Just Vin, Baby!

2346672-2346671-home_vin_scullyEarlier this month, I crowed via social media about getting a pair of cheap seats to the Vin Scully Appreciation Game at Dodgers Stadium this coming September and how by not spending $1,400 for field-level butt rests I would have mooooore than enough to get me a customized Dodgers jersey honoring The Greatest Broadcaster Of Aaaaaaall Times who I unabashedly idolize and cherish!

Turns out easier said than done.

But let me back and fill for those who might be entirely and inexplicably clueless. Vincent Edward Scully, 88, has been the Los Angeles Dodgers announcer since they were the Brooklyn Dodgers back in the year Nineteen Hundred and Fifty. Last year, The Beloved Institution That He Is announced his retirement would commence at the end of this his Sixty-Seventh season behind the mic. If that two-digit number doesn’t blow you away, what’s wrong with you!? Sorry, didn’t mean to snap. What I mean is: think on that kind of longevity a little harder. What’s the longest job you’ve ever held? Me, it’s six years. Next, factor in this nebulous and dysfunctional City Of Change that we call home, and how its landmarks have been torn down and built over and torn down again and again forming sedimentary stacks of reinvention rising upon a foundation of disregard for our past. Then mix in the changes the Dodgers as an organization have been through these last 20 years alone? Lastly mix in the fact that most of us came from somewhere else and a lot of us remain unrooted to L.A. as a permanent base.

All the while, there has been Scully. Since the Dodgers moved here in 1958, there has been Scully. Every single year of my old-ass life as a native Angeleno and Dodgers fan: There. Has. Been. Scully. If his landmark status previously eluded you, maybe now you can see how people such as myself have formed such an attachment to this humble extraordinary man — who, incidentally, would be the first to dismiss such adoration. Maybe now you can see how people such as myself are among hundreds of thousands who really can’t fathom our town or its soundwaves without Scully in it. I still can’t fully wrap my head around the idea of his “It’s time for Dodger baseball!” opener at every home game not ringing out next year.

But let’s return now to my original point: the jersey!

Continue reading “Just Vin, Baby!”

Lord Have Mercy: Relief For “Laddicts” Has Arrived, Siriusly

Back in October legendary Los Angeles DJ Jim Ladd’s 14-year run at KLOS was unceremoniously ended when he was taken off the air by the new corporate pigs at Atlanta-based Cumulus Media who’d just purchased the radio station. Poof. Gone. The shmucking fucks didn’t even allow him a farewell broadcast.

I wasn’t the only one supremely pissed off by this — and for the very reason the Los Angeles Times’ Randy Lewis cited in his November 5 article:

More than simply a popular personality on the Southland radio scene, Ladd had developed last-man-standing status in his field, the only DJ at a major-market commercial radio station in the country who still picked the songs he played rather than using a preapproved playlist created by the station’s program director or outside consultants.

Fast forward to last week, and the awesome news that found its way into my inbox that Ladd had landed a new gig at SiriusXM Satellite Radio, one that premieres today on the Deep Tracks Channel (No. 27) at 4 p.m.

Sure it’s not “free” radio and there’s a shitload of more important stuff going on in the world, but from where I sit next to my Sirius-capable internet radio box it’ll be a bit of a better place this and subsequent afternoon with Ladd’s voice back out there sailing on the Los Angeles airwaves once again.

Summer Fund Drive At KCRW Needs Volunteers

KCRW logoKCRW is having their summer pledge drive from August 9 through August 17 and they need volunteers. They specifically need to fill the following days/shifts:

Monday, August 9 from 2:30pm – 5:40pm
Monday, August 16 from 5:50am – 8:10am AND 7:45am – 9:20am

They could also use a few more people on:

Thursday, August 12 from 2pm – 3:30pm
Monday, August 16 2:30pm – 5:40pm

If you have the time, I really hope you’ll sign up as it is such a fun way to volunteer and support a terrific radio station. The station is at Santa Monica college and there is free parking, lots of delicious snacks and drinks and a lot of fun people to work with, all while helping the station meet its financial goals. I’m again practicing what I preach and have signed up for four shifts. I’m a morning person so I’ll be answering phone from 6:00 am to 8:00 am, 8/9, 8/11, 8/13 and 8/17. Join me!

Go to KCRW’s Drive Volunteer page and read more, then sign up.

If you can’t volunteer this time, consider becoming a member (if you aren’t already) or make sure to renew your membership. There are always amazing give-aways and special deals for your donation.

Thank you!

Be A Subscription Drive Volunteer at KCRW

KCRW logoKCRW is starting its pledge drive this Friday, January 29 and they need volunteers. They have volunteer shifts through the day and evening that run two to three hours each. There is free parking, lots of delicious snacks and drinks and a lot of fun people to work with, all while helping the station meet its financial goals.

I’m practicing what I preach and have signed up for two shifts. I’m a morning person so I’ll be answering phones the next two Fridays (1/29 and 1/4) from 6:00 am to 8:00 am. I’ve done it once before and really had a good time. In fact, I found when I was volunteering last time, I never changed stations during the drive as I was so invested in the outcome.

