Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Like Snake Oil Salesmen, Rush, Hannity, O'Reilly and Savage Got Rich Off the Suckers Who Believed Their Lies

They made fun of liberals, calling them traitors, victims of a mental disorder, unpatriotic, Communists and the enemy within.

Now--as the endless war is bankrupting this country, much the same way that the Soviet Union's fight to conquer Afghanistan did more to help topple communism than all of Ronald Reagan's bluster--these slimebags are saying what the liberals said eight years ago.

This war was about oil. It was conducted by people who didn't have a clue about Mideast foreign policy. The promised payout --that Iraq would cover the expenses--has never been delivered.

And much of the half a trillion dollars of tax money used to fund it ended up in the hands of administration corporate friends who supplied the troops.

I'm hearing these things from conservatives! But I'm not hearing apologies. I'm not hearing them say they were idiots for calling protestors traitors, or for falling for the lies and subterfuge from the Bush White House.

You want to see what this war is really like? Watch this video.

Meanwhile, in a just world, these snake oil salesmen on the right (and don't forget Ann Coulter, who is allegedly not a man), should be tarred and feathered, not buying houses in the Hamptons.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

FCC Jonathan Adelstein on Ronn Owens

What do we get from media consolidation?

"Computers playing music and people yelling at each other"

Less news; less variety; less depth; less meaningful content.

Owens is doing a good interview with this FCC commissioner, who is in the minority on the commission, right now...

There are hearings being conducted at Stanford today, with the commission.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ronn Owens nominated to National Radio Hall of Fame


I should slam people more often. I took a jab at KGO-AM (810) morning host Ronn Owens, and a day later, he gets nominated to the Hall of Fame! It's like if you want to buy a successful stock, just buy the one I sell. That always works.

Here's the press release, and make sure to vote for Ronn. It won't make his head any bigger; nothing could so that.

But he really deserves the recognition for doing great radio for so long.

Also, if you see the post below about losing friends lately, it makes me realize, we have to pay tribute to people while they are still here.

PS: thanks to Gene Burns for doing a show based on my SF Weekly column today. Radio fans will want to tune into KGO's archives, at www.KGO.com to hear today's 7 p.m. hour, where listeners cast their votes for who should take Bernie Ward's show.



Three major local personalities from Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles have been selected for induction into America’s only National Radio Hall of Fame (NRHOF).

Jess Cain

Long-time morning talk-show host on WHDH/Boston, Jess Cain began as an actor and appeared in more than 20 plays before and during his radio career. The “morning man”, who passed away in February 2008, was the first voice many New Englanders heard for 34 years. Cain was beloved for finding humor in everyday moments with his song parodies, quick wit, and impressions.

Bob Collins

Collins was a top-rated and much-loved morning show host on WGN/Chicago from 1986 until his death in 2000. Known to his fans as “Uncle Bobby”, his show featured conversation, music and Collins’ folksy charm. The native of Florida had a regular afternoon show when he was only 14 years old and spent time at stations in Milwaukee, Los Angeles, San Diego and Miami before finding a home at WGN.

Dick Whittinghill

Whittinghill began his career as a movie and television actor, as well as a recording artist who once sang with Tommy Dorsey’s big band. From 1950 to 1979, he established himself as the most popular morning disc jockey in Southern California at KMPC/Los Angeles. His creativity and brash personality earned him millions of loyal fans, as well as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a statue in the Hollywood Wax Museum. Whittinghill died in 2001.

“These three great broadcasters are gone but they should never be forgotten by the millions who invited them into their homes and hearts,” said Bruce DuMont, Radio Hall of Fame Chairman.

The three posthumous inductions will take place during a live national radio broadcast from The Renaissance Chicago Hotel on Saturday, November 8. Westwood One will produce and distribute the one-hour broadcast at 10 p.m. EST.

The National Radio Hall of Fame also announced its 2008 nominees in four other categories who must now participate in a national online balloting process. The 2008 nominees for induction into the NRHOF are:


* Bob Costas, the host of his own syndicated radio show Costas on the Radio, a weekly two-hour interview show distributed on Premiere Radio Networks and heard on over 160 stations and XM Satellite Radio.
* “Focus on the Family”, was founded in the mid-1970s by Dr. James Dobson, a psychologist, lecturer, and author; internationally syndicated and is heard on over 4,000 stations worldwide.
* Dr. Laura Schlessinger, a no nonsense cultural commentator since 1974, her show is distributed by her own production company to more than 270 stations and can also be heard on XM Satellite Radio.
* Howard Stern, outspoken personality who has changed radio’s landscape, he has established himself as one of the most popular and controversial radio hosts of all time and can be heard on Sirius Satellite Radio.


* Art Bell, longtime host of the paranormal -themed radio program Coast to Coast AM distributed by Premiere Radio Networks.
* Ralph Emery, a country music icon, Emery began his career as the late-night disc jockey on country music’s flagship WSM/Nashville.
* “Gang Busters”, law enforcement reality series created by Phillips Lord and hosted by Col. H. Norman Schwarzkopf that aired on NBC, ABC, CBS and Mutual.
* Barry Farber, known for his Southern drawl, intensity, and conservative views, he began his on-air career in New York in 1960 and later a national host on ABC.


