Archive for the ‘Radiolab’ Category

By for the aflcio2008 (OH: USW Phone Bank in Mansfield) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

This week Ed Baxter announced he is the chosen one.  He got the spot.

Well, he didn’t use those exact words when he informed listeners of Talk910-AM that he has accepted the host position for the 10:00am-1:00pm time slot on the station.  I was happy to hear it.

After the departure of former host, Frosty Stilwell, we listeners endured weeks of rotating hosts, never knowing what to expect when we turned the radio on.  Sometimes we were pleasantly surprised with the professionalism of John Rothmann, other times we had to turn the radio off ten minutes into a show.  Where does Talk910 find some of those fill-in hosts?

It was as if they were letting Gil Gross pick ’em, because you know what a great show he has on Fridays with his wife.  In Gil’s world, if you can work on a crossword puzzle, then the next logical step is to add a microphone and put you on the air.  No one will notice the screeching sound when you speak.  Go ahead, interrupt guests with inane questions and shriek at the top of your lungs every time you disagree with something.  Yeah.  Fun times.  Completely unprofessional, but that doesn’t matter.  If you can come up with the right words on a puzzle, then you are ready for radio.

The only thing worse than hearing Gil’s wife on the radio is hearing the show that comes on before Gil’s show.  Those two guys have to be the worst thing on radio, ever.  And, remember, I’m including Gil’s wife in that assessment.  She has to be the second worse thing ever on the air.  But, you already knew that.  Hearing her once is enough.  It takes nearly a month to get the ringing out of your ears.

This is so unfair to listeners.  It’s as if Talk910 is trying to fail.

This is how bad it is, for the first time, ever, I’ve been streaming WOR710 in New York and listening to Hannity every afternoon at 1:00pm instead of those two guys on Talk910.  Thanks a lot, 910.  At least Hannity takes calls.  That is what talk radio is supposed to be about.  Discussion.  Talk.  Not to yourself.  To people.  Feedback from listeners.

I still listen to Radiolab and ThisAmericanLife, as well.  Sometimes Ted Talks.  But the Hannity show takes calls.  That’s what I want to hear.

For awhile, I thought Talk910 was seriously considering Spencer Hughes as a host.  He takes calls.  I’d never heard him before. I’ve heard OF him.  Not good things, but I don’t let other opinions dictate my judgment.  I want to hear it myself and form my own opinion.

Now I know what people are talking about.  At first, I didn’t mind him.  He talks and talks and talks, starting out saying one thing and then seems to disappear into his own head as he goes off into two or three more topics while still finishing thoughts about the first thing.  It’s strange, all he needs is a big Monty Python hand pushing on his head and a voice announcing “now for something completely different”.  I would not be able to listen to that every day.  There is no focus to his show.

Ed Baxter has focus.  He forms thoughts and can express them in a professional style and he has the intelligence to interact with any guest.  It’s not an effort to listen to his voice, he has a natural, pleasant tone.  He likes to take calls.  On the air, many times, he has said he doesn’t want to be the only one talking.  He wants to hear what callers have to say.  He has always given out the phone number so listeners can call in…

Except for this week.  I noticed there were no callers this week and there was no number given for callers.  Is this going to end up as another show of someone reciting news items from sfgate and bringing in ‘experts’ to talk about them?  Ed’s already doing the Gil thing, bringing in his producer to talk about things.  Come on, Ed, you know that gets boring fast.  Where are the callers?  Some of the most interesting shows on the radio happen with callers.

You know this, Ed.  Get it done!  Give out that number.  Take those calls.

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This is no surprise.

I listened to Frosty every day, it was my morning routine at work.  BBC Radio 2, live online, is the first audio of the day (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2).  That hasn’t changed for many years.  Steve Wright in the Afternoon (London time) plays a nice mix of new and old music, along with celebrity interviews.  He even plays Demis Roussos every so often and that makes my day!  (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006wr4r)  Following Steve, is Simon Mayo’s Drivetime show (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00p2dfq) and he has a Confessions segment that has me hooked.  Right after the Confession (http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/confess), in the first hour of Mayo, there is a short financial report and one more song before the top of the hour.  I wait until the song ends before I shut down BBC and turn on the little radio on my desk.  I do not want to hear one single word of Armstrong & Getty so I always wait for the song to end because I know A&G will be off the air.

Then, it’s 10:00am and time for Frosty.

