Commentator John Moe is 37 years old, so he's never known a time when A Charlie Brown Christmas wasn't on television. But when he went to show it to his son for the first time, 5-year-old Charlie just thought it was strange, but he did have some great questions.
Check out A Charlie Brown Christmas' and a New Generation.
Be safe and be smart!
Happy New Year Y'all
This aired on NPR's All Things Considered, December 19, 2005
Saturday, December 31, 2005
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Please give a warm welcome to The Vernons Girls singing their heartfelt, soon to be forgotten We Love The Beatles! From The Sixties Explosion, a compilation of 8 ball sixties tracks.
And prepare yourself for I Wanna Hold Your Hand by the amazing Enoch Light and His Orchestra!
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!
Posted by HMK at 7:56 AM
Monday, December 26, 2005
I don't know about y'all, but this whole iPod/iTunes phenomenon thing is taking me back to the days when I first truly started to get into music. Besides the fact that it's now possible to locate, retrieve and play anything from my collection by simply typing in a few key words (providing that everything is tagged from the get-go!) and the awesomely simple but genius shuffle option, the magic button that turns my mountain of all things audio into a personal "This Is Your Life" jukebox, the iPod is taking me back to the days when I would listen to an album, start to finish, with headphones on, escape and truly experience the concept of stereophonic hi-fi listening.
Albums like Queen' A Night At The Opera, Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon, Beach Boys' Pet Sounds and obviously any Beatles album, starting with Rubber Soul, come to mind as what I call headphone albums. Everyone's both heard and heard of these albums but sadly, few people have ever really listened to them.
If your version of Magical Mystery Tour is a downloaded copy from Kazaa and you've only listened to it via your computer speakers at work, please, don't tell me you're a huge fan of the fab four. Not only are you missing the experience and soul of what I'm talking about, (not to mention stealing music!) you've never really "heard" the Beatles at all. Granted, when the Beatles we're still together and the first time most of us heard their music is was either via a crappy radio or a sub-par turntable, which worked for me - I rather hear a any Beatles song over a mono transistor than most of the kaka that's coming out today, but there is so much going on with George Martin's production and the genius of the boys themselves that it's possible to hear something you've missed or never heard before every time you throw on a Beatles album!
Getting back into to headphone listening has turned my library of stuff into a whole new world of music. A world of left and right panning, nuance and subtlety that's both lost and ignored in today's world of free crappy downloads, computer speakers and quantity over quality. As much as I dig a mono surf song coming out of a single speaker while sitting on the beach drinking a cold one, that same song, in all it's high fidelity glory on some sweet home speakers or headphones transports me to another world. They're both music to my ears.
Anyway, here's the forth and fifth Beatles Christmas recordings I promised. Do yourself a favor and check these out with some decent headphones or speakers. No talking! Just listen to them all the way through and appreciate them for what they are, gifts to their fans (albeit some what obligatory) and you're sure to get a deeper insight and understanding of the fact that sure, the Beatles were f-ing genius, but damn, they were some trippy, interesting and wicked funny dudes!
If you've never heard these before (Lucky!) you're in for a real treat. Both of these are like a Beatles Goon Show meets Monty Python. And they only get better each passing year and a drink or two...
Relax, experience and enjoy!
First, make yourself comfortable and enjoy the genius of The Beatles Fourth Christmas Record Pantomime: Everywhere It's Christmas. Recorded: November 25, 1966. Released: December 16, 1966 (Lyntone LYN 1145)
Next is The Beatles Fifth Christmas Record Christmas Time Is Here Again! Recorded: November 28, 1967. Released: December 15, 1967 (Lyntone LYN 1360)
The last two'll be up soon, go put your headphones back on and listen to Pantomime again!
O-U-T spells out,
Posted by HMK at 6:59 AM
Sunday, December 25, 2005
Ok ya'll, here's some more trippy fun stuff, as promised, from John, Paul, George and Ringo. Starting in 1963, the Beatles began recording and releasing special 6-7 minute Christmas 7 inch flexidisc singles, (these look like singles, only they're thinner and made of plastic).
These are the second and third in a series of Beatles Christmas recordings made exclusively for the members of their official fan club. I'm sure these will all be release in some official capacity at some point, but for now, these records are pretty rare and difficult to get hold of.
First, I know you'll dig Another Beatles Christmas Record Recorded on October 26, 1964, and relased December 18, 1964 (Lyntone LYN 757).
Next is The Beatles Third Christmas Recorded on November 8, 1965 and released December 17, 1965 (Lyntone LYN 948.
And, if you're good, I'll have the other four of the seven up soon. Now, back to my Christmas coffee.
Posted by HMK at 8:15 AM
Saturday, December 24, 2005
No matter how you say it, and wherever you're from, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Any feedback regarding whether or not y'all want me to continue this next year or not is greatly appreciated. A quick and simple Yup or Nope in the comments section is all it takes!
Enjoy! Kahuna Christmas Twenty Five. Our most recent find and latest favorite Christmas tune is from the Roy Meyer Swingers: It's The Holiday Season. And finally, Monsueir Maurice Chevalier,along with everybody at our house, wishes you a Joyeaux Noel with his superb version Jolly Old St. Nicholas!
Posted by HMK at 9:28 AM
Christmas Eve in San Antonio.
Today: Sunny, with a high around 74. North northwest winds between 15 and 20 mph. Tonight: Clear, with a low around 41. Northwest winds between 5 and 10 mph.
Ah, Christmas in South Texas. Tonight will be perfect for a fire and a nice quiet evening at home. I've been a little under the weather and have yet to go shopping. But, as they say, if it wasn't for the last minute, nothing would ever get done, right?
I'll have some Beatles goodies for your stockings tomorrow... Until then, here's Kahuna Christmas Twenty Four, plus a few more to get you into the True Spririt of the Season. The Living Trio with Christmas Medley #9. And the Roy Meyer Swingers', along with everybody at our house, want to Wish You A Merry Christmas!
Posted by HMK at 8:21 AM
Friday, December 23, 2005
Wow. Another Friday is upon us and Christmas Day is only two days away. I really need to get shopping! Here's a twangy number you might not have yet. Crank this up while you sip your toddy looking for a parking space at The Mall: Kahuna Christmas Twenty Three
These next two tracks are from two of my four Christmas albums I've got by The Three Suns. Carol Of The Birds sounds like audio straight outta Harry Potter's Goblet of Fire, while their version of Winter Wonderland reminds me that by the time Santa gets all the way down to Texas, he's gonna want a beer and a tamale, hold the milk and cookies!
And speaking of Mr. Potter... he's another request for Miss Brette Moss Grieder. I'll have that song up shortly so check back.
