If the Grim Reaper hadnt shut up Billy Mays in 2009, theres a good chance the CALM Act would have three years later.
(RIP, OxiClean Guy.)
Ear-splitting advertisements the ones that make you spill your popcorn while fumbling desperately for the volume control have been banned by the government.
Its part of the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, which took effect Dec. 13.
The new rules require TV stations, cable operators, satellite TV providers and other pay TV providers to limit a commercials average volume to the same average volume as the programming it accompanies. A commercial may have louder and quieter moments, but overall it will be no louder than surrounding programming.
Normally, I am no fan of Big Brother elbowing his way into my home. Im pretty sure I can work a remote control by myself.
But its hard not to smile along with the spirit of the CALM Act.
No more car dealerships sledgehammering your skull? No more beer commercials blowing the windows out of your house? No more sweaty, shrieking ShamWow Idiot?
Still, I can see the cable industry somehow getting the last laugh.
Having your face sandblasted by a commercial isnt an experience dictated exclusively by average volume. How we react to sound also is affected by content, dynamics and compression. So Im only cautiously optimistic about the effectiveness of the CALM Act.
How will they enforce this thing?
If an ad truly is kitty-scaring loud, will President Obama send in the National Guard? Will the FCC actually chase down the local car-dealership ad thats rattling your china?
The FCC says it wants your help. Theres a website with an FAQ: www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/backgroundnoise.pdf. You can file a complaint at 1-888-225-5322. (REMEMBER TO SPEAK LOUDLY.)
But you have to wonder if the CALM Act will fizzle. The cable industry recently lobbied for an exemption for promotional material in other words, super-loud ads for other TV shows.
The first high-profile test is right around the corner: Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3. If everybody is scrambling to crank up the commercials, well know that the CALM Act has made its presence officially felt.
In case you missed the news in my Sunday column, KINF 730 AM will become the Treasure Valleys new ESPN Radio affiliate Jan. 1.
Current ESPN affiliate KTIK (93.1 FM and 1350 AM) plans to move forward as Boises CBS Sports Radio Network on Jan. 2. Station owner Cumulus Media has partnered with CBS Sports nationally.
Thats not the first change Boise radio listeners will hear over the holidays.
A format flip is coming Dec. 26 at 105.1 FM. The recently struggling station was known as J-105 for decades, then became Variety Rock in 2010. It began spewing nonstop Christmas jollies Nov. 12.
What will the fresh format be? (To answer the multiple emailers: Theres no way it will be jazz.)
The Valleys airwaves are crowded. There is no obvious opportunity for a new format.
So, classic-rock band Rush has finally made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Be happier for complaining Rush fans than for the band itself, which probably cares about half as much.
On a side note, its a crime that Chic got snubbed again.
Promoter CTTouring has a new website where you can find answers to questions about shows at the Revolution Center in Garden City: www.cttouringid.com.
The second annual Treefort Music Fest wont reveal any headliners until 2013 (boooo!), but it announced some of its emerging acts this week: Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Shigeto, Japanther, Wooden Indian Burial Ground, Magic Sword, Grass Widow, Messy Sparkles, Foxygen, Radiation City, White Lung, French Horn Rebellion and The Last Bison.
What? You havent heard of several of these bands, you out-of-touch loser?
Dont worry, youre far from alone. Boises own Magic Sword has never played a live gig, redefining the term emerging act.
Find information about these bands and snag tickets to the March 21-24 festival Downtown at www.treefortmusicfest.com.
Michael Deeds column runs Friday in Scene and Sunday in Life. He hosts The Other Studio at 9 p.m. Sundays on 94.9 FM The River and appears Thursdays on Channel 6 News.