* Howie Carr, outspoken, conservative commentator, he has been on the air for almost two decades in the Northeast U.S., currently on WRKO/Boston.
* Steve Dahl, a fixture on Chicago radio since 1979 he redefined the medium of talk radio as one of the first “Shock Jocks”, currently on WJMK/Chicago.
* Bob Grant, dubbed as the inventor of controversial radio, he has been on the air for over 40 years, currently on WABC/New York.
* Ronn Owens, versatile host on KGO/San Francisco since 1975, he covers discussions ranging from local issues, international issues, politics and pop culture.


* Gary Burbank, born Billy Purser, he began his radio career in the mid 1960s, he took the name Gary Burbank as a tribute to radio and TV legend Gary Owens and his famous Laugh-In introduction formerly heard on WLW/Cincinnati until the end of ‘07.
* Harry Kalas, made his major league debut in 1965 calling games for the Houston Astros before being hired as “the voice of the Philadelphia Phillies” in 1971.
* Charlie Tuna, over 40 years in radio, one of the original DJ’s at the legendary KROQ and most recently hosted “Charlie Tuna in the Morning” on KBIG until 2007.
* Jim Zabel, broadcasting on WHO/Des Moines for 62 years, he has served as “the voice of the Iowa Hawkeye’s football and basketball” teams.

The national online balloting will begin on May 1st and be monitored by Votenet, a highly respected online vote tabulating firm. Voting ends at midnight on July 15th, after which results will be tabulated and ratified by the Steering Committee of the NRHOF.

Voting is free and open to the public as well as major radio industry leaders. However an online registration will be required. Please visit www.radiohof.org to learn more.

Sean Costello, one of the great young bluesmen dies at age 28

I don't have the details yet, but I'm sad to learn from the Delta Groove Web site that Sean Costello died.

His recently released disc, "We Can Get Together" is a tour de force among young blues musicians. The beautiful thing about it is that it doesn't follow a formula, or have a slavish love for one genre or another.

It was recorded in Atlanta, using his hometown friends, and it wanders through the types of music bar bands there play, from rock to gospel to blues to country (young Lynyrd Skynyrd built a following there). The same bands built huge, eclectic repertoires, and Costello's disc showcases all of them.

The album was getting good reviews and Costello, who got his big public start backing Susan Tedeschi on her first disc, was scheduled for blues fests around the country.

I wrote the bio on the Delta Groove Web site, and, man, he was a pain to work for. But I relay that in the best sense. He was meticulous and went over every detail with a microscope. He kept apologizing for it, but I was happy to work with a musician who cared so much about the details, not to mention a younger guy who knew more about the blues than I do.

He also hung out with Levon Helm and dated his daughter Amy, musicians who added to his eclecticism.

Do me a favor: check out his music at Delta Groove
and/or his myspace
and leave a comment for a man who held a piece of the future of the blues.

Here is a last interview with Sean: click on A1 artist near the top.

It's not radio or music: but a great parody of Steven Jobs and Apple Marketing


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ronn Owens slamming the Olympic torch protestors really has me missing Bernie Ward

It's sad to watch old friends getting churlish and too comfortable.

Last week Ronn Owens was lamenting the protesters who risked their lives climbing the Golden Gate Bridge to make a pro-Tibet statement, and--gasp--were tying up traffic.

Owens called for them to be strictly prosecuted, the same thing he said eight years ago about Iraq war protestors. (He later apologized, noting that they were right about the war and he was wrong.)

His callers were even worse: one woman from Marin, who claimed to support the free Tibet movement, was angry because it was making her late to the Giants game.

Another man said the protestors were taking away human rights, like the Chinese government.

Owens said that guy was "a bit" overstated.

A bit.

In the old days, Owens and his ilk would have celebrated the protest, as they should. This is the city that has made protest an art, a cause celebre, a reason for thousands to trek to the West Coast and move to a bastion of liberal ideals.

As host Karel says: San Francisco is a blue city pretending to be red, these days. In the old days, he said, people would have lit up a joint and headed to Golden Gate park in honor of the protesters.

I even called Owens, upset and anonymous, noting that the protesters were doing what Martin Luther King would have suggested: peacefully calling attention to an unjust government.

Owens argued that King wouldn't have protested something half a world away. I don't believe that. Selma was just the beginning of his dream. Like Gandhi, King would have taken his message around the globe.

Owens also suggested that the protesters should have taken the protest somewhere else, not a place that would tie up traffic (or be seen by people and covered by the media?).

I can just hear Owens and his callers in Selma, during the civil rights protests in the sixties: "I'm all for civil rights, but I was on my way to the debutante ball and those horrible Negroes made me late. Couldn't they protest on streets we don't use?"

Anyway, as I listened to Owens, I really got to missing Bernie Ward, who before his child porn prosecution, was the most ardent and intelligent liberal voice on the air here (although I'm enjoying a Hannity-less Alan Colmes on KSCO-AM 1080 lately.)

