Friday, February 29, 2008

The Doghouse Back? JV and Elvis, fired everywhere else, hit the web

First they tried to land a job in Bay Area radio by trashing the other morning hosts.

Now, they are trying by trashing radio.

The Doghouse sent a press release to fans saying they are "back," which to them means they are broadcasting on the Internet, like a million other nerds.

No word on whether they got a $500 million Howard Stern like signing bonus.

Yeah, guys, I want fries with that.

Here's the release:

Hello Friends, This is your official invite to join The Doghouse as we set a new trend in broadcasting. We have just signed a major deal with a company that dominates the internet when it comes to delivering Rich Media. We have always thought of ourselves as more than just "radio guys"...we are entertainers.

Now we will have the
opportunity to broadcast Multimedia...that means combining Radio, TV, and the Net, and presenting content in ways that have never been done. We will also deliver LIVE EVENTS and EVENTS ON DEMAND.

We all know that the Internet is the future, not only for broadcasting, but
for all entertainment. Last year, when regular Radio saw its worst year ever in terms of audience listenership and ad revenue, the internet exploded yet again. Analysts predict that radio will never return to what it once was.

The Internet has now become THE PRIMARY PLACE that people go to get their
"daily fix" of entertainment. It's where they go for videos, celebrity gossip, music, uncensored and non-FCC controlled radio, and now TV. Yes, it is estimated that more than 45% of people now watch TV online.

The bottom line is...we have broadcast our show on regular Radio for many
years. We were one of the major success stories that set records in our field. But regular Radio is no longer an outlet for talent that wants to broaden it's horizons or speak freely to it's audience. It's time for a new chapter.

We have spent the past 8 months or so putting this concept together. It is
new. It is exciting. It is us!!!

Listen. Watch. Experience Multimedia

We turn on the new 24 Hour station at 8AM (PST) on Monday March 3. This is
a "soft launch" for friends and loyal fans. The official open is coming soon.

The Dog house will do a show together at 8AM (PST). Elvis will do a solo show at 2PM. And JV will do a solo show at 7PM (PST). In the future we will add more talent to our network. And we will broadcast multiple channels, as part of our new deal with Blinko TV is to scout and develop programming.

I hope you will join us as we explore and create in this new and unique venture. Cheers, JV and Elvis (The Dog House) ====================

Hard Facts About Regular Radio: Radio Association Of Broadcasters (RAB)- Reported January 3rd that "national radio revenues slipped off the competitive edge of the advertising world. National radio revenues for all markets fell 15% during the 4th quarter in 2007"Š.continuing the downward slide of the previous months.

Radio & Records- "With Radio's significant decline in 2007...the first full year forecast in 2008 projects a decline of 40 basis points...we also predict a significant decline in core advertising in 2008."

Hard Facts About The Internet
BILLBOARD Magazine- "Time spent listening to Online Radio was up 26% in 2007 over the previous year. Listening hour analysis by Accustream reports that internet radio logged 4.85 BILLION listening hours in 2007ŠTotal listening hours averaged 404.2 Million hours each month in 2007."

BUSINESS WEEK Magazine- "In a survey released May 23, radio researcher
Bridge Data estimates there are only 450,000 weekly listeners to HD Radio, compared with 15 million satellite subscribers..." the report goes on to say that the internet is pulling a staggering 57 MILLION listeners a week. These numbers tell us that over 1 in 5 people now listen to Internet Radio.

BIZREPORT.COM- "45% of persons worldwide watch some form of Television on
the internetŠInternet users say they prefer online broadcasting because of convenience and fewer commercials..." and "... over 66% of online consumers log on daily for entertainment from the internet"

Time for a Rush Drug Test

Today, Limbaugh was trying to paint Michelle Obama as a traditionalist, an anti-feminist, and making the arguments he thought Hillary Clinton should be making.

Obama, apparently advised students not to take part in corporate America. Limbaugh, shooting from the lip, argued that it was anti feminist, adding that under women's lib, women were taught to want to go for "corporate jobs and glass ceilings," as if a glass ceiling is a good thing.

