Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Phil Vassar

This post is mainly for the morning show audience. We're trying something a little different with our giveaway of the Phil Vassar concert tickets for his Sandwich Fair performance.

We have four V.I.P. tickets, plus four general admission tickets to get into the fair.

Here's how it will work. Below, I'm placing a Phil Vassar song lyric. Write it down, or bookmark the page, or whatever you need to do so that you have that lyric ready for the giveaway.

Sometime between 7:00 a.m.-8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 4th, I'll ask for you to call in and tell me what the lyric is. The first caller that gives me the lyric will win the V.I.P. tickets for the Wednesday, September 5th show at The Sandwich Fair.

Here is the lyric, from the song "Six-Pack Summer"...

Uh, oh another six-pack summer comin'
Sing to me babe I'll be your dashboard drummer
The winner will need to pick up the tickets at the station.

Good luck!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Map Quest(ion) Stumps Blonde From South Carolina

The previous post mentions how I wouldn't feel comfortable sending either one of my kids to the seemingly doomed Virginia Tech University. I need to add to that list.

Let's just be safe and throw a blanket over all of the schools in South Carolina as well. I've come to that decision after seeing this clip from the recent Miss Teen USA Pageant.

Here we have Lauren Caitlin Upton, 18, saying something about maps.

I think.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Does Virginia Tech Offer A Warranty?

So, let me get this straight. On the first day of the fall semester, just months after the tragedy that left 32 people dead during the killing spree on April 16th, five roomates have been hospitalized -- two in critical condition -- because of a carbon monoxide leak at an off-campus apartment?

Plus, according to this AP story, "Last fall, an escaped fugitive on the loose near campus had forced the university to shut down on its first day of classes."

Sheesh. Remind me not to send Megan or Sarah to Virginia Tech when they are old enough.

That's assuming the school isn't hit by a meteor first, gets trampled by Godzilla, attacked by killer bees, or who know what else.

After today's problems, it seems like the school is cursed in some way. If I was a student, I'd walk into the registrar's office and demand a refund, or at least hazard pay.

At least the students and faculty can get away from all of the problems the school has been facing by getting set to watch one of Virginia Tech's most famous alums, Michael Vick, as he gets set to embark on another season of football with the Atla...


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Attack Of The News Blooper

Working in radio for as long as I have, I can certainly empathize with good 'ol Jay Warren, a TV news anchor who just couldn't control his laughter while reading a hilarious story about a deadly car crash that claimed three lives. The video of the instant TV classic is at the end of this post.

Now, in defense of Jay, who knows what was making him laugh in the first place. If you notice, right before the footage from the crash site is shown, you can already see Jay start to smile, so I doubt it's the car crash video itself. That's good. We can probably rule out that he's just an insensitive jerk.

Maybe a previous story, or something funny that happened just moments prior is stuck in his mind and he can't stop thinking about it. Maybe his co-anchor just farted. Maybe someone in his direct line of sight is trying to make him laugh.

There were many times during the Dean Tambling era -- for those reading this that aren't familiar with the Morris, IL radio scene, Dean was the newsman during my morning show for eight years -- when either myself, or fellow cohort Kevin Schramm would do things while Dean was recording his news to try to break him up and get him to lose it on-air. Cruel, but just part of the wacky hijinks in radio.

Sometimes it would be disrobing in front of the glass window that separated his studio and mine. Other times, we'd sneak into his room while he was reading the news and breathe on his neck, or gently touch his hair.

Whatever you're thinking right now, trust me, we were doing it simply for the laughs. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

In a related story, our new newsman, Jay Capron, has just purchased a door lock and black drapes.

I remember a classic prank from my early days in radio. At my college station, a jock was on the air talking about some Psychedelic Furs song or something, when someone came up behind him, and pushed the lever on his chair, sinking it about two feet. The jock was so good, though, as he was sliding down toward the floor, he kept talking without missing a beat, even turning up his mic audio to compensate for the ever growing distance between himself and the microphone.

Trying to crack up a broadcaster is a long time running gag in radio, and I'm guessing in TV, as well.

When ever I would sub on WCSJ back in my early days, I'd usually have to read the obituaries -- gotta love small market radio -- and I said a small prayer each morning that I could get through that enjoyable task without getting a case of the giggles.

