Friday, April 28, 2006

The Arch Does Very Well...

Congrats to my fellow homies at The Arch. Number one 18-34 and number one 25-54. Those are some sellable numbers. Those kind of numbers haven't been seen since the hey day of KSHE's reign. It couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of people. I always said that there was a need for a station with variety and everytime I go into the studio, I seem to be playing something new. Keeping it fresh and familiar is the key. Nice job, folks.

Lee Abrams

This is Lee Abrams. This is Lee Abrams' blog. He has very interesting things to say about terrestrial radio versus satellite radio. Most of them I agree with. Here's the point. Lee used to be connected with a group out of Atlanta called Burkhart/Abrams. They were radio consultants that had their heyday in the late 70's through the early 80's. These were the guys that went to your favorite FM rocker and told us to cut the playlists by more than half. They told us to play the same songs every four hours and they are the same guys who basically ruined many FM stations. B/A turned most of those stations into the same, boring mush that now constitutes "classic rock" radio. My big question to him was .."how can you tell me what's popular in Kansas City or Denver or St. Louis from your office in Atlanta?" "We have the research" they said. I never saw much of it, but as a music director and a program director back in the day, I had this strange vibe that I was contributing to the "dumbing down" of the audience. I didn't ever know why. Only because he said so and the GM paid big money for Lee to say so. Now, Lee has the gall and gumption to stand on his mighty XM throne and throw darts at something HE CREATED! He talks on his blog about being "out there in San Diego" with people just leaving a concert or being the voice when emergencies arise. Lee, how can you do that when your "Deep Tracks" satellite channel has live jocks on it only 8 hours out of the day? The rest is voice tracked. 16 out of the 24 available hours are voice tracked. On a satellite channel. I am not sure how you will pull that off, Lee, but I a have faith in you that you will find a way. Or you won't and say you did. That's more like you. So, when you listen to your favorite classic rock station and they play "Let's Go" by The Cars one more time instead of "Moving In Stereo", thanks go to Lee and his cronies who spent years telling us how to do it his way, to now finally say his way was wrong. Hypocrite.

Goodbye, Keith

This was Keith Jackson in 1983. He was probably at the top of his game then. I remember Keith from his days on Wide World of Sports. That was a show I always thought was very good and he was marvelous. He retired yesterday saying something about becoming the shopsteward from the international union of porch sitters or something like that. I think he may have listened to his performance calling the Rose Bowl when he made his decision. When Keith was on, he was brilliant, his words came flowing out of his mouth with a poetry no one could duplicate. When he got older, however, he became unintelligable. I look back on those mostly lazy, chilly Saturday afternoons (usually recovering from a late Friday night) when football was only on once a week on ABC. Keith was the man. At 77, he deserves to be able to do what he wants to do. Good for him. Another voice from my past is gone.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

An Update

After not having my phone ring for awhile, it looks like some things are happening. It is very interesting what is out there. I am a very superstitious guy and I believe that publishing what is up or talking about it only jinxes it (yeah, did you also know that a watched phone never rings?).
There are about three possibities coming. I know which one I want. I wonder if that is where I will end up.
I will inform as soon as I know.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A Bit Of A Scam

Back in the day, when I worked at KSHE or The Rock!, I was always trying to find new ways to entertain. I figured, what the heck, if you can get the audience to talk about you, that was good. When we used to go to The Granary, or Pop's or Stages or wherever, there were times I would get together to perpetrate a scam on the crowd. When we used to go to these places, the band would play for 45 minutes or so, then I would get up and give away stuff while the band was on break. You see, before the show, I would go over and chat with the band and see if they would like to have some fun.. Usually, they were cool about it. What we would do was at a certain point during the show, the band would call me up because the guitar player would have a "problem." I would then take a guitar, plug in the cord to nothing and take over the guitar player's place during a song. I have no idea how to play and the audience would not know that the guitar player was standing behind his amp or somewhere where the crowd couldn't see him. It sure looked and sounded like I played. One time, a guy asked how I invented such "weird" chords. One guy just laughed as I walked by and there were times when I would get VERY strange looks from other guiitar players. It was just me being weird. Here I am playing to "Even Flow" in the late '90s. The guy behind me is the band's manager. I wonder what chord that is I'm playing.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Over A Barrel

"It's A Fine Mess You've Gotten US Into Ollie"

