Friday, June 27, 2008


Boston's Tom Scholz on why Digital music sucks:

In general, you've never been a fan of digital.
I work only in an analog studio, so I hear music at its very best. I mean, there's nothing like the sound of an analog multitrack recording playing back. You'll never hear it sound so good again because it actually is the real thing. It's the real music by the real musicians, the phase hasn't been all screwed up by the A/D conversion, and the high end isn't all messed up trying to fit a 16-kHz tone into three pieces of a 44-Hz sampling rate. In an analog studio, you're hearing pristine, real-world sound — the way it would sound if it was coming through the mikes, and you were listening to them in headphones right there in your room.

24-bit digital sounds pretty good to me. But as soon as you make the conversion to 16-bit, it sounds like crap. [laughs] I have a hard time listening to CDs after working on an analog original because of what they do to the depth perception. The phase-angle errors caused by the A/D conversion really bother me. They bothered me the very first time I heard digital next to an analog original. I was always amazed that people didn't perceive that something that once sounded like it was located way beyond their speakers now sounded like it was on a flat plane...

All collapsed, basically...
Yeah. That's what digital does. It changes the audio waveform. People think digital is an accurate representation of music, and it's not. And because of the phase-angle error, all the things that your ear and your brain do normally to figure out where sounds are coming from to form a mental aural map, if you will, of your audio surroundings — it takes that and completely fools it. It turns something that had enormous depth and was recorded in a natural, beautiful hall and puts it into a little flat thing in front of you. So, as you can see, I've hated digital from the beginning. But it's cheap, and it's got a lot of features, and that's what sells. (MORE)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Inside Barack Obama’s iPod

Barack Obama is a Stevie Wonder geek. In the Democratic presidential candidate’s new interview with Rolling Stone editor-in-chief Jann S. Wenner, Obama waxed rhapsodic about his favorite artists, many of whom — Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Jay-Z — have shown him love with endorsements.

“If I had one musical hero, it would have to be Stevie Wonder,” says Obama, who grew up on Seventies R&B and rock staples including Earth, Wind and Fire, Elton John and the Rolling Stones. “When I was at that point where you start getting involved in music, Stevie had that run with Music of My Mind, Talking Book, Fulfillingness’ First Finale and Innervisions, and then Songs in the Key of Life. Those are as brilliant a set of five albums as we’ve ever seen.”

Wonder shares room on Obama’s iPod with “everything from Howlin’ Wolf to Yo-Yo Ma to Sheryl Crow,” he says. “And I have probably 30 Dylan songs on my iPod.” Though he’s partial to 1975’s Blood on the Tracks, “Maggie’s Farm” is “one of my favorites during the political season,” says Obama. “It speaks to me as I listen to some of the political rhetoric.” (MORE)

Audio From the Rolling Stone Cover Story (HERE)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


CELINE DION - You Shook Me All Night Long.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Comedian George Carlin Dead at Age 71

George Carlin, the frenzied performer whose routine "Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television" led to a key Supreme Court ruling on obscenity, has died.

Carlin, who had a history of heart trouble, went into St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica on Sunday afternoon complaining of chest pain and died later that evening, said his publicist, Jeff
Abraham. He had performed as recently as last weekend at the Orleans Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas. He was 71.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


In the early 1980’s, I arrived at WQFM (93QFM) in Milwaukee to be the new Program Director.
The previous PD, Brent Alberts, had put a really terrific air staff together.

I knew that they just needed focus and some attitude adjustment to be Killers.

This staff with few changes went on to help the station post an 8.5 12+ share that drove our direct competitor, WLPX, out of the format.

When I first got there, I did the standard one-on-ones with each air staff member. After two or three days, I realized that I still didn’t remember half the names of my staff. Those that I did remember were my morning team (Rodio and Mueller), the show was called Morning Sickness and my 10 PM to 2 AM jock, Tim The Rock N’ Roll Animal. The rest of the guys’ names were a blur.

Then, it came to me, another epiphany.

If I was having a hard time remembering the names of our talent, it was either because of my years of damaging my brain or THEIR NAMES WEREN’T THAT MEMORABLE. I figured even if it was the brain damage reason; this was something I shared with a large segment of our listening audience. I wanted our talent to be known, to be bigger-than-life rock radio stars with our listeners. They needed radio rock star names.

First, I met with my 10AM-3PM star, Jeff Peterson. We discussed nicknames and decided on Mr. Midday for him. Next was Terry Gibson, my afternoon drive killer. He came up with Terry “Twelve String” Gibson.