Posted by HMK at 12:09 AM
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Here's hoping everyone made it home safely from last nights Christmas parties and please, pay attention and be safe tonight! Ok, dad's left the room -
Here's a couple more fresh ones for your official hoiday mix, starting off with Kahuna Christmas Song Seventeen. Our second offering on this chilly Saturday morning is a trippy English version of The Sleigh, an old traditional Russian Christmas song. And dude, on your way back from Russia, why not do yourself a favor and drop by Amsterdam, chill out with some fresh coffee and enjoy an Amstel Sleigh Ride!
Posted by HMK at 8:27 AM
Friday, December 16, 2005
Dude, I can't believe this kid is hitting on a girl while he's in line to see Santa...
Anyway. Congratulation, you've made it through another crazy busy work week. Here's Kahuna Christmas Song Sixteen. Just a little reminder of the different kinds of Christmas. I also want to share an answer to the question What Is A Santa Claus? And finally, for all those pondering the new year and all it's possibilities, here's one of my favorites that works any time of the year. It truly wouldn't be Christmas at our house without this timeless optomistic little ditty by Mr. Mickey Rooney: Put One Foot In Front Of The Other.
Be Safe and Be Nice - It's Christmas!
Posted by HMK at 7:14 AM
Thursday, December 15, 2005
As promised, here's the first in a series of Beatles Christmas records made exclusively for the members of their official fan club. Starting in 1963, the Beatles began recording and releasing special 6-7 minute Christmas 7 inch flexidisc singles, (these look like singles, only they're thinner and made of plastic). I'm sure these will all be release in some official capacity at some point, but for now, these records are pretty rare and difficult to get hold of.
Take me back to 1963!
Recorded: October 17, 1963.
Release Date: December 6, 1963 (Lyntone LYN 492)
Posted by HMK at 7:21 AM
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Welcome to Day 14! Todays Kahuna Christmas song was chosen with Brettie, our 11 year old resident Harry Potter fanatic in mind: Song Number Fourteen
Today's second track has a special intro message for my homeboy amigo Carlos Z: Hey, Que Pasa? And finally, this one makes a sweet little segue or into to any Christmas Mix: Bells
Only 11 more days!
Be safe and be nice,
Posted by HMK at 8:35 AM
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Monday, December 12, 2005
It's been 20 years since we had any real snow down here in San Antonio. This shot is from 1985. My buddy Mike Goos and I had just returned from skiing in Ruidoso, New Mexico and we got snowed-in at his folks place out by Natural Bridge Caverns. We spent the better part of that day skiing down the hill on 3009 which was closed for two days. This song always reminds me of Skiing in Texas. Song Number Twelve
Posted by HMK at 7:32 AM
Sunday, December 11, 2005
And here's a couple of little bonus tracks for all you Beatle freaks, I'm bettin' you don't have these yet... Here's The Rubberband with Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, and from her Wild Christmas album, Mae West, From Mae To You.
I've got some killer true blue rare Beatles stuff coming up, so check back near the end of the week.
Posted by HMK at 8:09 AM
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Friday, December 09, 2005
In no particular order, here are my Top 5+ Songs of 2005. This might change as the year ain't quite over yet...
Buttercup: Cutting Dasies from the debut Buttercup lp.
Toby Keith: Good As I Once Was from his pretty decent Honky Tonk U release.
Portastatic: I Wanna Know Girls from Bright Ideas (Mac also released an acoustic version of the official release - Ideas for Bright Ideas. This is the awesome acoustic version.)
The Magic Numbers: Love Is A Game from their cool premier self titled The Magic Numbers album.
Plan To Stay Awake: Deathray Davies from The Kick And The Snare. Go Buy This Now!
Steve Earl: The Revolution Starts Now off of the self titled album.
Now I'm A Stick Figure: John Dufilho fom his first official solo album. Get It Here!
I Love Math: Shape Of The Sum from the yet to be named forthcoming release...
Sir Paul McCartney Jenny Wren, a Rocky Racoon for the new millenium from the amazing Chaos and Creation in the Backyard lp. 25 years ago yesterday, we lost John Lennon. Imagine what a John Lennon album might sound like in 2005. Fucking idiots with guns.
Tiki Bongo: Let's Go Back (2 The Tiki Room) from the hardly antcipated forthcoming Nearest Faraway Place... If you like this you might dig my first Tiki Bongo video: Uh Huh Oh Yeah!
Then again, you might not. Anyway...
Happy Friday everyone! Here's one of my most favorite Christmas tracks ever. This one is guaranteed to make even the Grinchiest, Scroogeiest Humbugger smile! I love the way it fades out at the end. It's the hands down, number one, fun Christmas song at our house. So from our house to yours, I present to you Kahuna Christmas Song Number Nine
Posted by HMK at 7:03 AM
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
This is a special track for many reasons and should be in everyone's Christmas mix. Tomorrow marks the 25th anniversary of John Lennon's death. One can't help but wonder how many more great songs John had in him had he been givin the chance to simply live his life.
Back in December of 1980 I was a waiter at a place called the Magic Time Machine (a theme restaurant where we wore costumes. I was Bam Bam). I'll never forget getting off of work that mild December night. We (Wayne Kitchen's, King Tut back then, now an attorney) and I were on our way over to a little bar to meet everyone else that worked that night for a drink. On the short drive over we had the radio on 99.5 KISS and they played 2 Beatles songs in a row. As we pulled into the parking lot we heard the sad news. We were shocked as we both just looked at each other in total disbelief.
It wasn't until that night that I realized that the Beatles were much more than just a great band. At the time, I was 19, Wayne was about 26 and John Lennon was 40. Most of the wait staff from the Time Machine were a few years older than I. I remember spending the rest of the tear filled night listening to them talk about John and the Beatles. A few had seen them in concert and most everyone seemed to have some kind of connection with the band or a story that involved a Bealtles song that touched them in some special and positive way.
Now, so did I. Imagine that.
Listen very closely to the super quiet personal intro. I've had several request for this one and so here it is. I'll get back to the more unusual and obscure stuff in the next few days.
We miss you John!
Song Number Seven
Posted by HMK at 8:34 PM
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Monday, December 05, 2005
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Above: Mr. Jimmy Smith
Hey kids, it's on! The Casbah! Groove to the stream of my bud Sir Brian, AKA Dr. Suavetone, every Saturday Night from 7pm-9pm! Or, if you're lucky enough to actually be down in San Antonio, tune in via KYSM, 90.1 on your FM dial.
Brian's been threatening to post his last five or six years of shows as PodCasts, I'll let you all know as soon as that happens.(Podcasting's a little more involved than than it appears. Even when you've got great stuff like the Casbah archives, there are still a few tricky technical and financial hurdles before you're truly up and on.)
