Thursday, January 29, 2015

Barack Obama Singing Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson (ft. Bruno Mars)

Incredible editing job...

Dylan Gardner at Sundance

The youngster is the son of former Landecker & the Legends guitarist Mark Gardner, and is incredibly talented. He's 18 years old now and signed to a record deal with a major label.

This week they've got him at Sundance, and he was interviewed by culturecollide.com. A small taste of the interview...

Throughout Sundance, we'll be reporting on all the best in film and music. Today, we highlight Dylan Gardner. A songwriter and multi-instrumentalist since age 12, Gardner showcases a polished, bubblegum but genuine sound. Soaking up the music of his pop rock forefathers, Gardner brandishes licks and production that call to mind Vampire Weekend and The Killers.

Where are you from? I am from Plainfield, Illinois. More specifically I am from Sandra and Mark Gardner.

What city do you currently call home? Los Angeles! And quite the great home it is.

Describe the perfect Los Angeles day. A perfect day in Los Angeles is me not going outside because I'm demoing songs in my bedroom, only to step out of the house to finish my Elvis Costello/XTC record collection I've been compiling as of late.

What’s your favorite spot for happy hour? Chuck E. Cheese.

Dylan is a great kid. He got his first taste of being on stage with the Legends (when he was still a pre-teen), but has obviously gone on to bigger and better things. All of us are incredibly proud of him. Here's his latest song...

Phoenix Weatherman Just Goes With It

The graphics are completely messed up, but the weatherman makes the best of it...

Rare, unusual Beatles and Rolling Stones photos surface via eBay sale

The LA Times has the story and a few awesome photos I've never seen. You can see them here.

This is the story of the photos origin...

These are images from a trove of 3,500 previously unpublished photos of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones shot from 1964 to 1966 by their road manager, Bob Bonis.

More than 200 are set to surface in a series of limited-edition fine-art prints to be sold over eBay starting Feb. 2, making most of them accessible to the Beatles and Stones fans for the first time. The first batch going up for sale Feb. 2 includes 30 images — 15 of the Beatles, 15 of the Rolling Stones.

This is from an era when both bands looked incredibly clean cut. Mick's face isn't bedraggled. Keith looks alive. The Beatles look like they still like each other. Great stuff.

Andrew Sullivan is Giving up Blogging

Sullivan is probably the biggest blogging star of all-time. His blog, the Dish, has had more readers than any other blog, and he's been doing it for 15 years. Yesterday he announced he would be ending the blog soon. I saw a funny quote about him last night. One fan said: "When he began, older people had no idea what a blog was. As he ends it, young people have no idea what a blog is."

The sheer volume and quality of his posts has been something I've marvelled at over the years. Just doing my little piddly handful of posts every day has taken me more hours than I care to admit, so I have a pretty good idea of how hard Sullivan worked at his craft. Other than taking off the month of August every year, he continued to crank out ten, fifteen, twenty great posts every single day. For 15 years!

Incredible accomplishment. I tip my cap to him.

We're #1


ESPN's baseball expert Keith Law just ranked all of the farm systems in baseball.

The Cubs are #1.

Of all the teams in baseball, the Cubs have the best minor league talent of anyone. That has never happened before. Must. Stay. Calm.

RIP Sue Daly

Dave and I had breakfast with Joel last week and he told us that his wife Sue was in hospice care, and that she didn't have much time left. She passed away only a few hours later. Sad news. They were married for 57 years.

The Sun Times obituary about Sue was actually wonderfully written by Maureen O'Donnell. Here's a short excerpt...

When Joel Daley prepared to ship out to Panama, he proposed in a letter that said, “I’m going overseas and I don’t want to be without you.” To bolster his case, he added some math on Army benefits: “ ‘I make $76 a month, but you as a dependent would make $125.’ I laid it out like a businessman, and ‘Panama is supposed to be a pretty nice place to go.’ ” As for his pragmatic computations, “She kidded me about it a little bit,” he said. “Somewhere in this house is a box full of every letter I ever wrote” her.