In the same way, I turn off the radio the moment Frosty’s show ends, because the following ‘so-called’ show begins and I don’t want to lose my lunch.  Two guys talking who have nothing to say.  Now, we all know Gil’s wife is gawd-awful, she has tainted Gil’s product (but Gil hasn’t done much to salvage his reputation either), but why a supposed-talk station chose those two new guys for a new show is beyond lunacy.  Keeping Gil’s wife on the air with that shrieking voice only a dog could love is a major blunder, but adding that disaster of a new show is too much.  There is nothing on that station now that is worth listening to and the good thing is I won’t have to hear the same commercials over and over again of that woman yelling about something.  Who knows what she’s saying, I never could listen to those spots.

I do have one shout out: Hellloooo! Lloyd Lindsay Young.  I will miss hearing your voice on the radio.  You are one of the good ones.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lloyd_Lindsay_Young

Frosty was the last link to radio I had.  That’s it for me.  I’ve been listening online to Ted Talks (http://www.ted.com/) and This American Life (http://www.thisamericanlife.org/) and Radio Lab (http://www.radiolab.org/) to fill in the lack of good talk.  Eventually, someone will put together live podcasts of talk shows, hopefully with callers, that we can stream and customize content according to topic or host.

So, Frosty signed off for the last time on Talk-910AM on Friday, August 1st.

As I said, this was no surprise.  He’d mentioned his on-air anniversary a few months back but made no mention of a contract or another year.  Plus, his lease had expired on his apartment and he’d packed everything up in storage and was living in a corporate, furnished apartment temporarily.  He talked about looking for a new apartment at one time, but hadn’t mentioned it for some time.  See?  No surprise.

He said he couldn’t come to a contract agreement so he’s heading back to LA.

You can see what he says about it on his Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/froststilwell

This is his San Francisco page and he says farewell there as well:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Frosty-San-Francisco/151619138189638

His podcasts have disappeared from Talk 910AM’s site.  None of my links to his shows will work.  sigh..

I should mention another Facebook page has disappeared.  The Former KGO Listeners Facebook page is gone.  Don’t know what happened, but maybe they became frustrated with the lack of content two years after Cumulus destroyed radio in this market.  What more is there to say?

*

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Note: I received a note that there is another Facebook option:

https://www.facebook.com/NoMoreKGO

Thanks, H. Bjerre!  I’ll check it out.

By now, you know my frustration with radio content.  Even Talk 910AM no longer has shows to listen to, except for the morning Frosty show.  Some think he’s boring, and he has put on some boring shows, but he’s all that’s left for us now except for online podcasts such as radiolab.org or thisamericanlife.org.

So, I’ll share what I enjoyed hearing this past week when NOT listening to Talk 910AM, except for Frosty.

I heard this following podcast during the livestream of This American Life.  It’s about radio.  It’s an old broadcast from 1998 so there’s no lamenting about the current mess of the radio industry.  There are interesting stories for anyone who used to love listening to the radio.  Here’s the link:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/100/radio

Here’s the recap of it:

For the 100th episode of This American Life, a radio show about the pleasures of radio. About what makes radio so great … and what makes it so terrible.

Act One of this podcast reminds me of an AM radio station I used to hear when I was still young enough to be in grade school.

Before the internet, my window to the world was nighttime AM radio waves. After dark, I heard things on my shiny, black transistor radio unlike anything played on my small town station.

In the deep chill of winter, in the silence of 1:00am, I’d turn on my transistor, hold it against my ear, and hear things that raised the hair on the back of my neck.  It came from halfway across the country.   Every night I searched like an addict for the same station. The dial had to be just right, exactly a hair off from the number on the tuner, to hear those call letters WHAM. That station was like the exploding text on the Batman tv series. POW! KABOOM! I mean, this stuff was wild. The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. You’re gonna burn! burn! burn!

Imagine hearing the full version of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Sympathy With The Devil’ for the first time while alone in the dark, when seemingly not another soul was awake.

I was intrigued.  I couldn’t get enough of it.  I was a musical deviant and I wasn’t yet thirteen.  I told no one. This was personal, between me and my radio.

In those young years of listening to my transistor radio, I didn’t get any real sleep except during long weekend drives of family outings, when my father had control of the car radio – tuned to Lawrence Welk’s sound of champagne bubbles or Engelbert Humperdinck.

And I did sleep in the early evenings, until, as if an alarm had gone off, I awoke for the beginning of Steve Salmon’s show. He was my favorite WHAM disc jockey. I laughed into my pillow at Steve Salmon’s commentary and it was thrilling to hear music that wasn’t even played yet where I lived. Life was good.

One night, Steve signed on to tell his listening audience a friend of his had given him a record and he was going to play it “right now”.

