusty: So he’s proactive, huh?

    Lady: Oh, God, yes. We’re talking about a totally outrageous paradigm.

    Meyer: Excuse me, but “proactive” and “paradigm”? Aren’t these just buzzwords that dumb people use to sound important? [backpedaling] Not that I’m accusing you of anything like that. [pause] I’m fired, aren’t I?

    Myers: Oh, yes. The rest of you start writers thinking up a name for this funky dog; I dunno, something along the line of say… Poochie, only more proactive.

    Krusty: Yeah!

    [Myers, Krusty and the lady leave]

    Oakley: So, Poochie okay with everybody?

    All: [reclining in their chairs] Yeah…

    Cut to animator drawing first draft of Poochie. Meyers, Krusty and Lady give notes….

    [Animator draws a standard dog]

    Myers: No, no, no! He was supposed to have attitude.

    Animator: Um… wh-what do you mean, exactly?

    Myers: Oh, you know, attitude, attitude! Uh… sunglasses!

    Lady: Could we put him in more of a “hip-hop” context?

    Krusty: Forget context, he’s gotta be a surfer. Give me a nice shmear of surfer

    Lady: I feel we should Rasta-fy him by… 10 percent or so.

    [all stare at it w/o any expression]

    Myers: Hmm… I think he needs a little more attitude.

    [Animator blackens in Poochie's sunglasses]

    All Three: [variously] Oh, yeah, bingo. Yeah, that’s it! There it is, right there! I love it!

  8. Anonymous

    @AL: Oh, well if that’s the reason, then fuck the suns! Pussy ass pantywaist nash is goin down! Sports smack on a music blog! Yeahhhhhh! Go spurs go!

  9. Anonymous


    I’m already a fan of

  10. Anonymous

    Is this somehow an outcropping of Grokster?

  11. Anonymous

    Interesting collection of videos on the site…I’d expect a lot of Tegan and Sara, Hot Chip, Raconteurs, etc…plus oldies from the ’80s and ’90s…but their library of Heavy D and the Boyz vids is weirdly substantial. Overweight lover in the house!

  12. Lawson

    “erockster is created for 13- to 34-year-olds with hopes of appealing to music lovers of all ages.”

    read that sentence again; brilliant. by their logic you simply don’t listen to music if you fall outside 13-34.

  13. participate in multiplayer on the internet flash matches

  14. Smith

    umm horrible name? yea cuz idolator is so much better right ? erockster is amazing you even said it. and whats wrong with Pink Floyd? erockster caters to those who enjoy indie music, it’s not like they have bad intentions or anything and @ Lawson, they just came up with a general target audience it doesnt mean that anyone out of that age group doesnt listen to music its just generally who they think theyre audience will be

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