You can read my post in the SF Weekly on who will take Ward's spot.

I'm going to do more for this weekly, which allows writers to have a political voice. Much missed from our current dailies.

Monday, April 14, 2008

REVIEW: Tom Petty and Mudcrutch at the Santa Cruz Civic

So, I guess you CAN go home again.

That's how it seemed Monday, as Tom Petty reformed Mudcrutch, the Gainesville, Florida high school band he started 38 years ago-- and left five years later for the lights of LA--and brought them to Santa Cruz on the second night of a two-week tour of California.

"You've come to the right place if you're looking for some good old hippie music," Petty told the sold-out house, as if people in Santa Cruz are looking for much else.

The two-hour show was an excellent mix of rock stardom, and down home fun, filled with covers and songs from the album the band recorded last year (due April 29).

The thing that made it great was what made last week's Bruce Springsteen show such a revelation: Petty seemed to be more out to have fun and play music than to worry about fancy stage sets or rock star trappings.

The setlist was rich in lovingly picked covers including two Dylan songs, ''Rainy Day Woman #12&35," during which the audience exploded for the "Everybody must get stoned" chorus; and "Most Likely You Go Your Way (and I'll Go Mine)," once a stormy set opener for Dylan and the Band. Not to mention Dave Dudley's "Six Days on the Road' and bluegrass great Bill Monroe's "Love, Please Come Home."

If Petty was rediscovering his high school roots, there was a great irony there thinking that years after he covered those songs, he played them onstage with Dylan on tour, and recorded with Dylan in the Traveling Wilbury's.

But maybe this was less about Petty's journey through the past, then his former bandmates getting a chance to share in the rock and roll future they missed. Three Heartbreakers, including Petty, guitarist Mike Campbell and keyboardist Benmont Tench were joined by old Mudcrutch members, Tom Leadon on guitar and vocals (he's former Eagle Bernie Leadon's brother) and drummer, and drum teacher, Randall Marsh.

The band opened with an unlikely traditional ballad, "Shady Grove" and ended 18 songs later with an old rocker, "High School Confidential."

In between highlights included a ripping version of the Byrds' "Lover of the Bayeau," where the double guitar attack by Leadon and Campbell really showed why Petty, on bass, is fired up to stand between the duo.

The other great song of the night was a long jam on "Crystal River," a wonderful spacey number that caught all the best things about the sixties long form jams. Inspiration shot off the players like sparks.

Some of the Leadon country rock tunes were leaden, but his guitar playing, wilder and looser than Campbell's, made for a dynamic duo.

Yeah, it was a little tough hearing a night of Petty with no old Petty songs.

But it was also historic, seeing the first regular priced show of a tour (they played a Malibu benefit Saturday) by a band that members say they want to keep together as a regular entity, not just a one-off.

Sometimes the biggest moments in rock history come from the least expected shows. Who else has reformed a high school band 38 years later and made it work? I suspect Petty fans will be talking about this one for a long time.

“Shady Groove”
“Orphan of the Storm”
“Six Days on the Road”
“Scare Easy”
“Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine)”
“This is a Good Street”
“Lover of the Bayou”
“Queen of the Go Go Girls”
“Oh Maria”
“Topanga Cowgirl”
“The Wrong Thing to Do”
“Bootleg Flyer”
“June Apple”
“House of Stone”
“Love Please Come Home”
“Crystal River”
“Rainy Day Women #12 & 35″
“Summertime Blues”
“High School Confidential”

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Alkaline Trio, and dozens more on BFD lineup


LIVE 105’S BFD 2008

Tickets on sale Sunday, April 20

San Francisco, April 14, 2008 – Live 105 listeners and alternative rock lovers get ready as tickets for BFD 2008 go on sale April 20 for the summers’ biggest music extravaganza. Performing on 3 stages - connecting the Live 105 music communities - over 30 acts will perform on Saturday June 7 at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View. Doors open at 11:30 and show time is Noon. Tickets are an incredible recession proof $10.53 (plus applicable charges).
Bud Light Festival Stage performers from Noon-8:30 p.m. include: Cypress Hill, Pennywise, Flogging Molly, Alkaline Trio, The Kooks, Everlast, Anti-Flag, MGMT, Atreyu, Airborne Toxic Event, Flobots, Whigs and Middle Class Rut.
Artists in the Subsonic Tent from 3 p.m. – 11 p.m. include: Moby, Mstrkrft, DJ AM, Santogold, Steve Aoki, Lyrics Born, Mike Relm, Playradioplay, DJ Omar, Richard Oh, Hot Tub, and DJ Miles from Live 105.
And as usual Aaron Axelsen and crew have assembled the best of the local scene on the Soundcheck Local Music Stage from 1p.m. – 6 p.m. with appearances by The Phenomenauts, Love Like Fire, Here Here, Magic Bullets, Apside, The Hundred Days, Federalists and Action Design.
Pre-Sale for Live 105 activists is Thursday April 17 at 10 a.m. through Friday April 18 at 5 p.m. General on-sale is Sunday April 20 at 10 a.m. at www.LIVENATION.com. Additionally, Friday June 6 the traditional Live 105 BFD pre-party will be held at 330 Ritch and Mezzanine will host the after party. Both these events are 21 and older.
For all the info and more visit www.live105.com.