Here's a handful of stuff I gave Brian as potentials for tonights "Best of the Hammond" keyboard vibes Casbah. (Dig this 1967 piece by The Flower Child, the rocking Mini Skirt Blues!) Brian and I have been sharing music since the early 90's and the following is some of my favorite hammond stuff that you may or may not hear on the Casbah tonight, one way to find out for sure, check it out: KYSM
1) Bumpin' on Sunset: Auger
2) Party Mood: Armando Trovaioli
3) Titoli: Armando Travaioli
4) Fat Judy: 'Big' John Patton
5) Face To Face: "Baby Face" Willette
6) Work Song: Grant Green
7) All About My Girl: Jimmy McGriff
8) I'm Movin On: Jimmy Smith
9) The Silver Metre: John Patton
19) Brown Sugar: Roach Freddie
11) Mini Skirt Blues: The Flower Child
12) My Back Scratcher: The Boogaloo Investigators
13) Don't Touch My Popcorn: The Diplomats of Solid Sound
14) Strudel Girl: The Link Quartet
15) Kiko: Nick Rossi Set
16) You Got It: The Yards
17) Harris County Line Up: Slim Allan 3
18) Ponytail & Cylclingshorts (premix); Baron Samedi E.S.Q.
Rock on Brian,
Posted by HMK at 3:18 PM
This one is awesome. Although not even close to being a "classic" Christmas favorite (this one is totally new to me) but in just the few short days that we've been listening to it it's already become a favorite at our house. I hope you feel the same. So, grab yourself a hot mug of Dr. Pepper and enjoy Kahuna Christmas Song Number Three!
Posted by HMK at 6:54 AM
Friday, December 02, 2005
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Howdy and Happy Holidays Y'all! Here's a little something for your stocking...
I'll be posting a new Kahuna Christmas 2005 song each and everyday throught the month of December - tell your friends!
Simply click and listen or download and save to make your very own Kahuna Christmas 2005 cd! Song Number One
Posted by HMK at 7:27 AM
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Dig the crazy cool lyrics of Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo.mp3 from the Bloodhuond Gangs's latest, the oh so clever Hefty Fine.
"Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo"
Vulcanize the whoopee stick
In the ham wallet
Cattle prod the oyster ditch
With the lap rocket
Batter dip the cranny ax
In the gut locker
Retrofit the pudding hatch
Ooh la la
With the boink swatter
If i get you in the loop when I make a point to be straight with you then
In lieu of the innuendo in the end know my intent though
I brazillian wax poetic so pathetically
I don't wanna beat around the bush
Foxtrot Unifrom Charlie Kilo
Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo
Marinate the nether rod
In the squish mitten
Power drill the yippee bog
With the dude piston
Pressure wash the quiver bone
In the bitch wrinkle
Cannonball the fiddle cove
Ooh la la
With the pork steeple
If i get you in the loop when I make a point to be straight with you then
In lieu of the innuendo in the end know my intent though
I brazillian wax poetic so pathetically
I don't wanna beat around the bush
Foxtrot Unifrom Charlie Kilo
Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo
Put the you know what in the you know where
Put the you know what in the you know where
Put the you know what in the you know where
Put the you know what in the you know where pronto
All appologizes in advance for this song sticking in your head...
Posted by HMK at 1:56 PM
Sunday, November 20, 2005
The great rock guitarist Link Wray died on Friday. In the 1997 edition of the All Music Guide to Rock, the late Cub Koda had this to say about him: "Quite simply, Link Wray invented the power chord, the major modus operandi of modern rock guitarists. Listen to any of the tracks he recorded between that landmark instrumental (Rumble--Lee) in 1958 through his Swan recordings in the early 1960s and you'll hear the blueprints for heavy metal, thrash, you name it. Though rock historians always like to draw a nice, clean line between the distorted electric guitar work that fuels early blues records to the late-'60s Hendrix-Clapton-Beck-Page-Townshend mob, with no stops in between, a quick spin of any of the sides Link recorded during his golden decade punches holes in that theory right quick. If a direct line from a black blues musician crankin' up his amp and playing with a ton of violence and aggression can be traced to a young, white guy doing a mutated form of same, the line points straight to Link Wray, no contest."
RIP Link (No Pun Intended...)
Posted by HMK at 7:33 PM
Monday, November 14, 2005
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Do you like music?
I listen to tons of different bands in a broad range of languages introducing me to an amazingly eclectic array of genres, styles and hybrids of all of the above. If I'm awake, my soundtrack is on. Sometimes it's music, sometimes it's the birds in my backyard, I'm simply addicted to audio.
From real-time, streaming live performances from the other side of the world to fresh interpretations of compositions written before anyone ever even heard of Thomas Edison.
I'm lucky enough to own a modest collection of cassettes, reel to reels, 8 Tracks, cds and of course, vinyl.
Did I mention that I've also got a shitload of mp3’s, enough of which to fill about 8.5 60 GB iPods, 125 4GB nanos or 1,000 .5 GB Shuffles.
I'm guessing there's probobly not some magic software I can download from versiontracker.com that'll count and tag my albums for me, which means I gotta go analog manual in order to get some kind of tally in the form of a pie chart regarding ratios of release dates, categories and lable info.
I figured that I might as well convert to mp3 whatever it is I'm listening to that I might want to access and share in the future.
The result of each session's harvest are packaged into a little podcast project: iF: Irregular Frequency.
More later -
Get it here and let me know what you think: iF:001 Podcast Download
Make it louder, HMK
IF:TBR:ST:HMK:1961 Church Key Intro Mix: HMK 2:26
Go Down to the Beach: Casey O'Hara 2:22
Speaking Further Than Reason: Before The Period Lunatic 4:20
Megapills: Sunset Valley 3:19
Serves Me Right (take 5): Milt Jackson 4:48
Plummi A-Go Go: The Mysterons 0:28
Dirty Back Road: The B-52's 3:21
Space Age Express: The Space Agency 2:04
Surfin' Hearse 2:27 Quads
Moon Dawg!: Gamblers 2:14
Ajoen Ajoen: Kiyo Koyama & The Dynamic Echos 2:15
Jive Talkin': Bee Gees 3:44
Church Key: The Revels 2:17
Rock And Roll Part 2: Gary Glitter 3:03
The Ripper: Judas Priest 2:51
Deeper Than Beauty: Sloan 2:41
Mexico City Airport: HMK 4:24
Sunday In New York: Nadine Jansen 3:15
Cool Casa Rockin: Joe King Carrasco Y Los Crowned Heads 4:45
Hold You Down: Fat Joe, Jennifer Lopez 4:32
King Of The Wheels: Bobby Fuller Four 2:03
Beer Bottle Mama: Andy Reynolds And His 101 Ranch Boys 2:28
Ladies And Gentlemen Part I: POTUSOA 1:37
He's Got A She: Exene Cervenka 2:44
Radar Love: Legends: Golden Earring 5:06
Rock Woodpecker Rock: Nat Couty 2:00
Am Radio: Everclear 3:56
Une Very Stylish Fille: Dimitri From Paris 3:18
Shotgun 4:31 Tiki Bongo
Pinball Wizard: The Who 3:03
Friday Night (Is Killing Me): Bash & Pop 4:40
Amarillo By Morning: George Strait 2:54
Here's Where The Story Ends: The Sundays 3:55
Posted by HMK at 10:02 PM
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Monday, October 17, 2005
Playing Against Type
When Johnny Cash returned to the spotlight in 1994 with "American Recordings," the first in a series of records that presented him as a folkie with a goth-rock demeanor instead of a Grand Ole Opry standby, fans and critics rejoiced. In 1997, when the veteran crooner Pat Boone released "Pat Boone in a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy," covering Guns N' Roses' "Paradise City" - well, not so much rejoicing.
