April 3, 2009
The Five Dumbest Ideas Of The Week
By Stephanie B. Goldberg
1. G-20 etiquette pointers: When meeting her royal Corgi-ness, do not pat her on the back.
Also, do not blow air kisses or make jokes about inbreeding or tell her that she's much more attractive than her stamp or say "Why the long face?" to Camilla Parker Bowles while brandishing a carrot or lump of sugar.
2. Rebuffed in her attempt to adopt yet another Malawi child with living relatives, Madonna consoled herself by adopting her 22-year-old boyfriend Jesus Luz. We can't wait to see their Christmas cards.
3. Danone, the parent company of Dannon Yogurt, pulled the plug on Essensis Yogurt, which was marketed in France with the modest claim that it would make people who ate it more beautiful. "Somewhat stupid" was how Swedish marketer Peter Wennstrom described the product's potential customer, adding that "it's a Bridget Jones kind of product . . . but even she will only buy it once." Or twice, tops.
Editor's Note: I heard Camilla Parker Bowles was their biggest customer . . .
4. After state lawmakers debated withholding millions of dollars in aid to the University of Maryland, the school's administration rescinded its decision to allow the screening of an X-rated movie in the student union and then checked their calendars to make sure they hadn't time-traveled back to 1972.
5. What's black and white and bleeding red all over? Last week, the answer would have been the Chicago Tribune. This week, however, the answer is the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune. Top that, Big Apple!
Twit of the Week: Bonnie Fuller
Look for Stephanie Goldberg's Five Dumbest Ideas of the Week in this space every Friday.
Posted by Lou at 5:32 AM | Permalink
Drop Everything And Read!
By Open Books
When was the last time you were able to sit down for more than a couple of minutes to enjoy a good book?
National Drop Everything and Read Day
Where: 213 W. Institute Pl., Suite 305. Chicago's River North neighborhood
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Open Books staffers will be turning off their phones and computers and putting their work aside for one day only to provide Chicago with a quiet place to relax and enjoy a good book. Your readers are invited to drop by our office anytime between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Also in celebration of Drop Everything and Read Day, Open Books will be dropping books all around River North. Keep your eyes peeled for books with big red bookmarks popping up on the streets, riding the Brown Line, and taking trips on elevators.
The Beachwood Reporter recommends the books in our Amazon ads to your left.
Posted by Lou at 12:27 AM | Permalink
Open Letter: Rock On, IOC!
Dear Members of the International Olympic Committee:
Welcome - again - to the City of Chicago. Other than maybe forgetting to pick up a snow globe with the Sears Tower inside at the airport gift shop last time, I'm not exactly sure why you're here a second time within a year or so. But I'm a fun guy, so I'm not going to raise a stink over anyone with enough clout to score a pleasant trip halfway around the world on someone else's American Express card. You're living the American Dream - having the rich, the powerful, and the beautiful cater to your every whim on someone else's dime . . . and you're not even American! So rock on, IOC folks! You're without question the envy of anyone here who still has a job. We're only a month or two into our nation's hopeless slide into the abyss of socialism, so soak up whatever we still have left of the good life while you can.
Otherwise, I hope you'cw arrived well-rested in your mission to take a closer look at Chicago, a town that hasn't been able make up its mind in 25 years over basic cable TV - so don't read too much into any of the posters you may see along your parade route professing the citizenry's support of the 2016 Summer Olympics. This is a city that used to pay dead people to vote. Twice. At least.
Make no mistake, impressionable IOC ambassadors: the City of Chicago has plenty of wonderful things about it, especially if you stick to the usual tourist spots and nobody in your party is hopped up on dope while standing under that colossal mirrored kidney bean in Millennium Park, or mistake a bar called Berlin for anything that might go on among the more conservative folk in Berlin the city. Whatever it is you'll be doing, I'm willing to bet it won't involve any heavy reading. Or maybe it will. The city's 2016 bid book is bigger than the city budget document the mayor's office comes up with every year, and nobody in the city council even bothers to read that before they pass it without asking too many questions. In a nutshell, a crack whore does a better job of managing money than the people who run this city because, well, the city is dead broke. It's so broke, it sold off its cash-cow parking meters for 75 years just to try to make ends meet this year. The city still collects on parking tickets written by meter cops of course, but signing away the right to all those billions of 25-cent pieces adding up year after year is like living on a deserted island and putting your bitchy wife on a raft so you can go live with your bitchy old mother-in-law in the grass hut next door. Sure, you'll still get your laundry done, but your prospects for getting laid anytime during the rest of your life are pretty remote.
Speaking of foresight, the fact that whatever brain trust decided to bring you to Chicago at the end of March when the weather tends to be raw and unpredictable - Jesus H. Christ, it just snowed last weekend! - instead of a month later when the city is gentle and has begun to become its prettiest kind of says something, don't you think?
But really, kind International Olympic Committee visitors, it's much more than that. If you have no pity for this city's citizens, then have pity upon your own countrymen who might decide to spend a major hunk of their life's savings to come to Chicago in the summer of 2016 - especially if they read The Devil in the White City, Erik Larson's awesome book about serial killer H.H. Holmes and how Chicago managed to pull off the 1893 Columbian Exposition by the skin of its teeth, to understand what sort of unfortunate things can go on around here when we go hosting long, world-stage events. True, our building inspectors have come a long way - relatively speaking, anyway - toward noticing out-of-the-ordinary things like gas chambers and lime pits and trap-door chutes designed to snare fair maidens looking to enjoy a ride on the world's largest Ferris Wheel, but if our own elected state and city legislators are able to screw their own people into submission, imagine what's going to be in store for some quiet, unassuming family from Djibouti just looking to enjoy a week of pole vaulting.
International brotherhood and civic pride my ass; it's all about the money. Esteemed IOC representatives, I'm not sure whether anybody associated with the city has told you this either, but Chicago - and the surrounding areas that encompass Cook County and all taxable surfaces on the planet Mars - is home to the nation's highest sales tax rate. The United States is a breathtakingly massive country, so that's a sizable accomplishment. I'm not sure what average people in foreign lands earn in a year, but the minute they run out of cigarettes and end up going broke once they pay $80 American for a carton of Marlboros (and that's before every store owner in the city doubles their prices on every possible thing anyone might think of needing) - there's going to be a social dilemma nobody was really expecting. Quite frankly, city government is annoyed enough with people who live here begging on the streets for spare change, and those who still have any aren't exactly falling over themselves to lift the station of those who don't.
And no, being a poorly-budgeted visitor with a delightful accent who might be more colorfully-dressed than the typical homeless Chicagoan won't make any difference, either.
From what I understand, public transportation is a major concern to you IOC folks. Being out-of-towners, it wouldn't surprise me if the mayor and everyone else herding you around for the next few days have somehow convinced you that those horse-drawn carriages around the scenic Water Tower is public transportation, and that all those elevated trains and buses criss-crossing the city really belong to Ford Heights, a destitute village 30 miles to the south.
Since the average, ordinary world is going to have to get around this city, you should know that our public transportation falls under the supervision of the Chicago Transit Authority, which happens to be the nation's foremost authority on running sweltering buses and trains that are hopelessly late if they're not otherwise busy running off the tracks or catching on fire. And that's on an ordinary day for the ordinary people who pay to ride them. Except old people. They get to be miserable for free. True, visitors from lands where sweaty, overcrowded trains topple over or go hurtling into ravines and rivers might feel like it's old-home week, but it's not something the typical commuter here feels cheerful about. Even more so once you pour in several million out-of-towners all elbowing each other in the kidneys for the same seat.
An efficient public transportation system, ease of travel, and affordable, clean amenities that leave a lasting and favorable impression on the world are important to you - and truly, they're important to us, too. That's exactly why you need to stick some other poor sap of a city with the 2016 summer games. We're still trying like hell to get the world to forget about Al Capone. And he wasn't even mayor.
Posted by Lou at 12:20 AM | Permalink
April 2, 2009
The [Thursday] Papers
By Steve Rhodes
BREAKING: Blago indictment to come today.
The [Thursday] Papers
"And Tuesday, about 60 people joined Mayor Daley and Chicago 2016 CEO Pat Ryan to unveil a poll of Chicago area residents showing 78 percent favor bringing the 2016 Summer Olympics here - up a percentage point from a February poll," the Sun-Times reports.
Did you hear that everyone? Up a full percentage point!