Tom Petty playing Santa Cruz Monday with his original band, Mudcrutch

How many rockers call up their bandmates from their first high school band, 35 years after becoming famous, and hook up for a disc and tour?

That's the big buzz about Tom Petty's show in Santa Cruz Monday, with his first band, Mudcrutch.

Read more about it here.

The Beatles didn't do it for Pete Best; the Stones haven't done it for Mick Taylor. Pink Floyd tried, but it was out of the question to do it for Syd Barrett.

I think this is great, historic stuff.

You can read a review Monday night here.

Hear Mudcrutch here

MIni Review: Curtis Salgado at Moe's Alley: A Name You SHOULD Know

Curtis Salgado, for whom the first "Blues Brothers" movie was dedicated, played a great set at Santa Cruz's Moes Alley last week.

It hurt that the audience was so small on a Sunday night.

This guy is a master, a pro, who inspired Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi to become the Blues Brothers, after they saw him playing clubs while Belushi was filming "Animal House," in Eugene, Oregon.

Salgado knocked out the house, and then, during a break, went into the audience to talk to fans...Great stuff.

Catch him next time he comes to town.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Emergency Room Overcrowding Corrected

Here's a topic every conservative talk host takes on wrongly, according to this study.

You've heard them all blame illegals for emergency room overcrowding.

Here's another answer:

Study says the uninsured aren't to blame
By Suzanne Bohan
Bay Area News Group
Article Launched: 04/12/2008 01:38:54 AM PDT

Contrary to popular perception, the uninsured aren't to blame for emergency room overcrowding, according to a new study from the University of California-San Francisco.

"There's an extremely wide misunderstanding that it's the uninsured" flocking to emergency departments, said Dr. Linda Lawrence, a Fairfax physician and president of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

From 1995 to 2005, the number of annual visits to ERs rose from 97 million to 115 million, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - a 20 percent increase. Yet between those years, the number of U.S. hospitals offering emergency care declined by 9 percent.

During roughly the same time frame, the number of visits to ERs by the uninsured actually declined from 15.5 percent to 14.5 percent, the study reported.

Meanwhile, from 1996 to 2004, the number of insured patients visiting an ER who also had a regular doctor increased from 22 percent to 29 percent.

The primary cause of emergency department overcrowding, the new study noted, is a lack of capacity to admit ER patients into the hospital. These patients can be "boarded" for hours and even days in emergency departments, occupying a bed while ill or injured patients idle in waiting rooms.

Randi Rhodes Quits Air America, After SF Appearance

Let me direct you to the right, scroll down to the radio news and read the story about the liberal host who called Hillary Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro ho's.

Who says only the right is allowed to engage in bad taste?

Then again, the same could be said these days about almost all politicians.

But the right doesn't get punished for it, as when Michael Savage claims that no minorities or women firefighters were killed in 9/11, or that the Chinese are "little devils" who should be nuked.

Yesterday he complained about the bad tires on his new expensive Mercedes. He should have seen Sarah Silverman's "Jesus is Magic," for its take on Jews who buy Mercedes. Oh yeah, Savage likes to pretend he's not Jewish so his redneck, KKK fans won't realize it.

Although I have to admit, he's struck a truthful chord of late, saying the the Republicans and the Bush administration are the most corrupt politicians in history, because of the bailout of Bear Stearns and the privatization of war services, such as food preparation, in Iraq.

He's right about that.

Trouble is, a true schizophrenic, the next day he calls liberals who say the same thing, traitors. And his fans don't seem to notice the bipolar discrepencies.

Festival Summer: Value Added to music in a slumping economy

From the New York Times, an interesting story.

Concert Industry Is Banking on a Festive Summer

Published: April 11, 2008

LOS ANGELES — Rock fans across the country who can brave the heat will have ample opportunities to see acts like Jack Johnson, Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails and the Raconteurs take the stage in an array of unconventional settings as part of the concert industry’s increasing wager on summer music festivals.

Faced with an audience that has been atomized by the dizzying music choices available online, concert promoters are straining to book diverse shows in whatever open space is available, be it a ranch in Michigan, a soccer field in Colorado or a racetrack in Maryland.

In a slumping music business such events pack a box office punch: the top five American festivals generated a combined $60 million in ticket sales last year, according to Billboard magazine’s estimates.

At least four new festivals will make their debuts this summer, raising the total to more than a dozen. Various concert promoters are already warning of the dangers of oversaturation, and point to the clutch of stars headlining multiple festivals.

The most extreme case: Jack Johnson, the laid-back singer-songwriter who has released the top-selling album of the year so far, is booked for at least five festivals, including two on the second weekend in August: the inaugural All Points West event in Jersey City and the Virgin Mobile Festival in Baltimore.