“My friend said I have to hear this,” Steve said, “hmmm, Monkey Spanner Version No. 2.”

I heard the needle drop into the groove and after a scratchy moment the song began to play. It was all instrumental, with an upbeat sound. It was the type of song that gets stuck in your head for days.

 

(Here’s the YouTube link to Monkey Spanner Version No. 1 and Monkey Spanner Version No. 2)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hO8-sPbsXaw

As the song played, Steve told us, “Oh my God! I LOVE this song!  I have to listen again.”

The rhythm rolled for another two minutes or more.

I smiled. I’d never heard any disc jockey play the same record two times in a row.

“This is officially my favorite song!” Steve shouted and the song began again.

“Monkey Spanner Version No. 2!” He yelled and played it again.

“I can’t stop playing this. Let’s hear it again!”

And he did. Again and again and again.

For over thirty minutes the song played accompanied by occasional shouts in the background, “I love it!”.

I was upright in bed, looking around, eyes wide, bursting to tell someone about what was happening on radio station WHAM in New York at one-thirty in the morning. I wanted to clap my hands in pure joy. Every time the song started I squealed with glee and hugged my pillow. Or pressed my hand over my mouth. Would he dare do this all night?

After nearly an hour of continuous play, there were sounds of knocking on a door. Steve began the song again. We listeners heard footsteps and the creak of a door opening.

“Stop playing that song!” a guy’s voice yelled and a door slammed.

The song continued.  Steve’s hushed voice told us, “They want me to stop but I have to hear it again.  I will never stop playing it!  Never!”

The song started again and we heard violent knocks on the door. Steve’s voice barely whispered to us, “They are trying to make me stop playing this song but don’t worry, I locked the door.”

As Monkey Spanner Version No. 2 played on, the background sounds grew louder until we heard crashing and the unmistakable sound of a foot kicking the door. Steve’s voice was frantic, “They’re breaking down the door. I will never stop playing…”

Muffled voices of men filled the airwaves along with the song, and noises of a scuffle. I pressed my transistor radio closer against my ear. The batteries were dying.

The high-pitched screech of a needle scraped across record grooves, setting my teeth on edge. And then a loud crack. The sound of a record being smashed against a hard surface.

For the first time on WHAM, there was silence.

I stood, glancing wildly around my darkened room, transistor radio against my ear – listening to silence.

I shook it once to make sure it was still working. Hoping to jiggle the batteries into action.

Then I froze. A deep voice, trained to enunciate, told us his name and that he was our new host. That Steve Salmon was no longer with the station. He played something. Who knows what it was. The Fortunes, ‘Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again’, or something similar.  It wasn’t Monkey Spanner Version No. 2.

I crept back into bed, placed the radio on my pillow, pulled the covers to my chin and closed my eyes. I was tired, but how could I sleep? My thoughts spun over and over again, like that darn record had.

My eyes flew open.  I heard his voice. Steve’s voice. He whispered that he’d sneaked back in when the new guy went for a bathroom break.  He had another copy of Monkey Spanner Version No. 2. Sure enough, that crazy, now familiar song started to play.

I sat up and punched my fists in the air. He’d done it! My hand went to my heart. Steve was back and, by God, he’d done it.

The needle scratched and a different song began. Steve’s voice growing softer and softer into the background, repeated, “But, but I have to hear my song!”

And then he was gone.

I’d tried finding that station after that night, to see if Steve was back. But I was never able to locate it again. I’m sure I was just a hair off from the number on the tuner but I never managed to get it just right. Or maybe I just didn’t recognize the voice of the new guy that sounded like all the other voices out there.

I haven’t traveled the nighttime airwaves for decades. How could I? I’d never find anything to compare with the guilty pleasure of those early days listening to Steve Salmon on WHAM radio.

Do you have any radio stories?  Share them!

Now to get back on track with more podcasts that might interest you.  I heard another good podcast on the livestream of This American Life.  It’s all about love.  The problem is, I can’t find it.  I don’t have the time to go through and read the recaps of all of the shows that include the search term ‘love’ so, instead, I’ll give you a link to the results.  You want to go looking for love?  Maybe you’ll find it:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/search?keys=love

 

Another podcast I read about in one of the gossipy columns of sfgate.  Joan Rivers produces a web show ‘In Bed With Joan’.  She talks to celebrities (I’m unfamiliar with many of the names).  I watched the one with Jason Biggs and listened to the Drunken Phone Calls.  As you’d expect with Joan, there is profanity so be careful if you listen at work:

 http://inbedwithjoan.com/

 

How could I leave without a link to The Crazy World of Arthur Brown?

