Wednesday, May 30, 2007

a drumming hero of mine...."The Tailor"-Mel Lewis

This great drummer and the bands he played with shape a lot of what I do, with regards to conceptualization of the playing of Jazz Music.

Mel Lewis (May 10, 1929 - February 2, 1990)

was born Melvin Sokoloff in Buffalo, New York to Russian immigrant parents. His father was a drummer in the Buffalo area who inspired his son to follow in his footsteps from an early age. Still in his mid-teens, young Lewis played with nationally known jazz musicians Harold Austin and Lenny Lewis. Early credits also include stints with Bernie Burns (1946), Boyd Raeburn (1948), Alvino Rey (1948-9), Ray Anthony (1949-50, 1953-54), and Tex Beneke (1950-53). In 1954 he joined Stan Kenton's band, playing alongside such musicians as Jimmy Giuffre, Maynard Ferguson, Laurindo Almeida, Vido Musso, and vocalist June Christy. During his three-year tenure with Kenton, Lewis also worked and recorded with the Frank Rosolino quintet and the Hampton Hawes Trio.

In 1957, Lewis settled in Los Angeles where he led a quintet with another ex-Kenton sideman, saxophonist Bill Holman. He worked with the big bands of Gerald Wilson and Terry Gibbs, recording with the latter between 1959-62. The early 1960's saw Lewis in New York with the Gerry Mulligan Concert Jazz Band, in Europe with Dizzy Gillespie, and in Russia with Benny Goodman. Lewis moved to New York in 1963 and formed a big band with trumpeter Thad Jones two years later.

The Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra performed and recorded extensively, garnering rave reviews and awards. Their performance on the album Live in Munich earned them a Grammy Award in 1979.

After twelve productive years, Jones left for Europe and Lewis assumed sole leadership of the band. With the departure of Jones, the Kansas City-born trombonist / pianist / arranger Bob Brookmeyer assisted in the musical direction of the Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra. Lewis established a residency at the prestigious Village Vanguard in New York City which spanned over two decades. He performed there until one month prior to his death in 1990. The orchestra continues to tour and record albums, as well as perform every Monday night at the Village Vanguard under the moniker, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.

Lewis, best known for his small group approach to big band drumming, was one of the first drummers to vary the ride cymbal beat, giving the music a loose and swinging feel. His commanding presence never dominated the spotlight and always stressed the interplay between the band members. "How much you stick in depends on how much you can hear," Lewis explained during a 1989 radio broadcast on the history of jazz drumming, "and if you're really hearing, you'll put in only what's necessary."

Mel Lewis was the recipient of numerous awards, including fourteen Grammy nominations from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Lewis authored a drumming method book It's Time for the Big Band Drummer (Kendor Music Co., 1978) and taught workshops on jazz drumming at William Patterson State College in New Jersey.

The legacy that Thad and Mel started in the '60's lives on!!!
For a well-written history of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and it's current doings...
Go to:

"we don't have no problem with shining."

A BIOGRAPHY of The Last Poets:

The Last Poets were rappers of the civil rights era. Along with the changing domestic landscape came the New York City-hip group called The Last Poets, who used obstreperous verse to chide a nation whose inclination was to maintain the colonial yoke around the neck of the disenfranchised.

Shortly after the death of Martin Luther King, The Last Poets were born. David Nelson, Gylan Kain, and Abiodun Oyewole, were born on the anniversary of Malcolm X's birthday May 19, 1968 in Marcus Garvey Park. They grew from three poets and a drummer to seven young black and Hispanic artists: David Nelson, Gylan Kain, Abiodun Oyewole, Felipe Luciano, Umar Bin Hassan, Jalal Nurridin, and Suliamn El Hadi (Gil Scott Heron was never a member of the group). They took their name from a poem by South African poet Willie Kgositsile, who posited the necessity of putting aside poetry in the face of looming revolution.

"When the moment hatches in time's womb there will be no art talk," he wrote. "The only poem you will hear will be the spearpoint pivoted in the punctured marrow of the villain....Therefore we are the last poets of the world."

The Last Poets has brought together music and the word. Like Haki Madhubuti (Don L. Lee), they are/were modern day griots expressing the nation- building fervor of the Black Panthers in poems written for black people. As the great poet Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) says, "The Last Poets are the prototype Rappers... the kina nigger you don never wanna meet!" They teach what America does to its Black men, what Black men do to themselves, and WHY!

Novelist/essayist Darius James, in his book "That's Blaxploitation!" (St. Martin's Griffin, 1995) recalled the impact of the Poets at their birth.

In 1970 the Last Poets released their first album

and dropped a bomb on black Amerikkka's turntables. Muthafuckas ran f'cover.

Nobody was ready.

Had em scared o' revolution. Scared o' the whyte man's god complex. Scared o' subways. Scared o' each other. Scared o' themselves. And scared o' that totem of onanistic worship -- the eagle-clawed Amerikkkan greenback! The rhetoric made you mad. The drums made you pop your fingers. And the poetry made you sail on the cushions of a fine hashish high.

Most importantly, they made you think and kept you "correct" on a revolutionary level.

We all connected. 'Cause it was a Black communal thing. Like the good vibes and paper plate of red-peppered potato salad at a neighborhood barbecue. The words and the rhythms were relevant. We joined together around the peace pipe and the drum. And when it came to the rhythms of the drums, the drums said, "Check your tired-ass ideology at the door."

With withering attacks on everything from racists to government to the bourgeoisie, their spoken word albums preceded politically laced R&B projects such as Marvin Gaye's What's Going On and foreshadowed the work of hard-hitting rap groups such as Public Enemy. Their classic poems Niggers are scared of Revolution, This is Madness, When the Revolution Comes (not to be confused with Oyewole's modern version linked above), and Gashman were released on their two record albums Last Poets (1970) and This Is Madnesss (1971).

During their late 60s and early 70s they connected with the violent factions of the SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee), the SDS (Students for a Democratic Society), and the Black Panther party. They went through confrontations with the FBI and police, and went arrests for robbing the Ku Klux Klan and various other ventures with Revolution in mind. Abiodun Oyewole received a 12-to-20-year jail sentence, but served less than four years.

Like Oyewole, Umar Bin Hassan was able to overcome the urban social maladies of a broken home, child abuse, a musician-father doing jail time, the dog-eat-dog world of public housing in Akron Ohio, and his own crack addiction. Hassan dispenses with the eloquence of classic English verse, for the gritty, in-your-face cadence of the 'hood.

