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Everyone is entitled to their opinion, yet the way in which it is often expressed is counterproductive, mean-spirited, misguided and hurtful. We spend our days promoting someone else’s creative musical vision. This is art, not widgets.

POST-TOASTED:
GOOD MORNING, ANGELS

The Highs and Lows of the R&R Convention and Surrounding Hoopla
Note to self: Do not endeavor to stage a benefit concert on the same night you’re co-hosting a PoMo dinner for 75 of your closest friends in the format, especially during the R&R Convention. While running red lights back and forth from the Henry Fonda Theatre (site of the LIFEbeat benefit) to The Palm (home of Jonathan Lev’s and my annual PoMo dinner), a lyric from The Polyphonic Spree wrapped itself around my brain: “You gotta be good, you gotta be strong, you gotta be 2,000 places at once.” I barely had time to appoint Jaqueline Saturn in charge of collecting everyone’s plastic (after some last-minute negotiations with the restaurant to allow the final bill to be divided among 27 different credit cards, rather than the existing limit of six) and marvel at Oedipus’ knight-in-white-Armani attire before I had to dash. According to Erika (my proxy), the food was tasty, the conversation sparkling and the attendance outstanding! Looking at my Amex receipt the next morning (Erika is good at forging my signature), that was the most expensive single piece of chilled shrimp I’ve ever eaten… The benefit concert raised $20,000 for LIFEbeat and will probably be the only time in the careers of Calexico and The Thorns that they can say Hanson opened for them (Matthew Sweet even joined Hanson for the song he’d co-written with them). Phantom Planet closed the show, launching their set with one of my new favorites, “Big Brat,” during which Hanson and The Like were spotted on stage singing the chorus and, in general, adding to the revelatory nature of the song. Moments after his Kilborn appearance, Aware artist Bleu and his band played selections from his BRILLIANT new CD, Redhead (which isn’t about me—and yes, I asked). Both WBCN and WFNX added “Get Up” this week, showing support for one of Boston’s most gifted new artists. We were also fortunate enough to book Special Goodness and new Columbia signing Wilshire for the benefit, as well as guest MCs Wes Cunningham and Kid Lightning. I have never been in a room with as many gorgeous, talented artists, all of whom were young enough to be my progeny…. Across town that evening, RCA/J’s Kings of Leon were wowing the packed Viper Room, and up the street the eels were entertaining hundreds of intelligent music fans with songs from Shootenanny!, while the El Rey was packed to the rafters with John Lenac and 500 of his closest radio friends for the Velvet Revolver show. The Hollywood Hills were alive with the sound of music (while the streets were being driven on by drunken convention attendees)… Although I’d barely mustered an hour of sleep on Thursday/Friday morning, I couldn’t turn down Ted Volk’s invitation to watch Jane’s Addiction’s outdoor performance for the Jimmy Kimmel Show! Capitol’s Joe Rainey, Darren Eggleston and Dee Dee Kierney saved me a great spot near the stage (right near John Moschitta and within spitting distance of Mike Halloran!), while nearly 1,000 fans poured into every available space around me. I hope the other 999 people there were as impressed as I was with the band’s absolute STAR PRESENCE and how completely genius “Just Because” sounded. After Kimmel, most of my posse headed to Spaceland for the Caesars show, but I was hallucinating from lack of sleep and vowed to see the band the next morning at Jukebox Jury... The Caesars, whom I ADORE, played three songs from their Astralwerks/EMC debut before a half-filled room of hungover radio programmers. Woo-hoo! I was embarrassed that most of my “peers” couldn’t even fake respect, let alone show genuine interest in a band that is truly great. “Jerk It Out” has been Top Five phones at Live105 since they added it, and PD Sean Demery was in the front row, singing along. I quickly bailed after the Caesars, but my friends who stayed for Jukebox Jury said it was the “same old, same old,” with negative criticism outweighing enthusiasm 10-1. A song from the new Dandy Warhols CD was the “winner,” although Ted Volk pointed out that 70% of the programmers on the “jury” would never play the record. And yet we soldier on… Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion, yet the way in which it is often expressed is counterproductive, mean-spirited, misguided and hurtful. We spend our days promoting someone else’s creative musical vision. Our personal preference definitely plays a role, as does the taste of the people to whom we promote. This is art, not widgets. It boils down to an issue of treating each other with respect, and staying attuned to the “bigger picture.” Our jobs may give our opinions greater weight than most, or at least provide an attenuated platform from which to express our views. Ask an out-of-work programmer how much his opinion matters—no more than that of any individual consumer. If you haven’t noticed, the business is going through seismic changes. The PoMo format is also experiencing its own growing pains, with many of its participants (on both the label and radio side) still acting like adolescents. Grow the fuck up... SONG TO HEAR: The Sounds’ “7 Days a Week” (this song makes me smile!)…. PEOPLE TO WATCH: Tim Richards, Dave Richards, Seth Resler, Bill Carroll, Dan Connelly, Rick Morrison, Alex Quigley, Nancy Stevens, Blaze, Chris Stowers, Robbie Lloyd and Gary Spivack.
HITS LIST: AMPERSANDS
Dynamic duos (12/6a)
NEAR TRUTHS:
WINNING NOMINATIONS
I.B. Bad on music's biggest comeback (12/6a)
ON THE COVER: LADY GAGA & TONY BENNETT
It's De-Lovely. (12/6a)
CALLING THE PLAYS:
JOHN JANICK
We salute the winner and still champ. (12/6a)
SONG STREAMS:
'TIS THE SEASON
It's beginning to look a lot like Xmas. (12/6a)
CHESTNUTS
Roasting.
STOCKINGS
Stuffing.
PIPERS
Piping.
SANTA
Coming.
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