The guy must think a glass ceiling is like a crystal chandelier, not the thing that stops women from advancing to the top of companies.

And what do you want to bet that not a dittohead picked up on it?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Michael "Savage" Weiner criticizes Barack Obama for not talking about his middle name?

Nationally syndicated Michael Savage, who hides his real last name, Weiner, spent a good deal of his show today questioning the fact that Barack Obama doesn't use his Muslim-based middle name.

"When you are talking to your liberal friends or in line at the grocery store, use his full name, Barack Hussein Obama," Savage told his audience.

Well, talk about the pot calling the kettle Muslim.

Here is Savage, a diminutive fellow with a Napolean complex, who hides his Jewish last name, claiming that Obama is hiding his. In fact, everyone knows Obama's middle name thanks to the attempts by conservative hate mongers to scare the public into thinking he's a Muslim terrorist.

But Savage keeps his well hidden. And his son, Russ Weiner, who owns Rockstar Energy drink, hides his ties to Savage, as he launches the drink in Mexico, the home of the illegals Savage hates.

Does Savage hide his real name because he fears that the anti Semitic hatemonger race baiters he preaches to will figure out he's one of the people they most hate? Is he afraid that after he's stirred them up against blacks, gays and immigrants, they'll turn on him next?

It's a great irony that this little smarmy guy who takes on a tough identity, is so appropriately named Weiner. It's the perfect image for the little weiner behind the curtain. This little guy is so hardly a savage, except in his caveman conman brain.

And the question those of us who track the conman keep asking: what happened to the $1 million he raised for the Paul Revere Society, which had its nonprofit status pulled by the government?

His attorney Daniel Horowitz assured me the reason that Savage had his nonprofit status yanked is benign. So where is the paperwork, Dan?

Maybe Cair can follow up on that in their defense against Savage's suit.

(Photos: the one of him groping wax Streisand was from Savage's website. He thought that was funny. The other one, is by a good critic,

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Little Walter, Dave Clark Five? to be inducted to the Rock Hall

There are signs that the bottom of the barrel is getting scraped....Whitesnake can't be too far away.

But it's nice to see Little Walter honored, even if the harmonica player who died at 37 in 1968 is a blues man. Dave Clark Five...I dunno. That's a clear sign that the Partridge Family could go in next year, or maybe the Monkees.

Walter, btw, had the best selling blues song of all time, 1952's "Juke."

Others being honored include Madonna, John Mellencamp, Gamble and Huff, the Ventures and Leonard Cohen.

Here's a video of Little Charlie doing "Juke." News flash: that band will soon feature San Jose's Kid Anderson replacing Charlie on guitar.

Monopolistic Clear Channel Even Rewrites History

Tom Taylor reports that Clear Channel has been working on its own book, to counter one expected April 15 by Alec Foege called "Right of the Dial: The Rise of Clear Channel and the Fall of Commercial Radio," with one of its own called "Clear Vision."

One can only guess which one might tell the story of Clear Channel top man Lowery Mays sauntering up to managers at the Christmas party and checking whether they gave their 10 percent tithe to the Bush campaign. That's a story I heard from a manager I trust.

Taylor also reports that the company may be ending its "less is more" policy of cutting down the number of commercials it has been airing. Its been doing three shorter commercial sets an hour and may switch to two longer ones.

A Coleman study showed that 92 percent of listeners hang through the sets, and the ones who switch the dial do so right away, so you can load up and enjoy the benefit of longer music sweeps, says Taylor, of The Radio Insider.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The sad state of music journalism today

There was a time when music criticism, despite Frank Zappa's critique, was a respectable, honest and enlightening art form, no less than literary or film criticism.

But this story in Maxim magazine, sent to me by Ben Marks, shows the soft white underbelly of modern music journalism.

Maxim reviewed the Black Crowes album.....without listening to it. That ranks up there with some of the worst I've seen.