They also fought each other and split into two groups. One, including Jalal Nuriddin, who wrote Wake Up Niggers, and Suleiman el-Hadi, was known as "The Last Poets" and the other, including Abiodun Oyewole and Umar Bin Hassan, while also original members, was billed as "Formerly of the Last Poets." It was a legal dispute, fundamentally, and for years there was talk of reconcilation. Nuriddin and el-Hadi also were active, though mostly in the UK (Nuriddin has been based in London for some years). In an early 90's Paris where Umar Bin Hassan was preparing for a Last Poet concert, Jalal mysteriously appeared and stabbed Hassan in the throat. Attempting to learn their own lessons, at present only Oyewole and Hassan (shown at the top of this page) remain of the original Last Poets in the group, and have the right to call themselves that title.

The Last Poets made four albums. Oyewole, at times with Hassan, at time without, made a number of others. On the albums, there are many special guests. Bill Laswell has appeared with the group during much of the 90s. They participated in the 1994 Lollapalooza tour; performed in John Singleton's "Poetic Justice" film and Holy Terror has Senegalese drummer Aiyb Dieng and his longtime collaborator, former Coltrane protege Pharoah Sanders to add some fireworks on sax. Hassan has the CD Be Bop or Be Dead. Anyway, a mid 90s performance of Oyewole and Hassan can be heard on the Stolen Moments: Red Hot and Blue compilation, which also ran on PBS as a video. On the fourth album since 1993,Time Has Come, Chuck D, co-founder of Public Enemy appears.

The full Last Poets story, as well as poetry, can be found in the book On a Mission: Selected Poems and a History of The Last Poets by Abiodun Oyewole, Umar Bin Hassan written with music journalist Kim Green

Abiodun Oyewole has had a number of projects not under the Last Poets name, such as the CD 25 Years. Oyewole, spent 15 years in the New York school system, also taught at Columbia University. David Nelson is a Christian Minister, Felipe Luciano is a newscaster New York. But the Last Poets, with Oyewole and Hassan, performed in Buffalo in 1997. According to Oyewole:

"We're no more 'godfathers of spoken word' than the man in the moon; it comes in a package from the motherland. But we accept there is work out there that we can do. People need to see a focal point, a beacon, and we don't have no problem with shining."

Selected Last Poets Discography

The Last Poets, Douglas 1970
This Is Madness, Douglas 1971
Chastisement, Douglas 1972
Hustlers Convention, w/Jalal Nuriddin recording as "Lightnin' Rod," Douglas 1973
At Last, Blue Thumb 1974
Delights of the Garden, Celluloid 1975
Jazzoetry, Celluloid 1975
Oh! My People, Celluloid 1985
Freedom Express, Celluloid 1991 (?)
Be Bop Or Be Dead, Umar Bin Hassan w/Abiodun Oyewole, Axiom/Island 1993
25 Years, Abiodun Oyewole w/ Umar Bin Hassan, Rykodisc 1994
Holy Terror, Rykodisc 1995
Time Has Come, Mouth Almighty/Mercury 1997

"So long as you remain in ignorance, so long will you fail to command the respect of your fellow men." The Subsequent Prosperity Of Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass
Born: February 1817 (exact date uncertain)
Died: February 20, 1895

Frederick Douglass once told a group of African American students from a school in Talbot County, Maryland, "What was possible for me is possible for you. Do not think because you are colored you cannot accomplish anything. Strive earnestly to add to your knowledge. So long as you remain in ignorance, so long will you fail to command the respect of your fellow men." Born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey to a slave mother and a white father he never knew, Frederick Douglass grew up to become a leader in the abolitionist movement and the first black citizen to hold high rank (as U.S. minister and consul general to Haiti) in the U.S. government.


Frederick Douglass stood at the podium, trembling with nervousness. Before him sat abolitionists who had travelled to the Massachusetts island of Nantucket. Only 23 years old at the time, Douglass overcame his nervousness and gave a stirring, eloquent speech about his life as a slave. Douglass would continue to give speeches for the rest of his life and would become a leading spokesperson for the abolition of slavery and for racial equality.

The son of a slave woman and an unknown white man, "Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey" was born in February of 1818 on Maryland's eastern shore. He spent his early years with his grandparents and with an aunt, seeing his mother only four or five times before her death when he was seven. (All Douglass knew of his father was that he was white.) During this time he was exposed to the degradations of slavery, witnessing firsthand brutal whippings and spending much time cold and hungry. When he was eight he was sent to Baltimore to live with a ship carpenter named Hugh Auld. There he learned to read and first heard the words abolition and abolitionists. "Going to live at Baltimore," Douglass would later say, "laid the foundation, and opened the gateway, to all my subsequent prosperity."

Douglass spent seven relatively comfortable years in Baltimore before being sent back to the country, where he was hired out to a farm run by a notoriously brutal "slavebreaker" named Edward Covey. And the treatment he received was indeed brutal. Whipped daily and barely fed, Douglass was "broken in body, soul, and spirit."

On January 1, 1836, Douglass made a resolution that he would be free by the end of the year. He planned an escape. But early in April he was jailed after his plan was discovered. Two years later, while living in Baltimore and working at a shipyard, Douglass would finally realize his dream: he fled the city on September 3, 1838. Travelling by train, then steamboat, then train, he arrived in New York City the following day. Several weeks later he had settled in New Bedford, Massachusetts, living with his newlywed bride (whom he met in Baltimore and married in New York) under his new name, Frederick Douglass.

Always striving to educate himself, Douglass continued his reading. He joined various organizations in New Bedford, including a black church. He attended Abolitionists' meetings. He subscribed to William Lloyd Garrison's weekly journal, the Liberator. In 1841, he saw Garrison speak at the Bristol Anti-Slavery Society's annual meeting. Douglass was inspired by the speaker, later stating, "no face and form ever impressed me with such sentiments [the hatred of slavery] as did those of William Lloyd Garrison." Garrison, too, was impressed with Douglass, mentioning him in the Liberator. Several days later Douglass gave his speech at the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society's annual convention in Nantucket-- the speech described at the top of this page. Of the speech, one correspondent reported, "Flinty hearts were pierced, and cold ones melted by his eloquence." Before leaving the island, Douglass was asked to become a lecturer for the Society for three years. It was the launch of a career that would continue throughout Douglass' long life.

Despite apprehensions that the information might endanger his freedom, Douglass published his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written By Himself. The year was 1845. Three years later, after a speaking tour of England, Ireland, and Scotland, Douglass published the first issue of the North Star, a four-page weekly, out of Rochester, New York.

