February 7, 2008
So, here we are more than week into the "I heart jazz" fund drive. (That's my name for it.) It's hard to take stock of where we are with this thing, beyond the dollar figure, which is around halfway to the goal so far.
We take these fund drives seriously because it's true that 50 cents of every dollar comes from our listeners. So, we plan, have meetings, design strategies, employ consultants and generally bust our collective hump (the membership department, mostly) to have a successful drive. To make sure the drive is easier on the ears. To make sure you don't turn your radio off or (worse) turn to another station.
At the risk of over-sharing, I'll tell you that, this time around, we wanted to concentrate on being briefer (or is it more brief) during our breaks. Get in. Drop the message. Give the number. Get back to the jazz. I don't think anyone actually used those words, but that was the idea.
All our fund drives have a life of their own. They are affected by the events that take place around us (Super Bowl. Super Tuesday. Fat Tuesday. Ticker tape parade, even 9/11.). Like most drives, we started this one out watching the clock, then loosened that up a bit and then went back again.
It's caused some testy exchanges, I'll admit. We don't all agree on these matters. All of it was behind the scenes and all a regular part of any fund drive at a public radio station. I'm not convinced that you tune out because our breaks are too long. I think you think our drives are too long.
But, maybe we can put this blog to good use. I know you're reading our posts. We have ways of counting that sort of thing. So, if you're reading this post, do me a favor. Click on the comments link and leave a comment. What turns you off about our fund drives? What might you do differently? (disclaimer: this is me, Cruz, asking this question and it should not be mistaken for an official WBGO inquiry.) - David Cruz
© 2008 WBGO
February 6, 2008
Robert Nesta Marley was born on this day (Feb 6) in 1945 in Jamaica, W.I. His friends called him Bob. He died in 1981. Simple math will tell you that he barely got a chance to live. But the music he crammed into his 36 years will outlive all of us.
If all you know about Bob Marley is "I shot the Sheriff," I urge you to dig deeper. The man was one of the most eloquent and sensitive songwriters ever. Whether he was singing about the oppression of hate or the deliverance of love, his lyrics were simply - true. Marley is Dylan is Lennon and McCartney is Jagger and Richards and then some. But, as hip as those cats were, they still couldn't break it down like Bob.
"I-and-I no come to fight flesh and blood, but spiritual wickedness in high and low places; so while they fight you down, stand firm and give Jah thanks and praises! I-and-I don't expect to be justified by the laws of men. Oh, You may find me guilty but truth, truth will prove my innocence. When the rain falls, it don't fall on one man's house. Just remember that!"
You don't have to be a Rasta to dig that! Happy Birthday, Bob. This world misses you, bro. - David Cruz
© 2008 WBGO
February 6, 2008. Posted by Angelika Beener.
If you checked out the list of my Top 10 favorite albums of 2007, you remember that Mike Moreno was among them. For those of you who are not familiar, here's your chance to check out this fabulous guitarist. The synergy and fire that this band brings is reminiscent and fresh at the same time, as is Moreno's brilliant playing. Saxophonist John Ellis' tone is one of the sweetest I've ever heard, and Moreno's tunes are classics in the making. Don't be surprised if you see them popping up in various musician's repertoires in the near future. Kendrick Scott's lyricism and dynamics on the drums are awe-inspiring, as usual.
© 2008 WBGO
February 5, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
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© 2008 WBGO
February 5, 2008
When was the last time you really cared about a primary election day? Exactly.
This will be a historic night, no matter how you vote. This is the first time in this generation that none of the candidates is an incumbent of some kind, so that might have something to do with all the hoopla. But, there's more, clearly.
The Democrats will select either a woman or an black person as their candidate, and that's the first time that's ever happened (in more than 200 years!) The Republicans could also conceivably nominate the first Mormon to run for president.
The GOP side of the race is not as close around here, but the Democrats have a real battle on their hands, especially here in Jersey where the difference between the two remaining candidates is just five percentage points.
For us in the news department it's gonna be a long day. Starting at 8 p.m. we'll be on the air with results and analysis. We'll have reporters in New York and New Jersey and NPR will cover the rest of the country. I defy you to find a music station that pays more attention to this stuff than we do. It's just one more thing that makes WBGO unique.
But, if we suck, it really doesn't mattter much, right? Well, we won't suck and you might just have some fun listening tonight. I hope you do. - David Cruz
© 2008 WBGO