She returned home to have their first child, Doug, in Rock Island. Then it was off to Cleveland, where her husband had landed a job at WGAR radio. Next he joined WLS in Chicago, paired with anchor Fahey Flynn. Mrs. Daly wasn’t sure about it. “A father-son Irish team, it’ll never work,” she told her husband. “That’s the only time she was ever wrong, and we let her know about it once in a while,” he said. The Flynn-Daly partnership lasted 18 years.

He got to be with the kids when they came home for lunch, but “it was tough, because I did the 10 o’clock news and I wouldn’t get home till 11:30 or a quarter to 12 and she’d be in bed,” he said. “Pretty much all of the weight was on her shoulders.”

In addition to caring for their three children, she took in 25 or so foster babies over the years, said their daughter, Kelly. Some were African-American, which raised eyebrows in the 1960s when Mrs. Daly went to the grocery store, she said. “It didn’t matter. If you ever saw ‘Steel Magnolias,’ she was Shirley MacLaine. She’d wear overalls with a mink, and never cared what people thought. That was part of her charm.

Working with Joel on his book "The Daly News" has been one of the great joys of my time running Eckhartz Press. He's such a kind and wonderful man. And he was deeply devoted to his wife. We never met her because she was already quite ill when Joel was promoting the book, but it sure sounds like she was every bit as kind and wonderful as Joel.

May she rest in peace.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Valentine's Day Present?

Happy Valentine's Day! Honey, why are you mad? He's a millionaire industrialist, AND he's super soft and cuddly. Look at those cute little handcuffs. What's the matter? Where are you going? Don't slam the (SLAM)...door. Sheesh. Well, excuuuuse me for trying to be literary.

Fox News is #1 for 13th year

Fox News has revolutionized the news business, created an entire new genre (activist journalism, or talk-show-host journalism), super-served their audience by telling them exactly what they want to hear in exactly the angry tone of voice they want to hear it, and transformed your formerly civil family gatherings into tense powder kegs. And you've got to hand it to them--they've done it very well. Fox News has been #1 now for 13 years. Conservative talk-radio (which inspired the creation of Fox News) may be in trouble, but Fox News just keeps rolling. Granted, my generation is the last generation watching, but that's true of television in general, not just Fox News.

A New Morning Show in Chicago

WGCI has a new morning show. The RAMP newsletter has the details...

The station just announced that Kyle Santillian and Kendra G will join existing wake-up host Leon Rogers, starting tomorrow, January 29. "We've signed Chicago's next big morning show," said Derrick Brown, Director of Urban Programming for iHeartMedia Chicago. "Listeners can expect non-stop fun, comedy, entertainment features and the best hip-hop & R&B to get you moving in the morning. Kyle, Kendra and Leon are one-of-a-kind entertainers, but most importantly, they have a heart for the community. They won't hesitate to tackle tough issues our listeners confront or step in to lend a helping hand." Santillian most recently did mornings on Entercom Urban WJMH (102 Jamz)/Greensboro; Kendra G formerly co-hosted mornings across the street at Urban rival WPWX (Power 92) and WVEE (V103)/Atlanta. Rogers (left) has been flying solo since early December, when the station parted ways with the other 2/3 of the former Morning Riot -- Tony Sculfield and Nina Chantele. "I'm excited to have Kyle and Kendra G join the team," said Rogers. "Time to dominate!"

Our Tribute Shirt



Just One Bad Century's tribute to four beloved greats from Cubs lore. All are missed tremendously. A portion of the proceeds from every shirt will be donated to Cubs Charities in honor of Ernie, Ronnie, Jack, and Harry. It's right here at JOBC, if you're interested.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Father Knows Nothing

Round 2 of interviews for Father Knows Nothing coming soon. Here are some highlights from Round One--compiled by my son Tommy.

