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Jan 05 2005

Swedish radio’s unhealthy obsession with Shania Twain

The quiet holiday period has meant that I’ve actually been able to spend a fair amount time in my office working, as opposed to running around the building attending meetings. (Swedes…especially Swedish managers … LOVE meetings.)  I have a small radio in my office that’s pretty much on all day except when I’m on the phone, and I’ve decided that Shania Twain must pay bonuses to Swedish radio programmers or something because they play her music CONSTANTLY. 

Now I worked in the radio industry in the U.S. for a lot of years so I know a little bit about music programming and rotation schedules and the like, which makes the over-play of Shania Twain that much more of a mystery to me. I swear if I had five kronor (not quite one U.S. dollar) for every time I’ve heard “Party for Two” in the last two weeks, I could easily afford to replace the mobile phone that got an accidental swirly on New Year’s Eve with a state-of-the-art 3G device (with a dozen features I would never ever use)!

Of course “Party for Two” is even more annoying than the usual Shania fare because it’s a duet and the man’s voice (which sounds an awful lot like a kinder, gentler, deeper version of hers) was impossible for me to place without the help of an internet search. Turns out it’s Sugar Ray‘s Mark McGrath (which was a mild disappointment because prior to this I always thought he was kind of cool). But in the course of my research I found out that are actually two different versions of “Party for Two”… the other being a slightly more twangy arrangement featuring a country singer named Billy Currington.

Now initially I couldn’t figure out why the world would possibly need two versions of “Party for Two”… especially since they both sound so much alike … and then I realized that Shania was probably just tapping into the whole Red State/Blue State thing. People in the Red States, after all, probably have no idea who Mark MacGrath is … or if they do know him they surely don’t support his rock star playboy lifestyle and ever-changing hair color.

Okay, maybe Mark McGrath is still kind of cool.

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Feed my ego!

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