Sunday, February 23, 2014

Banned III (Words and Phrases)

A public radio station in a town where I once lived used to acknowledge its underwriters at certain times of the day. They all do that.

The tagline this station used for one particular underwriter was, “Open seven days a week — including Sunday!”

It drove me nuts.

No comment should be necessary. The station was in a college town and connected to a college, as public radio stations often are. They ran this tagline for a year or more before they finally changed it. I always imagined some crusty old grammarian – maybe the guy at right (who may or may not be me) – giving them a good dressing-down.

"Seven days a week, including Sunday" is its own brand of idiocy. I place it here anyway. Others in this ongoing list of words and phrases that should be banned from the language include: Old school, props, superfood, branding, I'm just sayin', free gift, educate, and Corporate responsibility.

Old school? Follow the link. Props – as in credit, or kudos – just plain bugs me. Banish it forthwith. There ain't no real superfood, but I keep hearing dried fish and kale salad and other reasonably healthy foods so tagged. Branding? No. Me no like. Save your soul. "I'm just sayin'" is meaningless, ergo my campaign against it. Free gift is in the same category as "seven days a week, including Sunday." Educate, as in "Let's educate the voters!" makes me recoil; it reeks of propaganda. And Corporate responsibility? An oxymoron, if ever there was one.

I'm just sayin'.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Swamped Thing

There just aren't enough hours in the day.

Or there haven't been, lately.

I've been so swamped with stuff I haven't even had time to comment on the Broncos getting their asses kicked by the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl, in spite of my bold prediction. That was an unexpected trouncing, but I have resisted the temptation to gloat. I should, however, take this opportunity to note for the record that for the next year, at least, Seattle is the reigning champion of the NFL, while the Broncos are a disappointed runner-up. Always the bridesmaid, as it were.

Neither have I had the chance to work more on my friend Joe's web site, which has been a work-in-progress (with his input) for the last year or so. The site is nearing a finished form, but still needs work. There's a learning curve involved.

Most of my suddenly-busy schedule is built around adjusting to a new job. I interviewed at a place in Denver the day after the Super Bowl. I'd been expecting to drive into a happy city. Instead, I found it stunned and disbelieving, still reeling in the humiliation of a poorly-played game.

In any case the interview went well. They called that same night with an offer, and I started a couple of days after that. So now I'm driving into Denver each day. (I may switch to the bus soon.) The timetable for getting everyone where they need to be, and getting them there on time, has necessarily called for some re-arranging. Busy busy busy.

Not much time for this silly, inconsequential blog.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Theme de Yoyo: Music Hath Charms

A long time ago I moved from one city to another. The distance between these towns was several thousand miles.

I drove to the new berg in a tiny car that lacked enough power to haul a trailer. So I shipped some of my stuff ahead, but also took the opportunity to shed a lot of what I'd accumulated over the years.

That included hundreds of albums. My record player was broken, vinyl was obsolete, so most of them had to go. I pulled out those I could not part with and stored them in a friend's basement. The rest went to a used record store, where I reaped a tidy windfall.

My life in the new distant city expanded and contracted, the way life usually does. I did not forget about all those treasured LPs in my friend's basement. But by the time I reclaimed them, three years had passed. I was married. My wife had a functioning turntable.

I took them out of the shipping crate with great anticipation. First thing I played: Les Stances a Sophie, an Art Ensemble of Chicago LP. As the first track began – with the softly pulsing bass line of Malachi Favors, and Don Moye's percussion – I felt like I'd bumped into a dear old friend.

The late Fontella Bass ("Rescue Me") is on vocals. She and AEC trumpeter Lester Bowie were married. Check it out:

There are many, many records I wish I hadn't sold all those years ago. Some have been replaced by CD and Internet download. I'm amazed at some of the stuff I've found on iTunes, including a favorite old drum solo by Baby Dodds. (That solo, sometimes called "Spooky Drums," does not appear to be available for linking, but another one by Baby Dodds is similar.)

Some of those old sold records have never been released on CD. Woe is me! I may never hear them again. Which is very very sad.