By Howard Fineman

In 1979, young Islamic radicals (Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may have been one of them) imprisoned 52 Americans in Teheran for 444 humiliating days. Today, the whole world is hostage—not only to Iran’s fanaticism but, ironically, to America’s diminished power, and the president’s diminished standing, in the aftermath of the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

A nuclear-weaponized Iran is every sane person’s worst nightmare. And yet talking to politicians, diplomats and military types here, you get the sense that President Bush is trapped in every direction. A “war president” can’t launch a strike if the country isn’t behind him, if the likely costs in blood and treasure are obviously too high, and if voters are dubious about the benefits—in terms of their own safety—of the battles he’s already chosen to fight.

For as long as I’ve known him, Bush has liked to muse aloud about his theory of “political capital.” His dad’s mistake, he told me more than once, was to have not spent the vast political capital he accumulated in 1991 as the “liberator of Kuwait”—a failure that led, in his son’s mind, to Bill Clinton’s victory in 1992.

After the attacks on 9/11, after the successful (and globally popular) obliteration of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and after the midterm congressional elections of 2002, President Bush was sitting in the White House with a colossal pile of military, diplomatic and political capital in front of him. And then he pushed the entire pile to the middle of the poker table and bet it all on his predetermined decision to invade Iraq. I said at the time and still believe that it was one of the most momentous decisions any president had ever made.

Now, and largely as a consequence, Bush finds himself bereft of political capital at precisely the moment when he (and the rest of the world) needs it most. To use his father’s terms (from his 1989 inaugural address), we have neither the will nor the wallet to take care of business in and with the bullies in Iran.

Here’s how the president is boxed in:

In terms of public opinion, Bush is at the low point of his presidency, not just in terms of job-approval ratings but—more dangerously—in terms of the kind of personal qualities for which people used to give him credit and leeway. Forget what the Democrats think—they don’t matter until, well, they do. And forget the vast majority of hard-core Republicans, who will stick with this president almost no matter what, and certainly as they scare themselves silly with visions of what a Hillary Rodham Clinton presidency would look like.

What matters is that independent, swing voters—and some moderate Republicans belong in that category—have become deeply skeptical of the president’s credibility, competence and motives. They’re the ones who’ve pushed his ratings down to the regions previously occupied by Carter, Nixon and LBJ.

Unlike Iraq, a country cobbled together by the Great Powers in the early 20th century, Iran is the major leagues, in history, unity and population if not, as of this minute, in homegrown nuclear technology. Saddam Hussein was a bellicose character, but Iran has four times the population and several thousand more years of unified national identity. Iran also has big-league ballistic missiles capable of reaching, and ruining, lots of places in the Middle East region, including Israel, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Iran also has millions of Shia allies in Iraq who would regard (and be asked to regard) an attack on Iran as an attack on Shia Islam. One retired general I checked in with (who asked to remain unidentified because he sometimes is called on for counsel by the administration) says that American troops in Iraq—who’ve been working in many ways with the Shiite majority there—would risk coming under attack by them, especially if there was any effort to redeploy them.

I’m told by someone who used to work for him that Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, is as convinced of the seriousness of the case against Iran as he was dubious about the one against Iraq. The same European powers who were so reluctant to join with the American effort in Iraq are at least talking a tougher game on Iran. The genuine concern at the United Nations, paradoxically, will require that the U.S. work more closely with the international body. As he assembled the “Coalition of the Willing,” Bush essentially dismissed the U.N. as weak and accommodationist. But now the U.N. looks like a useful, if not indispensable, tool. And once you acknowledge the primacy of the U.N., you’ve got to stick with it, which gives something akin to veto power to the Russians and the Chinese.

Spot oil prices are at $69 a barrel—almost double what they were in the two years before we went to Iraq. Leave aside for a moment the possibility that the Iranians would fire missiles at the Saudi oil fields, the worldwide petroleum choke point. Leave aside the likelihood of stepped up sabotage in Iraq. Opening another battlefield in the region would surely send prices skyrocketing. If the GOP gets hammered in this fall’s congressional elections—and it looks increasingly like they will—gasoline prices could well be one reason.

Rooting out Iranian Islamofascists who bankroll and threaten the world with terror attacks: important. Being able to gas up your family’s fleet of cars: priceless.

Post Number 274

"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907

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