Of course, this is a magic poll with no margin of error.
And the fact that the poll was conducted by Chicago 2016 doesn't mean it's tainted - even though a Tribune poll found that "75 percent of all those surveyed said they were against the use of tax money to cover any financial shortfalls."
The IOC, however, requires just such a guarantee.
But if we want to take that poll at face value - something we were taught in Journalism 101 not to do - we might look at it another way: Despite Chicago 2016's massive public relations campaign and virtual control of the message distributed through our daily newspapers and local TV stations, support for the Olympic bid hasn't budged.
Sure, that's not a lot of room for improvement when you're at 78 percent, but how much effort has been expended to keep that number from falling?
The Tribune, too, falls for the alleged poll uptick. "Public support has inched up 1 percentage point in recent months," the paper says - again ignoring its own poll in favor of the tray of sweets Chicago 2016 hands them.
And oh is that tray filled with sweets! We can just eat 'em up and slip into a sugar coma instead of actually thinking for ourselves! (I'll say "inched" - if this was over "recent months" that number must have been moving up by tenths of tenths of tenths of a percentage point daily!)
"With a price tag of about $4.8 billion, the Games could generate $13.7 billion in 'economic activity' for Chicago alone, according to a study commissioned by . . . Chicago 2016." (ellipses mine; I couldn't resist.)
I guess the bankruptcy courts don't allow newspapers to present views - some might say "facts" - that conflict with official proclamations.
Or maybe the Sun-Times just couldn't afford to call, say, Allen Sanderson, the reknown University of Chicago sports economist.
Hint to Sun-Times: Like your online edition, Google is free.
"There is so much boosterism that the overwhelming tendency is to vastly overstate the benefits and vastly understate the costs," Sanderson - who studies such things for a living - warned us two years ago in the Wall Street Journal
It's just too bad that boosterism is coming from the press - the institution that is supposed to think critically about official claims and the use of taxpayer dollars.
And it can't really be the bankruptcies of the paper that are holding them back. After all, the also-in-bankruptcy Chicago Reader's Ben Joravsky continues to find time to, you know, actually study the numbers and the historical perspective of past Games.
"I'm here to tell you some things about Chicago you'll never hear from Mayor Daley, who's acting like a used-car salesman, trying to sell you an old beater without letting you look under the hood," Joravsky writes in an open letter to the IOC today.
Of course, local reporters besides Joravsky haven't shown much interest in looking under the hood. They're too busy being entranced by the sparkly prototype.
And can we please retire all references to making no little plans? I'm shocked - shocked - to see this ridiculous phrase wheeled out again.
"If Daniel Burnham were alive today, he'd be proud of his hometown," the Sun-Times editorial page claims this morning. "On the centennial of his sweeping 1909 Plan of Chicago, his city is again making 'no little plans'."
Ugh and a half.
"If done right, the Olympics and its afterglow would mean new jobs, new tourists, extra tax revenue and new housing, including affordable housing units, for Chicago and its residents," the Sun-Times says.
And would holding the Games here also cure cancer?
"[A] well-run Games could generate new tax dollars to help improve the very services every Chicagoan needs and deserves."
But all evidence is to the contrary - evidence I'm sure the Sun-Times's three-person editorial board failed to confront Ryan with on his recent visit there.
"Daniel Burnham exhorted us to 'make no little plans'," Sanderson wrote last fall in Chicago Life. "The admonishment not to make huge, unwise ones is equally applicable. In the past half-century, the ex ante promises of most Olympic Games far surpass the ex post reality."
* Dear IOC: Mayor Daley Is Out Of Control.
* Dear IOC: Don't Pick Us.
Apparently it's okay for mayor and his pals to squander our money, but not Todd Stroger.
The Daley Show
* Just days after we glimpsed the inner workings of the now-defunct Hispanic Democratic Organization and rampant cronyism in City Hall as laid out in the trial - and conviction - of former Streets and San Commissioner Al Sanchez, the city has awarded a lucrative contract that suggests business is indeed as usual in the Daley administration.
* It's harder to override a veto by the president of the Cook County Board than it is to override a veto by the president of the United States.
Tribune Fools' Day
Do It Like the Sox Do!
Down For The Countess
The Beachwood Tip Line: In and out.
Posted by Lou at 10:24 AM | Permalink
Down For The Countess
Real Housewife will apparently keep her title.
Posted by Lou at 6:59 AM | Permalink
By The Beachwood Bid Bureau
In three parts.
1. I'm not here to tell you how paying for the games would cripple my hometown - if you want that, see chicagoreader.com/2016_olympics. This letter is about your needs, not ours. I'm here to tell you some things about Chicago you'll never hear from Mayor Daley, who's acting like a used-car salesman, trying to sell you an old beater without letting you look under the hood."
2. Mayor Daley Is "Out Of Control"
3. Federal Plaza Rally and March to Greet International Olympic Committee (IOC) upon their arrival to inspect Chicago as potential 2016 Olympic Host City
Author, Olympic Expert, and No Games Vancouver Activist Chris Shaw to Join Demonstration
CHICAGO - No Games Chicago will be holding a rally and march on Thursday, April 2nd to send a message to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that rather than paying for a two-week, debt-drenched spectacle, Chicago taxpayers want "Better hospitals, housing, schools, and trains - not games!" The IOC will be visiting Chicago April 2-8.
"The Bid Committee was quick to try to shout us down, and they never delivered when they said they'd welcome a public debate, despite several requests," said No Games organizer Bob Quellos. "They aren't interested in public debate, so we decided Chicagoans should be able to speak directly to the IOC."
WHAT: SHUT DOWN THE OLYMPIC BID Rally and March
WHEN: Thursday, April 2nd, 5 p.m.
WHERE: Federal Plaza, Adams & Dearborn Streets in the Loop
MARCH ROUTE: From Federal Plaza to the Chicago 2016 Offices (AON Building)
The history of the modern Olympics has been one of debt, displacement, and corruption. Chicago's Olympic bid for the 2016 Summer Games is on course to be no different as the City and state have lined up hundreds of millions of taxpayer's dollars to fund a the three week party. A coalition of individuals from throughout Chicago called No Games Chicago believes that the time, money, and energy placed into bidding and hosting the Olympics would be better spent on things that would actually improve the lives of average Chicagoans - including hospitals, housing, schools, and trains.
Chris Shaw, a resident of Vancouver and author of Five Ring Circus: Myths and Realities of the Olympic Games, discussed the similarities between Vancouver, as 2010 host city, and Chicago.
"We heard the same promises about 'no public money' and the rest of it - the exact same song and dance. And you can see the result: once we got the games, they couldn't spend our money fast enough. None of the economic forecasts, promises of transparency, or environmental and social promises came true in Vancouver. In fact, in all cases the outcome was the complete opposite. Most Vancouverites now wish they hadn't supported the Games. People were displaced, and we're preparing for a militarized zone to appear in our town. Chicago has a chance to stop all that before it starts."
In an effort to stop this potential boondoggle, Chicagoans from every part of the city will rally to send the IOC the message that the people of Chicago have a different set of priorities than the 2016 Bid Committee.
Shaw will be joined by a variety of Chicago citizens who will be speaking to the demonstration on how the Olympics will effect everyday citizens, including; Tom Tresser (speaking on the privatization of Chicago parks), Dorian Breuer of the Green Party (speaking on the environmental issues in the city of Chicago), Carole Steele of the Coalition to Protect Public Housing (speaking on the issue of public housing and the "Plan for Transformation"), Jim Vail, Chicago Public School teacher and member of the
Background on the Olympic Games and the 2016 Bid:
* The overall cost of London's 2012 Games has quadrupled, from an originally projected $2.35 billion pounds to $9 billion pounds, while the construction of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Village athlete housing alone has put the entire City of Vancouver at risk of bankruptcy.
* The City of Chicago has pledged $500 million towards the Games as an emergency fund, despite running an approximate $200 million deficit; a similar fund set up in London for the 2012 Games has been nearly depleted.
* Despite an $11.6 billion deficit the State of Illinois has put $250 million of taxpayer dollars on the line for the games.
* Extreme violations of civil liberties have occurred in numerous host cities: 1984 saw the jailing of thousands of young black men in Los Angeles in the infamous "Olympic Gang Sweeps;" 1996 host Atlanta criminalized homelessness and produced pre-printed citations for African-American males; in Athens in 2004 psychiatric hospitals were compelled by the government to lock up the homeless, the mentally ill, and those who suffered from drug dependency.