In more than a decade in the field, I've seen a reviewer review a canceled concert (gunplay between the Luniz and Too Short ended a Summer Jam show at Shoreline Amphitheatre, but the Contra Costa Times's critic still wrote about bands that never performed. The really dumb thing was, the show was broadcast live on radio, and he still didn't bother to tune in.)

I've seen a critic plagiarize an American Idol review from Entertainment Weekly and get busted because one of the newspapers' managers was as the show with his children, and they knew different songs were sung than were reported.

The same critic wrote a Grammy story about tributes to the Beetles and Bob Dillon, and kept her job.

I don't know how the editors of Maxim can justify this one. Really, they can't.

But maybe fake reviews go along with fake boobs.

And do you remember Zappa's view of music criticism?

"Most rock journalism is people who can't write, interviewing people who can't talk, for people who can't read," he said.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Got a spare $3 million? Music lovers here's the item to bid on

This guy claims to be selling an amazing collection of recorded music.

The odd thing is this: In ten years or less, I suspect, you will be able to have all this digitized...and it might come with every car or stereo you buy....

But it won't sound as good as the original vinyl, probably.

Fred Eaglesmith sideman Willie P Bennett dies

Singer-songwriter 'made you feel he was on a spiritual and artistic search'

Charles Enman, The Ottawa Citizen

Published: Monday, February 18, 2008

Folksinger Willie P. Bennett was a Juno Award winner and one of Canada's finest writers of folksongs.

He began his career back in the 70s, and though he never achieved renown commensurate with his talent, aficionados have long ranked him with Bruce Cockburn and Murray McLauchlan as seminal influences on folk music in this country.

His songs, which blended country, blues and folk music, were often covered by other artists.

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Back in 1995, Colin Linden, Tom Wilson and Stephen Fearing, well established Toronto performers all influenced by Bennett, formed a kind of Bennett cover band (Blackie and the Rodeo Kings) named after one of the songwriter's better known songs.

Other famous Bennett songs included Music in Your Eyes, Down to the Water, and Come on Train.

Since 1995, he had been a mandolin and harmonica sideman in Fred Eaglesmith's band, The Flying Squirrels.

see more here

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Bernie Ward/Michael Savage Discussions

For you non Bay Area readers who are making hits to this site score on searches for liberal talk host Bernie Ward and the child porn charges against him, here's a site filled with Bay Area radio people, who often offer interesting insights into local radio.

It's the Google group, BA

And you can read the full text of Ward's police report at
which really is one of the best things to happen to the Internet. Nothing beats getting primary source material and judging for yourself.

The Ward transcripts are lurid and shocking, and reading his supposed fantasy accounts of having sex with his children and wanting to do so with neighbors almost dims hope for his defense that he was writing a book.

One post on BA Broadcast offers one thread though. It claims the woman he was writing to may be a regular caller to Ward's God Talk show who was an adamant and strict supporter of the Catholic Church. Maybe that would validate his claim that he was trying to show hypocrisy.

The other abnormality here is that if Ward was a threat to his children, why didn't police take him out of his home and investigate the complaint instead of leaving him there for three years. As a poster points out, they grab Internet predators and arrest them for a lot less on the show "To Catch a Predator."

I've got one source who says that part of the holdup was that Ward's case was investigated in Washington, D.C., because Ward's kids here had ties to the kids of the local Federal prosecutor, Kevin Ryan, one of nine U.S. prosecutors fired by George Bush in 2007, and who now heads the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice.

I haven't seen that in print yet.

The most popular search bringing people here has been prompted by Michael Savage, who has spent two shows reading the Ward charges, despite the fact that many of his rational callers asked him not to inflict the details on them.

Savage worked with Ward at KGO for a while and they hated each other. To be fair, almost every other host there hated Savage, and they showed it when one of them filled a hat Savage left on his desk with urine. They asked for a wall to be built around Savage so they wouldn't have to hear his loud mouth.

One can't blame him for dealing with the subject, if only because if the shoe were on the other foot, Ward would treat the man he called the "reichmeister" the same way.

There is an interesting BA Broadcast post claiming that an earlier poster who worked at a video rental shop, issued posts about Savage renting lurid videos about anal sex by the armload.