It's not that I'm insensitive, and the thought of someone's death would make me chuckle...but it could be something simple, someone's name, a funny word, a background noise, or for whatever reason, a random memory of something Homer Simpson did on an old Simpsons episode that would occasionally pop into my mind that would trigger a guffaw.

The mind can play some mean tricks sometimes.

So, maybe someone, or something else was making Jay Warren chuckle during this story.

Or, maybe he's just an insensitive jerk.

Let's see if you can keep from laughing while watching the clip...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Chiming In On Drake Bell

I took our daughter, Megan, to the Illinois State Fair on Saturday. I got tickets to the Drake Bell/Corbin Bleu (with Jordan Pruitt) concert, and she had a blast. It was her first concert, and we were fortunate enough to have tickets for the track, right up near the stage.

Pruitt opened the show by singing a handful of songs -- with no band, just her singing to instrumental tracks -- some of which Megan recognized from Radio Disney. She actually sang pretty well, and apparently wrote just about all of the tracks on her album, so she gets props for that.

The musical highlight, for me at least, was the next performer, Drake Bell. With a young daughter in the house, I've watched more Nickelodeon in the past seven years than I had in all of my other years combined. Now, that's not necessarily a bad thing. It introduced me to SpongeBob SquarePants, and also to Drake and Josh, a kind of Odd Couple for the tweenies out there.

Drake Bell plays, well, Drake, and along with his co-star Josh Peck and scene-stealer Miranda Cosgrove, who plays sister, Megan, they actually have pretty good comedic instincts, and the show is very watchable for adults.

Bell wrote, and performs the theme song to the show, "Found A Way". The song is catchy, and after doing a little internet digging at the request of Megan, I found a few other songs by Bell, and all of a sudden, I was starting to like the kid. He's influenced heavily by The Beatles, and you can hear that in his music.

After seeing him perform a few other songs on Drake and Josh over the last couple of years, I was looking forward to hearing him live on Saturday. He didn't disappoint. Bell was part of a six-piece band that ripped through their set, and left me even more impressed with this kid.

I'll give you a couple of clips of songs of his in a minute. Considering he almost died in a car accident at the tail end of 2005, you really can't help but root for him to be successful musically. His songs are very accessible, and with The Beatles as his main influence, there are certainly worse avenues to travel on then writing and performing smart, crafty, catchy pop songs that appeal to all ages, not just kids.

Good luck, Drake. I may just have to go get your two CD's. For myself.

And, yes, I'm a 36 year old man.

The concert concluded with Corbin Bleu from High School Musical fame. Strangely, with the sequel airing in less than a week, he never mentioned the movie, nor did he sing any songs from either one.

Oh well, at least Megan enjoyed his performance. I would've preferred an Ashley Tisdale concert.

Maybe next time.

Drake Bell - "I Know"

Drake Bell - "Makes Me Happy"

Drake Bell - "Found A Way" (featuring Drake and Josh clips)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Your Daily Britney Spears Video

As much fun as it is to watch Britney Spears try to park a car, at some point during this video, you can't help but feel a little sorry for her, and for all celebrities that have to go through the torture of being hounded by the paparrazi all the time.

Forget the fact that Britney never checks the other car. Forget the fact that she doesn't bother to leave a note. Just forget how crazy Britney may seem these days, and simply place yourself in her shoes, or the shoes of any celebrity that has to deal with these vultures on a daily basis.

I love the one guy who's voice is the most audible, probably the guy shooting this video, with his fake concern.

"You okay, Britney?"

What was she going, maybe 2 m.p.h.? Um, I think she's fine.

Well, relatively speaking.

Barry Bonds: Please Retire Now

Barry's really come a long way since his rookie season, hasn't he?

Now that he has the record -- until Alex Rodriguez breaks it in 2013 -- maybe Barry can just go away. I've never been so bored and uninterested in such a huge sports achievment. And, that has nothing to do with the steroid issue.

The guy's a jerk. Plain and simple. I find it awfully difficult to root for a tool like Bonds. It's almost as if he goes out of his way to make you not like him. Hey, Barry, with me, you don't have to try so hard.

I wasn't a fan of his back when he played with Pittsburgh, you know, about six hat sizes ago.