* On housing: Atlanta's 1996 games also coincided with the decimation of public housing there; at least 1.5 million Beijing residents were displaced from their homes by the Olympic Games, while Native Americans in Canada are currently facing the development of ancestral hunting and fishing lands
For more information, visit www.nogameschicago.com or contact Sarah Macaraeg at
Additional press contacts:
Posted by Lou at 6:33 AM | Permalink
White Sox Academy: Lower Body Mechanics
One in an occasional series. Hit like they do.
Next: Infield Receiving Drill.
Posted by Lou at 6:19 AM | Permalink
Tribune Now One Big Joke
By The Beachwood Bureau of Comedy Assessment
This is no joke, folks. On a couple levels. The Tribune Company actually, truly, really issued this press release on Wednesday as an April Fool's Day prank. We ask you: Is Sam Zell's Tribune the least funny company in the history of America?
Tribune to Unveil Revolutionary Communications Tool
Alternative Info Super-Highway Created, May Render Internet Obsolete By 2010
Content Delivered to the End-User More Directly Than Ever Before
CHICAGO, April 1 - Tribune Company today announced detailed plans to introduce a high-power, low-cost communications device designed to make all media, including the Internet, obsolete by next year. The device, tentatively being marketed as "The Accelerator(TM)," uses patent-pending nano-technology to aggregate the sum of all human knowledge - everything from where you put your keys last night to the genetic sequence of field mice DNA - and deliver what you want, when you want, directly into your brain. A prototype of the device and a description of its features can be found on the company website at www.tribune.com.
"Forget cloud computing, this is vapor computing," said Randy Michaels, Tribune's chief operating officer. "Traditional media companies have been working for years to harness the so-called power of the Internet - we decided that rather than compete, we'd just make it obsolete."
The company estimates the Quantum based computing power of the device to be roughly 3.9 million times greater than a common PC, delivering information to consumers at roughly 12 times the speed of a traditional broadband connection to the Internet.
The Accelerator(TM) is backward compatible to traditional--some might say "outdated" - media such as email, streaming media, mp3 and mp4 playback and newsfeeds, as well as online gaming. The device is also equipped with such innovations as:
* 3D holographic displays, allowing projection from 3 inches to 172 feet on ANY surface, with resolution far beyond that of even high-definition television.
* Voice recognition accepting 373 languages and dialects, facilitating the elimination of the standard keyboard.
* Environmental re-creation programs able to re-generate the real-time visual and audible stimulus occurring on any date in history.
* On demand recall of literally every television program and film from an archival database numbering over 11.8 million titles.
* Personalized microscopic transmission powered by nano-technology, allowing users to access communication features of the device from distances up to 75 miles.
* Fool-proof security utilizing individual brain-scan patterning identification technology.
* "Cold Light" technology, powered by a 30-year plutonium battery.
Tribune also announced an exclusive arrangement with The Library of Congress to digitize every book in its collection by March 2010, and a plan to make an audio library of 23.4 million titles available to owners of The Accelerator(TM).
"I congratulate the development teams at Tribune Interactive," said Michaels. "They have put in long hours, many of them sober. And this marvelous device is the result - The Accelerator(TM) will mean billions in revenue, and the end of the extremely competitive advertising environment in which we've been operating. The game is over - we win."
Technologists at the company are still refining the final product, expected to be available for retail purchase in May for $28,500. A slightly more expensive hand-held version of will be available in late-2010.
"There are still a few bugs to be worked out," said Marc Chase, president of Tribune Interactive. "For example, in its current incarnation, The Accelerator(TM) weighs 425 pounds, which is a little more than we'd like, and the remote control feature still has some kinks in it. But, we're confident that we're in the end-stage development phase."
TRIBUNE is America's largest employee-owned media company, operating businesses in publishing, interactive and broadcasting. In publishing, Tribune's leading daily newspapers include the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, Sun Sentinel (South Florida), Orlando Sentinel, Hartford Courant, Morning Call and Daily Press. The company's broadcasting group operates 23 television stations, WGN America on national cable, Chicago's WGN-AM and the Chicago Cubs baseball team. Popular news and information websites complement Tribune's print and broadcast properties and extend the company's nationwide audience. At Tribune we take what we do seriously and with a great deal of pride. We also value the creative spirit and nurture a corporate culture that doesn't take itself too seriously . . . especially on April 1.
Posted by Lou at 6:06 AM | Permalink
April 1, 2009
The [Wednesday] Papers
By Steve Rhodes
The mainstream media discovers Tamale Guy.
Daley to Pat Quinn about his budget because he wants more money in tight times: "We get no benefit. They why should anyone be for it?"
Okay, I couldn't quite get those lines to "agree" stylistically, but you get the point.
KFChicago From Beachwood Nation citizen Trecia Scott: Will potholes also taste like chicken?
It was called Chicago-In-a-Box? Sort of like this?
"'We are actually in the process of revising the Chicago-In-A-Box game. It will now be called Chicago-opoly' said Carla Miller, an official for Cincinnati-based Late for the Sky, the game's marketer."
Um, if they do Clout Cards like ours I'm calling a lawyer.
High School Musical
If Stevenson High School students don't find a venue to publish their work, they are welcome here at the Beachwood.
Okay, I know the logic doesn't quite follow, but I just couldn't find the line.
"The company plans to shift an estimated $20 million in TV ad dollars to the web for more than 15 of its brands, including Lysol, Air Wick, Mucinex, Finish and Clearasil. The strategic shift is significant for the company, which has traditionally spent upward of 90% of its $475 million measured-media budget on TV, and less than $1 million in measured spending on the web in 2008, according to TNS Media Intelligence. Even though its 2008 internet advertising through the first half was already double its full-year internet spending in 2007, it was still only 1% of media spending."
So a lot of room for growth.
That's right. A six-month investigation by Yahoo! Sports.
At the infamous Chicago Journalism Town Hall meeting, Columbia College's Barbara Iverson began citing the eight business models she has found on the Web and was cut off by moderator Ken Davis, who said "You're overwhelming us."
Northwestern University media maven Rich Gordon also has a list of business models that he has observed work on the Web.
And, you know, you just have to look around. Maybe read industry publications - not really the journalism industry publications, because they're still busying themselves with the inverted pyramid. But there's a lot out there about new media and the tone is far different than what you find coming out of our dreary traditional newsrooms.
So it was more than aggravating when Elizabeth Brackett asked the same questions of her otherwise fine media panel last night on Chicago Tonight that I've seen her ask before. Maybe the problem is that this is a business story more than anything else and, let's face it, most journalists don't know a whit about business. When they talk about business models and revenue streams, they're just repeating what they saw somewhere in . . . the Tribune.
One question in particular really struck me. It was about the emergence of foundation funding of news organizations. "But don't foundations have points of view?" Brackett asked.
As opposed to Sam Zell, Conrad Black, Colonel McCormick and Gannett's shareholders? C'mon!
Geoff Dougherty of the Chi-Town Daily News was particularly well-positioned to answer that one: he's funded in part with money from the Knight Foundation. As in the old Knight-Ridder newspaper chain - the one that was once dedicated to newspaper excellence. Brackett didn't seem to know that. If Knight has an agenda, I'll take it.
And besides, who does she think pays her salary?
The Sun-Times also had a story ready that said "Chicago officials like going last on a tour of Olympic honchos" just in case.
After all, the story's headline is "We're In 1st Place On Tour Schedule."
You think the Sun-Times has an agenda?
"'We'd rather be first than last. We can help set the bar as high as we want to,' [Pat] Ryan told the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board Tuesday.
"The tour of four cities 'is grueling,' Ryan said.
"'They're here six days and then they're home for a few days then they're out again. So by the time of the fourth one, they're going to be pretty tired, just physically. . . . There's an advantage to the freshness'."
Riiiight. It's a lot better to go first than to watch what your competitors do and trump them with a finishing flourish your guests will remember.
"Ed Hula, editor of the Around the Rings Web site, agrees: 'The first event is usually a pretty upbeat affair'."
Hula was also prepared to speak about the advantages of going last too, I'm sure.
Just because Pat Ryan visits your editorial board (small enough to meet in a Volkswagen these days; are you allowed to call three people a board?) and says it, you don't have to print it. Nor believe it.
