Category Archives: rock music

iTunes LP: Another Reason Why Apple Sucks

Fresh off the announcement that iTunes is going away, I thought I’d review all the songs/titles I have on iTunes.  One that I haven’t played in a long time is the Beatles Box Set.  This included some exclusive videos, as well as all the songs, album covers, liner notes, etc.  So when I go to iTunes app on my Mac, I see the following:

It doesn’t show any tunes.  If I try to play, it takes me to another screen with the album cover, but nothing when I click play.

Then I found out they discontinued iTunes LP.  But I didn’t think that meant they would remove the ability to play.  So they screwed me over … $149 box set, no it’s worth nothing.

No, Not Another “Evolution is Coming” Radio Station Plans

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When I first moved to the Bay Area (17 years ago), I had to find a  radio station to replace what I was listening in LA.  My listening tastes were classic rock, and a little alternative rock.  I found one that fit that mold exactly, KFOG.  It was perfect, the DJ’s were cool, it was one station that I could listen to, and not need to veer away from it.

Features I liked included 10 at 10 (10 great songs from one great year), acoustic sunrise and sunset (as the word implies, acoustic versions of some hit songs), Live from the Archives (guest artists coming in, to play their songs, kinda like MTV Unplugged, if you are old enough to remember that), and was very well connected with the community, sponsoring concerts like Kaboom (mixing concert with fireworks at the Embarcadero).

It’s true, the last couple of years, the station has gone through some changes (I guess due to declining ratings).  As a result, I have looked to alternative stations, like The Sound, radio station in LA.  But I would always come back to KFOG every now and then.  Now, just heard that they are laying off the majority of the DJs, and it’s now a robotic automated station until their formal change in format later this month.

Boo … and boy, you should see the responses on Facebook.  This is very bad news for radio overall.  They are taking a San Francisco tradition, and destroying it.

Their website says now “The evolution is coming”.  Translation … we are destroying your radio station.  I’ve seen that with 3 other stations, and they all say the same thing … evolution.  Is this some buzzword that the radio industry uses, that thinks listeners will want to embrace?  What are they thinking?  Same thing happened when KMET became the Wave … when KCSA became a spanish station …

I guess I really am listening  to the Sound full time now.  Not that that’s a bad thing … just not a local station, that’s all.  Maybe they should syndicate Mark in the Morning here …

Take It Easy

This past MLK Day was a sad one .. this was the day Glenn Frey, one of the founders of the Eagles, passed away.  It came as a big shock to many, and I still think about his brilliance.

They were the first real band that I followed closely, and I grew up listening to them.  I fell in love with their harmonies, the fusion of country rock, and even though none of the were originally from Southern California, us Angelinos adopted them as our own.

One of these Nights was probably what attracted me first, followed by Lyin’ Eyes … but I think I really became a fan when we got the 8-track version of the Eagles’ Greatest Hits .  Yes, you heard it … 8-track.  I love it … there was not a bad track on that.  But then, Take it Easy really caught my ears, and it just captured the sound that we all know and love.

Then, they had the Eagles Live album.  I remember the passage in Take it Easy “Well I’m standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, and such a fine site to see” … and they replaced that with “well I’m standing on a corner in Southern California, such a fine site to see” … and the crowd erupted (concert recorded at Universal Amphitheatre, I think).  When I heard that, I yelled “yeah!!!!”

It’s been a full day now, and I’m still listening to my Eagles Spotify playlist.  When’s the last time you were such a fan of an artist, that their passing away has pre-occuppied your attention so much?  I think the last time for me was John Lennon … Now I’m not going to make the comparison of Glenn Frey to John Lennon, but to me, he was that important.

So to Glenn Frey, we will all miss you.  You are such a talent, and you will be missed dearly.  Take it Easy.

Another New Radio Station Hits the Airwaves

Radio stations these days come and go often.  Usually, it’s when a genre that has established itself in the area for a while, suddenly loses its luster, and loses some audience, and the radio station changes management, and in turn changes to a completely different genre.  Case in point, the old KKSF, 103.7 FM, which used to be advertised as “Smooth Jazz”.  Now, it is known as “the band”.

Normally, I would be saddened to see the old format to go away, but I am pleasantly surprised this time with the new format they have.  Sure, you have KFOG, which has some modern artists, mixed with older classics … and there’s KFOX, with the old classic rock format.  But sometimes, you get into a rut between these two.  Alice is just too 20’s-like, and too much teeny-pop type music.  With “the band”, it gets back to old fashioned music, where you have songwriting, and actual musical skills that are featured.  One problem I do see with this station is finding a good audience.  I think KFOG and KFOX has established itself with a set audience.  Only time will tell if “the band” will survive.

We saw a similar attempt by another radio station called Max-FM.  This was run by the same people that created the radio station, Jack-FM, in Southern Cal.  The difference is, Jack-FM is still in existence, and Max-FM is history.

I remember in my LA days, my all time favorite radio station was KSCA (Southern California Alternative), which featured bands, and musicians, who would come in to the studio, and just have a few guitars, singing a song, unplugged.  I don’t think “the band” will have that, but at least it may resemble the same type of “music” and “skill” that many of us really do appreciate.  I hope “the band” will last a while, but I am not getting my hopes up too high.  Oh, BTW, KSCA is no longer in existence.  The radio station was owned by Golden West, and they decided to go Spanish.  That was really heartbreaking.

Michael Jackson Rules the Media

This is just an upside down world.  With the socio-economic problems we are dealing with, N. Korea being the nuclear threat that they are, Obama and his visit through Russia then Italy, state of California without a budget … and what is the breaking news that CNN devotes so much of its time for???  Michael Jackson.  Sheesh!

This actually reminds me of the circus in the media with the OJ Simpson trial back in the early 90’s.  Back then, I was working at E! Entertainment Television, and it was just a circus.  The entire station was devoted to this entire trial, and what does that have to do with television or entertainment?  Well, as ridiculous as that is, I can’t fathom how CNN is devoting more time to Michael Jackson than to N. Korea, Obama’s visit, and California’s budget problems, combined.  I assume that if California had a 8.0 earthquake, with $50 billion dollars of damages, that CNN would still devote more time to Michael Jackson?

Now I admit, he is the king of pop, and his popularity is tremendous … but I don’t see how this is that important to be the big headline, breaking news.  In terms of impact on others in the music business, the only one I can relate to is the death of John Lennon.  John had a far reaching impact on so many other rock artists, and his legacy has a far greater impact that Michael Jackson would ever have.  At least that’s my opinion.

So for this reason, I have boycotted television.  I can’t stand it.  I fear that if I turn on the TV, I will see MJ’s face, and it will just churn my stomach.  The other thing that churns my stomach is how CNN is devoting so much time on this.  CNN is making me look at Fox News with more credibility.  Now that’s going a little far, but that’s how bad it’s gotten … IMHO.