This may or may not be true, but it is certainly backed up by the graphic descriptions of wanting to have anal sex with poet Allen Ginsberg that Savage wrote , which are on file at the Stanford library.

For more on that, check this great profile of Savage on

It's funny how some of the people who scream the loudest against gay rights, Larry Craig, for example, have a hidden history of their own.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Jewish groups call for firing of Michael Savage

So many great ironies here.

On the day Tom Lantos died, Michael Savage blasted him for talking about the Holocaust his whole life.

Here's what Savage, whose contract was just renewed by the Talk Radio Network, said Monday.

"You're not supposed to talk badly about the dead. I generally wouldn't do it. But in the case of Tom Lantos, I'll make an exception. I think he was one of the most -- he was a scoundrel. And I'll tell you why I detested Tom Lantos. The man survived the Holocaust of World War II and used it as a weapon the rest of his life.. You can't have it both ways. You can't suffer such a horror, and then use it as a weapon without people noticing it. You know what I'm saying to you? I didn't like Tom Lantos"

Jewish groups are joining with Arab groups in calling for his ouster from the radio. Finally, people are catching on.

There's a great irony there. In an early column for the Mercury News, I reported that Savage was Jewish, and he reported me to the local branch of the Jewish Defense League. They called to complain about him being "outed."

There is no end to this guy's slime and deception. He is apparently a self-hating Jew, who reads Bible passages and talks about stringing up Christmas lights...and appeals to the kind of redneck racists who would hate him if they knew he's Jewish. He plays on every kind of racial and sexual stereotype, stirring the pot of hatred and appealing to the dumbest among us.

He makes fun of other Jews, such as Barbara Boxer, calling her "bagel," but goes crying to the JDL the minute someone notes his own Jewishness.

It's scary, really, that the public would tolerate such a demagogue.

People also don't realize that his son manufactures Rock Star, the energy drink and Savage's family sits on its board.

Why would any minority buy a product from a family that bashes minorities at every turn? When Russ Weiner, his son, started selling in Mexico, he took down links to Savage from the company website.

Today Savage talked about how horrible homosexual sex is...but there are letters he wrote to the gay poet Allen Ginsberg, when he was younger, about the joys of anal sex he wanted to experience with him. They are on file in the Stanford Library, and would disgust his radio audience...especially the one about putting a camera in Ginsberg's rectum so he could record its beauty.

Savage, born Michael Weiner, also spent today bashing Bernie Ward as a pedophile....which, if true, would put Ward among the lowest life forms and hypocrites on the planet.

Only, there's one lower: the Savage Weiner.

Here's a nice blog on the topic from Jerusalem.

Also, a wonderful new site, with lots of documentation of his hate talk.

It documents advertisers who are pulling their ads...finally, people are taking action.

(photo: weiner as a young purse carrying gay loving man on the right)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Channel 7 news breaks details of Bernie Ward case

Reporter Dan Noyes did something local newspapers or radio didn't bother to do. He drove to Oakdale to get the police report in the Bernie Ward case.

(How sad that so much of the local media just fails to do basic leg work, or won't spend the gas money.)

It's ugly. You can read his report and his blog here.

The gist of it is that Ward was having a long role-playing conversation with a woman and sent pictures that included one of a woman and two nude children, and others of children having or pretending to have sex.

Channel 7's legal reporter said that the transcripts looked bad for Ward, debunking his claim of writing a book. But it seems the opposite is true. Role playing and trying to investigate how people respond seems like book fodder.

Read the report....what do you think??

An odd aside: the ad on the Channel 7 website, in between photos of Ward and talk of child porn, is for a Disney show...

dumbest talk radio moments of the day

Rick Roberts, a San Diego Rush wannabe, attacked Ted Kennedy today, for his stance against waterboarding.

"What does Ted Kennedy know about protecting this country?" this backbiter asked. "He's lived behind gates and in limos his whole life. What does he know about losing a loved one, like the people in 9/11 did?"