My daytime lineup was now: The Morning Sickness Show followed by Mister Midday followed by Terry “Twelve String” Gibson. Nights were Mike Wolfe (catchy enough) followed by Tim The Rock N’ Roll Animal. Memorable names to go along with top notch rock radio stars.

What’s in a name? Everything when you’re in show business. It was the first step toward ultimate victory and. market dominance.

Download Firefox 3 and Set a Guinness World Record


In an attempt to break the Guinness world record for most software downloaded in one day, the Mozilla Foundation has declared today to be "Firefox 3 Download Day.

Firefox 3 offers marked improvements. JavaScript renders three times faster than before and memory usage has been cut. The Web address bar is no longer restricted to Web addresses and works more like a regular search, examining the Web, your bookmarks, and your browsing history. And it learns what you're looking for, too!

In what could be the best user-experience development since the pop-up blocker, Web sites are no longer allowed to resize or move the Firefox 3 browser without your expressed permission. Security has increased with Firefox 3 preventing spyware, rootkits, viruses, and malware from being offered, gives visual indications of whether a site is authentic or not (green is good). And there's much, much more that will probably go unnoticed. (DOWNLOAD HERE)

Friday, June 13, 2008


News Corp.’s MySpace is attempting to climb out from behind its current state of clutter with a redesign, which will officially debut next Wednesday. The makeover includes improvements on both the front-end and back-end, highlighting more intuitive search capabilities that categorize desired results and a reduction of the currently overwhelming amount of navigation options and ad noise on the site’s homepage, a higher quality video player for MySpaceTV with popout and full screen controls.

The site, according to Comscore, still boasts more than 100 million users. But even with the potential redesign, and its recent more persistent engagement with its development community, MySpace is still fighting the user base stigma of being just for kids, teens and less savvy Internet users with a fondness for animated avatars.

In an interview with the Associated Press, MySpace founder Tom Anderson said that the redesign is in part fueled by its desire to shatter its “kids only” image. But in the wake of Facebook’s steady popularity with the “grown-up” networking audience, can MySpace earn the trust of business users? (More from ZDNET)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Rocket Surgery Pt. 2

Back in the late 1980’s I was living in Chicago and had a pretty heavy tobacco addiction. Running out of cigarettes was the worst possible thing that could happen to me. I had a giant pack on my back.

One day when I found myself without any cigs, I jumped in the car and began racing to a convenience store to satisfy my habit. While driving, a song came on my car radio that I really liked, but had no idea who the artist was. I figured that I must have spaced each time that it had been identified on the air. This time I decided that I was going to make sure I listened for the back announcement and find out who the artist was. Now I had two things that I needed to accomplish, CIGARETTES and the answer to who the mystery artist was that I liked so much.

I got to the store as the song was ending. PERFECT. But no, the station segued into the next song. I was on a mission. I wasn’t going to get out of the car until I found out who it was. I sat there for another four or five minutes waiting for the song to end. I was going to finally find out. Believe me, it wasn’t easy sitting there, in need of a cigarette fix, but I wasn’t going to miss it this time. Who was that song by?

The second song finally ended after what seemed like an eternity. The Jock came on, gave the call letters and went into a spot cluster. NO SONG IDENTIFICATION!!! I went ballistic. I started yelling and cursing at the radio. I pounded on the dashboard a couple times and got out of the car, SLAMMING the door.

I ran in and got my cigarettes and came back to the car. I ripped open the pack and lit one up, sat back and came to an epiphany.


Don’t ever fail to deliver the basic information that a music station should deliver. If music is the main product that you are selling, you must let the listener have the information he requires.

Now I’m not suggesting long, information laden back sells that bring the forward momentum of the station to a screeching halt. Just a quick identification of the two or three songs that just played. Pearl Jam, Nickleback and Seether on 92Rock. See, that didn’t take but 2 seconds and did not stop the forward movement at all. And no one ended up yelling at his or her Radio. That’s a good thing.


The storms moved through the Midwest this weekend. I spent "way too much" time in my basement, saving things and going through boxes. I came across this picture from the front page of The Detroit Free Press from 1984. Boy Radio was FUN!!!!

Monday, June 09, 2008


My favorite genius, Dave Martin has launched his HD RADIO News Blog.
This will be a TRUE clearing house for "all things HD".

Dave wrote:
Radio has an execution problem.
Reducing radio's present day business performance to a one-liner, there's perhaps no better way to account for what's happening; it certainly seems the most reasonable approach in explaining what's not happening.

There is no more conspicuous an illustration of this theme than the progress of HD Radio.(READ MORE)

iPhone 2.0 Introduced

Enough with the new software, time for a new iPhone! Due in about a month, the iPhone 3G is thinner at the edges and cheaper and runs on a faster data network, Steve Jobs says.

