- The Underground
As Radio became blander and more backwards looking with both "New Hits WVIC" on top of the Lansing Radio heap and "Classic Rock WMMQ" inventing the format that would take over FM radio (where Country wasn't involved), there was always the local scene. You could go to your locally owned record store (new or used), and if the owner went about his business right you could find out what was going on locally, regionally or nationally. You could find stuff that the mall chains had no idea existed, plus magazines and other bits of info that would make the world outside of the mainstream tolerable.
Alas, this resource has shrunk down in recent years. Between video games, the internet and mp3 trading via P2P networks, the record store has become pretty much obsolete. There's still some around, but not nearly as many; and the college market, once the best place to find the odd, unique and underground items, has been decimated.
- College Radio Format
Okay, so many reference may be skewered by the fact that Michigan State got their college format radio station in 1989. But consider this: College radio became a way for many bands now barred from popular radio's narrowing formats.
While not spread out across the nation (let's just say one would be hard-pressed to find alternative music in the middle of Missouri or northern Georgia), it definitely opened the ears of a truely appreciative audience. And it was these people who would take their tastes into the rest of the nation in the nineties, and why many groups from the early eighties went from college darlings to mainstays of radio.
This list isn't as big as the "What Sucks" list, but is important because sometimes one piece of good is better than ten items that suck.
Because good DOES have a power that evil doesn't.