 

Here’s the link to YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCTaxGhRC5M

And, here’s what Wiki says about him:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Crazy_World_Of_Arthur_Brown

 

As well, how could I leave a link to The Crazy World of Arthur Brown and not include a Screamin’ Jay Hawkins video?

 

Here’s the link to YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orNpH6iyokI

And, what Wiki says about him:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screaming_Jay_Hawkins

Enjoy the weekend, everyone!

 

 

 

 

Image by Samir CCA-SA3.0

For me, it’s back to the Lab and BBC.  No, I won’t need a white coat, I’m talking about Radiolab and BBC Radio 2.

It’s a radio wasteland out there.  Polluted airwaves.  Gil’s wife is still on the air on Fridays.  Instead of ear buds we need ear plugs.  yuck!  Horrible radio, lazy programming, wince-worthy content – who needs it?  I turn it off.

I’ve been listening to Frosty.  I like his show.  But, lately, his entire show is comprised of audio clips he plays and then shouts over.  I think he once spent three hours playing clips of Donald Sterling’s taped conversations.  He’s been playing clips of other news stories as well.  Stretching the same clip over segments, and even replaying a portion of the clip we’d just heard ten minutes earlier.

It’s boring.

Then, we get Gross talking about things we heard from Frosty, but Gil brings in a Politico guest to talk about it even more.

It’s sleep-inducing radio.  That’s probably why Gil brings his wife on the show every Friday.  To wake everyone up with her screeching so anyone left listening can run to the radio and turn it OFF before the start of the weekend.  That’s the only reason I can think of why he would continue to embarrass her and himself.

Do you think anyone will follow Gil to another gig?  I know I won’t.  Heck, I wouldn’t care if he ended up on the crummy KGO.  No one listens anyway.  Might as well not listen to him on a station no one will listen to anymore.

I used to listen to Gil, except on dog-whistle ear-piercing Fridays, and even on the days I listened I turned his program down to background noise.  Nothing there.  I always read sfgate in the morning and I hear the same stories over and over again on both Frosty and Gil’s programs.  It’s them talking about the same thing I read hours earlier.  Of course, Gil brings in a Politico correspondent to explain it all again.  It’s almost laughable, but I’m not laughing.  I’m yawning.  Stretching my arms out wide and yawning.  The comments on sfgate are more interesting than what we hear on the radio.  That’s sad.  Can radio be more boring?

Oh, right.  Yes it can.  I just remembered that new show in Randi Rhodes’ former spot.  I haven’t even turned that one on.  The minute Frosty’s show ends I turn off that station and find something else.  Unfortunately, Talk 910 plays promo clips of that show.  ugh!  Can I say ugh?  ugh!

That leaves me with only Frosty.  I enjoy Frosty’s shows when he reveals moments of his personal life.  He doesn’t censor what he says and there is a story-telling quality to what he shares.  Things such as how he could have been beat-up in LA after craving for ice-cream.  How a one-eyed guy threatened to kill him.  The movie star who rented his Hollywood mansion.  How some guys in a car followed him when he took a wrong turn on the way to the LA airport.  What happened when Frosty’s own lease expired on his San Francisco rental.

I was wondering where he moved and hadn’t heard him say anything about it, until the other day he mentioned he’s staying in a temporary rental until he finds something.  He will pay up to $5,000 per month and he’s been out-priced in this market.  It’s crazy, but interesting to hear him talk about it as it happens to him.  More interesting than listening to news clips of Donald Sterling.

hmmm.  I hadn’t expected to write up another rant about radio.  I’d intended to share some interesting podcasts I heard while not listening to Talk 910AM this week.

BBC Radio 2’s Simon Mayo Drivetime Confessions included a good one about a guy wearing an Afghan coat and how it caused the confessee to miss music he wanted to hear.

A Dirty Dustbin Dance & Other Tales

Fri, 6 Jun 14

(28 days remaining to listen)

This week’s concise collection includes a dirty dustbin dance, a foetid footie flushback, a costly cloak of confusion and a bad Dad’s bilious blooper! But will you forgive?