* Lobby Wars. There are more than 1,500 professional lobbyists paid to influence Illinois government.
* White Sox Academy: Hands at Launch. Hit like they do.
* 24 Hours With The Hallmark Channel. Golden heaven.
* Trivial Pursuit. Rush, MC Hammer, and Ludacris.
* The Monsters of Midway Games. Getting the AIG treatment.
* Illinois's Movie Bailout. Blago's last act.
The Beachwood Tip Line: Motorin'.
Posted by Lou at 9:47 AM | Permalink
24 Hours With The Hallmark Channel
By The Beachwood Greeting Card TV Affairs Desk
Not recommended for, um, mature viewers.
6:30 a.m.: Paid Programming
7 a.m.: Golden Girls
7:30 a.m.: Golden Girls
8 a.m.: Golden Girls
8:30 a.m.: Golden Girls
9 a.m.: I Love Lucy
9:30 a.m.: I Love Lucy
10 a.m.: Touched By An Angel
11 a.m.: Touched By An Angel
Noon: 7th Heaven
1 p.m.: 7th Heaven
2 p.m.: M*A*S*H
2:30 p.m.: M*A*S*H
3 p.m.: To Be Announced
3:30 p.m.: To Be Announced
4 p.m.: M*A*S*H
4:30 p.m.: M*A*S*H
5 p.m.: Golden Girls
5:30 p.m.: Golden Girls
6 p.m.: 7th Heaven
7 p.m.: To Be Announced
8 p.m.: What I Did For Love
10 p.m.: Murder, She Wrote
11 p.m.: Golden Girls
11:30 p.m.: Golden Girls
Midnight: Golden Girls
12:30 a.m.: Golden Girls
1 a.m.: Cheers
1:30 a.m.: I Love Lucy
2 a.m.: Paid Programming
2:30 a.m.: Paid Programming
3 a.m.: Paid Programming
3:30 a.m.: Paid Programming
4 a.m.: Paid Programming
4:30 a.m.: Paid Programming
5 a.m.: Paid Programming
5:30 a.m.: Paid Programming
6 a.m.: Paid Programming
Posted by Lou at 6:28 AM | Permalink
By The Illinois Campaign For Political Reform
LOBBYISTS PAID $6 MILLION IN GOVERNMENT FUNDS TO INFLUENCE STATE GOVERNMENT
But Private Sector Spending on Lobbying Remains a Secret in Illinois
CHICAGO - Local governments and public agencies spent more than $6 million to hire professional lobbyists to influence Illinois state government last year, according to a report released Tuesday by the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform.
The non-partisan organization calculated the price tag after analyzing FY2008 lobbying contracts awarded by 115 municipalities, transit agencies, public universities and other units of government which were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
"Because Illinois has relatively weak laws to regulate lobbying activity and transparency, it's impossible to know specifics about lobbyists' work," said David Morrison, Deputy Director of ICPR and lead researcher and writer of the report. "Nor can the public know the cost of lobbying on behalf of private organizations that are not covered by the Freedom of Information Act."
There are more than 1,500 professional lobbyists paid to influence Illinois government. If it were not for FOIA, the public would have no idea how much money is involved. Most neighboring Midwestern states, and most large industrial states, provide the public with far more information about lobbying and lobbyists than does Illinois.
Morrison noted that the public knows even less about the tens of millions of dollars spent on lobbying by private special interest groups, such as corporations and labor unions, because their contracts are not public documents.
"There's a lot of money flowing to lobbyists, private professionals who are paid to influence state policy," Morrison said. "In most cases, we don't know what these lobbyists are doing;who they're talking to, what agenda items they're pushing, and what they're trying to block."
Illinois law requires lobbyists to disclose meals, gifts, and travel paid for by lobbyists. But what special interests pay lobbyists, and which clients are footing the bills for those meals, gifts, and travel, is a mystery.
Even worse, some of the lobbying firms hired by local governments did not comply with state ethics laws related to their work. Illinois law requires professional lobbyists to register with the Secretary of State and disclose their clients before performing work. ICPR found several who did not register themselves or their clients in a timely manner; some did not register themselves or their clients at all.
Morrison said ICPR's analysis demonstrates the need for greater disclosure and more transparency as it relates to lobbying on the state level. He noted that the federal government, many other states and even Cook County and the City of Chicago have more comprehensive sunshine requirements for their lobbyists.
"Illinoisans are being kept in the dark about lobbying and how it affects their government," Morrison said. "We need new laws mandating greater transparency so that the public can get a better handle on how their taxpayer dollars are being spent and how special interest groups are influencing their government."
This is ICPR's second report on lobbying expenditures by units of governments. The report covering FY2007 found $5 million in spending. Among the 96 units of governments in both reports, total spending on lobbying grew 15% since last year.
The report recommends changes to Illinois' Lobbyist Registration Act, including:
* All lobbyists, whether representing a government or private entity, should be required to disclose the terms of lobbying contracts, including financial arrangements.
* Lobbyists hiring other lobbyists as subcontractors should disclose whether the subcontractors are lobbying for all or only some of the primary lobbyist's clients.
* Units of government should be required to acknowledge that they have hired a lobbyist.
* There should be a "cooling-off period" between the time a government employee or official leaves public service and his or her engagement as a lobbyist targeting former colleagues.
* The Secretary of State should have the clear authority to audit lobbyist disclosure reports and punish violators.
ICPR is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest organization conducting research and advocating reforms to promote public participation in government, address the role of money in politics and encourage integrity, accountability and transparency in government.
Posted by Lou at 12:54 AM | Permalink
White Sox Academy: Hands at Launch
First in an occasional series.
Next: Lower Body Mechanics.
Posted by Lou at 12:35 AM | Permalink
Maxwell Street Malfeasance
Prior to a March 24 Town Hall meeting about the state of the New Maxwell Street Market, ardent market advocate Steve Balkin, a Roosevelt University professor, issued a statement proclaiming that the the market "has been killed off by City Hall and aldermanic indifference, ineptness, and ignorance."
At the Town Hall, the vendors had their say, accusing contracted workers of acting "in a disrespectful, harassing manner toward them, leaving vendors worried about getting hefty fines written for small infractions," according to a Chicago Journal report.
"[I]t was the repeated invocations of poor treatment from Jam and its subcontractors that caught some of the aldermen's attention."
After the Town Hall, Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) wrote this letter - obtained by the Beachwood Reporter - to Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th), Ald. Manny Flores (1st) and Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Special Events Megan McDonald. Fioretti, Flores, and Burnett sit on the city council's special events committee.
March 29, 2009
Honorable. Walter Burnett, Jr.
Re: March 24, 2009 Town Hall Meeting with Maxwell Street Market Vendors
Dear Ald. Burnett:
I share your concern about the serious allegations raised on Tuesday, March 24, by licensed Maxwell Street Market vendors about wrongdoing and mismanagement by contracted manager Jam Productions, subcontracted security S3 Inc., Dept. of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (the former Dept. of Consumer Affairs) employees and Mayor's Office of Special Events employees. In order to further investigate the allegations and eliminate all negative and illegal conditions, I recommend that you call the principles of Jam Productions and S3 Inc. and the related City staff managers before a hearing of the Special Events Committee as soon as possible. Furthermore, the nature of the allegations voiced in regards to graft, bullying, threats, intimidation and discrimination may warrant referral to other agencies for further investigation and, possibly, prosecution.
It is paramount that we work together toward a timely response to the vendors legitimate complaints and a quick resolution to the many, many issues raised. The market's peak season will be here very soon and the devoted vendors deserve the opportunity to work in a professional and inclusive environment immediately. The vendors were eloquent in their descriptions of proposed solutions and many of them have graciously offered their assistance toward planning better market management and the layout of spaces, parking and traffic flow.
You have my full support in responding to the vendors and effecting positive change in the management and execution of the historic Maxwell Street Market. Let's return it to its position as a positive bargain shopping experience for residents, tourists and vendors alike.
CC: Ald. Manny Flores
Posted by Lou at 12:03 AM | Permalink
Trivial Pursuit: Music Choice Edition
Rock's real secret history, as gleaned from the trivia bits on Comcast Cable's "Music Choice" channels.
New this edition: Fun facts about Rush, MC Hammer, Ludacris and more!
1. Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" was never released as a single.
