Peanut Butter Knife

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I Do Not "Believe In Cleveland"

One of the things that I most regret not having the time to blog about over the summer was the gushing, hyperbolic coverage in the local media over Cleveland's bid to host the 2008 Republican convention. It looks like all that pandering went for naught, as Minneapolis/St Paul placed first in the sweepstakes. I wonder if City Council president Martin Sweeney (D?) feels stupid now for his "We want you. We need you. And we love you" remark? I can only imagine that he made this statement while kneeling under the VIP table in front of Ken Mehlman.

How can one believe in a city that spent countless dollars trying to woo the convention of a political party whose economic policies of the last 6 years have been a major contributor to Cleveland's ranking as the nation's poorest? Instead of sinking money into revitalizing neighborhoods, improving safety, and spurring the kind of innovative businesses that are needed to make Cleveland attractive to outsiders (I'd say "bring Cleveland back", but when you've been gone since at least the 60s its hard to say what you're coming back from) once again, local leaders place their hopes and dreams on dubious pie in the sky schemes like the convention, casino gambling or placing suburban big box retail on former industrial acreage. Did anyone believe for a second that the GOP would be willing to place its delegates in hotels as far away as Sandusky and Canton? Never mind your political leanings, this thing never had a chance. And while jobs and people flee the area, our leaders expended way too much valuable energy on something that would provide a one-time tax windfall at best (which would probably just be spent on another stupid feel-good ad campaign to cover up for the fact that this city's best years were a half century ago), or a massive headache and 4 more years of torture-loving, deficit spending, theocratic rule at worst.

Don't get me wrong. While I abhor the GOP from the very depth of my soul, Cleveland's Dem "leaders" play a big role in why this region has sunk to the low that it has. That's why the whole "Believe in Cleveland" campaign is so insulting. This town isn't in bad shape because the people who live here don't "believe" hard enough. They don't believe because they've seen incompetent leadership in the public and private sector. They've seen interesting ideas and people who wanted to make a difference turn their backs on the city when they couldn't get anything accomplished. They've seen their manufacturing jobs leave and are told about how "its a new economy", but so many of our non manufacturing corporate headquarters have packed up as well. While other former Midwestern industrial strongholds like Chicago and yes, the Twin Cities, thrive, we have leaders like Jane Campbell going to another photo op in her city owned SUV and making false promises about new housing that will never be built because no one wants to move here.

Finally, I don't want to confuse not "believing in Cleveland" with hating it or not wanting it to do well. But when another generation of leaders comes into power talking a good game and then rolling the dice on another crazy scheme and not accomplishing what they originally set out to do, I have to think: Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. No amount of sloganeering will change that.

On a semi-related note: The Republicans were smart to pick Minneapolis for their convention. Located in a close blue state and bordering razor-thin swing states Wisconsin and Iowa, a win in MN & WI would more or less cement their designs on a pre-Fox Mexican style one party "democracy". Will the Dems be just as astute and pick Denver, giving a boon to their rising fortunes in the West, or will they be typically tone deaf and pick NYC? In the end, both conventions will only matter if there is any uncertainty over the nominee going in, not a likely scenario.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Playlist 9/18/06

Thanks once again to Bart and WCSB for letting me have a chance to participate in Retro Week this year. The show was a lot of fun and being able to dig through the vinyl library again was a pleasure as always. Here's what I played this morning, including a link to audio of the 2nd hour. For some reason the disc from the first hour didn't burn correctly, so unfortunately I can't post that.

Hour 1

Jonathan Richman "Roadrunner"
Stereolab "The Noise of Carpet"
Cornershop "6AM Jullander Shere"


Jorge Benjor "Zumbi"
Gilberto Gil "Aquele Abraco"
Caetano Veloso "Tropicalia"
Teenagers in Trouble "At the Hop"


Papas Fritas "Way You Walk"
Lindsey Buckingham "Time Bomb Town"
Home "Gypsy"
Califone "Vampiring Again"
Plush "3/4 Blind Eyes"

Hour 2: (Click to listen)

Judee Sill "Jesus Was a Crossmaker"
Emitt Rhodes "See No Evil"
The National Trust "See No Evil"
Catfish Haven "Crazy For Leaving"


Wilson Pickett "Hey Jude"
Bill Withers "Do It Good"
Johnson, Hawkins, Tatum & Durr "You're All I Need to Make It"
Chi-Lites "I Found Sunshine"
Lambchop "I've Been Lonely For So Long"


Nagisa Ni Te "After A Song"
Graham Nash "Military Madness"
Neko Case "Margaret Vs. Pauline"
Gram Parsons "Brass Buttons"


Wilco "Via Chicago"

If you were listening and want more info on anything I played leave a comment below.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Radio, Radio (plus Random Ten)

Well, my summer hiatus is turning into a fall hiatus it seems. My job has become especially busy and shows no signs of slowing down. Which sucks, because there has been plenty to blog about. Its hard when you have a post written in your head and can't find the time or energy to actually sit down and type it out. With election season heating up I'm sure there'll be plenty to write about. Hopefully there will be time to write it.

I'm posting today however, to let everyone know (if anyone still reads this) that as part of WCSB's 30th anniversary, I'll be taking part in "retro week" where past DJs are allowed to take over a show for one day. My turn will be this Monday, the 18th on Bart's "Stand Clear of the Closing Doors" from 7-9AM EDT (Interestingly enough, the original name of this blog was "Matengase Alejado de la Puerta" which means "stand clear of the doors" in Spanish and was printed on every rail car door in Chicago). You can listen locally on 89.3FM (in Cuyahoga and northern Summit counties) or online by clicking the link above. I'm hoping to record the show and post it here as well.

Oh! And I have an iPod now, so at the very least I can post my random 10 on Fridays!

1. Common "Be"

2. The Black Keys "Aeroplane Blues"

3. Richard Buckner "Brief and Boundless"
--Say what you will about the shuffle feature being completely random. But there has to be something to the fact that out of over 2200 songs, I maybe listen to 50-75 per day and something from Buckner's 1998 album Since never fails to play early on in the set. That's OK though, because its still a great sounding record, 8 years later.

4. The Valentines "Got To Get Yourself Together"
--From Lost Highway's R&B comp Night Train to Nashville, smooth soul with horns and harmonies. Perfect Friday morning listening.

5. Emmit Rhodes/The Merry Go Round "Lets All Sing"

6. Sam Prekop "The Shadow"*

7. Califone "Slower Twin"*
--*Great Chicago two-fer!

8. Guided by Voices "Bulldog Skin"

9. Thom Yorke "Black Swan"

10. Steely Dan "Black Cow"
--My black iPod evidently wanted to throw some love to some songs with "black" in the title. Combined with "Bulldog Skin", maybe its just a fauna fetish?

I also not so randomly listened to Catfish Haven's "Crazy for Leaving" a few times this morning. Hope to hear the rest of the album soon.