The risk of overlapping talent lineups means that each promoter must try to suffuse his event with a distinct flair. In Michigan, where organizers of the first Rothbury festival (July 3 to 6) have booked the Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer and Snoop Dogg, fans can attend yoga sessions or sit in on a discussion of energy independence with a Stanford professor.

But there is no guarantee that all the events will survive. Promoters of a planned festival in Vineland, N.J., canceled it to avoid direct competition with All Points West. Sales at some of the new events have been uneven, promoters say. The Mile High Music Festival in Denver (July 19 and 20), featuring the Dave Matthews Band and John Mayer, is regarded as a breakout hit; the outlook for All Points West, featuring Radiohead for two nights and Mr. Johnson on the third, is more uncertain, based on early ticket sales.

The established festivals do not appear to be suffering much. Lollapalooza, which was reimagined as a two-day festival in the lakeside Grant Park in Chicago in 2005 after sputtering as a touring attraction, is seen as an especially strong draw this year (Aug. 1 to 3), with Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against the Machine and Kanye West among the acts.

Charlie Walker, a partner in C3 Presents, Lollapalooza’s promoter, said sales were roughly 15 percent ahead of last year, with three-day tickets selling for $175 to $205.

“It’s a big marketplace,” he said. “We’ve got a little ways to go before we see any saturation.”

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which began in 1999 at a polo field in the desert two hours from Los Angeles, stunned fans this week by adding Prince to a lineup that had been branded as underwhelming. (The event’s previously announced headliners included Roger Waters, Portishead and Mr. Johnson). Organizers of the festival, which runs from April 25 to 27 and customarily draws as many as 60,000 people a day, said before the Prince announcement that they were not concerned that it had not yet sold out. Last year’s edition sold out in February, mainly because of its booking of a reunited Rage Against the Machine, an event that Coachella’s promoter, Paul Tollett, called “an anomaly.”

All the festivals, however, are coping with another X factor: whether the faltering economy will dampen ticket sales. That has not stopped organizers from trying to woo well-heeled fans and corporate clients. Lollapalooza offers private cabanas, with an all-day buffet, for $25,000 and up for parties of 20 or more. Bonnaroo, held on several hundred acres of Tennessee farmland, where fans camp for the weekend (June 12 to 15), is marketing V.I.P. passes, which include access to a private prefestival party and special restroom and shower facilities, for $1,169.50 per pair. (Scheduled bands include Pearl Jam and Metallica.)

In general, rock festivals have built their reputations by offering fans the chance to pack months of club crawling into one weekend and discover new favorites. But some talent managers caution against the idea that emerging acts can build their names through playing the full complement of festivals, where artist sets are sometimes abbreviated, and fans can be distracted.

Mike Martinovich, who manages the rock group My Morning Jacket, said the band had agreed to play the two most established festivals, Coachella and Bonnaroo, and turned down other offers to keep from seeming like too much of a commodity. “Doing a whole tour of festivals would be disastrous,” he said.

And some promoters worry that similar talent lineups will limit the festivals’ collective appeal. Mr. Tollett said the fear was “that it could become homogenized, and everyone have the same bill and the same sort of feel at the festival.”

“If every one of them is just a McFranchise,” he added, “there’s a specialness that’ll be lost.”

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Artie Lange walks off Stern? Smells like a stunt

Here's a Newsday story about the broo-ha-ha today.

The day before a week vacation, something comes up that will have the audience scrambling to the radio when the cast comes back.

Been there; heard that before.

But the satellite station has to earn Sterns billion somehow.

New York Times Praises Tony Lindsay; Slams Eddie Money

Jon Pareles of the New York Times today gave a glowing review to Carlos Santana's performance, and had these kind words for Tony Lindsay:

The band has skillful singers: Tony Lindsay leaning toward R&B, Andy Vargas rooted in salsa, although both of them sing in English and Spanish (and a few words of French). Yet its strongest voice is Mr. Santana’s guitar, which constantly asserts itself between vocal lines before taking over fully.

Then, in reviewing MTV's Rock the Cradle, the talent show for children of rock stars, they had this to say about Eddie Money:

Mr. Money turns out to be the most demanding presence on the show. “I’m a stage father, I just can’t help myself,” he explains. (What he doesn’t say is how he came to look vaguely like an old woman.)

One of the great mysteries of the world remains why children of successful singers — or actors, directors or microbiologists — don’t simply say to themselves, “You know, I think I’ll take up plumbing.” When, during a rehearsal, Mr. Money reprimands his daughter that she “blew the bridge” in her rendition of “When I’m Gone,” you hope she’s thought about graduate school.

Radio is far healthier than it is getting credit for

Check this excerpt from Tom Taylor's Radio-Info newsletter.

Radio’s far from being out of the race – but.

94% of Americans tune to AM/FM radio once a week, and three-quarters of those in the January Arbitron/Edison “Infinite Dial” research say they’ll continue to listen as much as they do now. 1 in 5 say AM/FM radio has a “big impact on their lives, second only to cellphones.”