2. Early in his career, the Rolling Stones' Brian Jones performed as Elmo Lewis.
3. Cat Stevens went to Catholic school.
4. England Dan and John Ford Coley's "Love is the Answer" was written by Todd Rundgren.
5. Barbra Streisand is the best selling female recording artist of all time.
6. Steve Miller was born in Milwaukee.
7. Pure Prairie League released Firin' Up in 1980.
8. John Denver's father was a U.S. Air Force officer.
9. In 1969, Jimmy Buffett moved to Nashville to start his music career.
10. Rare Earth was formed from the ashes of the band the Sunliners.
11. The DeFranco Family was modeled after the Osmonds and sponsored by the publishers of Tiger Beat.
12. "Mandy" was the first in a string of 25 consecutive Top 40 hits for Barry Manilow. 25!
13. The Eagles were formerly backup musicians for Linda Ronstadt.
14. Tony Orlando was a general manager at Columbia Records.
15. Though they started out as a five-piece, the O'Jays enjoyed most of their success as a trio.
16. Bill Withers joined the U.S. Navy when he was 17 and served for nine years.
17. The Spinners were named after the chrome wheels on tenor Bobbie Smith's car.
18. Eric Carmen is a classically trained pianist/guitarist.
19. "Rockestra Theme" by Paul McCartney and Wings won the 1979 Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental.
20. In 1999 Katrina left the Waves to pursue a career as a DJ and a solo artist.
21. Photographs of 2Pac's autopsy were never officially released, though they were leaked on the Internet.
22. Edison's wax cylinder phonograph was patented in 1886.
23. DJ Todd Storz created the "Top 40" in '49 after noting that fans would repeatedly play the same songs on the jukebox.
24. The first Walkman went on sale in July 1979.
25. Ray Charles' favorite dessert was sweet potato pie.
26. Lily Allen sang "Heart of Glass" with Debbie Harry for the Today show last May.
27. Avril Lavigne sang in church choirs, local festivals and county fairs before she secured a record deal.
28. Justin Timberlake inducted the O'Jays into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.
29. Huey Lewis briefly attended Cornell University and studied engineering.
30. Ted Nugent claims to be ignorant of drug references in the Amboy Dukes' "Journey to the Center of the Mind." (Nugent is a lifetime member of Drug Abuse Resistance Education; he also played a drug dealer in a 1984 episode of Miami Vice.)
31. Emerson, Lake and Palmer ended their performance at the Isle of Wight festival by shooting cannons on both sides of the stage.
32. Pete Townshend helped design the now ubiquitous 100-watt Marshall amp stack.
33. Neil Young's early band, the Mynah Birds, featured future super freak Rick James.
34. Cream's "Badge" was co-written with George Harrison.
35. Macy Gray performed at President George W. Bush's inauguration in January 2005.
36. John Mellencamp suffered a major heart attack in 1994.
37. Bad Company named themselves after the 1972 Robert Benton film of the same name.
38. Journey's second drummer, Aynsley Dunbar, was a member of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention.
39. Elvin Bishop was once jailed for stealing a preacher's jacket from a restaurant.
40. The Compact Disc premiered in England in 1983.
41. Smokey Robinson was born William Robinson.
42. Conway Twitty was awarded the Amusement and Music Operators of America Jukebox Award in 1989.
43. Jim Croce recorded background vocals for television commercials.
44. Carly Simon's father co-founded Simon & Schuster.
45. Though no soundtrack was released, Cat Stevens contributed songs to Harold & Maude.
46. England Dan became a country act after he split with John Ford Coley.
47. Barry White co-produced the 1950s hit "Harlem Shuffle" record by doo-wop duo Bob & Earl.
48. Rush's Geddy Lee was born Geddy Lee Winerib.
49. The Steve Miller Band backed Chuck Berry at the Fillmore.
50. There have been over 20 members of Lynyrd Skynyrd during the band's career.
51. Joe Walsh has provided guitar tracks for Ringo Starr, Richard Marx, Keith Moon and The Simpsons.
52. In 2005 Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page was named an Officer of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.
53. On Sept. 6, 2003 Bruce Springsteen played the first concert at Boston's Fenway Park in its 91-year history.
54. Manager Chas Chandler convinced Slade to adopt a skinhead look as a gimmick.
55. Steve Miller was a session musician for Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy and others.
56. Sugarloaf was originally known as Chocolate Hair.
57. The Eagles' Desperado was a concept album about outlaws.
58. Jimi Hendrix was discharged from the Army after being injured during a parachute jump.
59. T. Rex's Marc Bolan was born Marc Feld.
60. Eddie Money was born Eddie Mahoney.
61. Jackson Browne co-wrote the Eagles' hit "Take It Easy."
62. The Rolling Stones' Brian Jones had fathered two illegitimate children by age 16.
63. Stevie Wonder wrote Chaka Khan's "Tell Me Something Good." [Actually written for Khan but recorded with her band, Rufus]
64. Dire Strait's Mark Knopfler wrote the Tina Turner comeback hit "Private Dancer."
65. Styx's Tommy Shaw was once a member of MS Funk.
66. Blue Oyster Cult's iconic hook and cross logo was designed by artist Bill Gawlick.
67. Heminevrin, the drug that killed The Who's Keith Moon, was actually prescribed to combat his alcoholism.
68. Foghat's debut album was largely produced by Dave Edmunds, but includes tracks produced by Todd Rundgren.
69. In 1967, Norman Greenbaum retired from the music industry to run a dairy farm in California.
70. Billy Joel briefly wrote record reviews for Changes magazine.
71. The Clash's Joe Strummer was born John Graham Mellor.
72. Glenn Danzig contributed two songs to the Less Than Zero soundtrack (1987).
73. The Who's Keith Moon died in the same apartment that Mama Cass died in four years earlier.
74. Entertainment Weekly listed Alice Cooper's "School's Out" among its list of "Top 10 Greatest Summer Songs."
75. Queen's Freddie Mercury was born in Zanzibar, Africa.
76. Linda Ronstadt attended Arizona State University.
77. Paul McCartney appeared on the Steve Miller Band's "My Dark Hour" under the alias Paul Ramon.
78. Mott the Hoople's "All The Young Dudes" was written by David Bowie.
79. Buddy Guy suggested to Steve Miller that he call his band the Steve Miller Band.
80. Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant suffered the tragedy of losing his son Karac to a stomach infection in 1977.
81. Deep Purple was originally called Roundabout.
82. Blue Oyster Cult originally went by the name Soft White Underbelly.
83. Kiss' Gene Simmons was born in Haifa, Israel.
84. Bad Company was the first band signed to Led Zeppelin's Swan Song label.
85. Bob Welch appeared on five albums by Fleetwood Mac before leaving the band in 1975.
86. The Beatles' Paul McCartney was born James Paul McCartney.
87. Wal-Mart is the largest music retailer in the U.S.
88. Black Sabbath took their title from the Boris Karloff film of the same name.
89. Before joining Metallica, drummer Lars Ulrich was originally interested in a career as a pro tennis player.
90. In 1990, Billy Joel played the first rock concert in the history of New York's Yankee Stadium.
91. Supertramp turned down Greyhound's request to use "Take The Long Way Home" in bus commercials.
92. Van Morrison was publicly silent between 1974 and 1977.
93. Carole King was part of the Brill Building stable of songwriters in the 60s.
94. Joe Walsh attended Kent State University.
95. Steely Dan alumnus Michael McDonald joined the Doobie Brothers in 1975.
96. Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones was a session musician and appeared on albums by George Harrison.
97. Bachman-Turner Overdrive officially changed their name to BTO in 1978.
98. Gary "Dream Weaver" Wright played keyboards on George Harrison's Cloud Nine.
99. Avril Lavigne is a proud supporter of Amnesty International's Make Some Noise campaign.
100. The Cars' Benjamin Orr was born Benjamin Orzechowski.
101. The Osmonds earned more Gold records in a single year than any other group in history.
102. Sister Sledge was originally known as Mrs. William's Grandchildren.
103. After Hank Williams' death in 1953, Ray Price inherited his band, the Drifting Cowboys.
104. Journey's Steve Perry was previously a member of Alien Project.
105. Michelle Shocked graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in Oral Interpretation of Literature.
106. In 2003, Jay-Z became the first hip-hop star to ever have his own live televised concert special.
107. Before deciding to pursue music, Blues Traveler's John Popper considered a career as a comedian.
108. The Allman Brothers Band formed in Macon, Georgia in 1969.
109. Deep Purple's Jon Lord played keyboards on the Kinks' "You Really Got Me."
110. Manfred Mann was born Manfred Lubowitz.
111. Billy Squier was a member of the Psychedelic Supermarket in 1968.
112. Phil Collins can be seen briefly in the 1964 Beatles film A Hard Day's Night.
113. X's debut album, Los Angeles, was engineered and produced by ex-Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek.