It’s the third confession on the podcast, the one about the costly cloak of confusion.

 http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/confess

Another interesting podcast is an hour-long archived one from Radiolab.org ( http://www.radiolab.org/ ) from their second season, titled Detective Stories.  You don’t have to listen to the entire podcast, it’s divided into sections below the Listen area.  If your time is limited to one story, then listen to the goat.

http://www.radiolab.org/story/91516-detective-stories/

Here’s a link to the goat story only, along with many comments about it.

http://www.radiolab.org/story/91518-goat-on-a-cow/#commentlist

 

Oh, and if you did listen to Drivetime Confessions, you might enjoy this link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Bruford

 

When I searched for an image of an Afghan coat, I found another mystery article that involves an Afghan coat.  An image of an Afghan coat is included:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1315262/Picture-helped-solve-mystery-Girl-Afghan-Coat.html

 

If you have any interesting podcasts, share!  We need other listening alternatives more than ever.

When a movie doesn’t hold a preview screening for the critics or, in the old days, when it went directly to DVD, there’s a good reason for it.  Anyone who actually wastes their time watching the movie can confirm the reason why.

I thought it odd when Talk 910-AM made no announcement of their replacement show for The Randi Rhodes  Show.  I no longer find it odd.  ’nuff said.

So, what other options do we have?

I’ve compiled this list in the past but I think it’s time to post another reminder where to go when local radio programmers slop out lazy talk shows that leave us wishing we could, for once, tell them where to go…

Of course, these alternative options are not optimal because some of these programs do not have a talk format – they have more of a story-telling type of delivery that is less engaging than a caller-driven show (even when the storyline is interesting).

No one takes calls anymore, anyway.  Today’s talk radio is bland with no one talking except the host.  And, even that is PPM doing all the talking.  Even when the listeners are no longer listening.  It’s the sad state of radio today.

Following are some other options:

This American Life

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/

Note: Under the menu tab ‘WAYS TO LISTEN’, select ‘LIVE STREAM’ and then click the link included in the first sentence on the page (’24/7 stream’ is the link that takes you automatically to a tunein.com player) and it will stream 24/7 episode after episode, mixing new with old.  If you don’t mind varied topics, this is the best way to listen.

If you prefer selecting the subject matter, then browse the archives:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives

I heard one interesting story on This American Life about a pimp from Oakland.   This one is not for everyone.  It’s about the life of a pimp.  How he got into it, what was his experience, and why he got out.

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/127/Pimp-Anthropology

 

Radiolab

http://www.radiolab.org/

Radiolab posts one hour podcasts.  It’s annoying to have to select another podcast every hour, but, hey, it’s one thousand times better than hearing Gil’s wife on the radio.  I can’t even listen to Gil’s show any longer because, unbelievably, he has his wife call-in during his show during the week, not just on Fridays, so he can talk to her about some lame subject like what’s happening on a television show.  That’s when I turn off the radio for the day.

I’ve been listening to radiolab.org podcasts, as well as the thisamericanlife 24/7 stream, after Frosty’s show ends.  The only problem is that I listen to these podcasts while at work and sometimes miss sections of the story and have to go back to listen again when I have time.

Some of the interesting Radiolab podcasts I’ve heard:

http://www.radiolab.org/story/60-words/

…the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) –  has at its heart one single sentence, 60 words long. Over the last decade, those 60 words have become the legal foundation for the “war on terror.”

http://www.radiolab.org/story/308403-blood/

 This hour, we consider the power and magic of the red liquid that runs through our veins.

Note: Within this episode, there is a fascinating look at what happens to your donation after giving blood.  Did you know they re-sell the blood you gave for free?  It’s a big operation (no pun intended).

Here’s the text section on giving blood that corresponds to the podcast.  The audio about blood banks is near the end of the hour-long podcast:

http://www.radiolab.org/story/308780-blood-banks/

Here’s the Episode Archive of Radiolab:

http://www.radiolab.org/archive/

 

Ted

https://www.ted.com/talks/browse

I haven’t listened to any Ted Talks for awhile, but I’ll be on there more in the coming months and will share any talks that I find interesting.

 

NPR

http://www.npr.org/

http://www.npr.org/programs/

 

BBC

http://www.musicweek.com/news/read/lbc-goes-national-as-uk-s-first-new-talk-radio-station/057452

 http://www.lbc.co.uk/

Here’s a fun listen, not very long (under 30 minutes), and posted weekly on BBC Radio 2 – Simon Mayo’s Drivetime Confessions.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/confess

Simon Mayo considers listeners’ darkest secrets and worst misdemeanours, as they beg for his forgiveness.

Here’s a list of old Confessions in Simon’s Confession Archives (up to May 7, 2011):

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/shows/simon-mayo/confessions/

 

I read this article recently:

http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2014/05/01/huge-archive-of-old-san-francisco-historical-newsreel-footage-loaded-onto-youtube-british-pathe-mediakraft-networks/

A British media firm has uploaded a huge archive of old San Francisco footage and history onto the company’s YouTube channel.