Ever since he first met Garrison in 1841, the white abolitionist leader had been Douglass' mentor. But the views of Garrison and Douglass ultimately diverged. Garrison represented the radical end of the abolitionist spectrum. He denounced churches, political parties, even voting. He believed in the dissolution (break up) of the Union. He also believed that the U.S. Constitution was a pro-slavery document. After his tour of Europe and the establishment of his paper, Douglass' views began to change; he was becoming more of an independent thinker, more pragmatic. In 1851 Douglass announced at a meeting in Syracuse, New York, that he did not assume the Constitution was a pro-slavery document, and that it could even "be wielded in behalf of emancipation," especially where the federal government had exclusive jurisdiction. Douglass also did not advocate the dissolution of the Union, since it would isolate slaves in the South. This led to a bitter dispute between Garrison and Douglass that, despite the efforts of others such as Harriet Beecher Stowe to reconcile the two, would last into the Civil War.

Frederick Douglass would continue his active involvement to better the lives of African Americans. He conferred with Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War and recruited northern blacks for the Union Army. After the War he fought for the rights of women and African Americans alike.

We miss you, Kurt Vonnegut....."There's only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you've got to be kind."

15 Things Kurt Vonnegut Said Better Than Anyone Else Ever Has Or Will

By Scott Gordon, Josh Modell, Noel Murray, Sean O'Neal, Tasha Robinson, Kyle Ryan
April 23rd, 2007

Found at the AV club web page

1. "I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.'"

The actual advice here is technically a quote from Kurt Vonnegut's "good uncle" Alex, but Vonnegut was nice enough to pass it on at speeches and in A Man Without A Country. Though he was sometimes derided as too gloomy and cynical, Vonnegut's most resonant messages have always been hopeful in the face of almost-certain doom. And his best advice seems almost ridiculously simple: Give your own happiness a bit of brainspace.

2. "Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God."

In Cat's Cradle, the narrator haplessly stumbles across the cynical, cultish figure Bokonon, who populates his religious writings with moronic, twee aphorisms. The great joke of Bokononism is that it forces meaning on what's essentially chaos, and Bokonon himself admits that his writings are lies. If the protagonist's trip to the island nation of San Lorenzo has any cosmic purpose, it's to catalyze a massive tragedy, but the experience makes him a devout Bokononist. It's a religion for people who believe religions are absurd, and an ideal one for Vonnegut-style humanists.

3. "Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly; Man got to sit and wonder, 'Why, why, why?' Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land; Man got to tell himself he understand."

Another koan of sorts from Cat's Cradle and the Bokononist religion (which phrases many of its teachings as calypsos, as part of its absurdist bent), this piece of doggerel is simple and catchy, but it unpacks into a resonant, meaningful philosophy that reads as sympathetic to humanity, albeit from a removed, humoring, alien viewpoint. Man's just another animal, it implies, with his own peculiar instincts, and his own way of shutting them down. This is horrifically cynical when considered closely: If people deciding they understand the world is just another instinct, then enlightenment is little more than a pit-stop between insoluble questions, a necessary but ultimately meaningless way of taking a sanity break. At the same time, there's a kindness to Bokonon's belief that this is all inevitable and just part of being a person. Life is frustrating and full of pitfalls and dead ends, but everybody's gotta do it.

4. "There's only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you've got to be kind."

This line from God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater comes as part of a baptismal speech the protagonist says he's planning for his neighbors' twins: "Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you've got to be kind." It's an odd speech to make over a couple of infants, but it's playful, sweet, yet keenly precise in its summation of everything a new addition to the planet should need to know. By narrowing down all his advice for the future down to a few simple words, Vonnegut emphasizes what's most important in life. At the same time, he lets his frustration with all the people who obviously don't get it leak through just a little.

5. "She was a fool, and so am I, and so is anyone who thinks he sees what God is doing."

A couple of pages into Cat's Cradle, protagonist Jonah/John recalls being hired to design and build a doghouse for a lady in Newport, R.I., who "claimed to understand God and His Ways of Working perfectly." With such knowledge, "she could not understand why anyone should be puzzled about what had been or about what was going to be." When Jonah shows her the doghouse's blueprint, she says she can't read it. He suggests taking it to her minister to pass along to God, who, when he finds a minute, will explain it "in a way that even you can understand." She fires him. Jonah recalls her with a bemused fondness, ending the anecdote with this Bokonon quote. It's a typical Vonnegut zinger that perfectly summarizes the inherent flaw of religious fundamentalism: No one really knows God's ways.

6. "Many people need desperately to receive this message: 'I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.'"

In this response to his own question—"Why bother?"—in Timequake, his last novel, Vonnegut doesn't give a tired response about the urge to create; instead, he offers a pointed answer about how writing (and reading) make a lonesome world a little less so. The idea of connectedness—familial and otherwise—ran through much of his work, and it's nice to see that toward the end of his career, he hadn't lost the feeling that words can have an intimate, powerful impact.

7. "There are plenty of good reasons for fighting, but no good reason ever to hate without reservation, to imagine that God Almighty Himself hates with you, too."

Though this quote comes from the World War II-centered Mother Night (published in 1961), its wisdom and ugly truth still ring. Vonnegut (who often said "The only difference between Bush and Hitler is that Hitler was elected") was righteously skeptical about war, having famously survived the only one worth fighting in his lifetime. And it's never been more true: Left or right, Christian or Muslim, those convinced they're doing violence in service of a higher power and against an irretrievably inhuman enemy are the most dangerous creatures of all.

8. "Since Alice had never received any religious instruction, and since she had led a blameless life, she never thought of her awful luck as being anything but accidents in a very busy place. Good for her."

9. "That is my principal objection to life, I think: It's too easy, when alive, to make perfectly horrible mistakes."

The narrator delivering this line at the end of the first chapter of Deadeye Dick is alluding both to his father's befriending of Hitler and his own accidental murder of his neighbor, but like so many of these quotes, it resonates well beyond its context. The underlying philosophy of Vonnegut's work was always that existence is capricious and senseless, a difficult sentiment that he captured time and again with a bemused shake of the head. Indeed, the idea that life is just a series of small decisions that culminate into some sort of "destiny" is maddening, because you could easily ruin it all simply by making the wrong one. Ordering the fish, stepping onto a balcony, booking the wrong flight, getting married—a single misstep, and you're done for. At least when you're dead, you don't have to make any more damn choices. Wherever Vonnegut is, he's no doubt grateful for that.

