Here’s a link to a Technique article regarding how outside forces are trying to alter WREK :
Quick stuff on some recently attended shows :
Saw Regina Spektor the other Friday and while I was impressed with how many attractive girls were at the show, the music was about as dull as it gets. Had heard Soviet Kitsch a bit back and thought it sounded ok, but this was boredom personified, with my main entertainment being watching two drunk (?) girls dancing madly somehow in a fairly confined space. At one one point Regina sang about how “two people next door to her were fucking to her music” (in so many words). Must have been because Regina was blasting her stero at their walls because the only bed activity I could imagine with her music involves snoring. If you start with Elton John and think watered down is Billy Joel and watered down of that is Bruce Hornsby, apply that process to Kate Bush -> Tori Amos -> Regina Spektor.
Saw Joan Jett the next night and that did nothing for me either. Have been going to see her for going on twenty-five years now and while I don’t mind her plugging her new album (though that version of the Replacements’ “Androgynous” she was doing at Music Midtown something like four years ago isn’t new anymore), I wish she’d diversify up the back catalog she plays. As is, you start realizing that for a decent songwriter (my opinion), most of her set is covers. I was also reeling a bit from having watched the movie “Edgeplay – A Film About The Runaways”, knowing how she (and her manager) had Vicki Blue pull any songs she had written from the film as well as whatever interview segments were done. So, anyone unfamiliar with the Runaways watching the movie would have little clue as to what they sounded like (outside of the Runaways’ covers of “Wild Thing” and “Rock N Roll”), but might mistake them with the Suzi Quatro (remakes even!) and Lita Ford solo selections that comprise much of the soundtrack. Would like to have found out more about what (Cherie/Sandy/Jackie/Vicki) did after leaving the band, especially given Sandy’s comments about how she learned something in prison, once broke someone’s arm and once put a gun down someone’s throat until they shit themselves. Whatever occurred, Sandy lived a hard life and you wished she could have seen a little bit better day before she passed away.
Saw Drivin N Cryin for the 237th time this past Friday. Kevn announced on-stage that this was the last time they’d do their annual Thanksgiving concert but he privately told me the same thing about last year’s show, so we’ll see. Thought they played a good deal better than the last few times I’ve seen them so that was fun.
In town this week is the first Atlanta appearance in over thirty years of the New York Dolls. Though Syl lives in Atlanta and has played out occasionally, it willÂ be David Johansen’s first concert here since his band opened for Pat Benatar at the Omni in the fall of 1981. (David did film a movie here in the early 1990s. I think it may have been “Car 54, Where Are You?”) Haven’t heard the new Dolls album yet (Why should Roadrunner bother servicing a college station? They send us their metal, but not this?), but the live reunion stuff from a few years ago was pretty darn good. Just watched “All Dolled Up”, Bob Gruen’s DVD of archival Dolls live/off-stage footage and was quite impressed. Amazing how lucid Johnny Thunders was considering what he became. If you are in Atlanta, you should definitely go see the Dolls at the Variety Playhouse on Wednesday. I’m pretty sure you won’t be disappointed.
They killed off 96 Rock this week. Sure, the classic rock it had been of recent was nowhere near as much fun as when it seemed the jocks had input into what they played (pre-Burkhart/Abrams), but it was an identifiable brand most folks my age grew up with. Funny how their corporate folks say they are catering to males 18 – 44 (yeah, most 44 year-olds like to listen to angry music with the jocks cutting in thanking the listeners for coming out to “party” with them, a promo of which the station is using to advertise moving the format down the dial.) 18 – 25, more likely. Still, 96 Rock is the station where I first heard the Sex Pistols (they played “God Save The Queen” the afternoon that the Pistols played at the Great Southeast Music Hall in January of 1978) and heard many a great concert broadcast (King Biscuit/Live At The Agora) including occasional simulcasts (Graham Parker, Joe Jackson, Peter Tosh) that sort of stood out at the time. But they did them. Time to guess the over/under on the lifetime of the Project 96.1 format? I guess under 5 years….
If you haven’t read my rant on what they are trying to do to WREK, skip to the post previous to this one and do something about it……..
jfk> They killed off 96 Rock this week.
jfk> over/under on the lifetime of the Project 96.1 format?
jfk> under 5 years…
Under 5 years? i’d say under 1 year. it is going to be like all those 103.x / 105.x channels up the dial that have gone thru so many cycles in the last 5 years, none sticking with anything for more than a year. Except for maybe wzgc, my perception is that every single station reformatting in Atlanta in the past 10 years has produced a large net loss of listeners.
With all the non-FM ways to listen to music these days, FM is in that mode where getting a new listener is 99 times harder than keeping an existing one. They have lost all the 96rock folks and will never get them back. 96rock listeners were all waiting for an excuse to tell their wives they needed Sirius/XM and now they have it.
Not that WREK is about getting listeners but if WREK makes that “WABE-II” sellout you are describing, the same thing will happen – WREK will be tossed into a futile attempt to regain relevance that could have been avoided by not abandoning the constituency and losing it in the first place.
Now i’m trying to remember — you know that show “The Dark Side”? Was that WKLS or was it WZGC? Either way it’s gone, but…
I’m sure you must be thinking of Greg Clarkson’s show on 96. Way gone.
Yeah I really like Joan’s new stuff even though much of it has been under devlopment for many, many years. Personally the best parts of the Joan Jett and Cheap Trick shows was hearing their great new material live.
There’s a really good interview with Vicki Blue about Edgeplay by Michael Butler at Rock and Roll Geek Show:
and a tribute to Sandy West:
jfk I saw you posted about Greg’s show that was on 96 rock years ago..I LOVED “The Darkside w/ Greg Clackston”. Back then I knew Greg (since lost touch) & several of the other 96 rock personally but Greg is/was & always will be an awesome on-air personality in my book. To bad we had to loose such a great station & great group of jocks..(yes I am female & saying that). Long life the “old days”….
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