But I’m afraid that radio’s traditional inferiority complex and the turnover in executives, PDs and marketers from the 1980s and 1990s have left a pervasive attitude that things are only going to get worse.

That could be 180 degrees off – or a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Arbitron/Edison pick on some specific issues, such as radio’s loss of the image as “the place to discover new music.” Radio “still leads the Internet, but its advantage has been cut in half.”

And judging from the psychology out there – just pick up a Rolling Stone or other music magazine – you’d think nobody was using radio for music.

The Infinite Dial study says “young people are unlikely to turn back to over-the-air radio itself for discovering new music, but they may try Internet options provided by radio brands.”

Simple stuff would work: Edison’s Tom Webster says stations could set up Wikis appealing to local bands (“post your mp3s, bio and schedule here”) and clubs.

That position’s still wide-open in most markets. Another important avenue to explore: connecting to existing social network sites, instead of trying to re-invent them. Check the fast-read 63-page “Infinite Dial” slide presentation at either the Arbitron or Edison sites.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Doghouse and Me: TIme to Bury the Hatchet

Here's something I never thought I'd write. I'm going on the Doghouse's new Internet "radio" show at 9:30 a.m. today. (www.doghousefm.com).

Those are the guys who took out the ad in the Mercury News that said "FUCK BRAD KAVA" (you can see a small version of it at the bottom of this blog.)

I've been watching the show for a while today, and I have to say, these guys are pioneering a new medium. It's not radio; it's not TV; it is the first use of its kind of both, on the Internet.

It's genius....and I never thought I'd say that either about these guys I've been battling with for two decades (our battle is even referenced in their wikipedia entry).

Sunday, April 6, 2008

REVIEW: Bruce Springsteen: San Jose 4/5/08

(Trapped from earlier on the tour.)

I almost didn't go see Bruce Springsteen in San Jose, after being disappointed with the last show I saw in Oakland in October.

That would have been a huge mistake.

This was Springsteen and the E Street Band at their best, so different from the too staid, muddy start of the tour months back.

This leg of the "Magic" tour featured the heavy metal thunder version of the band, with lots of guitar leads, lots of uptempo rockers, rare fan favorites-- and finally, lots of Clarence Clemmons on sax. In the earlier show he had been relegated to too much tambourine, and as a result, the classic sound of the early band was gone.

In a brisk two plus hours, Clemmons also sang a few times, really igniting the spark of the old days.

Maybe it was the fact that Springsteen's wife, Patti, was home with his three teenagers, of whom the New Jersey rocker said, he was worried because they had baked hash brownies, bought 100 pizzas and the Girls Gone Wild bus was pulling up, as he left for the tour.

More likely, it just took some time to find the form that fans missed, after the folk of the Seeger Sessions and the cumbersome last release, "Magic."

Let's face it: the people paying $100 for the best seats want to hear songs they don't often hear, mixed in with classic and new material.

Springsteen, 58, gave them enough of all, and on this tour, changing sets nightly, there is enough variety to see him several times.

His gimmick this time was to take requests from posters held by audience members, and even one for "Glory Days," written on the top of a bald guy's head.

Highlights for me included Jimmy Cliff's "Trapped," which shows the band's dynamic strength, going from dead quiet to explosive in the blink of an eye, and "Incident on 57th Street," which brought to mind the times this band wasn't living in the mansions on a hill.

Seemingly reluctantly, he covered his "Fire," which was a disco hit for the Pointer Sisters, and the band had fun with it and had clearly practiced this retro sound, and brought back the wonderful B-side "She's the One," which has come and gone on tours.

Springsteen also cut his guitar players a lot more slack this time, trading leads with "Miami" Steve Van Zandt and Nils Lofgren. At one point, while Lofgren was playing, Springsteen cued the sound man to turn the guitarist up.

How many frontmen have the respect for their bandmates to do that? Very few, and that's one of the thing that makes this band great. They could field a football team with the musicians on stage, but each small star gets his or her time to shine like a powerful sun.

And for the first time in too long, San Jose was a bright light in the rock sky.


Out in the Streets"

"Radio Nowhere"

"Lonesome Day"

"Gypsy Biker"

"Something in the Night"



"Reason to Believe"

"Prove It All Night"

"Livin' in the Future"

"The Promised Land"


"Incident on 57th Street"

"Devil's Arcade"

"Last to Die"

"Long Walk Home"



"Detroit Medley"

"Born to Run"

"Glory Days"

"Bobby Jean"

"American Land"

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Wolf quits its old morning team and tries someting new

The country music team that featured a diverse lineup, with a gay guy, a black guy, a Jewish guy and I don't remember what else, has been given the boot.

Instead, Entercom's 95.7 claims it will give listeners a morning team the listeners requested (seeing as the duo comes from Cincinatti and Minneapolis, I don't know how the listeners would have known who the hell they were....but that's the nature of radio PR...)

Here's what the station claims:

SAN FRANCISCO - April 3, 2008) 95.7 The Wolf (KBWF-FM), The Bay Area’s Fresh Country, welcomes Ken & Corey to mornings, effective April 7, 2008. “After extensive feedback from our Wolfpack of listeners, we’re excited to debut a show built by the listeners,” said Program Director and Prime Minister of Twang, Scott Mahalick.