Great Idea

Thanks "AK" for this one...

The "My Sweet Lord" of this generation

A judge ruled that Sam Smyth's song "Stay with Me" is too similar to Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down". Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne (the composers of "I Won't Back Down") are now listed as co-writers of the song, and will receive royalties.

Judge for yourself. It's a different tempo and feel, but the notes in the chorus do appear to be the same...





I do believe Smyth when he says he didn't do intentionally. I also believed George Harrison during the "My Sweet Lord" lawsuit. When you're creating something, you don't even realize sometimes that the inspiration comes from someone else. Honestly, it could happen to anyone.

Happy Birthday Wolfy

My father's favorite composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, is a mere 259 years old today. I grew up hearing tales of Mozart's greatness ("You can't even tie your shoes? When Mozart was your age, he was composing concertos!"). Nevertheless, I do love his music, and I also love the movie made about him--"Amadeus". I saw it the day it came out in Champaign Illinois at the Coed Theater (which no longer exists). Sitting right behind me in the theater that day was King Crimson guitarist Adrian Belew.

Dick Biondi update


Robert Feder chatted with Dick yesterday and it sounds like Biondi is on the mend and should be returning to the airwaves very soon. Glad to hear it!

Public Radio Contributions Up

For all the talk about ending funding to NPR (remember that hubub?), public radio is doing quite well thanks to contributions from their listeners. From this morning's Tom Taylor column...

Not only are some prominent public radio stations regularly scoring the #1, #2 or #3 positions in some very large Nielsen markets – they’re also scoring with the pocketbooks of their P1 fans. A new Corporation for Public Broadcasting study finds that while the number of individual financial contributors to public TV dropped from 3.9 million to 3,030,000 between 2003 and 2013 – the comparable category for public radio shows growth, from 2,520,000 to 2,850,000. And the average amount per contributor is now slightly higher for radio than for TV. Public TV’s getting $134 per person in response to those late-night pledge-a-thons and oldies concerts. Public radio’s harvesting $137. Total support for public radio in 2013 was $1.08 billion, with public TV at $1.69 billion.

Ernie's Memorial Service

The Cubs released the information about Ernie's memorial service. For those of you in town who are thinking of going, it will be held at the church across the street from the Hancock...

FRIDAY, JANUARY 30, 2015
12 P.M.-8 P.M.

PUBLIC VISITATION
FOURTH PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
EAST CHESTNUT STREET (AT NORTH MICHIGAN AVENUE)
126 EAST CHESTNUT STREET
CHICAGO, IL 60611

SATURDAY, JANUARY 31, 2015
10 A.M.

MEMORIAL SERVICES FOR ERNIE BANKS (LIMITED PUBLIC SEATING AVAILABLE)
FOURTH PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
EAST CHESTNUT STREET (AT NORTH MICHIGAN AVENUE)
126 EAST CHESTNUT STREET
CHICAGO, IL 60611

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Ernie’s memory to Cubs Charities at the below address or by visiting www.cubs.com/give and clicking on “Donate Now”.

Cubs Charities
In Memory of Ernie Banks
Wrigley Field
1060 West Addison
Chicago, IL 60613

Monday, January 26, 2015

And it's not even as cold as it could be in January

Rolling Stone Reviews Louis CK's Stand Up


I saw this show when he came to the Chicago Theater, and I agree with the assessment of the reviewer--Matthew Love.

Louis is always incredibly funny, but his previous specials were a little funnier. Almost not fair to him--he set the bar very very high.

Ernie's son


Ernie's son talks about what it was like to have Ernie as a dad.

Nice piece in today's Tribune.

The Pearly Gates

MLB posted this on their facebook page...



As my buddy BH points out to me...this cartoon got one big detail wrong. It should have been Brickhouse and not Harry welcoming him. Brick was the announcer during Ernie's era, not Harry.