10. "Literature should not disappear up its own asshole, so to speak."

Vonnegut touchstones like life on Tralfamadore and the absurd Bokononist religion don't help people escape the world so much as see it with clearer reason, which probably had a lot to do with Vonnegut's education as a chemist and anthropologist. So it's unsurprising that in a "self-interview" for The Paris Review, collected in his non-fiction anthology Palm Sunday, he said the literary world should really be looking for talent among scientists and doctors. Even when taking part in such a stultifying, masturbatory exercise for a prestigious journal, Vonnegut was perfectly readable, because he never forgot where his true audience was.

11. "All persons, living and dead, are purely coincidental."

In Vonnegut's final novel, 1997's Timequake, he interacts freely with Kilgore Trout and other fictional characters after the end of a "timequake," which forces humanity to re-enact an entire decade. (Trout winds up too worn out to exercise free will again.) Vonnegut writes his own fitting epigram for this fatalistic book: "All persons, living and dead, are purely coincidental," which sounds more funny than grim. Vonnegut surrounds his characters—especially Trout—with meaninglessness and hopelessness, and gives them little reason for existing in the first place, but within that, they find liberty and courage.

12. "Why don't you take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut? Why don't you take a flying fuck at the mooooooooooooon?"

Even when Vonnegut dared to propose a utopian scheme, it was a happily dysfunctional one. In Slapstick, Wilbur Swain wins the presidency with a scheme to eliminate loneliness by issuing people complicated middle names (he becomes Wilbur Daffodil-11 Swain) which make them part of new extended families. He advises people to tell new relatives they hate, or members of other families asking for help: "Why don't you take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut? Why don't you take a flying fuck at the mooooooooooooon?" Of course, this fails to prevent plagues, the breakdown of his government, and civil wars later in the story.

13. "So it goes."

Unlike many of these quotes, the repeated refrain from Vonnegut's classic Slaughterhouse-Five isn't notable for its unique wording so much as for how much emotion—and dismissal of emotion—it packs into three simple, world-weary words that simultaneously accept and dismiss everything. There's a reason this quote graced practically every elegy written for Vonnegut over the past two weeks (yes, including ours): It neatly encompasses a whole way of life. More crudely put: "Shit happens, and it's awful, but it's also okay. We deal with it because we have to."

14. "I have been a soreheaded occupant of a file drawer labeled 'science fiction' ever since, and I would like out, particularly since so many serious critics regularly mistake the drawer for a urinal."

Vonnegut was as trenchant when talking about his life as when talking about life in general, and this quote from an essay in Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons is particularly apt; as he explains it, he wrote Player Piano while working for General Electric, "completely surrounded by machines and ideas for machines," which led him to put some ideas about machines on paper. Then it was published, "and I learned from the reviewers that I was a science-fiction writer." The entire essay is wry, hilarious, and biting, but this line stands out in particular as typifying the kind of snappishness that made Vonnegut's works so memorable.

15. "We must be careful about what we pretend to be."

In Mother Night, apolitical expatriate American playwright Howard W. Campbell, Jr. refashions himself as a Nazi propagandist in order to pass coded messages on to the U.S. generals and preserve his marriage to a German woman—their "nation of two," as he calls it. But in serving multiple masters, Campbell ends up ruining his life and becoming an unwitting inspiration to bigots. In his 1966 introduction to the paperback edition, Vonnegut underlines Mother Night's moral: "We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be." That lesson springs to mind every time a comedian whose shtick relies on hoaxes and audience-baiting—or a political pundit who traffics in shock and hyperbole—gets hauled in front of the court of public opinion for pushing the act too far. Why can't people just say what they mean? It's a question Don Imus and Michael Richards—and maybe someday Ann Coulter—must ask themselves on their many sleepless nights.

Vonnegut's excellent-but-underrated Slapstick (he himself graded it a "D") was inspired by his sister Alice, who died of cancer just days after her husband was killed in an accident. Vonnegut's assessment of Alice's character—both in this introduction and in her fictional stand-in, Eliza Mellon Swain—is glowing and remarkable, and in this quote from the book's introduction, he manages to swipe at a favorite enemy (organized religion) and quietly, humbly embrace someone he clearly still missed a lot.

Two Views Of A President

This being the day after President John F.Kennedy's birthday, I decided to write about an afternoon I had recently watching a program on TV that spurred me to thinking that day.

The special was on the history of our nation's Arlington National Cemetery, and a section of the program was devoted to JFK and his personal experiences at Arlington, while he was President of these United States.

A little backstory on Arlington....It is America's hallowed ground. Arlington National Cemetery, resting place for more than 240,000 American military men and women and their dependents, is the most honored burial ground, consecrated by the famous and the everyman, with a history that links George Washington to Robert E. Lee to John F. Kennedy.

George Washington's family once owned the land now occupied by the cemetery, and legend has it that the first president himself stood on the bluff now occupied by Arlington House to survey the future site of the federal city. Robert E. Lee called Arlington House home for some 30 years. Yet it was the tragedy of the Civil War, and the sheer vindictiveness of one Union officer, that led to the creation of Arlington Cemetery.

JFK visited these hallowed grounds many times during his tenure, walking acres of the site, usually in a deep, reflective level of thought. Surrounded by the meaning of all the headstones around him, JFK would ponder important decisions, both personal and Presidential in nature.

A story about one of those visits has JFK receiving a letter that day of thanks from one of the soldiers whom life he saved while serving duty on PT 109, in the Solomon Islands during WWII.

This letter served to give more gravity to the day, during JFK's visit to the sacred grounds of Arlington.

The President was heard to say that afternoon, " It's so beautiful here....I could live here forever" Fourteen days later, victim of an assassination, the President was laid to rest in the very acreage he spoke of so respectfully and lovingly.

In the previous part of this story, we have a President who saved lives in war, and also in peace time...

Cut now to our current President (who probably doesn't visit Arlington on a regular basis, or with any frequency for that matter...) who lives to be a war monger and profiteer, while our economy is sucked dry, and our sons and daughters are offered up for slaughter in a war that is for naught. A war that wasn't needed or legally sanctioned with the blessing of the world at large.

You can tell the way that President Bush treats the respect of war death by the way he clamps down on the media at large and prevents the documentation (pictures) of the arrival of coffins containing the bodies of our soldiers, all who have paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives for a stupid, sham of a war.

