my kids will be the first to tell you that i don't listen to music nonstop when i'm at home or in the car. they get tired of hearing "talk-talk radio" all of the time. i find it to be a nice aural diversion from the daily grind. listening to music is sometimes difficult for me. my job is to listen to music and provide constructive criticism. i also am picky about the quality of the music that i'm listening to, and often try to analyze it in an effort to steal 'what works' from any/everything i hear. there's far less at stake when listening to talk radio. i usually go with sports jibber jabber, mostly because i'm not down with varied interest pieces and am often ready to scream when i hear political banter (man, those conservatives have got the airwaves monopolized!!!) i enjoy sports, follow them in spurts, and don't seem to get tired hearing about brett favre.
one of my favorite radio spots is the dan patrick show. it airs on our fox affiliate, and is also televised on the 101 directv (very interesting). he has the usual cast of characters: prognosticators, insiders, current and retired athletes, and fellow broadcast journalists from assorted disciplines. he also has entertainers, political figures, medical folks, fans, and other personalities whom you may not expect to hear on a 3-hour sports broadcast.
dan's guest on monday was dick ebersol. he is an nbc vice president executive hot shot i'm not really sure what his title is but it sounded pretty important. at any rate, he discussed why he thought jay leno was so successful in the past and will (hopefully) be that again for his network. he mentioned that jay's monologues were right down the middle, appealing to a larger percentage of viewers. dan (once that guy got off the phone) talked about how jay's style of comedy was fastball fastball fastball fastball, where conan sprinkled in curveballs and sliders. jay works things right down the middle, and letterman paints the corners. which got me thinking....
in my music, i need to consider the general public with my programming. i believe that, in a big way, the death of jazz/improvised music is in its exclusivity. i get caught up in my original music and will fight you to the end about its viability. i really dig original and creative music that pushes this art form further and further along the road. i also need to be able to follow what's going on musically in an album and, more importantly, in a live performance. lots of acts play originals that aren't meant for your easy consumption (see the origin of bebop). i think that artists find a personal comfort and sense of pride in knowing that their audience doesn't quite grasp exactly what is going on and needs them to explain it (although they still probably won't grasp it but will be wowed at the thought that the artist actually has a bead on what's up).
here's what i need to do... keep writing original music. some of it can paint way beyond the lines. some of it probably should stay tucked in (harmonically, melodically, rhythmically, who cares). maybe i oughta play some of the covers more often. i should bone up on my understanding of music in general and be a bit more eloquent and approachable. and i definitely need to spruce up my onstage banter. a great example of this stuff is the bad plus. these guys play stravinsky and an original and ornette and another original and gloria gaynor, and it all seems to flow nicely while never leaving the listener out in the cold. plus, they're awesome.
so that's why they're moving jay back to the hot spot. his approach to programming the show, the laughs. now if i can figure out how to finagle big bucks from all of this (something tells me i'm gonna need it sooner than later...)