Thursday, January 24, 2008

Done in by Demm

Though I toil in television, I have a perverse love of radio. Not the piped-in platter of some faraway corporation's hard-drive mind you, but good ole fashioned mouth-to-the-microphone live and local radio. Maybe that's why I'm such a (P-1) fan of 2 Guys named Chris, the WKRR morning show that defines that sadly dying form. When last we caught up with Chris Demm and Chris Kelly, they were yukking it up on the links, but since then they've continued to flesh out their repertoire, even making a stab at syndication with a move into the Wilmington market. None of this would have been possible of course without the insatiable Deidre James, who's brought some much needed color to the these two white boy's collective schtick. Throw in a carousing weather guy and a scruffy phone screener and you have surprisingly good radio.

But I didn't come here to eulogize this still thriving show. I logged in to talk about rock and roll trivia. As a forty something owner of a Molly Hatchet 8-track, I admit I think I know a thing or two about Classic Rawk, even if I do refrian from listening to it. But my scant knowledge of the cockswagger canon pales in comparison to that of Chris Demm (a Dee-JAY of course, and a brainy one at that!). Each weekday morning Demm puts his prowess on the line in a trivia contest called Put Up or Shut Up. Like many listeners, I play along silently and do quite well. Yesterday I called in and sucked out loud. Oh well, no shame in my game. Demm remains a devil of an opponent, but one dayI hope to make him lay that golden fiddle at my feet. Untilk then, I'll be sharpening up on my 70's-era liner notes and wondering how I missed on 'Logical Song', a Supertramp dirge I could sing by heart. Off key, of course.

(Lenslinger completists can listen to me getting schooled by visiting here and clicking on the play button under Put Up Or Shut Up For Jan 24th, 2008. After which you should probably re-examine how you spend your free time. Just sayin'...)

Delusional Crooners

If you watched the Charleston auditions of American Idol Wednesday night, well - that's sixty minutes of your life you'll never get back. Don't feel bad though, it cost me a several days! The Holy City was wicked hot back in September when Shannon Smith and I joined the nutbag nation for yet another round of Humiliation Theater. Okay, so there were a few good singers, but they kinda get lost among that cross dressing Elvis lady and the operatic lumberjack. Still, the American Idol audition circus isn't totally without merit; one day sociologists will examine the footage of these mass delusions and decide just who to blame for the downfall of Western Civilization. I got a few theories of my own, but I spend most of my time trying to forget the halitosis, the hubris, the horror of what I saw. That's pretty easy until it's time to edit, at which point I have to lock myself in a small box and pick apart the offending footage. Now that it's done, I'm only waiting for these weird facial ticks to subside. While they do, check out what you DIDN'T see on FOX, including Chris and Corey Lane, two arbiters of what can only be described as "Frat Rap". KICK IT!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Glass into Battle

Of all the little green army men I played with as a kid, I don't ever remember seeing a soldier-photog. Yet as the above photo shows, men with lenses have been trudging to the front since the birth of the captured image. In the 40's, members of the Army Signal Corps packed stills, film and heat through every theater of World War II. Whereas that should be more than enough to earn their way into molded plastic, the combat cameraman remains Missing In Action from your neighborhood toy store. It's my mission to change that, but before I can hurl something incendiary, I gotta get trained. Is there a definitive account of the combat cameraman? I'm sure I've just missed it on the History Channel and my VHS copy of Shooting War looks much too crusty to put in that old machine. I've yet to slog through all that I've found on-line but these sites look promising. Any others? C'mon, help a dogface out...

(ABOVE: Signal Corps combat cameramen Sgt. Carl Weinke, left, and PFC Ernest Marjoram wade through a stream while following infantry troops at Red Beach 2, Tanahmerah, New Guinea, during an Allied invasion, April 22, 1944.)

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Powder Run

I didn't wanna make another run, but a trumpeted front fell through and I had to blow out of town to score some snow. Hey I'm not a dealer! I just know where to get it. Trouble is, it ain't always the same . Take last week, whe I jetted West to satiate El Ocho's suits . Seems they were jonesin' for the hard stuff. You know: feathery flake, raw snowball, blue tint ... Dude, I tried. But no matter how many times I cruised up and down North Wikesboro all I could find was that slippery, sloppy slush. Sure, they got four inches of powder, but they got plenty of drizzle too. By the time I rolled down Highway 421, everything in town was all stepped on. No snowballs either; even the street urchins were layin' low. Maybe next time, though. I talked to some dude on a moped who says he can hook us up. Now do me a favor and put that towel under the door...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Losing a Studio

If the building that housed KREX was anything like my first backwater affiliate, it was nearly a temple. I mean it. Across the United States, squat brick buildings with aging towers and newer satellite dishes dot our fruited plain. While many resemble old elementary schools, they are in fact broadcast shrines - holy spots where low paid supplicants helped forge the Golden Age of local television. Thus, residents of Grand Junction, Colorado lost more than a spot on the local dial when KREX burned to the ground today. They lost a piece of their regional history, for the information that’s emanated from 315 Hillcrest Court since has affecting and reflecting its immediate surroundings since 1930. Thankfully, the four employees inside the station at the time of the blaze escaped unscathed but the building is a total loss. Here’s hoping the community will rally around the gutted site and help staffers reestablish the signal that helps make that part of Colorado so distinctly its own. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be checking the smoke detector batteries above my cubicle.