I didn't like the fact that he passed Mark Maguire for the single season home run record in 2001. Steroids or no steroids, at least Mac was affable, approachable, and handled the situation well -- thanks in large part to some assistance from Sammy Sosa.

Look, Bonds is a great player. Even without the obvious enhancements over the years, he was a hall of famer. Reaching 756 is a major milestone...maybe the highest peak in terms of baseball records.

Did he cheat? Well, he's never been caught doing anything "illegal" as far as baseball is concerned, so I guess the answer is no.

Did he do it naturally? Of course not. But, shame on Major League Baseball for not being able to do anything about it, at least in time to keep him from reaching 756.

Inferring what we can about Macguire and Bonds' past performance enhancing usage -- let's face it, they, along with countless others, bulked up more than Janet Jackson has recently, but the difference, for me, is that Macguire was likeable. Sosa was likeable. Bonds, a jerk.

I look back at 1998, and even with all of the allegations, I still look back at that year fondly for the Macguire/Sosa home run chase.

I look back at 2001, the year Bonds hit 73, and frown.

The same with Bonds hitting 756.

As Bryant Gumbel would say following a segment on Real Sports, let's move on.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Online Karaoke!

Found this website called SingShot. Basically, you can record yourself singing to hundreds of different songs -- the instrumental versions -- and the recordings end up on this site for everyone to, ahem, enjoy.

For example, sit back and enjoy the scintilating rendition of R.E.M.'s "Shiny Happy People", sung by "stiefie" from Germany. Michael Stipe has nothing to worry about.

If nothing else, it'll provide American Idol fans a place to hear really bad renditions of songs while waiting for season 7 to start in January.

All you need is a mic, and some guts. Plus, it's free.

After you cut a track, post the link in the comments section. It's gotta at least be as good as Germany's very own "stiefie", right?

Ich drücke dir die Daumen!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Now With The News...

Today we welcomed Jay Capron (as in "apron") to the stations as our new full-time newsman. Jay replaces Jeff Lockridge, who was handling news on an interim basis since Mike Haensel left the station in June.

Jay is from Lockport, and has previously worked in Iowa. Despite both of those facts, we're thrilled to have him.

He's been here since Wednesday, observing, getting the lay of the land, etc. His first newscast was Thursday afternoon, and this morning was his first "full" day at the helm.

I made sure to give him the required amount of ribbing on the air, and he played off of it well, and is looking forward to some nyuk-nyuks on the air.

It'll be interesting to see how long he keeps wearing ties to work. The creepy thing is, he doesn't wear a shirt with the tie. Bare chested, and a necktie.

But, seriously folks, after showing up on his first day in a sporty dress shirt and tie, compared to the shorts and t-shirt ensemble from Schramm and myself, I expected Jay to low-key it the rest of the week. No sale. Dress shirt and tie again this morning. Jay called it his "Tony Soprano look".

When I walked in this morning, I thought he was a hit man.

I give it two weeks. Then he needs to tone it down a bit. Really. He's making us look bad.


All kidding aside, we're really glad to have Jay onboard. I need to remember to ask him if his middle name starts with a "D". Then he'd be known as J(ay) D. "K"pron.

At the very least, he's a shoo-in to be called W-C-S-Jay.

And, of course, the new guy buys the morning host breakfast every day for the next month.

Right after he's finished washing my car.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Britney Spears: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

You can hardly blame Britney Spears' kid in this picture, because it looks as though he's trying to crawl away from her as fast as possible. Wouldn't you?

Maybe she's sending him to go get more smokes. Either way, the kid should crawl, and just keep going. Don't look back, kid.

The latest info concerning the mom-of-the-year nominee is that she's feeding her kids a steady diet of junk food. Check out the rationale Britney gave for serving up some pre-bedtime ice cream to her son, Sean, according to Us magazine...

One source tells Us magazine, quote, "She fed Sean ice cream before bed because the cold would make him sleepy."

Wow. That's a new one. No need to even respond is there?

It's mind boggling how far this woman has fallen into the depths of craziness. The behavior, the hair, the outfits, the meltdowns, etc. There's something new everyday it seems, too. And there could be even more revealed soon, as her assistant is apparently set to divulge plenty of juicy details for an upcoming magazine article.

For people in my profession, it's a goldmine. But for her kids? Ahhh, those poor kids.

Crawl, Sean. Crawl fast.