Saturday, December 30, 2006


If you own the first Jimi Hendrix CD of his performances on BBC radio, please check your copy. The CD, Jimi Hendrix Radio One, was mostly manufactured at the PolyGram plant in the US [PDO]. It was released on RykoDisc.

A member of the Steve Hoffman Forum reported that he "pulled this one out to listen to today, after a long time on the shelf and it is riddled with pinholes in the aluminum."

Another member responded with a scarier tale: "A lot of PDO and WEA CDs made in the mid to late '90s should be examined if shelved for an extended period of time. Many of mine have rotted, but usually on the non-used portion of 99% of the discs I own."

"We've covered this before," said another "but there's nothing you can do to the discs except treat 'em well. It has to do with the laquer coating on the label side. Batches made in many manufacturing plants just go south at different extremes."

We checked our copy of Ryko's Jimi Hendrix Live At Winterland and yes there are pinholes but it did not affect play. Anyway, we backed up a copy.

As always, comments are welcome.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


The long-awaited Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young live album may finally appear in 2007. David Crosby tells us that all four artists are listening to tapes from the quartet's summer tour and are beginning to make choices about what to include in the package: "I've been listening to the tracks, and they are good. And I think there will be a CSNY live CD. I think it will be from the last tour, because that was when we finally got the right bass player and drummer, and that was when we finally had some new material. And the new material really made a difference, man, because once we mastered it and we could deliver it, it made us believe in ourselves again."

The new material Crosby refers to hailed from Neil Young's heavily political album Living With War, which he released before the tour and is re-releasing Tuesday (December 19th) as Living With War/In the Beginning, featuring raw and demo versions of the songs.

Young is also putting together a documentary film from this year's tour, which is expected to accompany the live CD release.

Crosby included a live version of "Dream For Him" from CSNY's 2002 tour on his new box set, Voyage, which was co-produced by Graham Nash. He's also published a second volume of autobiography, Since Then: How I Survived Everything And Lived To Tell About It. It was co-written with screenwriter Carl Gottlieb, who also co-authored Crosby's 1988 memoir Long Time Gone.

Crosby, Stills & Nash will tour Australia and New Zealand in February, and Crosby and Nash are planning a duo tour of North America in the spring.

As always, comments are welcome.

Roughly Speaking by April Wine

I haven't heard this one yet, but it sounds interesting. It is scheduled to be released December 19, 2006. Here is the pre-release information about the CD.

"2006 album from the Canadian band recorded the way April Wine used to record: pure analog! Two inch tape, 24-track recording, with half-inch 2-track master tape. No digital equipment during the entire process and the result speaks for itself. There are eight studio recordings penned by founding member Miles Goodwyn with the exception of ‘’Night Life’’, which is a cover of the Willie Nelson penned country classic."

As always, comments are welcome.

Radio constantly sifts listener opinions to keep playlists fresh

This article explains a lot about why radio is the way it is these days. Even though the article talks about St. Louis, this is happening all over the US - even in the smaller markets/cities. What happened to the days of hiring knowledgeable DJs and letting them pick the music based on listener requests and the DJ's own tastes?

Radio constantly sifts listener opinions to keep playlists fresh
By Diane Toroian Keaggy

What do women want?

Mark Edwards, the top programmer at KYKY-FM (98.1) and KEZK-FM (102.5), doesn't pretend to know. Yes, he has an ear for pop. But like his counterparts at radio stations across St. Louis, he relies on frequent market testing to determine what hits his audience craves and what songs are so over.

"I'm a middle-age man (programming) stations for females who are often much younger than I am," says Edwards, who was named top adult contemporary programmer this year by Radio and Records, a leading trade publication. "Some people only care about gut. But if you don't believe in research, you can miss some hugely important trends."

Like TV shows, political candidates and breakfast cereal, radio stations are largely products of sophisticated and costly research. Most stations lead large-scale audience music tests — AMTs in radio lingo — once or twice a year. In addition, many outlets also conduct smaller phone surveys every week or two. Those studies influence every sound we hear on our favorite stations, from the music to the personalities to the promos.

"I wouldn't say that research is a dictator, but it is a tool," says Tommy Austin, director of programming for Clear Channel's local stations. "It's an effective way to find out what people do and don't like about your station and what they think about your competitors."

The audience music test is run like this: A station enlists an independent research company to convene about 125 listeners in a hotel ballroom. Researchers then play the hook — the most recognizable portion of a song — from about 500 singles. Participants are asked whether they recognize the sample and, if so, do they like it.

Afterward, participants are asked "perceptual" questions about the station's image, morning show and personalities.