This current President also didn't serve in the Military...He even ducked his obligation when confronted with the possibility of Military Service. Yet, he orders more bodies to the slaughter, even in the face of his own people's disenchantment with our involvement in Iraq, The general populace wants out, but Bush ignores the people's will, and continues make war and to chase the oil profits that he will ultimately reap through his backroom buddy-buddy sweet deals.

Very ironic, these two views of a President...

Many scholars, various experts, pundits on both sides of the coin have reconstructed the events leading up to the Iraq scam war, and most are in agreement that the facts point to NO reason to have legally waged this war...
All of the cooked intelligence has come to recent light, and even more ironic is the fact that these are crimes that this President (and others in his administration) should serve for, but will probably give himself a medal
while smirking at us all the while worrying about his legacy and where it will be placed.

I personally would worry more about what is IN the museum, and not where / how big it should be.

Saddaam Hussein was in check with the United Nations weapons people on his ass about things. Nothing was found by the UN inspectors to warrant ramping up action on Iraq. No nuke making components, No YELLOWCAKE, nothing.
Bush also willingly went against the wishes of the United Nations Security Council (and the world at large) by forging ahead with his attacks on Baghdad, without the famous "second vote" of allowing the SC to weigh in with opinion, along once again, with the world opinion staring him in the face

For all of Bush's avarice and malice toward his country he continues to block and trick, a not so mild irritant, even in his impending lame duck status. As Rosie O' Donnell (herself a victim of much derision and misguided vitriol from the Conservatives recently) said to airhead conservative co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck of ABC's "The View", in regards to supporting a president that has done what this one had.

Ms O'Donnell asked Hasselbeck this question...

"650.000 Dead Iraqis....Who are the Terrorists?

P.S. Look out for the story that won't go away....

This episode of President Bush's bedside compelling of Fmr. Attorney General John Ashcroft to sign legislation to legalize wide swaths of illegal wiretapping on his own people Ashcroft had been stricken with a severe case of pancreatitis and rushed to George Washington University Hospital, where his gallbladder was removed and he was placed in intensive care. Ashcroft's wife had banned all visitors and phone calls. Ashcroft was six days into his intensive care convalesence, bombed out of his mind on morphine drip while the President gathered a gang of goons (led by Alberto Gonzales and Bush Chief of Staff Andrew Card) to meet in a hospital room standoff, getting Ashcroft to sign off on illegal wiretapping legislation.

Ashcroft was against this wiretapping and had said so before the hospital room showdown. He continued to say so that evening, and pointed to his second in command, former deputy, James Corney , as to having the power to entertain this stunning request, not him as he was really not in power and.... INCAPACITATED, IN A HOSPITAL BED ON MORPHINE and really out of his mind in PAINNNNNNNNNN....

—this story, recounted a few weeks ago in congressional testimony by Mr.Corney sounds like something out of Hollywood, not Washington.

Many outlets on the web are fired up with this your searches and you won't believe your eyes!!!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Damn!!!....BEATS And PIECES is gone from the airwaves......DAMN!!!

hello friends and lovers of good music...

This is a sad day for music listeners (and myself) around the area, as one of the world's BEST radio experiences, the mighty, mighty show "Beats And Pieces" has been recently silenced at Oregon Public Broadcasting.

I actually heard this fact a week or so earlier, and finally got a chance to search out something on the web to substantiate this very somber fact. It sounds like more corporate tinkering with which way our sensitivities should skew, when listening to OPB's recent change in music programming.

As a committed local radio programmer on KBOO 90.7 FM on the show "Jazz Rap II", I did (and still do) appreciate the work and skill that the show's venerable and humble host, Steven Cantor brought every week with his musical musings

I am still going through withdrawl from this announcement.

Furthermore, I will truly miss the boldness that SC exibited each time out, and I personally am the more richer since guitarist Dan Balmer told me of the show's existence on the airwaves, back in the early part of the decade.

Contained within this edition of my writings is a blog post from pdxstra's blog on the Oregon Media Insiders web page, a story by Willamette Week's Julie Sabitier and the ensuing posts by readers, along with an official announcement from the OPB web site later down the page.

As updates continue to be posted, I will do my best to present these as they become available.

These new posts, as well as the current amount of writings about the show will continue to illustrate the importance of free thinking in radio, as well as adventurous leanings, with regards to what is the beautiful quotient when music attempts to do the aforementioned.
They also should show the true feelings of those listeners out there lucky to be touched by Beats And Pieces.

IT IS really a shame when officials (such as the ones at OPB) just don't see the long view of having that creative juice flowing through the infrastructure of their organization, while bringing people music that will challenge, enrich, and sustain them.

I am sure that many listeners like myself have had enough of the homogenous nature of programming to the lowest common denominator of listener. B & P whittled away those morose conventions every week, was a topical comment on many forms and atmospheres of music, and always worked / aspired to grow the ears on a listener, not to put them conviently to sleep.

Oh, by the way, mssrs. at OPB.....

As a local musician, it never ceases to amaze me how much the region's musicians and artist get regularly ignored by the radio pundits in this area, save for community and college radio concerns. This region is, and has always been ALIVE with great talent, and to piggyback an explanation of how this will fact be rectified with inclusion in the new direction of OPB's programming is just self-serving. This should have been, and virtually WAS happening anyway with your newly retired programmers.

Steven Cantor was fearless in performing this very task on his show, so throwing this fine programmer out with the change in ratings bathwater only serves to enhance the fact that the officios just don't know squat about the valuable resource that is under their collective noses.

Let's now together digest this very unsavory meal planned for our continued listening diets.


Beats & Pieces Canceled: Whither Music on OPB?

Submitted by pdxtra on Sat, 03/31/2007 - 8:41am.

Beats & Pieces is canceled as of the end of this weekend, according to a rather terse message introducing the show last night. Apparently it will be replaced by the national music program UnderCurrents, while a new local music program is on its way.

I'm reminded of Lynn's post back when OPB canceled Performance Today:

David Christensen and Steven Cantor, watch your backs; you're next.

But taking OPB at its word that it's canceling the one half of its remaining music programming only to replace it with different music, I'm wondering why? Did Cantor want to move on? Is there a high demand among OPB listeners for different sleepytime music?

The temporary replacement describes itself as "Rock, Blues, Folk, Native, Country, Funk, Electronica, Reggae, World, Conscious Hip Hop, Dub and more." The demo sounds like something liable to wake one up at random, though at least not with the theremin/Alpen horn/didgeridoo jam session to which Eclecticty is prone.