“We just celebrated our first birthday, and as the only country station to reach the entire Bay Area, listeners haven’t been shy about telling us what they like and don’t like about the station. We took that feedback to heart in bringing in Ken & Corey for the Bay Area’s most fun, energetic, family-friendly, and entertaining morning show.”

Ken Anderson joins 95.7 The Wolf after helping launch 97.3 The Wolf in Cincinnati and has worked in country radio for over 10 years. “Always being told I was left of center, it’s exciting to be on the left coast. I’m excited to be working with Scott Mahalick and [VP/Market Manager] Dwight Walker… ok, well, really excited just to be working…” said Anderson. Corey Foley previously co-hosted mornings on KDWB Minneapolis with Dave Ryan.

“As a country girl, I am so excited to work for the fastest growing station in the Bay Area,” said Foley. Ken & Corey are joined by Co-host/Associate Producer Eddie King and Producer Jake Ray every weekday morning from 5 a.m. until 10 a.m. Music Director Nikki Landry (10 a.m. – 3 p.m.), JoJo Kincaid (3 p.m. -7 p.m.) and Keola (7 p.m. – Midnight) round out the weekday Wolf lineup. 95.7

The Wolf launched on March 1, 2007 with 15,000 songs in a row and features core artists such as Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, and Toby Keith. The Wolf’s market success has brought major country talent back to San Francisco, including the largest country show ever in Northern California, the upcoming Kenny Chesney Poets & Pirates Tour, on June 8 th at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

Darian O'Toole dead at 40

This news from the New York Daily News and San Francisco Press Club. O'Toole, who spent the bulk of her radio career in San Francisco, died in Oakland of respiratory failure.

She did time at Free FM, the Bone, and Big 98. She bombed out at her last job, at Free FM, in a broadcast that was widely circulated on the Internet, in which she was apparently drunk and falling asleep during an interview.

Her myspace is still up here.

You can read her blog here.

A Nova Scotia immigrant, born Karen Begin, she had fought cancer a few years ago. There is a touching note from her former KBIG partner, Shawn, here.

And y0u can hear her podcasts here.

And a note from one of my columns in Big Rick's blog here.

I'll miss Darian, who was one of really only a few women to crack radio's glass ceiling and make it onto a successful morning show. She was one of the people thought to be able to replace Howard Stern on CBS. I'm not even sure who is in that spot now.

She was as colorful on the way up as she was dramatic in her crash and burns.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

American Troops Abusing Iraqis, dogs and children: has this been a talk radio topic??

Classic Rock, the new music of the mainstream Republican

Male rock fans likely to vote Republican: survey

By Sue Zeidler Wed Apr 2, 8:51 PM ET

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - If you are male and a Led Zeppelin fan, chances are you may be leaning toward voting Republican in the U.S. presidential election, according to a survey of rock radio fans released on Wednesday.

The Jacobs Media's Media/Technology Web Poll IV of more than 27,000 respondents cited stronger than expected interest in the November 2008 election among fans of rock, classic rock, and alternative radio stations.

It also found that John McCain, the Republican candidate for U.S. president, was the top pick for the Oval Office for men and classic rock partisans -- those people who tune in to stations playing music from the "original classic rock era" of 1964 to 1975, comprised of bands like Led Zeppelin, The Who and Pink Floyd.

Jacobs Media said the survey, conducted among 69 U.S. rock-formatted stations in markets as diverse as Los Angeles and Knoxville to Buffalo, found 84 percent of the respondents planned to vote in the November election.

"People are clearly engaged by this election, even rockers. A lot of stations tend to shy away from politics because it's so polarizing, but this data suggests they'd better find a way to talk about politics this fall to keep listeners interested," said Fred Jacobs, president of Jacobs Media. He said the company threw the political questions in as an afterthought and was surprised by the results.

The survey was conducted in late February and early March.

About 30 percent of the respondents called themselves Democrats, while nearly 22 percent described their politics as Republican and 21 percent declared they were independents.

About 26 percent of the respondents either named a different party, preferred not to answer, or refused to categorize themselves.

The survey found women and fans of alternative radio, featuring '80s and '90s rock, tend to be Democratic, while men and classic rockers lean Republican.

Asked about their overall presidential preference, Democrat Barack Obama led the pack with 26 percent support among those planning on voting in the November election.

McCain ranked second with 22 percent and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton drew 18 percent.

There were also a fair share of write-in votes. Mickey Mouse ranked as the top presidential choice of 11 respondents, and singer Ted Nugent was written in by three members of the Rock sample.

(Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

(To read more about the U.S. political campaign, visit Reuters "Tales from the Trail: 2008" online at http://blogs.reuters.com/trail08/)

The effect a story can have: Martin guitars called to link up with Paddy

From the story below, Martin guitars called to link up, maybe sponsor Paddy....

Just from one mention in the story..and the guy may never have to buy a guitar again...You never think about that kind of stuff when you are writing ...