114. John Denver moved to Los Angeles when he was 20 to pursue a career in music.
115. Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones was born John Baldwin.
116. Joe Cocker provided the theme songs for 9 1/2 Weeks, Bull Durham, and An Innocent Man.
117. Amy Winehouse cites Ray Charles as a major influence.
118. Green Day was nominated for the International Album of the Year at the 2005 Juno Awards.
119. Anne Murray taught physical education at a high school in Summerside, Prince Edward Island.
120. Jimmy Cliff recorded a duet with Elvis Costello for the soundtrack to Club Paradise.
121. LeAnn Rimes started singing before age 2.
122. Boz Scaggs was born William Royce Scaggs.
123. Kid Rock's real name is Robert James Ritchie.
124. Lita Ford started playing guitar at age 11.
125. John Mellencamp studied Broadcast Journalism at Vincennes University.
126. Elvis Costello's "Accidents Will Happen" was influenced by a Dusty Springfield song.
127. Amy Winehouse founded a group called Sweet 'n' Sour at age 10.
128. An estimated 14,000 people attended the wedding of Hank Williams and Billie Jean Eshliman.
129. The Who released one single under the name The High Numbers.
130. Barry Manilow worked in the CBS mailroom while attending college.
131. Meat Loaf earned his nickname in childhood due to his size.
132. Rod Stewart was a member of the Jeff Beck Group.
133. Tammy Wynette moved to Nashville with no job and three small children in 1966.
134. Before his rap career, Biggie had dreams of becoming a dentist or a graphic artist.
135. Rush formed as Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee, and John Rutsey.
136. Grand Funk Railroad's Mel Schacher was previously a member of ? and the Mysterians.
137. Nilsson was one of the hundreds of musicians who tried out for the Monkees.
138. A teacher once told Violent Femmes bassist Brian Ritchie he had no talent whatsoever.
139. Sept. 3, 1988 marked Triumph's last performance with all the band's original members.
140. Kelly Clarkson's middle name is Brianne.
141. Acclaimed NY artist Jean-Michel Basquiat made an appearance in Blondie's "Rapture" video.
142. Bruce Springsteen achieved his seventh No. 1 album with Devils & Dust in 2005.
143. Duran Duran were joined onstage by Lou Reed at New York City show in 1987.
144. Cream's Jack Bruce was previously a member of Manfred Mann.
145. The Spinners sang in the "Philly Soul" style even though they were from Detroit.
146. Kool & the Gang's George Brown took on a paper route in order to buy his first set of drums.
147. Aerosmith's Joe Perry was born Anthony Joseph Perry.
148. Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" reached No. 9 on Billboard's pop singles chart in 1979.