For a musician, changing stripes in mid- or late career is risky business. It can jump-start a flagging brand, as with Mr. Cash or the singer Linda Ronstadt (whose 1983 "What's New" transformed her from a faltering rock singer to a multiplatinum standards singer). Or it can leave old fans cold without cultivating many new ones.
Just how tethered must an artist be to fan expectations to succeed? That question is relevant to two new CD's by women playing against their established personas.
When Liz Phair was penning songs for her self-titled 2003 album, her first in five years, she was not intending to alienate her core audience. "When I write, I don't think about the fans at all," she said via cellphone last month. "I think about songwriting."
But the response to "Liz Phair" from many longtime admirers verged on outrage. The record, a glossy pop-rock affair that shamelessly courted commercial radio, seemed worlds away from the cool, lo-fi intimacy of "Exile in Guyville," the 1993 release that made Ms. Phair an indie-rock idol. Critics were similarly put off: a lengthy essay in The New York Times pronounced the album "an embarrassing form of career suicide."
Ms. Phair, whose semiglossy "Somebody's Miracle" is out this month and who plays Irving Plaza tonight, said she was "totally mortified" by the critical response to her last record. "But I get it, in retrospect," she said. Some fans thought that "I was supposed to be on their team, and I switched sides," she said. "But I was being a mom and changing things in my life. To make a record like 'Guyville' again would've seemed really false."
"Somebody's Miracle" improves on but does not backpedal from the "Liz Phair" approach; three songs - among them the addictive "Count On My Love" - are turbo-charged pop-radio wannabes written with John Shanks, whose work with ingénues like Ashlee Simpson and Kelly Clarkson earned him a Grammy in February for Producer of the Year. But the CD does find Ms. Phair sounding more comfortable in the playground of commercial rock, and occasionally letting her voice wobble off-key like back in her indie days. Lyrically, it is a somewhat darker affair.
"There's a lot of regret on this record," said Ms. Phair, who noted that the Tex-Mex-flavored ballad "Table for One" was inspired by the alcoholism of a relative. "It's about coming to terms with things, even if that means accepting that I've failed."
Despite the critical drubbing, "Liz Phair" sold more than 400,000 copies and its songs were used in numerous television and film soundtracks - not bad considering "Guyville" sold only around 500,000 and, as the singer admits, until "Liz Phair" appeared, "everyone thought my career was over, labels included."
Sinead O'Connor is another rock musician with a persona cemented in the minds of listeners long ago - one that she, like Ms. Phair, has outgrown. "There was a lot of misunderstanding and misrepresentation of me in the pop-and-rock arena, mediawise," Ms. O'Connor said in a telephone interview, "and it had an indescribably difficult effect on my life and my childrens' lives. I've laid to rest the previous incarnation of 'Sinead O'Connor' in inverted commas."
Of course, tearing up a picture of the pope on national television - as Ms. O'Connor famously did on "Saturday Night Live" in 1992 - is the sort of thing that can trigger misunderstandings. But while her desire to be a cultural provocateur has abated somewhat, her desire to address religion and spirituality in her work has not. She has recently recorded Gregorian chants with the monks of Glenstal Abbey in Ireland, and plans an acoustic record inspired by Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.
Her excellent new CD, released this month, is "Throw Down Your Arms," and it is a spiritual record, too: 12 classic reggae songs by artists like Burning Spear and Bob Marley, all steeped in Rastafarianism, the Jamaican cultural and religious movement. The set teams her up with Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, the Jamaican drum-and-bass duo that has played on countless recordings and is arguably the greatest rhythm engine in reggae. (They are to join Ms. O'Connor on a United States tour that stops at Webster Hall, in the East Village, on Dec. 8 and 9.)
Will fans respond? Ms. O'Connor, who concedes that at this stage of her career she is in the privileged position of not needing to make records for the money, says she is unworried. "If as an artist you put your pure heart and soul - all of you - into what you're doing, people see that," she said. "They respond to pure honesty in a singer. And I think my die-hard fans will totally get this record."
Thanks to Will Hermes of The New York Times
Posted by HMK at 9:17 AM
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Sunday, October 02, 2005
No, I'm not talkin' the University Of Texas Longhorns perfect record. I'm talking about the genius that was (and quite possibly still is) Universal Truth. UT is the brain-child of my amazingly gifted and talented amigo, my brother from another mother, Sir Tom Rehkopf. Pharmacist and No 1 Dad most of the time, America's best kept secret all the time. Anyway, when Tom initially approached me about his new concept band I knew it would be, if anything, as funny and entertaining as it would be rocking. After weeks and months of discussion and BS, lots of casual drinking and general carousing we got down to it. We talked about branding, merch, and creating the right visual identity. From day-one, two things were a DUN deal. 1) like the music and live shows, the UT band logo should be iconic and thought-provoking, you know, not unlike the Stones Tongue logo, and 2) The UT mark should be intrigingly mystique in every context, and if possible, in the form of a double entendre.
With that said, here's more from Sir Tom Rehkopf Himself:
Sample the genius,: Show Me The Honey! The title was the inspiration of the Bobby mentioned in the song. Drunken, on the prowl battle cry, Show Me The Honey, courtesy of Mr. Bobby Nick...
