BBC 6 Music has rebranded itself and has a new slogan 'Closer To The Music That Matters'. My initial thought was (apart from 'can't the rebranding not involve stopping playing 1980 by Estelle so I don't have to fling myself across the room to switch station at 10 past 8 in the morning?') was that this is pretty meaningless, but I kind of see that they are possibly obliquely getting at something moderately interesting. Certainly the audience seems to be quite geeky, obviously this is partly a result of the delivery mechanisms, but also I think what it is about is 'people who are geeky about rock music in the same way that classical music people are serious about classical music and jazz people about jazz e.g. when was it recorded, what was the label?, who was there, what did they do before and after?'.
Certainly some of the DJs are quite nerdy (Gideon Coe and Clare Mcdonnell have always struck me as being particularly nerdy, back as far as their days on GLR which was the spiritual forerunner of 6 Music - do not be fooled by the photo on the website where she is trying to look cool). It is of course a well kept secret that lots of DJs (radio / club) are often quite geeky, but most of them try to conceal it.
Now, notice the use of the word Matters in 'Closer To The Music That Matters'. This is also used in the Slashdot slogan 'News For Nerds, Stuff That Matters'. Perhaps it is a property of geeks that things (like which version of Unix was based on which / who recorded which Ska track on which label etc. etc.) Matter to them.
There are echoes of this in the Kipling poem I am fond of quoting.
"The Sons of Mary seldom bother, for they have inherited that good part;
But the Sons of Martha favour their Mother of the careful soul and the troubled heart. "
for those not familiar with the story, in one of the many nutty bits of the New Testament, Jesus tells Martha off for fussing round preparing food rather than listening to him. In the Kipling poem the Sons Of Martha are engineers.
Clearly 'Things Mattering' is the converse of people 'Seldom Bothering'.
Perhaps these should be used as secret key phrases in the manner of Masonic signs i.e. when interviewing someone, if you want a geek you should ask - with appropriate stresses on the words and significant pauses "Do you Seldom Bother, or do Things Matter to you?"