Archive for February, 2005

A Reason to Hope For More Snow

I won’t have to listen to this guy or talk to his fans.

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While I feel no ill will towards the staff of Y-100 (particularly Jim McGuinn, a genuine music fan in an industry stooge world), it is their kind of station that created a Jack Johnson, and even worse, people like this.

For people really interested in “modern rock” or just seeking out anything other than death rattle and hum, Y-100 and commerical radio in general is the last place you’d go, where a few corporations run the airwaves where music is just the space between ads. Gone are the times when a DJ or a program director could break a record or artist (even a bad one). And when commerical airwaves don’t want to rock the boat, the Y-100’s of the world have to play to the middle ground which means: Jack Johnson, 3 Doors Down, John Mayer, Creed, etc etc. making every Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Strokes, White Stripes, or Franz Ferdinand sound positively revolutionary in comparison.

Don’t get me wrong. Lots of Pitchfork favorites can be just as stodgy and stultifyingly boring too. But at least in a Pitchfork world, there are choices, and someone else can launch an mp3 blog or a website with his or her favorite boring music too.

Take any genre of music represented on commerical radio right now, be it hip-hop or Oldies or even pop, and the narrow playlists don’t even begin to tell a story of what’s out there. Take a look at a UK pop chart and it’s actually fun to listen to. Art and commerce can co-exist peacefully. Why do you think Madison Avenue is the new radio? Ten years ago, I would have been horrified to hear The Buzzcocks shilling for SUV’s, but now I think, “At least someone’s playing them and they’re getting paid.”

But really it doesn’t matter whether Y-100 played the best or worst music, the dull or the most cutting edge in the world. Radio One is King of Fuck Mountain, and if they want to flip WPLY’s format from modern rock to gospel to polkas, they can. And by the way, kids, the fact that Philadelphia hasn’t had a high frequency FM gospel station after all these years is the Lord’s mystery. Just ask my customers at Stupid and Crazy. They’ve been requesting the Jesus song for years.

For a brief moment in the early ’80s, there was I-92, my junior high soundtrack to the technicolor world of puberty. Did I know from punk? I swooned to “Dark in the city, no place to hiiiiiiiiiiiiide” and “walk away walk away, I will follow,” and “I might like you better if we slept together,” and tons of surburban and maybe some urban new wave, pre-internet. And then it was gone. Friends’ mix tapes and college radio and The Khyber later replaced I-92, but I won’t forget those six months, when I-92 was a gateway into another world, instead of something used to shut out all that is scary and different, like “fags” (and what alleged “fags” listened to), women, and anyone who’s not white. I’m wondering if the Y-100 kids think of their constricted playlist as a gateway or a fortress?


February 28, 2005 at 10:37 pm 4 comments

The Maria Tessa Sciarrino Photo Sessions

Sorry, I’ve been too busy and lazy to update this thing. In the meantime:

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February 28, 2005 at 10:14 pm 5 comments

Stupid and Crazy, Adieu?

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Thanks for all of your concerns. Basically, I continue to work at S&C because if I have to work a dayjob that I don’t care about very much (one that pays the bills between doing the low or non-paying stuff that I do care about), I would rather work in a record store than an office. I’ve worked shitty office jobs that pay more and have been even more miserable. And flex-time gigs are hard to come by. In general, I like the job, and the posting about the bad customers is far more interesting than the nice (or mostly neutral) customers that I deal with on a daily basis.

Basically, all my free time for the next month will be spent working on the paper and not much else. Once <a EMP is done with, I’ll start plotting my course to going back to being a stay-at-home rock critic, which is the only job I really seem suited for. The larger issue is a lack of career options in Philadelphia. The big industries here are: hospitals, universities, real estate, medical publishing (though not so much anymore), and of course service, service, service. The three big magazines from here? Philadelphia Magazine, Philadelphia Style, and Magnet. And Magnet is like freakin Harper’s compared to the other two, though I think Moe Tkacik is one of the few writers at Philly Mag with a clue. I think fabulous thinkgs are in store for her. Rockpile is on its way, but they can’t exactly pay writers yet.

I could and should move, but I need some money, lots of it. And that would require leaving people and things that I love: Andy the Boyfriend, The Dumpsta Players, Plain Parade.

For now, I will leave the house 15 minutes earlier, and possibly give away a couple of my 8:45 shifts to my two other co-workers if they want them. The sad thing is, I don’t go out much during my working week, and if I do, it’s usually something on the earlier side. I think I need a recording of my housemate’s girlfriend’s idiot dog bark, as that’s the only thing that makes me angry enough to wake up and stay awake.

February 24, 2005 at 5:49 pm 2 comments

Hunter Checks Out?

This is what Susie Bright suggests.

Call on God, but row away from the rocks.
Hunter S. Thompson

I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone,
but they’ve always worked for me.
Hunter S. Thompson

I have a theory that the truth is never told during the nine-to-five
Hunter S. Thompson

The Edge… there is no honest way to explain it because the only
people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.
Hunter S. Thompson

The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long
plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die
like dogs. There’s also a negative side.
Hunter S. Thompson

February 23, 2005 at 6:35 pm 1 comment

Suspension Vacation

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I got my final, final warning, suspended for two days because of my excessive lateness, not because I told a customer to blow me (that would get me fired). I should probably be a little less flippant about this (and I will be when I have less money in my next check), but now, I’m wondering how I should spend my suspension vacation.

Any ideas?

February 23, 2005 at 6:27 pm 7 comments

We Are Not The World

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Dear Customers of Stupid and Crazy:

There is no reason to purchase this record. The fact that it’s out of print is God’s way of telling you that you don’t need to have it. All the Ethiopian people it allegedly fed are either grown or dead (after hearing this song). If you must own the song, you can buy the Live Aid DVD with aged rockers in bad Hawaiian shirts. Also: suddenly buying Michael Jackson’s records will not make all those little boys disappear or his nose grow back. See: R. Kelly

February 22, 2005 at 9:27 pm 1 comment

Pavement Fans Read the People Paper After All (Besides Maria)

Dear Fact Checking Cuz(es):

I did not write that the Silver Jews would be part of the Golden Ball event last Friday. I described One Long Lash as “Silver Jews and Essex Green spin-off band,” which was another way of saying, “members of Silver Jews and Essex Green.” This was all the info that was given to me about One Long Lash from the promoter and thought it was worth mentioning. Unfortunately, my editor, who has no idea what I’m talking about, bold-faced the wrong names for emphasis, and alas, people think Stephen Malkmus is at the freakin Khyber. Perhaps I should have worded it differently. But shit happens when you’re on deadline.

I’m sorry for any inconvenience this might have caused. I hope the show went well for all involved.

Thanks for reading,
Sara Sherr

>From: Siljews1@xxx
>To: altchoice@xxx
>CC: Neak3434@xxx
>Subject: dingy broad
>Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2005 22:26:17 EST
>dear sir,
>i think it was very irresponsible of you to print that the silver jews would
>be apart of that Goldenball event friday @ khyber. maybe it was a typo, but
>needless to say you have to check your facts. keep up the good work and after
>you remove your head from your ass do you think that you could promote that
>pavement will be playing in my Florida room sometime early next week.
> your fact-checking cuz

February 22, 2005 at 9:15 pm 1 comment

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