Posted by HMK at 4:14 PM
Thursday, August 04, 2005
1. Atkins Intro
2. South Padre Sunset / Tiki Bongo (Exclusive Atkins Group Mix)
3. Slave Girl / The Cocktail Preachers
4. El Cumbanchero / Michael Magna
5. De Dia Y De Noche / Los Yaki
6. As August Ends... / Mach IV
7. At The Tiki Bar / Kenny Sasaki & The Tiki Boys
8. 1961 / The Goldentones
9. Church Key / The Revels
10.Relaxing In The Soup / The Wedges
11.Bossa Bags / Milt Jackson
12.Alright, Okay, You Win / Joe Williams
13.Speaking Further Than Reason / Before The Period Lunatic
14.Hecho In Venice / The Moby Dicks
15.Sakura No Ame / The Space Agency
16.Just You, Just Me / Les Brown
17.Mother, Please Let Me Do It Myself / The Guitar Ramblers
18.King Of The Hotdoggers / The Wedges
19.Plummi A-Go Go / The Mysterons
20.H.e.l.p Is On The Way / Brian Wilson
21.Tropical / Michael Magna
22.Donde Vas? / A Certain Frank
23.Tiki Diva / Kenny Sasaki & The Tiki Boys
24.The Loser's Bar / Davie Allan & The Arrows
25.Monte Vista / Quatro Sinko
Posted by HMK at 6:45 AM
Thursday, July 21, 2005
1) September Bossa: Angelo Metz
2) Autumn Got Dark: Portastatic
3) The Last Resort: The Dead 60s
4) I Get Around: John Dufilho
5) Sweet Summer: School Play
6) Rockaway Beach: Ramones
7) Beach Blanket Blackout: Huevos Rancheros
8) Sunset Beach: Susan & The Surftones
9) I Love You: Asie Payton
10) Pass The Hatchet: Roger & The Gypsies
11) You Can Count On Me: Sammy Davis, Jr.
12) Goofy Foot: Phranc
13) I Don't Mind: Slumber Party
14) Back 2 The Tiki Room: Tiki Bongo
15) Theme From A Summer Place: Mystic Moods Orchestra
16) Heartbreaker's Beach Party: Tom Petty
17) Ice Cream Man: Tom Waits
18) Teenage Girls: The Surf Punks
18) Hot Sun: Joe King Carrasco Y Los Crowned Heads Of Tex Mex
20) Little Brown Gal: Catamaran Serenaders
21) The Tarpon Inn: Tiki Bongo
22) Stereo Mike
23) Alcoholic: The Tah Dahs
24) Fish Story: Andy Loore (Janco Nilovic)
25) Princess and the Pony: Sean Na Na
26) Hot Stuff: Fred Karlin
27) London Calling: Prozak for Lovers
28) Hang Fire: Rolling Stones
29) California Soul: Wilson Das Neves
30) mofobleep: Rick Perry
Posted by HMK at 11:30 AM
Friday, July 08, 2005
Saturday, July 02, 2005
1) Today Is Like Cash: Cesar Romero 0:30
2) Baby: Portastatic 4:23
3) Martini 5-0: The Cocktail Preachers 2:49
4) Tattoo Java: The Dead Brothers 0:33
5) Learn Italian With Fabio 0:18
6) Ooh Ahh: Tiki Tiki Bamboooos 3:22
7) #1 Song: Segue Shuffle Project HMK.TBR 0:03
8) La Paloma Mambo: Mambo Juan Vicari and His Orchestra 2:38
9) You Belong To My Heart: Los Indios Tabajaras 2:29
10) Pet Sounds: The Beach Boys 2:22
11) Away With The Pixies: Ben Lee 3:01
12) Weird Windchimes 0:06
13) Opening Day: Fred Karlin 3:50
14) 70s Jets: Fisk Industries 4:25
15) Detroit Basketball: Segue Shuffle Project HMK.TBR 0:10
16) London Calling: Prozak for Lovers 3:19
17) You Don't Love Me (Yes I Know: Smith 3:18
18) Bueno: Segue Shuffle Project HMK.TBR 0:01
19) Me And My Monkey: The Beatles 2:24
20) Grazing In The Grass: Hugh Masekela 2:37
21) 5-0 Spot: The Ventures 1:05
22) Aonori: Tiki Tiki Bamboooos 2:37
23) Lulu's Back In Town: The Dead Brothers 0:56
24) I Get Around: The Deathray Davies 2:06
25) True Story: Segue Shuffle Project HMK.TBR 0:06
26) Nice, France: Pizzacato 5 2:32
27) Swim Beat: Bill Lewis 1:49
28) 13 Past 4 GMT: Segue Shuffle Project HMK.TBR 0:02
29) Hot Stuff: Fred Karlin 2:29
30) I Found My Wahine: Billy Mure 2:07
31) Bewick's Wren: Segue Shuffle Project HMK.TBR 0:10
32) Walter's Theme: R.E.M. 1:31
33) You Know Where To Find Me: Portastatic 4:44
34) Hot Conversation Jill: Real Personal Ads 0:11
35) Uh Huh Oh Yeah: Tiki Bongo 2:30
36) Clampdown: Urban Surf Kings 2:13
37) Tio Macro: Wilson Das Neves 1:49
38) Miser Lou: Lounge Louie 2:44
Irregular Frequency is a subdiary of Totally Bitchin' Recording and The Tiki Room Experiment
Posted by HMK at 10:50 AM
Friday, May 13, 2005
An increasing number of people are turning to computers or portable players for music, even though traditional radio still leads the competition, a recent market study has indicated.
In March 2005, approximately 77.2 million customers listened to music stored on a computer, up 22 percent from 63.2 million during the same month last year, according to a report from market researcher NPD Group. The study also found that online radio stations had 53.5 million listeners this March, up from 45.3 million a year ago. Free streaming of music also saw gains, with a rise of 37 percent, to 46 million listeners.
Though radio continued to be the preferred medium, the number of consumers listening to radio fell by 4 percent in March 2005 to 194 million, down from 203 million a year earlier. The survey was carried out among 5,000 consumers aged 13 and above.
"The rise of digital listening and storage for music continues unabated this year," Russ Crupnick, president of the Music and Movies division at NPD, said in a statement. "Technology companies are providing new tools to consumers in the form of powerful music-enabled PCs and portable music players; music companies are answering the call for more content; and consumers are responding positively."
More and more tech companies are boosting their music business, encouraged by the dramatic popularity of Apple's iTunes store and iPod music players. Earlier this week, Yahoo launched a new subscription music service.
According to the NPD survey, the number of consumers who rip music onto their computers has more than doubled since March 2004. Also, there was a substantial, 127 percent, increase in transfer of music to MP3 players since last year. A 93 percent increase in paid music downloads during the same period indicates an increasing acceptance of the online medium, NPD said.