New Back Door Plan Regarding Net Neutrality

I've got to hand it to the Republicans in Congress. They are drafting a bill regarding Net Neutrality, and as always, they have included just enough language to make it appear they are on the side of the people. From this morning's Variety...

The bill would ban Internet providers from blocking or throttling traffic, or from charging for speedier delivery of content to their subscribers. But at a series of hearings this week, Democrats who have called for robust net neutrality rules criticized the legislation because it would place limits on the FCC’s authority over Internet providers, making it more difficult for the agency to respond to consumer complaints.

Sneaky eh? Give the people what they want now, but change the rules so that they are powerless from stopping the next move--and there's always a next move. They say it's to ensure that regulators don't stifle innovation...but the only innovation it has any chance of impeding are the innovative new ways the two or three corporate telecom giants can reach their hands into your pocketbooks. I guarantee they already have a plan for what to do next.

Leslie Keiling out at WGN

Robert Feder posted the news late last night...

Keiling, known to fans of Steve Dahl and Garry Meier in the 1980s as “Lane Closure,” delivered traffic on almost every radio station in town over the past three decades and has been heard exclusively on WGN since 2004. On Sunday she tweeted: “Looks like I’m going to have some free time. Will miss my WGN family.”

Todd Manley, vice president of content and programming at WGN, thanked Keiling for her “always tenacious talents” and her service to the station.

Bummer for Leslie. She's an old pal of mine. We worked together twice before--with Steve & Garry in the late 80s/early 90s and John Landecker in the late 90s/early 00s. I consider her the best traffic reporter in Chicago. Someone will/should snap her up very quickly.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Tribute To Ernie Banks

There are lots of things written about Ernie Banks on my Just One bad Century website, but in honor of Mr. Cub's untimely passing, I thought I would put them all together in one place for you.

First off, Ernie's entry in my Every Cub Ever A-Z feature...

~Ernie Banks 1931 (Cubs 1953-1971)
Ernie is not only a Hall of Famer, he's the first African American player to ever play for the Chicago Cubs. The way he became a Cub is almost a fluke. At the end of the 1953 season, Gene Baker was called up to be the first African-American Cubs player. Ernie was signed shortly thereafter from the Kansas City Monarchs. They signed Ernie strictly because they needed another black player to room with Baker. If they didn’t have Baker, they wouldn't have signed Banks. They honestly had no idea what they were getting in Banks, either. One of the Cubs coaches, Ray Blades, gave Ernie a book called "How to play baseball" even though he had hit .380 for the Monarchs. Banks only got in the lineup first because Baker was hurt (he got into a game three days later). At the time, inserting Banks into the lineup was a very controversial move, because shortstop was considered a "thinking man's" position, and Banks was the first African-American in Major League history to play shortstop on a regular basis. Needless to say, it worked out just fine. Why do they call Ernie Banks Mr. Cub? Ernie is among the top 5 all-time Cubs in games played (1st), at bats (1st), hits (2nd), runs (5th), doubles (3rd), home runs (2nd), and RBI (2nd). Unfortunately he also played in more losses than any other player in baseball history. In a little known bit of trivia, he also was the first African-American manager. When manager Whitey Lockman was kicked out of a game in 1974, Ernie was the acting manager for one inning. Frank Robinson became the first full-time African American manager just a few months later. Banks was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1977, and in 2008 Ernie became a part of Wrigley Field when the club unveiled his statue. It stands right in front of the main gate at Addison and Clark. Countless Cub fans take pictures in front of it every year. (Photo: Topps 1969 baseball card)

Over the years we've posted lots of videos about Ernie. Here are a few of my favorites...

Jack Brickhouse describes Ernie's greatness...


Ernie faces Mickey Mantle in Home Run Derby...


Ernie's 500th homer...


Ernie flashes that incredible personality...


The unveiling of Ernie's statue (I was there that day)...


The President (a Sox fan) honors Ernie...


Eddie Vedder brings Ernie on stage during Pearl Jam concert...