149. Midnight Oil's Peter Garrett is seven feet tall.
150. Concrete Blonde called themselves Dream 6 before signing to I.R.S. in 1985.
151. Warrant's Erik Turner enjoys spending his spare time with his family and playing golf.
152. Twisted Sister's Dee Snider sang in a classical choir until he was 19.
153. The Oak Ridge Boys were among the first to bring long hair and beards to country music in the late '60s.
154. In 1998 Mel Tillis was a spokesman for the Stuttering Foundation of America.
155. In 1891 Columbia became the first to release a full catalogue of cylinders and phonographs.
156. Roxy Music's self-titled debut was recorded in 19 days.
157. Michael Johnson toured as a member of the Mitchell Trio, which included John Denver.
158. John Entwistle and Pete Townshend of the Who met in high school.
159. The Bellamy Brothers were originally known as Jericho.
160. Teena Marie had a small part in TV's The Beverly Hillbillies at age 8.
161. The "roots-rock" subgenre came into being the mid 80s partly as a counter movement to New Wave.
162. Chicago formed in Chicago, IL on Feb. 15, 1967.
163. Roxette's Per Gessle covered a Swedish version of Bob Dylan's Farval Angelina.
164. Wham! disbanded in 1985.
165. Lightnin' Hopkins' first instrument was a cigar-box guitar with chicken-wire guitar strings.
166. Ratt's Warren Demartini played with Whitesnake on their 1994 tour.
167. In 1976, Ibanez was forced to stop producing guitar copies due to a lawsuit.
168. A child prodigy, Ronnie Milsap was proficient at both violin and piano.
169. Yes' first major performance was at London's Speakeasy Club in 1968.
170. The first Gold record was awarded to Glenn Miller's "Chattanooga Choo-Choo" in 1941.
171. Carrie Underwood majored in Mass Communications at Northeastern State University.
172. Fergie had a role in the 2006 film Poseidon.
173. Hank Snow discovered Elvis Presley and took him on tour as his opening act.
174. Corey Hart is best known for the 1984 smash hit "Sunglasses at Night."
175. Mariah Carey released her self-titled debut in 1990.
176. Bobby Brown married pop star Whitney Houston in 1992.
177. The BBC Big Band won the British Jazz Award for Best Big Band in 1992, 1994, 1997, 1999, and 2001.
178. Pearl Jam released their debut Ten in 1991.
179. Styx's Ricky Phillips also played bass for Bad English and the Babys.
180. Bearsville Studio in Woodstock, NY is one of the last remaining analog-only facilities.
181. Emmylou Harris' third marriage was to singer-songwriter Paul Kennerley.
182. LaBelle formed in 1961 as Patti Labelle and the Blue Belles.
183. Isaac Hayes has said that he was never completely comfortable with his biblical nickname, "Black Moses."
184. In 2003, the list price of a Fender American Stratocaster was $1,177.99.
185. Nirvana formed in Aberdeen, WA in 1987.
186. In 1989 Richard Marx toured with Tina Turner in Germany.
187. Michael Sembello's wife accidentally sent "Maniac" to the producers of Flashdance and they loved it.
189. Otis Redding was the father of four children.
190. LeAnn Rimes made her stage debut as Tiny Time in A Christmas Carol at age 7.
191. Bluegrass has always been ensemble music.
192. Kenny Rogers was named the "Favorite Singer of All Time" in a 1986 national poll.
193. Phillips introduced the first compact audio cassette in 1963.
194. Whitney Houston is Dionne Warwick's cousin.
195. As producer, David Bowie was responsible for the often debated "thin" sound of the Stooges' Raw Power
196. After graduating college Sheryl Crow became a music teacher for children with special needs in St. Louis.
197. In 2002 Virgin Record paid Mariah Carey $28 million to split with the label.
198. Danger Mouse of Gnarls Barkley used to make his own records under the name Pelican City.
199. The Andy Williams Christmas Album hit No. 1 on the Billboard pop albums chart in 1963.
200. Bruce Springsteen's first band was the Castiles.
201. Da Brat's government name is Shawntae Harris.
202. Barbara Mandrell has hosted The Tonight Show and The People's Choice Awards.
203. After the Cadillacs joined with the Blue Notes, drummer Teddy Pendergrass became their lead singer.
204. The Stylistics maintained a strong following in Britain after their American popularity had faded.
205. White Lion's Mike Tramp cites The Sopranos and Seinfeld as his favorite television shows.
206. Billy Idol lived in Long Island, NY from age 3 to age 7.
207. Patti Smith dropped out of Glassboro State Teacher's College.
208. Matt Sharp and Patrick Wilson formed the Rentals during Weezer's 1995 hiatus.
209. Dolly Parton recorded for Fred Foster's Monument Records from 1965-67.
210. According to Billboard magazine, Boys II Men was the best selling R&B group of the 20th century.
211. Music copyrights end 70 years after the original artist's death.
212. The first Walkman went on sale in July 1979.
213. Ronnie James Dio replaced Ozzy Osbourne as the singer for Black Sabbath in 1979.
214. Edgar Winter invented the keyboard body strap, a harness that allowed him to wear his instrument like a guitar.
215. Daft Punk got their name when a music critic dismissed their first single as "daft punk".
216. Moby was a producer on Brintey Spears' In The Zone (2003).
217. Jim Reeves studied speech and drama at the University of Texas for six weeks and dropped out.
218. Gold status indicates that the artist has arrived at 500,000 in sales.
219. Sabian cymbals are available in approximately 120 countries.
220. Halloween was formed in Hamburg, Germany by members of the bands Ironfist and Powerfool.
221. Bob Dylan, Jewel, Emmylou Harris, Don Henley, and Paula Abdul have all covered songs by John Hiatt.
222. Linkin Park's original name was Hybrid Theory.
223. Michael Bolton collaborated with Bob Dylan on the song "Steel Bars."
224. Over 40 channels to choose from.
225. Puddle of Mudd won four Billboard Music Awards in Dec. 2002.
226. Rush formed in the summer of 1968.
227. Jeff Beck replaced Eric Clapton as lead guitarist for the Yardbirds in 1965.
228. Kelly Clarkson has two tattoos, a Japanese symbol on her neck and a cross.
229. You are listening to Music Choice.
230. Modern pop music can be traced back to the 1950s when some early rockers began to change their sound.
231. Howard Jones learned to play piano at age 7.
232. Dawn reunited with Tony Orlando in 1988.
233. Hot Butter's "Popcorn" was written by Gershon Kingsley.
234. Hot Butter is best known for the hit "Popcorn."
235. Sly Stone was born Sylvester Stewart.
236. Eddy Grant had a heart attack in his 20s, causing him to retire to his home studio.
237. EMI records began as a merger of Columbia and Gramophone Company in 1931.
238. Marvin Gaye was honorably discharged from the US Air Force in 1957.
239. Jon Secada has sold over 20 million albums.
240. Bryan Adams appeared as a musical guest on Saturday Night Live in 1985 with Harry Anderson hosting.
241. Louisiana blues music was influenced by French, Spanish, African American, Creole and Cajun inhabitants.
242. The Contours were brought to Motown by member Hubert Johnson's cousin, Jackie WIlson.
243. Tony Bennett got his first break opening for singer Pearl Bailey.
244. Philadelphia's Thomas M. Pierce Elementary School named their computer library after Jill Scott.
245. C-Murder's government name is Corey Miller.
246. Donna Fargo was born Yvonne Vaughn.
247. Justin Timberlake's favorite singer is Donnie Hathaway.
248. Egypt Central bassist Joey Chicago is from Wheaton, IL.
249. Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk" peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard's pop singles chart in 1979.
250. Duran Duran opened for Blondie on their 1982 tour.
251. Pleasure (Pretty Ricky) told Music Choice he is unique and no adjectives can describe him.
252. George Clinton attributes his ideas for extraordinary costumes and wild concerts to his LSD experimentation.
253. During the 1940s and '50s many jazz artists toured Europe, where racial tensions were far less pronounced.
254. After winning her first competition at age 5, LeAnn Rimes told her parents she wanted to be a star.
255. Lil Mama attended Edward R. Murrow High School in Brooklyn.
256. The Kooks have toured with the Thrills.
257. The Smiths' Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke sued Steven Morrissey and Johnny Marr for unfair earnings distributions.
258. David Bowie formed a mime troupe called the Feathers in 1969.
259. Thelonious Monk was born Oct 10, 1917 in Rocky Mount, NC.
260. Roger Greenway of Brotherhood of Man was also lead singer of the Fortunes.
261. Nas attended Russell Simmons' first Hip Hop Youth Summit, which introduced an anti-drug campaign.
262. Cal Smith worked as a truck driver and horse breaker.
263. Sour Records was one of the first jungle labels to attract a mainstream following.
264. Pop started as a mostly singles medium that was influenced by the beat and style of rock and roll.
265. Chicago's Savoy Ballroom opend its doors on Nov. 23, 1927.
266. The Bellamy Brothers started their annual Snake, Rattle and Roll benefit concerts in 1989.
267. Morris Day's debut solo album was Color of Success.
268. Fear Factory's cover of Gary Numan's "Cars" gave them their first Top Ten song.
269. As a jingle singer, Janie Fricke's voice was on commercials of Coca-Cola, 7-Up and Red Lobster.
270. The Scorpions toured the US with Iron Maiden in 1982.
271. Macy Gray has a degree in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California.
272. Did you know that Parker Brothers marketed the first Nerf foam ball?
273. KISS' "Detroit Rock City" peaked at No. 7 on Billboard's Pop Singles chart in 1976.
274. Snow's biggest hit was 1993's "The Informer."
275. In 1961, Jimmie Rodgers became the first person inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
276. Chamillionaire calls himself "The Truth From Texas" and "Houston's Hardest Artist."
277. Earth, Wind and Fire covered the Beatles' "Got To Get You Into My Life" in 1978.
278. Lionel Richie won a Grammy in 1985 for his part in "We Are The World."
279. The name Guns 'N Roses came from two members' former band names: L.A. Guns and Hollywood Roses.
280. The Cure contributed a version of "Purple Haze" to the Hendrix tribute album Stone Free.
281. Seals & Crofts released five Gold albums for Warner Bros. between '72 and '76.
282. In 1958, Muddy Waters shocked Europe with his electric guitar blues.
283. "Moon River" by Henry Mancini was one of the best-sellers of the '60s.
284. Luther Vandross served as president of the Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles fan club in the mid 60s.
285. Moonspell formed in 1989.
286. ELP's Carl Palmer went on to join the pop group Asia.
287. The fiddle evolved in Italy during the 16th century.
288. The Chemical Brothers' "Setting Sun" was a tribute to the Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows."
289. Compost Records is based in Munich and encompasses jazz, bossa nova, Detroit techno, and deep house.
290. Afrika Bambaataa's name means "affectionate leader" in the Zulu language.
291. Irene Cara is the only artist to perform at the Oscars twice in one night.
292. During the '30s country music moved from the traditional sounds of the Carter Family to "western swing."
293. Garth Brooks made his first trip to Nashville, which lasted only four days, in 1985.
294. Loverboy's Mike Reno first met guitarist Paul Dean at the Refinery Night Club in Calgary.
295. Dean Martin quit high school after the tenth grade.
296. After the Golden State Boys, Del McCoury worked at a nuclear power plant in York, PA.
297. Alejandro Escovedo is related to two former percussionists for Santana.
298. Love Unlimited Orchestra disbanded in 1983.
299. NYC's Central Park Summerstage typically puts on 30-40 free concerts every summer.
300. Neil Young contracted polio as a child.
301. Poison formed in Harrisburg, PA in 1982.
302. Wild Cherry's "Play That Funky Music White Boy" peaked at No. 1 on Billboard's pop singles chart in 1976.
303. Nat King Cole died of lung cancer Feb 15, 1965 in Santa Monica, CA.
304. Johnny Lee served in the Navy aboard the USS Chicago, a guided missile cruiser.
305. Alicia Keys was born Alicia Aguello Cook.
306. Tommy Dorsey's preference for a fast beat caused many arguments with his brother.
307. Diamond status indicates that the artist has arrived at 10,000,000 or more in album sales.
308. Universal Music Group owns and maintains over 1 million copyrights.
309. Members of System of a Down are of Armenian descent.
310. Dusty Springfield knew at age 10 that she wanted to be a blues singer.
311. Benny Goodman recorded the soundtrack to his own 1955 biopic, in which he was portrayed by Steve Allen.
312. In 2000 Sheena Easton created an Angel of Autumn doll that was available on the Internet.
313. John Denver served as a member of the Presidential Commission on World and Domestic Hunger.
314. Paula Abdul established her own company, Go Dance, in 1995.
315. Styx's "Lady" peaked at No. 6 on Billboard's Pop Singles chart in 1975.
316. The 78 rpm disc was no longer produced on a large scale after 1955.
317. Kenny Loggins has received 12 Platinum and 14 Gold albums.
318. Richie Valens tossed a coin with Tommy Allsup for a seat on the plane that killed him.
319. Jethro Tull's managers, Chris Wright and Terry Ellis, created the widely successful Chrysalis Records.
320. Run-DMC were the first rap artists to have a video air on MTV.
321. In 1974, guitarist Mike Fisher moved from guitarist to full-time soundman for Heart.
322. Bing Crosby was born Harry Lillis Crosby.
323. The Jacksons had to change their name from the Jackson 5 after losing a legal battle to Motown Records.
324. The first album Disturbed's David Draiman bought was Kiss' Destroyer.
325. Koss introduced the first stereo headphones in 1958.
326. Helen Reddy had 14 Top 40 songs between 1971 and 1978.
327. Neil Young inducted the Pretenders into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.
328. The Melodians are considered to be one of rocksteady music's greatest acts.
329. Donna Summer sang with a rock group called The Crow when she was a teenager.
330. Fergie is a former Bongo and Guess model.
331. Slick Rick was Doug E. Fresh's partner in the Get Fresh Crew.
332. The Sandpipers were known as the Four Seasons but changed when they heard about the other Four Seasons.
333. Taylor Hawkins toured with Alanis Morrissette's band before becoming the
334. Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne have three children and many dogs.
