Friday, January 19, 2007

"No, really! It's really good!"

Over at Brad DeLong's blog, he's talking about Star Trek: The Original Series.
Someone in comments noted that he had been too old for it when it was new, "but oh, to have been 13 for ST:TOS".

Uh, that would be me.

Not every NBC affiliate carried ST when it premiered. WRGB, in their wisdom, gave it a pass. (In the '70s, they would also pass on the first weeks of Saturday Night Live.)

My father being my father, we had his 'Channel 2' Yagi up in the attic aimed at WKTV Utica. So I was the the only kid in town to watch the first episodes of ST. And the next morning, I got to go in to my sixth grade classroom and attempt to explain to a bunch of eleven-year-olds what I had just seen.

This would not be the last time in my life where I would wax enthusiastic about something, and my audience would have absolutely no idea what I was talking about.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Danny's New! Improved! Album Quiz

Over on Making Light, as 2006 was winding down,
Bruce Adelsohn on Open Thread 77 introduced us to the terrors of the Planet Rock Album Quiz.

A few of us there (I see Tim Walters, Rikibeth, abi, otherdeb, and myself) kicked it around a while, but then the thread moved on to other topics, and then it died out, as all threads must.

Well, I told my old college-radio buddies about the Planet Rock Album Quiz.

And one of my friends ran with the idea:

All the people I work with got hooked on the Planet Rock album quiz, but they all had the same reaction: too much Heavy Metal, and not enough ’80s bands. I took this as a challenge, and so here's the 1980s (give or take a few years) version of the quiz. See how you do:

Danny’s New! Improved! Version of the 'Album Quiz'.

I found it to be even more maddening than the original.


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Thank you, Lester Bangs

When I was but a beardless youth, I came across a copy of Creem. And in that distant land, it was hard to get your hands on information - this was a quarter-century before the internet, in a town without a bookstore. I treasured that copy, read it to death, damn near memorized the thing. It had a big influence on me.

And the heart of the issue was a long, rambling piece called James Taylor Marked for Death. (Twenty years later, I would learn that the piece was written by Lester F. Bangs.)

Now, whatever the virtues of the talented Mr. Taylor, the case against him was memorably made. He's done a few songs that will last - I can't drive the Mass Pike without thinking of him - but I remain to this very day somewhat averse to the charms of Sweet Baby James.

Back in November, the Dems swept state-wide elections here in New York. New Governor Spitzer is extremely smart (1590 SATs!) and, (depressingly), a couple of years younger than I am. But his politics are - despite his money - quite admirable.

And he threw a public inaugural, one that stood in stark contrast to the republican version. The day began with a run in the park, on to an open-air inauguration, on to throwing a public party in the ESP, then an open house at the residence - and culminating in a free concert in the Knick Arena.

Jimmy Fallon MC'd. Ben Vereen sang. Willie Colon played. Natalie Merchant performed.

And, the evening's headliner: James Taylor.

I sat through three numbers before I realized that it would be a betrayal of all I stand for me to sit through a performance by James Taylor. I could no more endure JT than I could voluntarily endure watching the Lawrence Welk Show.

So we got up and left.

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