RIP Ernie...My childhood hero.

Ernie Banks MVP

Ernie Banks 1964

Ernie Banks 1970

Friday, January 23, 2015

Red Wine = Exercise

Looks like I'm going to be exercising my ass off this year. From Bustle.com...

The researchers responsible for the glorious study — which was published in Journal of Physiology in May — discovered that resveratrol, a “natural compound” found in certain fruits, nuts, and (you guessed it) red wine, could actually “enhance exercise training and performance.” But there’s more. Jason Dyck, the principal investigator for the study, tells Science Daily that resveratrol can also offer the same benefits working out does:

“I think resveratrol could help patient populations who want to exercise but are physically incapable. Resveratrol could mimic exercise for them or improve the benefits of the modest amount of exercise that they can do.”

Time to load up on some exercise juice.

Simpsons Voices

I knew Dan Castellanetta did a bunch of voices on the Simpsons (including Homer), but I had no idea it was this many. Same goes for Hank Azaria. To me the Harry Shearer voices are a little easier to pick out.

Chart courtesy of Vox. Click on it to enlarge.

Good Beer Commercial

Another Big Concert

I haven't seen them in concert for nearly 30 years. This summer's concert is their 40th anniversary. I'm thinking about it. I'm thinking about it...

Channel 7 Lets Mike Caplan Go

After they hired Cheryl Scott, it didn't take a genius to figure out that one of the meteoroligsts was going to be leaving ABC-7 in Chicago. Caplan posted his goodbye last night on Facebook...

"Today was my last day with ABC7. The powers that be have decided to take the weather department in a direction that no longer includes me. It has been a thrill for me to be on tv in the area in which I grew up. I look forward to carving out a new chapter in my professional life, and with the support of friends and my wonderful family, I am confident wonderful challenges and opportunities lay ahead."

I don't really know Mike--I met him a few times--but I always thought he did a very solid job. It's not his fault that he isn't a very attractive young lady.

Radio Revenues

Robert Feder has the listing of the revenues earned this year by Chicago's radio stations. To say it was a bad year for Chicago radio would be to understate the case. The entire market was down 10%. Only two stations in the top 15 made more than the year before (WGN and WXRT), while four stations in the top 25 went down more than 20% (The Drive, The Loop, WLS AM, WLS FM).

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Bill Belichick


Here's a photo of Belichick during this morning's press conference about deflated balls.

He knows nothink.

He sees nothink.

Hope Solo Suspended from US Soccer Team

The suspension is only for 30 days, but it's also during their preparations for this year's World Cup.

The U.S. National Team goaltender is being suspended for acting belligerent during her husband's DUI arrest.

Details at People Magazine.

In Defense of Multi-Camera TV Shows





Ken Levine is one of the all-time great television writers ("Cheers", "MASH", "Frasier", etc), and he writes an incredibly interesting/entertaining blog. This latest post is an examination of the reasons networks have abandoned the multi-camera sitcom almost entirely. Recommended reading for TV buffs.

Student Reviews for Life Behind the Camera


Chuck Quinzio's Eckhartz Press book Life Behind the Camera is currently being used as a textbook for Journalism 1 class at Los Angeles City Colleges. A few of the students have been posting reviews, and here are a couple of them...