Thanks to CNET News.com Staff http://www.news.com/
Posted by HMK at 10:05 PM
Friday, April 29, 2005
Irregular Frequency: 04.29.05
1) The Narrator: 0:35
2) West Side Radio: Keyton Hopkins 2:58
3) Presszo Csa Csa: Club Ensemble 2:51
4) Diversion: The Equals 3:37
5) Who Took the Cookie: Tony Schwartz 0:46
6) Stoked Man: The Wedges 2:45
7) At the River's Edge: New Colony Six 2:37
8) Protonok Tanca: Illes 2:35
9) King Size Coke: 1:00
10) Tabu: Andor Kovacs 2:55
11) Steady Grindin': Stump Johnson 2:24
12) I Touch Myself: Scala Pop 2:20
13) Don't Give A Damn: King Cain & The Silvertone Band 2:59
14) Soul Power: Jimmy Willis 2:52
15) King Of The Hotdoggers: The Wedges 3:30
16) Apache: Bert Weedon 2:36
17) Bullseye: The Matini's 1:53
18) Gremmie Out Of Control: The Silly Surfers 1:58
19) Double Huey Skit: De la Soul 3:52
20) I Wanna Be Your Love: The Cobras 2:57
21) Shimmy: Toussaint McAll 2:21
22) Thunderbird Commercial: 1:58
23) The Hen: Louis Chachere 2:30
24) Little Honda: The Surfsiders 1:39
25) Twangy Tavern: Keyton Hopkins 1:41
26) Psyc Out: 0:56
27) Foot Stumping: The Organics 2:20
28) Motorola Radio Transistor: 0:59
29) What I Go To School For: Busted 3:33
30) Let's Go: The Caribs 2:11
31) The Cool One: Jazztet 2:53
32) The Red-Eyed Rats: Keyton Hopkins 2:18
33) We're an Accordian Band: Those Darn Accordians 2:51
34) Wrong Turn: Peter Falk 0:30
Irregular Frequency is a subdiary of Totally Bitchin' Recording and The Tiki Room Experiment
Posted by HMK at 4:29 AM
Friday, April 15, 2005
Congratulations! You made it. Taxes are done and you've survived the first 105 days of 2005 to celebrate another FIESTA season here in beautiful downtown San Antonio! The Gods and the Pope must be smiling on you. Again, congratulations.
How to use your 2005 FIESTA VIBES CD:
A: Take the 2005 FIESTA VIBES CD with you everywhere you go this FIESTA and demand (nicely!) that it's played immediately using phrases like "Yo, this'll get your gordita shakin'..." or "Dude, you gotta hear track 11!" or something to that effect..
B: Convert to mp3, enjoy in your iPod, on your player at the office, or wherever you can.
Si) After you've mp3ed 2005 FIESTA VIBES CD please pass it along to somebody else you know will dig it too, and advise them of options A,B & Si!
Like the cd itself, it's important to repeat the above as often as necessary.
Fiesta Vibes 2005: The Soundtrack To Your Fiesta Lifestyle
1) Killer Time: Napoleon Dynamite 0:02
2) Eres Un Encanto: Flaco Jimenez 2:41
3) A Minha Namorada: Eduardo Costa E Seu Conjunto 2:37
4) Bate A Palma: Miguel Angel 1:41
5) Down In Mexico: The Coasters 3:19
6) Amor Em Tempo De Verao: Helton Menezes 1:53
7) Jungle Fever: The Chakachas 4:20
8) Caramba: Ed Lincoln 2:48
9) Sweet: Napoleon Dynamite 0:01
10) Eres Tu: Jimmy Mitchell 3:41
11) Roll A Bob Marley: Hank Marlee 3:47
12) Go For It: Napoleon Dynamite 0:01
13) Aos Pes Da Cruz: Caculinha Seu Orgao E Seu 2:16
14) Stereo: Killer Bees 3:38
15) Las Golondrinas: Flaco Jimenez 2:31
16) La Cucaracha: Mariachi Silvestre Vargas 2:49
17) Hey Baby Que Paso: Texas Tornados 3:01
18) Friggin Idiot: Napoleon Dynamite 0:01
19) Bolinha De Sabao: Orquestra RCA Victor 2:31
20) Balanco Azul: Ed Lincoln 1:49
21) Spring Fiesta: Cosmonauti 1:56
22) De Presente: Eumir Deodato 2:17
23) Dont Go Breakin My Heart: Wilson Neves E Seu Conjunto 2:17
24) Heck Yes: Napoleon Dynamite 0:01
25) Patio A-Go-Go: The Sugar Twins 2:35
26) Fiesta En El Cielo: Sergio Vega 3:17
27) It's Friday Night: Flakiss 4:03
28) Yessss: Napoleon Dynamite 0:02
29: Marina: Flaco Jimenez 2:52
30) No Me Vuelvo A Enamorar 3:17
31) Comecou De Brincadeira: Conjuntto Sambacana 2:17
32) Ven A Darme Amaor: Robert Jordån 3:33
33) Talkin' About: Napoleon Dynamite 0:01
34) Mary Cristo: Tribalistas 3:00
35) La Costilla: Mariachi Silvestre Vargas 2:49
But, I don't, I mean, why don't I have a copy of the Fiesta Vibes 2005? Relax my cascarone carrying amigo, if you don't have a copy of FIESTA VIBES 2005, you can get one by either scoring one from anyone that's following the directions or by simply buying me a beer the next time you see me. It's just that simple!
Peace, don't drink and drive or do anything else that might hurt you or anyone else.
Posted by HMK at 12:30 AM
Saturday, April 09, 2005
Hope you're enjoying this mello little mix! I know it's not really officially summer yet - - consider this a teaser test drive. As usual, comments and thoughts are welcomed - see below. HMK
1) Sweet: Napoleon Dynamite
2) Sweet Summer: School Play
3) Tristeza: Baden Powell
4) Hiding Behind the Moon: Jeff Hanson
5) Run-Around: Blues Traveler
6) The Look Of Love: Dusty Springfield
7) StereoMike2: BV3000
8) Everybody Wants Some: Boston VA
9) That's What I'm Talkin About: Napoleon Dynamite
10) A Little Less Conversation: Elvis remix David Holmes
11) I Get The Sweetest Feeling: Jackie Wilson
12) Sweet Thing: Van Morrison
13) Soaking: Napoleon Dynamite
14) Angel Mine: Cowboy Junkies
15) Ain't No Trouble to Me: Guy Clarke
16) If I Needed You: Townes Van Zandt
17) Killer Time: Napoleon Dynamite
18) You Shook Me All Night Long: Barney Bental
19) Beautiful World: Devo
20) Talons: Napoleon Dynamite
21) I Love You: Asie Payton
22) Open Your Heart: Flaco Jimenez
23) All Green: Clem Snide
24) Tina: Napoleon Dynamite
25) La La Means I Love You: Delfonics
26) Afternoon Delight: Starland Vocal Band
27) Look For The Silver Lining: Chet Baker
28) Soft N Ez: Japancakes
29) Ven A Darme Amor: Roberto Jordán
30) Friggin Idiot: Napoleon Dynamite
31) They: Gem
32) StereoMike2: BV3000
33) One Step Closer: U2
Posted by HMK at 7:46 AM
Friday, March 04, 2005
Musician Martin Denny, the father of the influential genre of pop
called "exotica," died yesterday at home in Hawai'i Kai. He was 93.