It would be fun to look at some of this old footage.

Speaking of vintage, I heard about this interesting book on BBC Radio 2 – Steve Wright in the Afternoon show when he interviewed the author of ‘Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek’.  I found a link about the book from the Today Show:

http://www.today.com/books/popular-1960s-style-approach-becoming-cool-modern-world-2D79513955

Here’s the book on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Popular-Vintage-Wisdom-Modern-Geek/dp/0525426817

That’s it for now.  Have any suggestions?  Share  them!

Enjoy the long holiday weekend, everyone.

 

 

 

Souce: biocurious.com Posted by Toshio Ando CC-By SA 3.0

He sings: “I used to care but things have changed.”

When I was young, I listened to music on the radio.  I used to turn it down low and fall asleep with it playing.

As I aged, I listened to talk radio whenever I visited my grandmother.  It was always on in her house.  She played it loud and loved the crazy callers.  We’d drink coffee at her small wooden kitchen table and listen to her small black radio, its  antenna pulled all of the way up and tilted to the left, next to the toaster on the counter.   She’d laugh whenever a call escalated to name-calling and then flick ashes from her cigarette into a big glass ashtray.

I don’t recall when I began listening to talk radio.  Probably on a sleepless night I searched the radio dial for something to distract me.  Maybe it was Ray or Bill or Bernie that hooked me, or maybe it was the fond memories of my grandmother’s kitchen, but talk radio became my listening habit and my radio dial was always tuned to KGO.

That is, until December 2011, when Cumulus Media came to town and destroyed radio in this market and many others.  I would not listen to KGO now.  Not even if Len goes back or they somehow manage to convince Rothmann to host a show.  As long as Cumulus owns that station, I will not listen.  I will tell others not to listen.  Why would talk radio listeners support a company that doesn’t care about listeners, only money in their executive pockets with no benefit to the local community?

So, I was forced to find another outlet for my radio time and thought Talk910-AM was going to step up their programming and build a talk station worth its listeners’ time.  I listened to them everyday from 12:00Noon to the end of my work day.  They hired Len and Gil to host shows.  Then they dropped Len, who knows what happened there, and there was something very wrong with Gil’s show.  It was him talking and talking and talking, the same tired format day in and day out, no callers, and he even brought his wife on the show every Friday.  yikes.  Fridays were the worst.  His wife does not belong on any radio, not even Nighttime Theater of Horrors.  Her voice is ear-splitting irritating and her laugh is downright goosebump scary.  I’m sure it hits the dog whistle range.  ugh!  I shiver in agony just thinking about it.

I listen to Frosty.  I like his show.  He doesn’t take callers, so it’s not optimal, but it’s the only thing out there now.  I don’t listen again to his podcasts.  I don’t have to.  Gil discusses the exact same news items in his show a few hours later.

This is what we are left with.

I seldom listen to Gil’s show now.  I usually turn to radiolab.org (http://www.radiolab.org/) or thisamericanlife.org (http://www.thisamericanlife.org/) instead.

I did hear Gil recently when he had a guest on to discuss Pete Seeger’s death and it confirmed what I don’t like about Gil.  He had a guest on who knew Pete Seeger and Gil took up half of the interview telling the guest about the time he, Gil, saw a Pete Seeger show.  It was unbelievable.  Here, he had a guy on the line who knew Seeger personally, and could provide more insight into who Seeger was, and Gil interrupts to inject himself into the conversation about how he once went to a Seeger concert.  By the time Gil was finished with his long, drawn-out story, it was time for news.

I thought his wife was a horrible addition, and now I’m at the point where I can’t stand Gil’s name-dropping stories that he thinks are interesting.  It’s pathetic.

For weeks now, they’ve been playing a clip of Gil and his wife on a promo spot.  Are you kidding me?  It’s like they want to drive away any listeners they have left.  When I hear it, I turn off the radio and go back to BBC.

So, now I’m down to listening to Frosty’s show.  That’s it.  Three hours in a day.

I tried the Randi Rhodes program, but it’s an angry show with sound effects that seem to come from a machine shop.  You know the sound of welding?  It’s like that.  Along with clips of Limbaugh.  She has some good discussion points, but it’s all that other stuff in between that’s annoying.  I tried, but I can’t listen to it.

Here’s the Wikipedia link to her show:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Randi_Rhodes_Show

Thankfully, BBC Radio2 has decent programming.  I guess I’ll have to go back to listening to a music format again.  I started out with ‘things have changed’ but I probably should have said ‘the more things change, the more they remain the same’.