335. Stevie Wonder played the harmonica for Dionne Warwick and Friends' "That's What Friends Are For."
336. Duran Duran had the only James Bond theme to hit No. 1 with 1985's "A View to a Kill."
337. A panel voted on the greatest songs of country music and Tammy Wynette's "Stand By Your Man" ranked No. 1.
338. Sheila E. once performed "Mary Had a Little Lamb" for the Pediatric AIDS Foundation.
339. Trina was dubbed "the queen of randy hip-hop" by Entertainment Weekly.
340. Soulfly's Mikey was formerly in the band Snot.
341. Toni Basil choreographed David Bowie's 1974 tour.
342. T-Pain created a variation of R&B that he calls Hard&B.
343. Puddle of Mudd got their name after the Missouri River flooded their studios, leaving a "puddle of mudd."
344. In 1991, KISS drummer Eric Carr died of cancer.
345. The Heartbreakers formed in 1975.
346. Wham!'s final performance was at London's Wembley Stadium.
347. Polygram bought Motown Records in '93.
348. Corey Hart's "Never Surrender" peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1985.
349. In the early '40s, the Glenn Miller Orchestra was considered the most popular dance band in the world.
350. Bloodbath formed in Sweden in 1999.
351. Aerosmith's first public performance took place at Nipmuc Regional High School in Mendon, MA in 1970.
352. Matthew Sweet was once a guest contestant on Win Ben Stein's Money.
353. Sean Paul developed his reggae skills by making dubs and performing at barbeques.
354. Tanya Tucker sang the theme song for CBS' NASCAR racing broadcasts in 1996.
355. A Taste of Honey's Percy Kibble died in 1999.
356. Montell Jordan, Def Jam's first R&B artist, was dropped from the label in 2002.
357. Ice Cube played in the 2005 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game.
358. Motley Crue's Vince Neil lost his daughter, Skylar, to stomach cancer in 1995.
359. Before the success of Primitive Radio Gods, Chris O'Connor worked as an air traffic controller.
360. Barry White married Love Unlimited's Glodean James in 1975.
361. Toby Keith joined Chris LeDoux on "Copenhagen," his ode to chewing tobacco.
362. Del Amitri emerged from the Scottish music scene.
363. In 1980, Dave Loggins recorded the theme to the Master's Golf Tournament.
364. Rita Coolidge went on hiatus from 1984-92.
365. In 2006 Rick Ross told Music Choice the most important thing he learned from his mother was loyalty.
366. In 2006 Rick Ross told Music Choice his favorite holidays are actually his son's and daughter's birthdays.
367. Larry Elgart's "Bandstand Boogie" was adopted by Dick Clark as the theme to American Bandstand.
368. The Statler Brothers named themselves after a brand of tissues.
369. Tim McGraw's first public performance was in elementary school in The Music Man.
370. Nelly launched a clothing line, Apple Bottoms, in 2003.
371. Al B. Sure's real name is Al Brown.
371. Bullet For My Valentine contributed "4 Words (to Choke Upon) to the Madden 2006 soundtrack (2005).
372. Great White's Mark Kendall cites the Los Angeles Dodgers as his favorite baseball team.
373. Duran Duran was one of the first bands to play South Africa after the end of Apartheid.
374. The International Federation of Phonographic Industry reported that 1.1 billion pirated CDs were sold in 2002.
375. David Essex's "Rock On" was certified Gold by the RIAA March 26, 1974.
376. Seymour Duncan Pickups is located in Santa Barbara, CA.
377. The Fender Museum of Music and the Arts is located on North Main Street in Corona, CA.
378. Columbia Records was the first to develop the double-sided record.
379. There were at least 390,000 different physical albums that sold at least one copy over the Internet during 2007.
380. Stereo records began production in the UK and US in Nov 1958.
381. T-Pain was born Faheem Najm in Tallahassee, FL.
382. Drummer Mike Terrana left Rage in 2006.
383. Boston's ex-guitarist Barry Goudreau formed Orion the Hunter.
384. Boston's Brad Delp sang back-up on Orion the Hunter's self-titled debut and co-wrote half the songs.
385. September loves to paint and draw.
386. Justin Timberlake wrote and recorded Justified in just six weeks.
387. Lipps, Inc. is meant to be pronounced as a pun on "lip sync."
388. D.C. Bellamy is the half-brother of Curtis Mayfield.
389. In 1934 before the medium caught on, BASF manufactured 50,000 meters of magnetic recording tape.
390. The highly influential Paradise Garage club in NYC closed in Sept. 1987, ten years after opening.
391. Dolly Parton is one of 12 children.
392. Patsy Cline gave birth to her daughter, Julie Fudge, in 1958.
393. Rush was awarded the 2004 Music DVD of the Year Juno Award.
394. Wonder Woman was created by William Moulton Marston and wife Elizabeth Holloway Marston. It's true!
395. Spyro Gyra appeared at major international jazz festivals in the 80s.
396. Muddy Waters initially took up guitar at 17.
397. Living Strings was a commercial creation of RCA Records other than a true musical entity.
398. Grammy Winner: Best New Artist of 1959: Bobby Darin.
399. Lee Ann Womack hosted Broadway Meets Country in Nov 2005.
400. Cymande's music combined calypso rhythms with jazz overtones.
401. Too Short and his high school friend Freddy B. started the Dangerous Music Label.
402. The Rolling Stones signed to Decca Records in 1963.
403. Bet you didn't know the first roller coaster dates back to Russian ice slides built in the mid-1600s.
404. As a bandleader, Jimmy Dorsey was generally considered more easygoing than his brother Tommy.
405. Frank Sinatra signed with Capitol Records in 1954.
406. After developing a local following, the Grateful Dead signed to MGM Records in 1966.
407. Don Williams was the first country artist to make a video, in support of his 1973 release Come Early Morning.
408. In April 2004 PETA asked Beyonce to stop wearing fur.
409. Before forming the Eurythmics Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart were in the band Catch.
410. Randy Travis married his manager, Lib Hatcher, in 1991.
411. Warrant's James St. James a member of the Kiss tribute band Cold Gin for nearly two years.
412. The Smashing Pumpkins released their first single, "I Am One," in 1990.
413. Akon has admired the career of P. Diddy.
414. Crayola crayons were invented by cousins Edwin Binney and C. Harold Smith.
415. The Cutting Crew disbanded in 1993.
416. Sarah Vaughan's nicknames include "Sassy" and "The Divine One."
417. In 1887, German inventor Emile Berliner became the first to invent a method of mass-producing records.
418. Blake Shelton has a pet turkey and has fed him turkey.
419. Merle Haggard opened for the Rolling Stones on select dates during their 2005 tour.
420. In April '06, Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" became the first single to hit No. 1 on the UK charts based on download sales alone.
421. 2001 Pepsi Award for People's Choice Best Female: Britney Spears.
422. Tone-Loc's "Wild Thing" and "Funky Cold Medina" were co-written by Young MC.
423. Merrilee Rush's "Angel Of The Morning" is widely considered a timeless classic.
424. Rush's Permanent Waves peaked at No. 4 on Billboard's Pop Albums chart in 1981.
425. CD-R technology was developed in '88.
426. EMI bought Capitol Records in 1955.
427. DAT (Digital Audio tape) premiered in '87.
428. Ben Folds played his first solo show in Dec 2001.
429. MC Hammer filed for bankruptcy in 1996.
430. Duncan Sheik was in a band with Lisa Loeb called Liz & Lisa.
431. Al Lipschultz, noticing a lack of press for musicians, started Down Beat magazine in 1934.
432. Hard bop places more emphasis on the rhythm section than bebop.
433. The term "ragged time" came into use during the late 19th century.
434. Ludacris was the first artist signed to Scarface's Def Jam South.
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