Go to KCRW’s Drive Volunteer page and read more, then sign up. They especially need people for early morning shifts. The pledge drive lasts from January 29 through February 8. Plenty of shifts to cover! KCRW is located on the campus of Santa Monica College.

If you can’t volunteer this time, consider becoming a member (if you aren’t already) or make sure to renew your membership. Call before 8 this Friday morning and it might be me taking your pledge!

LA’s #1 radio station: Oldies blastin’ K-Earth 101

Top 40 station KIIS FM has been knocked off its perch as L.A.’s most listened to radio station by K-Earth 101.1, the “classic hits station.” [LA Times]

While K-Earth’s program director Jhani Kaye is taking credit for “expanding” the station’s music lineup – by adding 80s tunes to its rotation of 50s, 60s, and 70s music – it seems to this blogger that various other factors likely play the predominant role.

Mainly, “Top 40” music listeners don’t listen to the radio anymore – they use mp3 players, cell phones, MySpace, etc. for their music fix. Additionally, “Top 40,” a cornucopia of musical styles, has become irrelevent for fans specific to one type of music – why wait through a number of dance and boy band songs when you can simply create an online radio channel specific to hip-hop?

It could also easily be argued that Top 40 music pretty much sucks nowadays, but that argument has been made for years, and the few decent songs that do make it on air will eventually be played on “classic hits” stations in a few decades.

As for me, I stopped listening to FM entirely around the time Indie 103.1 began sounding a lot like KROQ… and then a few months later, Indie shut down. And even then, it would usually only be when I was in a car I couldn’t plug my iPod into. Now, its traffic and news on AM, if anything – deejays and radio commercials between subpar music depresses me.

What about you, blog readin’ Angeleno? What are you listening to these days, and when?

Win Tix to See Eric Hutchinson Thursday July 23!

Also, he's easy on the eyes.
Also, he's easy on the eyes.

So, my day job is at a radio station, and Eric Hutchinson’s coming in tomorrow to play a little live show in our in-studio performance space–and the viewing is so full that we’ve all been told there’s no more room. That’s the buzz on this guy–this show will sell out, and he’ll be playing way bigger venues in the future. (Haven’t heard him yet? Listen here.)

Then, totally unrelated to my work, Goldenvoice gave Metblogs some tickets to his concert Thursday, to give away! Lucky you!

A mellow evening of piano- and melodic-driven singer-songwriteriness, for fans of The Fray, Dave Matthews Band, the aforementioned Mayer, Jason Mraz, or Jack Johnson.

More info on the show can be found here.

To win tickets just leave a comment telling me why you want to see the show. We’ll randomly pick a few winners.

Los Angeles Loses a Radio Voice

randrRadio & Records, the leading trade publication for radio broadcasters, announced today that it will cease publication after June 5, dealing a major blow to an already suffering industry.

While I’ve already waxed poetic about the demise of R&R and the end of an era over at LAGenX, I thought it was important to mention here because R&R is local to Los Angeles. This is not case where a publication is only going to be offered online and not in print. R&R is closing up the ENTIRE operation.

The Nielsen Company, blaming the recession, had this to add:

The good news for some other companies out there is that we have many fantastic people who are now available to put their excellent talents, abilities and skills to work for someone else.

Nice.

The local economy will also take a hit with the loss of another convention. The R&R Talk Radio Seminar is held here every other year, billed as “the largest annual gathering of News and Talk radio executives, programmers and talent from across the country.”

Liza Richardson subbed for Jason Bentley this morning

liza_richardsonLiza Richardson, filling in for Jason Bentley, was responsible for the morning jangle on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic today. As much as I like the direction in which Bentley has taken the station’s flagship program, her line-up of tunes this morning was mesmerizing– a looping and swirling departure from Bentley’s sensibility. Throughout, I kept the live playlist window open on my computer and jotted down a list of artists to follow up on.

I only occasionally catch Richardson’s evening show on Saturdays (8-10 PM), but maybe a mix of DJs on MBE would be an idea worth exploring. The woman has ears.

But then again, you would expect that after her music supervising work on projects like the movies Y Tu Mama Tambien (earning her a Grammy nomination) and Lords of Dogtown, as well as the dark TV drama Friday Night Lights and the Apple iPod “Silhouettes” ads.

Photo: KCRW

Martians invade! Dinosaurs attack! World economy stabilizes!

invader_300 Okay, I made that last one up. But now that I have your attention, I’m going to get straight to the point.

Starting tonight, and continuing through Sunday, at the Skirball Cultural Center, L.A. Theatre Works wraps up a 22-city, seven-month national tour of their Sci-Fi (no, not “SyFy” you numbskulls) radio drama double bill of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds–originally performed by Orson Welles’ Mercury Theatre of the Air in 1938–and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World (no relation to this) with a live recording for their nationally syndicated show.