Uhhh, Dumbo. The guy's two brothers were gunned down in the streets of the U.S. by domestic terrorists, before we called them that. You think maybe that qualifies him to understand violence and mayhem?

Yesterday's dumb moment came on Gene Burns's KGO evening show, when Burns was too kind to a caller who was clearly insane.

The woman was talking about a program begun in Santa Cruz called neighborhood watchdog in which gangs and politicians were rousted and kicked out...and corrupt politicians were outed and put in jail...

She foamed at the mouth and went on and on...and Burns was taking her at her words, instead of realizing she had as much credibility as the Stephen King guy.

I was surprised this veteran didn't boot her right away, but I guess that comes with being a gentleman and taking people at their word....even when the words don't add up.

You hear anything wacky today???

Monday, February 11, 2008

Monterey Rap/Rock Station 103.9 Bites the Dust

KMBY-FM (103.9) was killed off Friday by Mapleton Communications, which replaced it with a new country station called HANK.

The rap/rock experiment was an attempt to tap into a younger market that shares a taste in hip-hop and alternative rock, but it didn't grow, as the company had hoped.

And, for those with clock radios set today, the company made things confusing. It moved classical KBOQ-FM from 95.5 to 103.9 and debuted HANK on 95.5. Must have reaked havoc on those in the area for the Pebble Beach tournament.

Now Monterey has two country stations, including KTOM-FM (92.7), but no contemporary rock....and no LOVELINE.....

Friday, February 8, 2008

John McCain proves that maybe conservative talk radio isn't the power we thought it was?

As I listen to the conservative talk radio pundits( and I use the term loosely) this week as they try to deal with John McCain becoming the frontrunner for the Republican party, I've had a great relief.

Maybe these divisive showboaters and blowhards, who claim to represent great masses, really aren't as powerful as they think--and I worry-- they are.

Think about it: Rush Limbaugh spent weeks slamming McCain and praising Mitt Romney. Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly and the whole Fox network bowed at the feet of "America's Mayor" Rudy Giulliani.

Michael Savage, who reads Bible passages on the air and tries to hide the fact that he's Jewish, should have been behind Huckabee, but was a Romney supporter.

Ann Coulter, who never met a truth she could wrap her lips around, said that if the party goes with McCain, she'd support Hillary.

Most of the others, who are little more than imitators, followed the same party line: McCain is too liberal and wants to reach out to Democrats.

But for all their incessant bashing, in voting across the country, Republicans showed themselves to be more centrist and more rational than they or I gave them credit for. Frankly, I'm shocked.

Maybe though, realizing that these same talkers were the ones who fired the country up for a war that most everyone, including them, regrets, the heartland of conservative Americans realizes it's time for an official who can mend the wounds, bring the country together, and make sure that American cities, like New Orleans, get more attention than Baghdad.

Maybe we were right when we called these hate talkers "right wing wackos." Maybe they really are a fringe element, not the silent, or noisy, majority they claim to be.

I've listened to this fringe for a decade, forgoing educational shows on NPR or entertainment on other stations, thinking that I had to monitor the wackos, fearing that, like Hitler, or the murderers in Rwanda, that the hate and divisiveness they preached could one day explode to a tyranny.

Maybe I was wrong.

I hope so.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Steve DiNardo and Chris Mays Gone From CBS

The big radio companies have been doing a bunch of head wacking this month, as radio, like every other business, faces what everyone but GW calls a recession.

CBS let go Steve DiNardo, who led Live 105 for two decades, and was one of the real good guys in the Bay Area. One can only imagine the battles he fought to keep the alternative music channel funded by the powers that be at CBS in New York.

Keep in mind, these are the guys who thought Howard Stern could be replaced by David Lee Roth, and that no one wanted to listen to classic or oldies rock anymore.

Under DiNardo Live 105 remained the signature alternative music station in the Bay, hosting the best radio concert (BFD) and doing something that almost seems archaic now: trying to find new music to play for young listeners and older ones who still had young hearts and ears.

He kept the station afloat through attacks by hip-hop and rap/rock until alternative came full circle back to what it started as: an alternative to commercial pap.