In Journalism 1, we read Chuck Quinzio’s Life Behind the Camera supplementary to our Mencher’s textbook for our introductory journalism class. "Life Behind the Camera," is Quinzio’s autobiography as a cameraman for a Chicago news station. Compared to the typical assigned textbooks, "Life Behind the Camera" provides real life, on the job experience to gather news along with hilarious anecdotes to accompany more drole or serious aspects of news. Quinzio was brought up as a god-fearing altar boy. His attempts to try to pursue a career as being a disc jockey failed. But by luck, his friend’s mother got him a gig for being a small town news station’s cameraman. As Quinzio gained more experience, he eventually works for a big Chicago news station. From almost dying in a house fire to seeing dead prostitutes, to chasing down public figures like Michael Jackson, to dealing with over-grown egos of diva journalists, Quinzio is able to use real life experiences from the beginning of his career to the height of it, to give journalist hopefuls an accurate portrayal of the highs and lows of the industry. This supplementary reading was very helpful into being able to see how the the basics of journalism can be applied into real life through “Life Behind the Camera.” Quinzio does a very great job into telling readers how things really are and what it takes to be a part of the media industry. Usually, I pay no mind to autobiographies. However, Quinzio’s reflection of his career is very insightful, realistic, honest, and not overly fabricated. This makes reading “Life Behind the Camera” similar to a pleasure reading book, especially for an assigned text for class.

Life Behind the Camera chronicles the musings, anecdotes, and experiences from Chuck Quinzio, which are undeniably entertaining. It takes me to the time when I set out from my hometown for the big city of Los Angeles. Chasing your journalistic dreams, going through whacky shit in unfamiliar territory, and how we process these things and continue on. He tells us these stories with such engaging prose along with an endearing sense of humor. The book is in its own way a synopsis of life as we travel through Chuck’s mildly delinquent childhood through his growth as a professional in the TV news business. Quinzio draws a sketch of Chicago that doesn’t require a lot of imagination power to enjoy vividly imagining. Chuck gives us a variety of stories in a cleanly written narrative that weaves through super funny experiences and personalities he encounters to death. In a refreshing way he doesn’t hold back any juicy detail (except for real names). The book is a genuine story of a man’s growth with a great deal of honesty. The personalities he encounters and describes that affected him were relatable to the people I and probably many people have encountered. The people who transformed him from a Catholic school kid to a grizzled veteran camera man. It was an inspiration for me. I’m going to make my kids read it and probably someone else’s kid read it. Daring moves from your home town are admirable; struggling to adapt your new environment. The endearing insight on the people who has met is great. Especially the story and picture about him and Michael Jordan. Professor ought to invite him to LACC to talk to the class.

Amy Landecker in Michigan Avenue Magazine

This piece is all about Amy's Chicago upbringing (and it's worth a read--good stuff), but here is the part of the article that really grabbed my attention...

And now there’s an increasing number of TV shows and movies being shot in Chicago, too.
AL: It’s so great. My first chance to have any real on-camera experience was on Early Edition when that shot in Chicago. It’s so important for Chicago actors that shows shoot there so they get a chance to learn and build a resume. I actually have a script in development that I'm writing that takes place in Chicago, and I would love nothing more than to bring the show there and hire all of my friends.

Is there anything you can share about the script?
AL: It’s a lot about my dad and me; I’ll say that. We have a very unusual relationship. We are very close, we’ve gone through a lot together, and we have a very funny, rich relationship that I felt was ripe to be tapped.
We sent her a few copies of Records Truly is My Middle Name a few months ago, and that is being used as reference material. Wouldn't that be incredible if it was actually made into a show?

Scott Miller's Mustache

Scott Miller is the executive producer of the Pete McMurray show on WGN-Radio, but he's much more than that. He's a handlebar mustache man, and his mustache has been formally honored. From this morning's RAMP Newsletter...

Last year Miller treated his face to a field trip to scenic Middleton, WI to compete in the prestigious Midwest Mustache and Beard Wearer's Championship, sponsored by Remington. We are pleased to announce that Miller placed second in the highly competitive "Best Styled Mustache" group and the esteemed panel of judges also declared Miller's mug worthy of one of 12 spots on a special commemorative calendar -- yup, you're looking at Mr. February 2015! RAMP caught up with a jubilant Miller, who commented, "I am proud to follow in the footsteps of Mike Ditka, Tom Selleck, Ron Burgundy and Burt Reynolds as a mustache wearer. To be recognized by Remington as 'calendar-worthy' is incredible, and I am honored to represent all 28 days of February 2015."