Jobs says the new version runs on AT&T's 3G (industry-speak for third-generation) network. That should help shoot down one of the biggest criticisms of the iPhone: It's a great Web-surfing device when you're within range of an open Wi-Fi connection, but it's brutally slow when you're on AT&T's standard cellular network, Edge.

AT&T's 3G network is almost three times as fast as Edge, Jobs says. He loaded a page from the National Geographic website -- it took 59 seconds on the Edge network and only 21 seconds on the 3G version. "It's amazingly zippy," Jobs said.

The iPhone 3G also has built-in GPS, which he said would lead to new services that target you by location.

Oh, and Jobs says it has got better battery life: five hours of talking, six hours of Web browsing, seven hours of video-watching or 24 hours of audio-listening.

Whoa! It's going to cost $199 for an 8-gigabyte version and $299 for 16 gigabytes of storage. That's a lot cheaper than the least-expensive model's current price of $399.

It's launching on July 11 in 22 countries. (MORE)

Saturday, June 07, 2008


We can all take a lesson in branding from this venerable Milwaukee icon!!

Friday, June 06, 2008


If your morning show is not angry when talking about this, then they are making too much money.

Oil prices shot up more than $11 to a new record above $139 Friday after Morgan Stanley predicted prices would hit $150 by the Fourth of July. The unprecedented jump is all but certain to drive gas prices well past the $4 mark in the coming weeks. (MORE)

This is not political. This is a travesty. Everyone in your audience is being adversely affected by this. To ignore it is to be out of touch. If you're not being hurt by this because you make lots of money, pretend it's hurting you. You can not have this disconnect from your audience and still be credible. "I'M MAD AS HELL AND I'M NOT GONNA TAKE IT NO MORE!" must be the attitude.


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Morning Guy

Fred Jacobs turned me on to this. This is GREAT. Thanks, Fred.

Not Rocket Surgery Yet

I was reminiscing on the phone yesterday with my friend and mentor, Dave Martin, about the old and new days of Radio.
I was telling him of a little vignette that I would lay on the staff of each station that I programmed starting with WORJ back in 1972 and every station thereafter.
Dave suggested that I pass this one on. So it’s Dave’s fault if you think I’ve wasted your time. :-)

This is the exercise I used to illustrate the way that I wanted our Jock presentation to sound.
This was especially important in the earlier days of “Progressive Rock”, when we were still inventing the format.

You’re sitting in your living room with your girlfriend, when there’s a knock on the door. KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK (I would knock on the nearest hard object)

You answer the door and standing there is the quintessential over-the-top, puking voiced, bad, over-hyped Top 40 DJ style guy. He says,” HEY THERE, CAN I COME IN....”You slammed the door shut about 5 words into his rap.

The next knock on the door when answered reveals a Dude who goes in to this “too hip for the room” act. A slow, overly mellow, stoned rap about coming inside to play some music...(SLAM) The door is shut in his face before he can finish a sentence.

The third knock on the door occurs and you’re met by someone who, without any pretense or affectation, says, “Hi, my name is Lee Arnold. I have the BRAND NEW Eric Clapton and the New LED ZEPPELIN albums with me. Can I come in and play them for you?” You open the door wide and invite him in to your living room.

A totally relatable person, who warmly and professionally introduces himself to you and offers to make your evening more enjoyable, this is the guy that you will invite into your home or let sit next to you in your car for the long commute home. To me, programming concepts were best communicated by a series of real life illustrations. (The rocket science and brain surgery came later).

Our stars always understood what I wanted from them because I told them what it was that I wanted. They always delivered. Here’s the important lesson, the million dollar takeaway…They can’t give you what you want, if you don’t tell them what it is.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Alton Kelley (June 17, 1940 - June 1, 2008)

Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Healing Power Of MUSIC

NEW YORK (AP) - Noted neurologist Oliver Sacks has found common ground with the pastor of Harlem's Abyssinian Baptist Church: Both men believe in the healing power of music.

Sacks, the best-selling author of "Awakenings" and "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat," was to share the church stage Saturday with the famed gospel choir as part of the inaugural World Science Festival, a five-day celebration of science taking place in New York this week.

"It should be an exciting and unusual event," Sacks said in an interview this week. "I will talk about the therapeutic and beneficent power of music as a physician, and then their wonderful choir will perform. ... And the audience will make what they can of it."

Sacks' most recent book is "Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain," which examines the relationship between music and the brain, including its healing effect on people suffering from such diseases as Tourette's syndrome, Parkinson's, autism and Alzheimer's.

"Even with advanced dementia, when powers of memory and language are lost, people will respond to music," he said. (MORE)