For their trouble, participants get about $50. And radio stations get volumes of data to help update their catalogs. Do KMJM-FM (104.9) listeners still like "Tyrone" by Erykah Badu? How much Green Day is too much for KPNT-FM (105.7) fans? These tests offer answers."

Over time, you see listeners pass the baton upward," says programmer Rick Balis, who oversees rock stations KIHT-FM (96.3), KSHE-FM (94.7) and KPNT. "Pink Floyd, which used to be a core artist for KSHE, moves to K-HITS, and a band like Pearl Jam, which started as an alternative group, becomes a core artist for KSHE."

Stations that play a lot of new music, such as Y98, KSLZ-FM (107.7) and KPNT, also conduct frequent phone surveys. Researchers call about 80 listeners and ask them to rate about 25 current hits. The results surprise even veteran programmers.

"It's amazing," Edwards says. "One week, they love a song, and then the next week, they are over it. A song just falls off the cliff.

"That's what happened to the Christina Aguilera single "Ain't No Other Man." On the flip side, Y98 listeners still enjoy "Far Away" from Nickelback.

"That's what people in the industry mean when they say a song has legs," Edwards says.

Though managers agree research is worth the investment (Emmis Communications, for instance, spends $40,000 per audience test and $30,000 per phone survey, Balis says.), the results are not foolproof. Everything from audience size to the number of songs tested can influence outcomes.

"People say you have to take research with a grain of salt. I take it with a salt lick," said Balis. "If someone hears a hook they really like and says, 'All right,' does that influence the rest of the room? Maybe.

"There are tricks we do during a test to make sure everyone is sticking with the program, but there are all sorts of things that could sway results."

As always, comments are welcome.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Seger Proud of Antiwar Message in "No More"

Bob Seger says he has no qualms about including the antiwar track "No More" on his latest album, Face the Promise, particularly now that current public opinion has shifted with regard to the Iraq conflict. "It's time to bring the soldiers home," stresses Seger. "I'm proud of that song. It says what I wanted to say." Meanwhile, Seger and his Silver Bullet Band recently added a few new shows to their 2007 tour itinerary, which now stretches through a Feb. 14 date in Denver.

As always, comments are welcome.

New Releases for December

MAMA'S PRIDE "Mama's Pride" and "Uptown and Lowdown"
They're baaaaaaaack. The first Mama's Pride CD and Uptown and Lowdown CD are now remastered and sound even better. The first CD contains the klassics "Blue Mist" and "In the Morning". Uptown and Lowdown includes "She's a Stranger to Me Now" and "Merry Go Round". To order, contact Pat Liston at

NICK GILDER"City Nights/Frequency"
This CD contains both of the klassics "Hot Child In The City" and "(You Really) Rock Me".

POCO"Rose Of Cimarron"
This is a Japanese import of the long out of print album and is the final album from the Poco lineup featuring Rusty Young, Paul Cotton and Timothy B. Schmidt (just before his departure for greener pastures with The Eagles). Contains the klassics "Rose of Cimarron", "Company's Coming", and "P.N.S. (When You Come Around)". P.N.S. is the song many of you remember from the first Illinois Speed Press album.

CHILLIWACK "Anthology"
Klassics on this disc are "My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone)", "Fly At Night", "Arms Of Mary", and "Baby Blue".

POINT BLANK "American Excess/On A Roll"
A two-on-one release which features the klassics "Nicole" and "On A Roll".

PRISM "Best of"
This CD contains about every klassic from these Canadian rockers including "Don't Let Him Know", "Armageddon", "See Forever Eyes", "Spaceship Superstar", and "Virginia".

As always, comments are welcome.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Blind Faith Reunion?

Nothing's been confirmed yet, but it looks like Eric Clapton is following up last year's Cream reunion with a Blind Faith run. It seems that Clapton and Steve Winwood are planning to resurrect the supergroup, which released a single, self-titled album and did one tour in 1969 before breaking up.

There's no word yet on when Clapton and Winwood will officially announce their plans, and it's unknown whether Ginger Baker will man the drumkit for the project. Blind Faith bassist Rick Grech died in 1990.

Clapton said his desire to play with Winwood began during the Cream days: "If I'd had more power of personality and more authority, I would have insisted that we had a keyboard player, and I would've chosen Steve Winwood. I mean, it kept being a fantasy of mine that Steve would join Cream, but I just didn't feel confident enough to broach the subject. Maybe I did a couple of times, but I think I, maybe I was, it was discounted."

A DVD of Blind Faith's debut performance, which took place in front of 100,000 people in Hyde Park in London on June 7th, 1969, recently debuted at Number Three on the Billboard music DVDs chart.

Winwood and Clapton have worked together since Blind Faith's breakup, most recently on Clapton's Back Home album last year.