He also kept local voices on the air, hiring deejays who bond with the community.

Sadly, he learns the news after announcing that his wife is pregnant. But he's a good guy and someone here should scoop him up.

Chris Mays took over as program director at CBS's Alice radio less than two years ago, and helped steer the station that was plummeting, away from the rocks, updating the female-leaning music outlet.

She returns to Seattle, where she had already had great success.

Clear Channel and Entercom have also been laying off around the country. Anyone have local updates?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

REVIEW: Deadheads for Obama, Monday, SF Warfield


The Grateful Dead triumvirate of Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir were fired up Monday at the Warfield, by Obama, by a heady room of Dead friends and by the unlikely addition of young Sacramentan Jackie Greene on vocals and guitar.

Greene captures a lot of the laid-back and fragile midrange vocals that were the essence of Jerry Garcia, something no one has done since his death in 1995. As unlikely as it seems, this rail thin 27-year old Asian American seems born for the part, playing in front of a stuffed Jerry Garcia doll, and channeling Garcia's voice, back when he was 28.

He breathed life into the Dead, although, with their huge sideband, they were fired up anyway...

I'm going to post video of the show and press conference, and some of what I sent off to the Premiere Radio network for its stations.

From Premiere: It was Barack Obama who brought together three of the suriviving Grateful Dead members, who haven't played together in four years, for a hastily-organized show at San Francisco's Warfield Theater, the day before Super Tuesday christened "Fired Up and Ready to Go!, Deadheads for Obama."

You could take that more than a few ways. The band, led by Phil Lesh, Bob Weir and Mickey Hart, was fired up and revived, playing three sets, including an acoustic one with songs such as "Deal" and "Friend of the Devil" that were remarkably inspired and true. That could be largely attributed to the addition of new young gutiarist and vocalist Jackie Greene, a Sacramento roots rocker who joined the last Phil and Friends tour, and whose voice channels lost leader Jerry Garcia, who died in 1995.

Then there was the political fire, as all three members gave a press conference and later spoke to the audience, imploring them to vote for Obama, whom they described as a "real statesman," the kind who comes along "every few generations."

The press conference was filled with rookies who were cribbing wikipedia bios of the Dead. It made for some great questions, like "Do you guys like each other?"

Weir gave the great answer for their sometimes dysfunctional family: "blood is thicker than water, and what we have is thicker than blood."

Deadheads wanted know: Where was surviving member Billy Kreutzmann? They said still in Hawaii, busy. (But guitarist Barry Sless flew in from Hawaii for the show. )

And of course, this being a Dead show (although the band was named Deadheads for Obama on this night), there was the haze of marijuana fired up in the air. Probably not something the candidate wanted to be photographed around.

He did, however, send a video, in which he thanked Phil, Bobby and Mickey, like they were old friends. He drew the night's only boos, when he told the audience: "I want everyone to sit down and enjoy there show."

No one was sitting for this one. Not for a minute.

The beefed-up band included Steve Molitz on keys, John Molo on drums and guitarists Barry Sless and Mark Karan, and the music was sublime. There were strong reinterpretations of traditional songs, such as "Playing in the Band," "Brown-Eyed Women," "Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo," "China Cat Sunflower" and one that Weir said had "particular significance," the Beatles' "Come Together."

They were pumped up by Greene's phrasing on organ and guitar and Sless and Karan who wandered around picking up a pedal steel here and a lead guitar there.

Lesh and crew said they'd never before played for a political candidate, "but these are desperate times," said Hart. All three said the last candidate who inspired them like this was Robert Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1968.

Tickets for $35 sold out moments after the show was announced on the Dead's website last Friday. Obama/Dead shirts marking the occasion for $30 sold out before the show started.

Fans lined up for hours beforehand, holding up the traditional single finger, asking for a "miracle ticket." Many said the show inspired them to get out and vote Tuesday.

Added one, Ben Marks, 52, who couldn't get in, "If Barack Obama can bring together Phil Lesh and Bob Weir, then maybe he really can unifity this country."