Wednesday, February 20, 2008

sweet, innocent youth

This morning I got to thinking about my childhood. I have a brother who's four years older than me, and when I was really young I'd hang around with him and his pals. Generally, they were nice enough to tolerate me. We were all sports-crazed, and when springtime rolled around, baseball was our game. Now I was about 6 back then and these guys were all bigger, stronger and faster than me (that holds true to this day, regrettably). Anyway, when my turn to bat would come around I would usually strike out -- swinging -- in four pitches or less. Usually after the last strike I would howl, 'That was a bad pitch!!'

Then one of the wiseacres out in the field would inevitably crack, 'Then why did you swing at it?' Here it is 31 years later and I still don't have a snappy comeback to that question.

Ah, yes, youth; so sweet, so innocent.

But I didn't come here today to talk about the past. I came here today to talk about the future of radio and the recording industry itself. Guess who got a letter from Arbitron Ratings Service yesterday begging me for their help? Yup: me! And do you know what they included in the letter to impart their complete trust in my good taste and musical instincts? A single American dollar.
How about that? You know, I'm glad it was just a dollar and not a million dollars. I'm not doing this for the money. I'm doing this a) because they asked and b) because now more than ever I am needed.

I do find it interesting that when the music industry hit the skids they didn't go to Bono, they didn't go to Eno and they didn't go to Steve Albini. No, they came crawling on their hands and knees to ME. This is a lot of responsibility, and I intend to take this obligation quite seriously.

Your sonic future is in my hands and all I can promise you is that your worlds are going to change, and change for the better. It may not happen overnight, but happen it will.

And to all you radio and record label executives out there, let me just say this: I'll pick up the broken, tangled pieces of your respective industries and I'll make them fly again, but it isn't going to be pretty. The road is going to be long and hard, and when we get to the end of it there isn't going to be even one of you no-good s.o.b.'s who won't regret having met me, even for tea. That being said, I encourage you all to buckle your seatbelts.

It's going to be a bumpy ride.

Song for the day: #222 -- 'Big Me' by the Foo Fighters.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

first anniversary

Today is the one week annniversary of the New England Patriots' historic loss to the New York Giants. I'm still so stoked I almost don't know what to do with myself! And how about that? That's the first time I've used the word stoke-- ever! Oh, this is exciting!

I don't have much more to say other than that. If you want to see the ultimate takedown of those insufferable Patriots, check out The Onion Sports section. I'd provide a link, but that would mean I'd have to do a web search. And it's way too early for that kind of thing.

Trust me, it's worth the trip. Especially if you loathe the New England Patriots the way I do. They lost the big game last week, in case you missed it. Man, that had to hurt. For the Patriots and their fans, that had to be a lot like taking a flaming arrow to the soul. Even if you somehow manage to pull it out, it still burns.

God Bless America.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

something true

One of my favorite songs of all time is Don McLean's 'American Pie.' I don't really understand it any better than I did when I was a kid, back when the song was popular, but I think it's very Dylan-like. The individual pieces may not make a whole lot of sense (perhaps on some level they do; there are some references I am able make out), but as a collage it kind of makes more sense. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Anyway, the lyric that always stuck out to me -- and still does -- is where McLean sings, '..and I knew if I had my chance/that I could make those people dance/and maybe they'd be happy/for awhile.

When I was a kid, I'd always replace the word 'dance' with 'laugh.' I can't sing a lick, but I've always been alright at making people laugh. And I think that's also why I generally try to do that: to inject just a bit of levity into these otherwise mostly grim proceedings.

There. I've told you a secret about myself and it's all true. I doublechecked.