So what would you prefer? The soothing sounds of Beats & Pieces? The less-soothing sounds of something else? A bunch of Brits reporting genocide and famine as you fall asleep? I go with the lattermost.

OPB Announces Changes in Music Programming

Oregon Public Broadcasting said it will continue to make changes in its OPB Radio (91.5 FM) music programming beginning with the April 1 discontinuation of Beats & Pieces.

Special music programming will begin April 6 and continue through mid-May when OPB will launch new programs featuring local and regional music and artists.

"We believe our listeners will be very pleased with this new programming, especially when it features the music of this region and some of our own most talented musicians," said OPB President Steve Bass. He said more details will be announced closer to the mid-May launch date.

He also thanked Steven Cantor, host of Beats & Pieces, for his many years of service as the program's host. Cantor was offered a different position with OPB but declined to accept it.

Bass said OPB constantly reviews its programming via member surveys, calls and emails, audience ratings and focus group research. Similar research guided OPB’s earlier decision to offer the Performance Today program to All-Classical 89.9 FM and its current decision to end Beats & Pieces, which had a loyal but very small following.

"We are listening to our members when we make these decisions and what they are telling us is that they want change and expect top-quality music programs such as those we'll be adding to OPB Radio," he said.

Friday, May 4th, 2007

NEWS STORY Radio daze : Musical chairs at OPB.

I WANT MY MTV? What does OPB consultant Paul Marszalek have in mind to replace Beats and Pieces ?
BY JULIE SABATIER | 503-243-2122

[April 25th, 2007] On Sunday nights, Scott Jackson liked to kick back, read the paper and tune in to Oregon Public Broadcasting for Steven Cantor's Beats and Pieces.

The music show defined eclectic, playing everything from jazz and classical to jug bands, electronica and music from around the world.

"[Cantor] would play a lot of things I hadn't heard before, and I've heard a lot of music," says the 52-year-old Jackson, who isn't an OPB member. "It's as though the songs were having a conversation. They fed off of each other."

That conversation ended this month when Jackson along with other Beats and Pieces fans instead heard a syndicated music show called UnderCurrents.

UnderCurrents is a temporary placeholder for Beats and Pieces, which had aired Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights since the late '90s on OPB. The show had an estimated 2,000 listeners, making it one of OPB's lowest-rated shows.

"It's not serving kind of the core, loyal OPB listeners. So, we think this is an opportunity," said OPB President and CEO Steve Bass. An opportunity for what he didn't exactly say, beyond stating evening programming must be "re-thought.

OPB plans to announce its new weekend music program sometime in May. But here's one possible clue about what it will be: OPB has enlisted consultant Paul Marszalek, a former vice president of music programming for VH1/MTV Networks.

He's also held senior management positions at KFOG in San Francisco and WXRT in Chicago. Both stations adhere to the Adult Album Alternative format, which aims at young adults who appreciate a broad definition of rock music. Think Regina Spektor and Rufus Wainwright.

"There are noncommercial and commercial AAA stations," Christensen says. "This won't really be exactly like that, but with contemporary music there will be a lot of overlap there."

Bass downplays consultants' role in programming decisions. But OPB's vice president of radio programming, Lynne Clendenin, says consultants are important because they "can provide insight and another voice."

"I tried to see if I could put together sets based on my understanding of what I think they have in mind, and it meant eliminating about 85 percent of what I played," says Beats and Pieces host Steven Cantor. "If programming decisions are to be made solely on the basis of achieving the highest rating, then it becomes unclear to me what the distinction is between a public radio station and a conventional, commercial radio station."


The following are some comments blogged to WW's story "Radio Daze" by Julie Sabatier concerning the changes at OPB.


John Cozzolino
Apr 25th, 2007 11:38am

I guess I'm one of the "2000" who has listened faithfully for years to Steven Cantor's "Beats & Pieces" music programs. Mr. Cantor's work brought a breath of fresh eclectic air to Portland's airwaves, and I'll miss terribly his musical insights, discussions of artists, and quirky theme sets. If OPB uses his slot to go to an "AAA" -type format, they will lose me forever as a listener and member. If I wanted to hear that type of dreck, I could tune in to any one of a half-dozen commercial Portland stations. Believe it or not, OPB, there are some people who appreciate music that goes beyond the "safe" formats!

Harold Hutchinson
Apr 25th, 2007 11:39am

If I was an OPB member (and this continuing OPB trend towards the consulted and the bland is a major reason I am not) I would be requesting a return of my membership. Just exactly who is the core of loyal OPB listeners not being served?

Apr 26th, 2007 7:28am

When George Fendle was let go, the jazz scene in Portland went to Zero, than I went away to the Internet. I listen to the OPB news in the morning[ clock radio] and nothing else. OPB TV almost the same. Now, Nova, and Front-line are the only programs on OPB worth my attention.

Mark Hendershott
Apr 26th, 2007 8:58am

Glad I live in broadcast range of both KLCC (Eugene) and Jefferson Public Radio.

Apr 26th, 2007 7:39pm

Of course, much of what's here is speculation, isn't it? So instead of getting all hipper than thou and indignant, as so many of you are want to do, why not see what ACTUALLY REPLACES Beats & Pieces and give it a shot? If you honestly think that OPB is going to go to a format in that time slot that resembles commercial dreck, you have a broad definition of "commercial dreck." Really, would a Portland-centric program along the lines of what you might hear on Seattle's KEXP be that bad? Just whom, exactly, are you too cool for? Pete Krebs? Laura Veirs? The Decemberists? Talkdemonic? Menomena? M. Ward? Seriously kids, settle down until you have actual information on which to base your diatribes.

Apr 27th, 2007 4:50pm

Actually Billy, I'm way too old to ever consider myself "hipper than thou"...Pete Krebs? Laura Veirs? The Decemberists? Talkdemonic? Menomena? M. Ward? Who ARE these people? Believe it or not, some people just really don't give two shits about the much-overhyped local indie rock scene. By the tone of your comment it seems that you've never really listened to Beats & Pieces. This is what you won't get with Steven Cantor gone: free jazz; avante-guarde jazz; long-forgotten early 1920s jazz; classical; avante-classical; modern classical; the Turtle Island and Kronos Quartets; the National Womens Choir of Bulgaria; Tuvan throat singers; unbelievable sound collages from DJ-mixes from around the world; experimental music...and on and on. Stuff you would never hear on ANY other program that I know of.