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Check out Paddy Casey: my story from today's LA TIMES


and here:


(awesome photo by bob durell)

You can hear Paddy busking on the Haight in the post below.

Paddy Casey tries his Irish luck

The rocker is backed by U2's managers and ready for a shot at the U.S. market.
By Brad Kava, Special to The Times
April 1, 2008
SAN FRANCISCO -- PADDY CASEY, the second-bestselling rock act in Ireland, looks a little disappointed as he scans the sparse audience that turned up during rush hour Friday for his debut here at the Virgin Records Megastore.

"You make more money busking," the singer-songwriter says with the self-deprecating manner that passes for stage patter. "At least you make money busking."

Bright blue eyes sparking under his long black hair, Casey plays 40 minutes of originals and the occasional surprise cover, such as Blackstreet's 1996 R&B hit "No Diggity," with only his voice and acoustic guitar. That one has the crowd bouncing and lets it know that Casey -- who stands a lot taller than his 5-foot frame would have you believe -- is full of surprises.

Backed by the same management team that broke Ireland's top seller, U2, almost three decades ago, Casey has been touring the U.S. for three months, mostly playing record stores and Hard Rock Cafes through shoddy speaker systems to audiences that don't have a clue who he is.

All of that could change quickly. On the heels of his recent showcase at Austin's South By Southwest Music Conference, his third album, "Addicted to Company (Pt. 1)," comes out today on Sony/BMG. Produced by Los Angeleno George Drakoulias, one of the founders of Def Jam records, "Addicted" came out in September in Ireland and was named album of the year in the Meteor Ireland Music Awards. Casey is MTV's featured artist this week, which includes a 20-foot-high billboard of his face in New York's Times Square. Thursday he will play on David Letterman's show. He plays the Wiltern in Los Angeles on May 5 opening for Scottish phenom, KT Tunstall.

If the rest of the country is as impressed with Casey as the San Francisco crowd was, he may have to start writing some happier songs.

Almost every one of the two dozen people who stood through his set bought his new disc and waited for his autograph. They lavished praise on his wistful guitar-playing, direct lyrics and powerful voice, so strong he could have played without the P.A. system. Newfans compared him with John Mayer and Jason Mraz but after spending time with his discs, they might have added Leonard Cohen, with whom Casey shares a knack for creating stark and pitiless landscapes.

"That's the happiest song I know," he tells them after opening his set with "Sweet Suburban Sky," a thick gray song about the end of the world, from his 1999 debut, "Amen (So Be It)."

"The next song is about depression," he adds. "You'll be happy to hear it."

He's got a sense of humor shaped by more than a decade of playing Dublin streets, where he could make as much as $400 a day in good weather, as little as nothing the other nine months of the year.

The youngest of nine children, brought up in government housing, he picked up a guitar at age 12, and after two weeks of practice, he ran away from his parents' home in Crumlin and was singing on the streets of Dublin while living in an older brother's flat.

Listening to his brother's Simon and Garfunkel albums inspired Casey to write his own songs, which he sometimes played on the street, along with fellow busker Glen Hansard, who this year won both a Grammy and an Oscar for the song "Falling Slowly" from the film "Once."

Bartenders and theater owners passing by booked them for indoor shows.

His reputation for songwriting spread and drew the attention of Sony talent scout Hugh Murray and U2 manager Paul McGuinness, who also manages PJ Harvey and the Rapture.

"It all starts for me with live performance," McGuinness says. "Though I can admire multilayered studio work, that's not what I'm drawn to and never was. I think the busking thing may have had something to do with the strength and power of his voice. I started working with him as a result of that."

Before long, Casey was being flown to London and shopping for a publishing deal. He stayed in the finest hotels with a borrowed guitar and just enough money to pay for the bus from the airport.

Signed, sealed and delivered to Sony's S2 subsidiary in 1999, he got his first check in the mail for 80,000 pounds ($159,000) and played the last busking gig where he actually needed the money.

"I put 20,000 pounds ($40,000) of it into my socks and right away went shopping for equipment," says the 32-year-old, who looks a decade younger and bears a resemblance to "Entourage" star Adrian Grenier. "I bought equipment for a home studio and a guitar, and I gave the rest to friends."

His first album sold 50,000 copies; his second, 2003's "Living," reached about 240,000, most of them sold in Ireland, with its population of about 4 million.

That gives his fans and management hope that this time out he can crack the U.S. market.

"He's not like Bono, who goes and grabs the camera," says DJ Tony Fenton of Irish radio station Today FM by phone. "He's more shy and honest, which I think people like. America is the toughest place to make it, though. Each state is like a different country, and you have to spend two, three or four years there to make a dent."

In San Francisco this weekend he spent $2,500 for a new Martin guitar to bring to New York but seemed more excited about trying it out on the street in Haight-Ashbury. After 30 minutes of busking, he had collected $15 in his guitar case.

He dropped the cash into the case of another busker down the street.

"Anyone who has done this knows how important the money is," he says. "It's no fun when you have to play on the street to survive."