And if a chance to hear what L.A. Theatre Works calls “the mothership of all space invasions” coupled with a time travel adventure set in the “time of dinosaurs and cave men” isn’t enough for you, tonight (and tonight only) you can catch an interview with Leonard “I Am Spock” Nimoy following the performance. Perhaps if you’re lucky, they’ll leave room for a Q&A and you can finally ask Mr. Nimoy to clear the air concerning his singing career.

Photo by magnusw via Flickr.

L.A. Bands – Get Your Song Played on the Radio!

lagenxDo you have a band? Do you have your own music?

Here is your chance at getting some FREE exposure on LAGenX Radio.

Maybe you’re having trouble getting a label, or the local radio stations won’t give you an add. We think that sucks, because freedom dictates that every band should stand a chance. Especially yours.

We’re here to help.

LAGenX is a radio show with one musician and two actors, broadcast out of Los Angeles. We’re trying to make it, too. You and your band should come along for the ride.

Send your mp3s to [email protected] We’re on live every Saturday morning at 11 at LATalkRadio.com.

* Mention Metblogs and we’ll put you in the short stack!

LeVar Burton’s New Play + Tweetup!

levarLeVar Burton is starring in a new play opening this Friday at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. In The Caterer, @levarburton plays a man who sells you your appropriate death. It marks the Emmy-nominated actor’s return to the stage after a 25-year absence.

Reason #1 to see The Caterer: @levarburton is awesome. He called our fledgling little LAGenX radio show last weekend to chat about theatre, and to find out who we are. We’re not even sure who we are. But, we talked, and he tweeted about it. And we tweeted back. It was internet bromance. You can hear the interview here.

Reason #2 to see The Caterer: @levarburton is hosting an exclusive tweetup for audience members with tickets for Friday or Saturday night (Apr. 10, 11.) And you KNOW theatre tweeps like to party. From TheCatererPlay.com:

LeVar Burton will mingle and raffle off personal memorabilia.
Location to be encoded within program insert.
Must be 21 years of age to attend the after party.
Limited seating available.

See a show – Tweetup with the stars. Not a bad way to spend an evening.

New Radio Show for LA’s GenX

lagenxLet’s make radio history tomorrow morning.

You probably thought you’d be a movie star by now. Or running a fortune 500 company. Or settled down with Mr. or Mrs. Right. Ask yourself: Are you right where you thought you’d be at this age?

Tomorrow marks the launch of a brand new radio show by three thirty-somethings who are just trying to make it in Los Angeles. We want you to be a part of it. Just tell us what you want to talk about. On Twitter. Facebook. Skype. Whatever.

You’ve got problems. So do we. We’re here to listen. And make fun of each other.

Tune in to LATalkRadio.com, Channel 2, for the first broadcast of LAGenX, Saturday March 14 at 11AM Pacific. If you miss it, you can always download it later. We know you’re a slacker, just like us.

Let’s party.

Fan us on Facebook: LAGenX.com

Follow us on Twitter: @LAGenX

Unextraordinary Gentlemen

jilltracyshowThey call themselves the Unextraordinary Gentlemen. None of that is true. They are quite extraordinary and they aren’t all gentlemen – one is a gentle lady. I discovered them via friends and heard their music for the first time on a local internet radio show that happens (mostly) every Friday afternoon on Theory Radio presented by MP3JSark. Even in their rough cuts of music it became apparent to me that they had something. More to the point – they had a lead singer (Malcolm Schreeck) with a powerful  and unique baritone voice to front the magical world of Victorian intrigue they weave within their music.

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with the mysterious front man and pick his brain a little bit.

VL: So, I think I heard you created your band as a result of karaoke at Andrew’s Monday night alternative karaoke Ground Control.

MS: Well, that’s where Richard aka Prof. Mangrove approached me, yes.

VL: Serendipity. I assume he’s the tall drink of water I see out at the gothy events.

MS: Symmetrical Chaos.  Yes, tall drink of water.

Continue reading “Unextraordinary Gentlemen”

Adam Carolla dips toe into the Internets. Says, “I took a shit today.”

hammer_300When Howard Stern took his show to Sirius XM over three years ago, he left behind some mighty big shoes to fill.

And so far, nobody has been able to cram their feet into those delicate glass slippers.

Big shoes. Delicate glass slippers. Just pretend that works, okay?

Case in point? Last week’s demise of not only Stern replacement Adam Carolla’s radio program, but KLSX’s entire 97.1 FM Talk format. Without the “King of All Media” at its helm, the CBS station just couldn’t stay afloat.

Well, that, and the economy tanked.

In my opinion, the North Hollywood born-and-bred Carolla was always slumming it on that station anyway. As much as my half-Mexican skin crawls when he starts ranting about Los Angeles’ ethnic makeup, I find the guy incredibly sharp, immensely entertaining and far too talented to be waving the same flag as Tom “Dump that Bitch” Leykis.

So it’s with great interest that I downloaded Carolla’s first ever podcast this morning.

Continue reading “Adam Carolla dips toe into the Internets. Says, “I took a shit today.””