If you turn off Gil’s dreadful show every Friday, as I do, then here’s another online program to consider in its place.

TED

Many of you are familiar with TED (http://www.ted.com/), owned by the non-profit Sapling Foundation.  Here’s the Wikipedia page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TED_%28conference%29

I’ve never had extra time to really explore TED’s website, but now with Friday afternoons free, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to discover so many alternatives that entertain and educate at the same time.  I’d thought TED was a bunch of pompous and mind-numbing ‘facts’ speeches and it’s not that at all.  Yes, there are speakers but they deal with subjects that used to be discussed on a good talk show.  There are no callers, but we sure don’t get any callers on talk shows now.  On TED you can find many viewpoints and opinions discussed in-depth by someone in that field.  There are speeches with heart, others with heartbreak, some with historical relevance – on any subject you select.  Not in the mood to listen to the next sex-capade of another politician?  Look up talks about how love works:

Talk by Helen Fisher – The Brain In Love

http://www.ted.com/talks/helen_fisher_studies_the_brain_in_love.html

Talk by Helen Fisher – Why We Love, Why We Cheat:

http://www.ted.com/talks/helen_fisher_tells_us_why_we_love_cheat.html

What?  You don’t really want to waste time on love?  Okay.  They’ve got sex there, too:

Playlist with 8 Talks – Sex: Can We Talk?

http://www.ted.com/playlists/6/sex_can_we_talk.html

Check out TED’s Playlist: Collections for Curious Minds:

http://www.ted.com/playlists

Want more insight into events happening in the news?

Seek out Playlists like this one:

Egypt in Crisis – As the violence continues in Egypt, 7 talks from freedom fighters from around the globe:

http://www.ted.com/playlists/12/freedom_rising.html

Or, seek out creative inspiration in this Talk by Kirby Ferguson:

Steal Like An Artist – The surprising sources of inspiration for creatives from Steve Jobs to Bob Dylan.

http://www.ted.com/talks/kirby_ferguson_embrace_the_remix.html

Or, learn How to Tell a Story – a Playlist with Six Talks

There are some incredible talks on this Playlist.

http://www.ted.com/playlists/62/how_to_tell_a_story.html

TED’s website offers hours, even days, of listening and reading.

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Frosty

I listen to BBC Radio 2 every morning, usually until 11:00am.  I used to switch over to Spreaker for Len Tillem but he’s still not posting and hasn’t offered any reason why.  I’ll just have to do another hour of BBC before Frosty’s show on Talk910-AM.  I’ve tried to listen to TED in that hour before Frosty, but I forget to turn on his show at 12:00Noon because I’m in the middle of a great talk on TED.  So, I’ll leave TED for Fridays when Gil’s wife shows up and ruins Gil’s show.

I’m enjoying Frosty more and more.  On Thursday, he talked about his streak of bad luck (starts around 9:08 on podcast).

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-frosty-podcast-frosty/frosty-81513-hr1-23590509/

It’s funny, because I’ve experienced the same thing.  Everything seems to go wrong.  For me, it usually lasts about three days.  When I expect it, I’m able to laugh about it.  The computer goes down, the smoke detector’s batteries need replacing, something you need can’t be found, and other small irritants.  Nothing major or catastrophic.  Just things that happen in a short time span that together can be thought of as ‘bad luck’.

I like that about Frosty.  He talks about things other than politics all day.  He talks about things we all can relate to and laugh at ourselves.  If you listen to that clip of Frosty’s show you can even hear it happen on air.  I love that.

There is another audio clip of Frosty’s I want to share as well.  Earlier this month, I posted a link to Frosty’s show where he played audio of a phone call Monica Lewinsky made to Bill Clinton.  Well, the entire call was recently released and Frosty played the entire clip (it starts at 4:23 on the podcast):

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-frosty-podcast-frosty/frosty-081313-hr3-23579673/

Another thing Frosty does is he posts interesting video clips on his Talk910-AM page.  I haven’t looked on his page yet, but he’s tempted me many times.  I think I will go and peek at his video clip of the snake he talked about this week.  That one sounds too creepy to be believable.

Aargh!  I just went to Frosty’s show page to see the snake, and YouTube has removed the content for violating YouTube’s Terms of Service.  Oh well..  It’s not Frosty’s violation, it’s whoever posted the original video.  In a way, I’m glad I didn’t get to see it.

Here’s Frosty’s show page where he posts all his videos:

http://www.talk910.com/pages/frosty.html

Frosty also gives out the show’s phone number.  Yes.  He not only gives out his Facebook contact, but he also gives out the phone number for his show.  I think I’ve even heard a call or two.  It took a few weeks, but I’m really enjoying his show.