He was born April 5, 1911 in New York City.
Although in fragile health for some time — his doctors told him in
2003 that he had only a year to live — Denny was active and
performing until shortly before his death.
Denny created a hypnotic international sound that blended exotic
elements — bird calls, croaking frogs, jazz rhythms, chimes and
gongs. He once described it as a fusion of Asian, South Pacific,
American jazz, Latin American and classical styles.
Trained in classical music, he first studied piano at age 10 and was
a child prodigy of Lester Spitz and Eleanor Gorn. As a youth, he
toured South America with a six-piece band and frequent visits left
an impression — Latin elements infiltrated his exotic sounds.
A favorite in Waikiki in the 1950s and '60s, Denny first played the
old Shell Bar at the Kaiser Hawaiian Village Hotel, then moved to
clubs such as Don the Beachcomber's, which later became Duke
Kahanamoku's, in the International Market Place. Over the years, he
performed at the Kahala Hilton, the Hawaiian Regent, Canlis'
Restaurant and the Blue Dolphin Club.
In 1959, he was named by Billboard, the music industry bible,
as "most promising group of the year," and nominated for "pianist of
the year" alongside such giants as George Shearing and Ahmad Jamal.
In 1990, the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts honored Denny with a Na
Hoku Hanohano Lifetime Achievement Award.
In a 2003 interview on the eve of a tribute concert at the Hawai'i
Theater, Denny mused on the renewed recognition his music was getting.
"You know, I'm happy the music's back, because I'm frankly tired of
hearing the same old thing. Rap music. High-voltage rock 'n' roll,"
he scoffed. "What will kids today remember 20 years from now? There's
hardly anything romantic or melodic. I think a whole lot of good
music has been lost."
Thanks To Mike Gordon
Honalulu Advertiser Staff Writer
Posted by HMK at 2:48 PM
Saturday, January 29, 2005
This is the result of an early morning online Audio Mining expedition, the first in a series, God willing. Sponsored by the good folks over at Totally Bitchin' Recording. There are some truly generous people out-here in wireless space sharing audio gems from their personal stash that you simply won't find anywhere else on earth - at least not all on the same mix disc.
First, get a copy of this cd.
(Rip & stick onto your iPod or throw this into your cd player upon waking up enjoying that first cup of coffee and some pannekoeken)
Next, if possible, and if you can possibly manage the time, please play the entire disc all the way through the first time. Wake up on a free-day or anytime you've got an hour or so to truly chill out and relax, and enjoy. As usual, the comment section is there to share your thoughts with some of the other folks lucky enough to get this cd. If you see your name on the list, let me know via the comment link below and tell me where you want to meet and I can give you your copy and you can buy me lunch, a drink, or both if I'm lucky.
And if it's one thing I am, it's lucky.
The List (so far...):
Reagan Williamson: (Optional space is for your email after getting the disc)
Jackie Earle Haley:
Stefan "Andrej" Shambora:
Drew de la Cruz:
KPMP: Morbid HysteriA-Go-Go
Compiled, Mixed and Recorded on Saturday morning 01.29.05
Bewick's Wren: Birds 0:10
What?: Huh? 0:02
Knock Me Down: The La's 3:17
Swiss Gaga 2: TBR/HMK 0:06
Diabolik's Hide Out: Ennio Morricone 1:52
Let's Turn Back: Ed Wood Jr. 2:45
The Human Tornado: Blaxploitation Radio Spot 1:02
Driving Decoys: Ennio Morricone 2:08
Money Orgy: Ennio Morricone 2:09
Chicken Yee Haw: Jelly Roll Ringtone 0:04
Lovers Of Today: The Only Ones 3:05
KPMP Tag: HMK 0:17
Just Kissed My Baby: The Meters 4:43
The Mack: Blaxploitation Radio Spot 1:01
Theme From Bedazzled: Tony Hatch 3:45
Hey Good Lookin': Ringtone 0:28
Soccer Practice: The Gay Pimp 4:02
As My Wife Says: The Only Ones 1:53
Superfly TNT: Blaxploitation Radio Spot 1:01
Headlines (Organ Freak Out 1): Ennio Morricone 0:33
Truck Turner: Blaxploitation Radio Spot 0:58
ttv: Telefon Tel Aviv 3:34
Defecting Grey: The Pretty Things 5:10
Come In Come Out: The La's 2:14
Trouble Man: Blaxploitation Radio Spot 1:00
You're Gonna Be Sorry: The Opals 2:25
Human Tornado: Main Theme Nice Treat Presents 2:24
Ghetto Freaks: Blaxploitation Radio Spot 0:55
Heaven On Their Minds: Urban Surf Kings 4:04
Suntory Pop Jingle #1: The Carpenters 0:32
Trippy Swiss Gaga: TBR/HMK 1:05
Your Love Means Everything (Part 2): Faultline 4:09
Posted by HMK at 1:26 PM
Sunday, January 09, 2005
With more and more pop songs selling products, the world of advertising is being turned upside down. The irresistible, singable, stick-in-your-mindable jingle is dead.
In 1929, a barbershop quartet in Minneapolis sang a song about breakfast cereal on the radio. So began the long, lucrative, endearing, and excruciating heyday of the jingle, when cheerful tunes about things for sale permanently lodged themselves in people's brains. Humming consumers would then go out and buy Rice-A-Roni, the San Francisco treat, or double their pleasure with Doublemint gum, or be a Pepper.
But the jingle, as anyone with a television knows, is a vanishing art form. It is too quaint, too corny, too oldschool for our ironic times. Naming your product in a commercial for your product is just tacky, say advertising executives. Modern pitchmen prefer pop songs that create a mood or spark an emotional association or conjure up some sort of vague but potent lifestyle-oriented craving that, if all goes as planned, attaches to a product and translates to a sale.
Which leaves the jingle writers scrambling to adapt to a world that has suddenly turned its back on their wares. How suddenly? Ten years ago Eric Korte, vice president and music director at the ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi, was commissioning original music for 90 percent of the company's campaigns. This year, more than half of his workload involves licensing published songs, and the trend is only gaining momentum.
“The jingle,” Korte says, “is dead.”