And no offense, but as far as the AAA radio format is concerned, I'd rather listen to Louden Wainright, John Prine, Jesse Colin Young or Eric Anderson rather than Rufus Wainwright. Same for Regina Spektor-- give me Kate & Anna, the Roches, Carole King, even Carly Simon, fer chrissakes! Guess I'm showin' my age here.

Apr 28th, 2007 1:48am

Yeah, I guess you are showing your age-- old dog/new tricks, and all of that. And whatever you do, don't check those artists out for yourself. Let your preconceived notions based on....I don't know, apparently Rufus Wainwright and Regina Spektor, guide you. I mean, it's a bit ridiculous and a moot point all together if you're simply going to make blanket statements referring to some "much over-hyped local indie rock scene," as if every artist I named were the same as one another and fit nicely into your classification. Seriously, if that's the stance your taking then we're both wasting breath.

Apr 29th, 2007 8:37am

The point is, my friend, that you can hear all the artists you mention on other Portland (or internet) stations, any time you want. Are you really gonna stay home Saturday night to listen in to OPB's "new format for loyal, core OPB listeners" (what the hell were WE?!?) instead of crowding into the Doug Fir? The people who listened to "Beats & Pieces" were (are) very loyal; I would even make my pledges specifically during his program during fundraising. But, OPB couldn't leave well enough alone, even for a few measly Saturday night hours, the same Saturday night hours that TV relegate to old "Matlock" reruns because no one else even gives a shit about that time slot. Once upon a time, the music industry used to finance its' more adventerous artists with the multi-megasellers, but no longer. I guess radio's going the same route.

Oh, and by the way, I have heard all the artists you mentioned in your earlier post. I was just needling a bit. Where did I hear them? At one time or another, Steven Cantor played them all on Beats & Pieces!!!

Alex D
Apr 29th, 2007 1:23pm

What really bothered me was the sad way in which Cantor's show was unceremoniously dumped. I sent him a very fond thank you and farewell via his OPB mail address, but I doubt it was forwarded.

Beats & Pieces was - by far - the best, most thoughtful, interesting, and intriguing music programming I've heard on the airwaves. I'd listen by the radio and make note of the most poignant or beautiful pieces, then check the website playlists later to discover the source. I discovered several dozens of artists this way, and much of what later found it's way to my stereo or ipod was thanks to him. Should the U.S. fix its internet radio rate structure, I hope he launches something online where his wide-ranging musical taste and knowledge can reach a much wider audience. I'm definitely not hopeful about OPB's replacement, and doubt I will be spending weekend nights listening in as before. Beats & Pieces really was a kind of unique jewel, and I'm sad to see OPB throwing it away for more conventional and obvious fare.

Apr 30th, 2007 12:42pm

I feel your pain fellas. Truth is, anybody over 50 today is considered non-per$on, if you get my drift. It's not just OPB. Look around. The wasting of our tastes, needs, nay, even the right to have opinions of the "boomer" and later generations has been underway for a long while. Either we weren't paying attention or it hadn't yet reached critical mass. Beats & Pieces is the red light as far as OPB is concerned, the yellow having already been flashed by national and local NPR-connected radio bowing to corporation "sponsorship," admitting the bottom line is no longer truth or cultural diversity but almighty currencies (this to include the ever-rising Euro). OPB is a perfect mirror to this anti-culture. Superficiality and ratings chasing will be the dominant characteristics as time goes on. Sad to say, while an OPB member now, I probably won't be on the next pledge go round.

Oh yes, this gives me the chance to say to the "young breeds" who've decided the rest of us are fit only for the world's manure pile... you'll find out at some point what it feels like and you'll hate it every bit as much as do the "fossils" you deride today. There have always been generational shifts, points where so-called elders stepped aside for so-called youth. Yet, never with the edge we seem to have going on here. Never with quite so much smugness and contempt for people not that far away in chronological years but apparently worlds apart in the way they think and what they treasure. Of course, I'm conveniently leaving out the late '60s and '70s where REAL disconnects were happening resulting in things like (sometimes daily)riots and bombings, coast-to-coast. Once the peace and love rhetoric got stripped away, things got pretty nasty and OUR elders pushed back, too.

So, on the one hand, even as I've opened my window here screaming, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore" (dismissal by those sans one grey hair) ... on the other hand, my Buddhist inclinations kick in causing me to say, let's show compassion to one another, whether it involves tastes in programming or larger issues such as war. It doesn't mean I'll learn to like OPB's canning of Steven Cantor. It does mean I'll learn to take these inevitable changes more calmly without losing my own center -- or hope.

"Let us cease from wrath, and

refrain from angry looks. Nor

let us be resentful when others

differ from us. For all people

have hearts, and each heart has

its own leanings. Their right

is our wrong, and our right is

their wrong. We are not un-

questionably sages, nor are they

unquestionably fools. Both of us

are simply ordinary people. How can

anyone lay down a rule by which to

distinguish right from wrong? For

we are all, one with another, wise

and foolish, like a ring which has

no end."

--Shotoku Taishi (574-621 CE)

here is a 2002 story on SC from Reed College Magazine that was very interesting and clearly puts an ictus on what his mission was when doing radio. Enjoy!!!

A Sponsored Avocation / August 2002

At about the same time Karen Burdick was playing the blues, Steven Cantor ’73 was in the basement dreaming up God’s Big Radio Show, which—you do the logic—would play only Bob Dylan. KRRC was the first time Cantor had done any radio, but for someone whose deepest love was music it was the land of milk and honey and rare recordings discovered on the shelf.

“Reed was an incredible thing for me,” Cantor says now. “It still stands out as the most amazing group of people I’ve been able to be a member of in my life. Every person I met was interesting.”

Cantor left Reed in 1971 to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he studied with, and eventually became friends and roommates with, the celebrated jazz guitarist Pat Metheny. Cantor’s ear for music was so good that he was soon helping produce records for Metheny, whose band members included some of the world’s finest musicians.

“I was the guy in the studio whose responsi-bility it was to keep an eye and ear on the forest while the musicians got (appropriately) lost in the trees,” he says. “I was a member of the production team on two of Pat’s recordings, and then co-produced the first two solo records for Lyle Mays [Metheny’s famed keyboardist] with him.”

Steven Cantor ’73Which might make you assume the rest of Cantor’s story is all Ferraris and big houses in the L.A. hills. But for two things: while Metheny is a very successful jazz musician, he is still a jazz musician, which is more nice Volvo than Ferrari territory. And Cantor was unwilling to take on all the crappy projects that he would need along with the good ones to hit the big time.