Here’s Frosty’s archived podcasts:

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-frosty-podcast-frosty/

I just had one more thought about Frosty’s show.  This week he was talking about prescription drug commercials and how the drug companies have to list so many frightening side-effects at the end.  Frosty read off a few and contemplated if it’s worth taking the chance.

Later that evening, at home, I had the television on in the background as I was doing things around the house.  This is what I heard on the end of a commercial: “If you gave your young boy (*drug name*) and he developed breasts in his adolescence…”

what the – ?

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Stan and other sites

I wish I could say the same for Gil as I do about Frosty, but Gil’s show has been a big disappointment.  Friday, of course, I can’t even listen to it.  The other days of the week I do, but it’s the same thing day after day after day.  Politico on the line, talk about politics, talk about dumb teachers or criminals.  Don’t talk to callers but chat on-air to your producers and board operator, who don’t offer much to the conversation.

We don’t have much left, do we?  Ray’s not around, supposedly writing a book.  We lost Gene Burns.  John Rothmann is on radio a few times but not enough to schedule time around a show he hosts.  Len is missing in action.  Ed Baxter posts on his website and fills in a few times for Gil.  Ronn Owens is not even an option after December 2011.  People who still listen to that radio station he’s on have allowed those Atlanta Dick-eys to continue to destroy our local radio landscape.

We thought Santa Cruz might be an option.  What a joke that turned out to be.  And it’s disgusting how that no-talent blogger guy, who ranks media women by their ‘hotness’, is trying to shove his way in the door.

But we did get a bit of entertainment off that mess.  Good ol’ Stan started a blog.  He seems to have even cleaned up his language a bit (I said a bit…) although he, too, thinks it’s okay to rank ‘hotness’ (and no, he doesn’t include Radnich in his rankness):

http://stan55chevy.blogspot.com/

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Remember to visit these sites as well:

Radiolab:

http://www.radiolab.org/archive/

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This American Life:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives

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John Rothmann:

http://johnrothmann.com/

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Ed Baxter Media:

http://edbaxtermedia.com/category/podcasts/

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Here’s an interesting story I read on OpenSalon this week.  It’s a true story written by Old New Lefty.

http://open.salon.com/blog/old_new_lefty/2013/08/11/my_most_famous_ghost

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COZI TV, Musée Mécanique, Camera Obscura

Anyone see COZI TV today?  Before the America’s Cup race there was an old movie. ‘Man’s Favorite Sport?’, about a journalist who claims to be a fishing expert.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man%27s_Favorite_Sport%3F

There’s a scene in the movie where they end up in Musée Mécanique and Rock Hudson runs around feeding coins into the player pianos and musical games so they all play at once.  I used to do that.  Bring in a roll of quarters and plug all of the machines.  It was great.  Musée Mécanique is at the Wharf now.  I haven’t been to it since it moved away from Ocean Beach.

http://www.museemecaniquesf.com/visit.php

I also used to love to visit the Camera Obscura.  I thought it had been moved to the Wharf as well, but from what I see online it’s still near the Cliff House at Ocean Beach.  Years ago, I’d go there and watch the sunset from the inside of the Camera Obscura.  Back then, it was also a bit creepy inside with those holograms on the wall and that music playing.

http://www.giantcamera.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camera_obscura

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camera_Obscura_%28San_Francisco,_California%29

Someone even wrote a fiction novel about Camera Obscura.  I read it years ago, it’s a good read:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1116529.Secrets_of_the_Camera_Obscura

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America’s Cup had some excitement today.  Not one, but two racing boats falling apart during the race.  Two men overboard.  Italy’s racing speed was at 6-10 knots at some points.  It was crazy.  Too bad the America’s Cup has not turned out to be what promoters claimed it would be.  New Zealand racing alone.  So many racing teams not participating.  Tragic accident.  Now, Oracle accused of cheating and no one seems to be doing anything about it.  Allowing them to remain in the race as the defending champions even after the cheating has been proven.

It’s too bad, because there was so much potential to holding the race in San Franciso.  I enjoy watching it, but I’m not going to support a cheating team.  Go, New Zealand!  They deserve it and I hope they win it.

Well, I keep thinking I have nothing to write anymore, given the state of radio and our former hosts.  Somehow, I manage to type a few words every time.  Not that it’s worth reading, but I’m amazed I keep finding something to say.

So, that’s it until next week!  Hopefully, I’ll find something more to talk about by then.