Of course there are exceptions. The Oscar Mayer wiener theme has been in constant rotation since 1963, and good money says everyone reading this newspaper can sing it start to finish. And jingles are still vital in local and regional markets. Notes Jon Aldrich, who teaches what he believes is the world's only jingle writing course at Berklee College of Music and pens jingles for K-B toys, Filene's, and Jordan's Furniture: "Everyone knows about Coca-Cola and McDonald's. They don't need ditties about their stuff. But Joe's Pizza Place needs to tell people where they are."
In New York and LA, however, music houses -- the companies that for decades have supplied the advertising industry with original music to accompany their national television and radio commercials -- are closing their doors in droves. Phil Ashley, cofounder of New York-based Rocket Music, folded his company in 2002. After creating jingles for Pepsi, Pizza Hut, Visa, Federal Express, KFC, and Gillette, Ashley says his decision was a simple matter of confronting reality. Demand for custom music was dwindling. Fees were plummeting. During his last few years in business, instead of composing original tunes, Ashley was rearranging "Route 66" for Johnny Rotten to sing in a Mountain Dew spot. Or not getting called at all.
"It's a cultural change. It's history moving on," says Ashley. "We're competing against a much larger pot of sources, and it just doesn't make sense to bang our heads against the wall. I know some people in my field are waiting for a better day. But I don't think it's likely to come."
For the shrinking circle of diehards, the business model has become downright Darwinian -- less a question of who's writing the stickiest song and more about who's able to adapt to the changing environment. Joey Levine is a former bubblegum-pop songwriter ("Sugar Sugar" and "Mony Mony" are his confections) who founded Crushing Music, the field's biggest commercial music house, in the late 1970s. Levine's first jingle was an inescapable Wheaties spot ("Too bad you didn't have your . . .") and over the next two decades he created indelible themes for the Peter Paul candy company ("Sometimes you feel like a nut"), Toyota ("You asked for it, you got it" and "Oh, what a feeling"), Budweiser ("This Bud's for you"), and Diet Coke ("Just for the taste of it").
Like Ashley, Levine found himself pouring more and more time into writing new arrangements for cover songs: Mike and the Mechanics' "All I Need Is a Miracle" for Verizon, for example, and the "Get Smart" theme for American Express. He realized he'd have to branch out even further and totally revamp the services he offered if he wanted to stay in business. So Levine accepted work penning themes and underscores for television programs.
"I'm a songwriter by trade, and I miss writing songs," Levine says. "Change is tough, but necessary, so you don't become obsolete. My business is significantly smaller. It's hard to survive. The record labels are music houses now."
The use of pop songs in advertising isn't new. What's changed is the willingness -- or more accurately, the eagerness -- of labels and artists to allow their material to be licensed for commercial purposes. Case in point: In the 1980s, Sting refused to allow the lyrics to the Police song "Don't Stand So Close to Me" to be used in a deodorant ad. In 2000, a major Jaguar campaign featured the rock star meditating in the back seat of an S-Type to the tune of his song "Desert Rose." That track had been released a year earlier on the album "Brand New Day," a sluggish seller that rocketed up the charts on the heels of the ad campaign.
Today, the stigma (of a musician being perceived as a sellout) and the once steep price tag attached to this collision of art and commerce have been vastly diminished -- fueled in large part by years of mounting losses in the recording industry.
"Once upon a time [selling a song to an advertiser] was a pact with the devil," says Gregory Grene, music producer at Foote Cone & Belding, whose clients include Hilton, Kraft, Taco Bell, and Diet Coke. "Now totally legitimate artists are thrilled to perform mini-concerts for ad people. The whole paradigm has shifted. The labels have no money to promote music. They're the driving force behind this."
Indeed. Desperate for alternative promotional and revenue sources, the major record labels have quietly established marketing units that exist exclusively to reach out to potential advertising partners. Keith D'Arcy was hired by Sony/BMG in April to pitch recordings from the company's catalog and respond to the needs of ad agencies searching for music. He's one of 33 employees at Sony/BMG who work with advertisers.
"We're creative experts that are on call to the ad community," says D'Arcy. "Eric Korte [at Saatchi] can call me with a concept and within three hours I'll have a compilation of songs to upload for him. It used to be that only big songs got licensed, but now even the major labels are paying attention to the opportunity that's created by having a new band in a cool ad."
And yet, Darcy concedes, one of the key things that's been sacrificed in the glut of pop music licensing is the most basic of advertising goals: product branding. Familiar songs may evoke an emotional response -- targeting baby boomers with classic rock tunes has been especially popular in recent years, with Led Zeppelin's "Rock 'n' Roll" careening through Cadillac commercials and the Rolling Stones singing "Start Me Up" for Microsoft. But there's rarely an explicit association between the song and the product being pitched, and that can cut both ways.
On the one hand, companies are increasingly looking at unorthodox ways of reaching a generation of young, sophisticated consumers who are turned off by traditional advertising -- which accounts for the recent collaboration between mainstream retailer Kmart and the cutting-edge Danish garage rock band the Raveonettes.
"You're trying to create a club for people who don't want to join clubs," says Ron Lawner, CEO of Boston-based Arnold Advertising, whose 1999 VW campaign using British singer-songwriter Nick Drake's "Pink Moon" sparked a huge surge in the late artist's album sales. "We've moved on to messaging that includes more of your life than just the product."
But the connection -- like so many aspects of modern life -- is ephemeral. D'Arcy notes that advertisers are licensing songs for shorter and shorter periods of time, sometimes just a few weeks, and considering the speed at which modern culture moves and changes, the ad world's constantly shifting landscape of rock tunes makes a certain sense. One has to wonder if product loyalty is headed in the same direction: destined to become as fleeting as the shelf life of a pop song.
The bottom line is we're in a hurry. It takes much longer for a company to build equity -- adspeak for audience familiarity -- with an original jingle than a pop tune, which comes with an immediately captive audience. And in practical terms it takes much longer to write and produce an original piece of music -- which is roughly the equivalent of a horse and buggy in these days of instantly downloadable digital music files.
The future of the jingle looks bleak, but Levine isn't giving up. He's downsized Crushing Music from 10 staff writers to a revolving stable of freelancers who can crank out musical moods on demand, from abstract sound designs -- a few beats on a synth pad, a chorus of whooshes -- to faux Bowie. He's radically reduced his once-labyrinthian network of studios. And in what is perhaps the most telling nod to the jingle writer's decline, after nearly 30 years in business Levine is changing his company's name.
"Certain people have certain perceptions. If I put this under a new banner, and show you new people, some young lions, you never know," Levine says. "I might get hotter."
Thanks to Joan Anderman at the Boston Globe. She can be reached at email@example.com
Posted by HMK at 1:18 PM