“Those records were labors of love for me,” he says. “I didn’t want to make it a job.”

Cantor stumbled upon a free-form radio station affiliated with Tufts University, where he did a show that drew upon his extensive contacts with different kinds of music and musicians. When he returned to Portland in 1993 with a “day job” as a database programmer at Adidas, he began looking for a similar outlet for his passion.

“I noticed that Oregon Public Broadcasting’s radio station had a format something like the Tufts station, and eventually I went on air there, playing music on the weekends—four hours Saturday and three hours Sunday. So you see, I don’t really have a career in radio: it’s sort of a sponsored avocation! In fact, I probably spend everything I make at OPB on recordings for the show.”

Cantor has a mission whenever he’s on the radio: “Today there are more amazing recordings of fantastic music in all styles available than ever before—conversely, there are fewer and fewer places to hear them on the radio. I try to bridge that gap. In my life I’ve had the good fortune to hook up with a dizzying variety of incredible musicians, so I’m familiar with a lot of music. To me, this show is payback for that good fortune.

“What I find myself doing on radio. . . . I just don’t know of any other medium that works this way. It’s a unique form of expression, and for me it’s a unique showcase for a wide range of musical expression. I feel like I’m doing a live mix performance every time I’m on the air. I’ll keep doing it as long as they let me.”

(ed.note) Amen....

a recent post about SC from "The Sound-O-Mat" May 02, 2007

The Sound-O-Mat, located in Portland, Oregon, is a Post-Production and Mastering Audio & Video (DVD) Studio with two sound engineers, as well as a small "boutique" record label. This blog is a way to share our adventures and experience in the world of audio!

Canceling Our OPB Membership and Support
Just recently, Oregon Public Broadcasting, aka OPB, which runs both a radio and TV station each, canceled a fantastic, free-form radio show that ran Fri/Sat/Sun nights by who we feel is the most amazing free-format radio DJ ever: one Mr. Steven Cantor. Better than anyone on KBOO as he was willing to play anything (one evening we heard a local string quartet as well as tracks from Autechre, because he had seen both play live locally that week) and focused on the music and merely relating as much of his encyclopedic knowledge about what he was playing that blabbing some agenda and/or lifestyle as KBOO radio hosts tend to do, and we think he had better chops than any of the very good to amazing DJs on the famous publically-funded N.J. station WFMU, which does excellent radio programs but none of which are truly the "cover the entire spectrum of all music without any bias" that Mr. Cantor did - his love of all styles of music, without exception, made and makes him uniquely the best at this type of show.

Here's the letter we wrote OPB to tell them to revoke our membership and that we would be supporting other locally funded radio stations:

We wish to revoke and cancel my membership, and be removed from all mailing lists, electronic or otherwise, that OPB has. We were upset when Performance Today was removed from the weekday programming, but the cancellation of Steven Cantor's "Beats & Pieces" free-form music radio show on Fri-Sun evenings is the last straw. Spending my money to hire expensive "consultants" to replace the show with one that has "more local and mainstream appeal" is not only a waste of my money that I will not tolerate, but goes against what Mr. Cantor's show was already doing: capturing and offering a lot of new and interesting music, often combined with classical and older music, with a strong emphasis on local - it was rare for him not to play music from local bands or ones that had played in Portland the week before, as Mr. Cantor obviously attends local musical events almost every day of the week.
His support of local music and creating a radio show unique and suited to Portland was unprecedented and without peer, and the complaint that his show had low ratings (2000 listeners) is no only likely wrong: I have turned on dozens of people to his show myself and have a computer program set up to capture it to listen to later when I'm busy, but the time slot in which he was working is the worst possible one: Fri/Sat nights people are busy and out doing things, and Sun nights most people retire early to bed or to watch TV, and no change in programming during those time slots will increase listenership in any drastic way, no matter how much money you WASTE hiring OUT-OF-STATE contractors and "musical directors" to try to address this "make-believe" issue. I think Mr. Cantor put it best when he said that when OPB is worried about ratings and bringing in outside experts to create shows to attract audiences, then it is no longer playing a role as a publically funded radio station but is acting, in every way, like a commercial station.

If President Bass has decided he wants to run OPB, at least the radio division, which produces much of the listener generated money without the huge costs of the TV division, which costs far more than it brings in, then in my mind OPB has become in every way a commercial station, and can run adverts to support itself and no longer needs my support.

If you want to act like a commercial station, then turn into one, and don't expect me to ever send another penny to OPB to be wasted on the TV division which I don't watch, and so you can run a commercial station which can be funded like any other commercial one: with advertisers.

I have watched OPB change over the years, and I can't say there's been much improvement aside from finally offering OPB on the Internet as a stream, but otherwise it has been nothing but constant moves backwards: canceling Schickely (sp?) Mix, then Performance Today, and now Mr. Cantor, while Music Director David Christianson's rather lame and predictable weeknight show continues.

Your priorities and objectives are completely out of line both with the point and purpose of PUBLIC broadcasting as well as you listenership, and I hope you will find many others like myself who are sick of the cancellation of the shows we've enjoyed and made us regular listeners, to the point where you cannot operate without taking on more and more advertisers to where you eventually give up pretending to be a "public broadcasting" station any more.

Fortunately, due to the Internet, I can tune into the shows I do want to hear, and I will send my money to stations elsewhere in the country to support the programming I am interested in, but the cancellation of Mr. Cantor's show is irreplacable and as such, I no longer wish to have any association whatsoever with OPB.

There are also other local alternatives, such as the classical music station KBPS, the jazz station, KMHD, and of course, a true PUBLIC RADIO station, KBOO, and they will get my listenership and funding from hereon out.

Please cancel my membership immediately and remove me from all mailing lists, and do not ever contact me again. I am no longer an OPB listener and I intend to leave my OPB canvas bags at Goodwill and have already removed the sticker from my car. Good luck with your continued progress in grinding the OPB radio station into the ground and turning it into an AM-style "talk radio" blah blah blah station. You're doing that very well. Congrats.

We doubt OPB will listen or care or make even the slightest change based on this, but we've spoken our piece/peace and will simply no longer listen to their station, which seems to spend as much time running "Fund Drives" as not these days. Too stupid to realize they're getting less listener support because their programming choices are bad, and wasting money trying to run the station as if it was a commercial one is even worse. We can't decide where our tax dollars go, but we can sure decide where we donate our money and time. Fuck you OPB. We hope you go bankrupt running your money-losing TV station.

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