Tuesday, March 1, 2005

Thank you, Chipotle, for upholding the musical standard

  • Dave Barry (or at least the makers of his desk calendar) shot up about 100% in my estimation today when I saw that his desk calendar observes St. David's Day. In flipping through the calendar I see that it also acknowledges International Women's Day (next Tuesday) and Canberra Day. It also refers to Ireland as "Eire" -- is this one of those Istanbul/Constantinople things that I haven't been alerted to?

  • How to sell your self-published book via Amazon.

  • How badly do U.S. radio stations suck that the BBC has enough of an audience to tour the United States?
    Even when we try to get things right it turns out poorly. Every time I attempt to listen to the Current it's little more than twangy rock from the 90s. Here's a random sample of the Current's play list, taken from the noon to 1 p.m. hour today:
    -Pixies - Monkey Gone To Heaven -- The hell? My girlfriend when I was a sophomore in high school liked this band.
    -The Hangups - Jump Start -- The hell? This is from a CD that was released 12 years ago!.
    -Soul Asylum - Somebody To Shove -- The hell? Another song that was worn out before I graduated high school. Granted, Soul Asylum is local, but why play one of their most commercially recognizable songs?
    -Del Counts - Let the Good Times Roll -- OK, 50s doo-wop. I'll accept that. Why not?
    -Wilco - I'm a Wheel OK. More twangy rock that I can't stand. But at least it's new twangy rock that I can't stand (assuming you stretch your definition of "new" to include music released within the last year).
    -Belle and Sebastian - Step Into My Office, Baby OK. Again, it's not really new, but you can't go wrong with a group that was once voted Best Scottish Act Ever.
    -Lemonheads - Rockin Stroll -- The hell? My girlfriend when I was a sophomore in high school liked this band.
    -Electrelane - Enter Laughing -- OK. Newish rock released just a little more than a year ago.
    -Madvillain - Curls -- Good. Intelligent hip-hop that's only a year old.
    -Styrofoam - Anything (feat. Bent Van Looy + Miki) -- Ugh. But it is "new" -- released in December.
    -The Divine Comedy - The Happy Goth -- Good. Who knows how old this is, but how can you argue against the Divine Comedy?
    -The English Beat - Mirror In The Bathroom -- OK. Music that's almost as old as me, and again they choose to go with one of the most commercially recognizable songs from a band.
    -The Concretes - You Can't Hurry Love -- Ugh. Newish (more than a year old) but already worn-out twangy rock with whiny chick lead singer.
    -Richard Buckner - Her -- OK. Just stop. I can't take anymore of this crap.
    So, out of 14 tracks, you've got only two songs that are really worth listening to and only two that aren't at least a year old. And they want me to pledge $10 a month for that? Rubbish. From what I understand, the Current is struggling to meet its membership goals, and I'm not at all surprised. Who is this station for? It seems to be directed at people who say they want to listen to "new and different" type music but aren't actually comfortable with the idea: "You know, I'd rather wait until a song gets a little airplay in Starbucks and Chipotle before I start listening to it."

  • Here's what I was wondering today: Is it illegal to simply be a member of al-Qaida? I was thinking about this in terms of the fact that in Oceanside, Calif., it is illegal for certain gang members to associate with one another, but to my knowledge it's not really illegal for them to profess to be members of said gangs. You can walk around all day long and say, "I am a member of the West-Northeast-Lower-Central-Near-The-Dumpster-But-Not-Quite-All-The-Way-To-The-Door-Of-The-Perkins-Side Crips," but as long as you never actually congregate with other members of the WNLCNTDBNQATWTTDOTP-Side Crips, you'll stay out of trouble. I get the sense that if someone were to simply utter the words "I am a member of al-Qaida" they would be locked up for at least some period of time.

    Chris Cope said...

    W'hey -- someone taught himself how to write in different-colored font. I'm so cool; I've got a skill that everyone developed in 1996.

    Penny Gadget said...

    uh oh. i think i might like your girlfriend from sophomore year of high school more than i like you. :-(

    Chris Cope said...

    Most people would, Meaghan.

    Greg said...

    As a DJ for my college station, I think I'm just biased enough to state, fairly, that commercial radio basically sucks. They either stick with top 40 crap, or play the same songs over and over and over again, and rarely get out into the less "popular" genres.

    If you want current music and listen to the radio while at a computer, you might want to consider listening to internet radio (I'd suggest wknc.org since it's where I work)

    noisy ghost said...

    Do you have a website for "The West-Northeast-Lower-Central-Near-The-Dumpster-But-Not-Quite-All-The-Way-To-The-Door-Of-The-Perkins-Side Crips". I'd like to join, and I'm wondering how big a card I have to carry in my wallet.

    True dat, WNLCNTDBNQATWTTDOTP-Side Crips, Doooooog!

    Chris Cope said...

    I think you just have to get it tattooed on your neck, Noisy.