Monday, November 28, 2005
How To Make A Successful R & B Record, Pt. 4081

R&B Singer Seeks Rapper For Validation, Occasional Collabos. Inquire Here.

Great piece in yesterday's NY Times by Jeff Leeds called "Scenes From an Arranged Marriage".

The piece is about an upcoming R & B singer named Governor, who has delayed his release for years as he's been shuttled from Dr. Dre's camp to 50 Cent's camp to now T.I.'s camp.

I told Jeff that I was jealous he had gotten the story. It's a great example of the kind of reporting that is not often done in hip-hop journalism (Zino and Mays' rants in The Source don't count), and even less so in hip-hop scholarship (with the exception of Norman Kelley's essential book Rhythm & Business). It's a rare story that gets behind the shine into the gritty, often exploitative core of the economy of hip-hop.

The context for the piece is the convergence of media consolidation and the professionalization of hip-hop careers. Media consolidation drives bigger demands on the bottom line while raising the price of the music. Fewer artists get huger budgets. Is making pop like making fast food? Although an army of good and bad music critics will tell you otherwise (and sometimes they'll be right), the economic truth is that IT IS: CDs. Hamburgers. Product.

At the same time, media consolidation has gutted the staffs of big companies. (All the old school Neo-Marxists in the house say: 'Contradiction'!) So people like Dre, 50, and T.I. are more than just the talent these days. They have supplanted the A & R and management apparatuses in the business. Leeds' subtext is clear: There's so much money on the line that Governor cannot afford not to be married to some mob.

Usually we count this as a positive (see: the ascension of Jay-Z). But for someone like Governor, it's a mixed bag...or worse. Now that headz write the checks, is it time to start talking about Record Industry Rule Number 4081?

Here's a teaser:

"...record labels in recent years have made a point of introducing new, little-known acts as proteges of established stars. In some cases the two musicians might have grown up on the same block. Or perhaps they had shared the struggle of performing in the same unknown group. Either way, it's a rich backstory that can be woven into any future marketing effort.

But what if the new singer doesn't have any long-lost pals who've gone platinum?

For an increasingly desperate industry, that is but a minor obstacle. These days, label executives routinely shop their new prospects around from one star to another, trying to convince them to act as a mentor. Then the newcomer is marketed as a devotee, or a card-carrying member of the star's 'camp.'"


Click here for the entire Happy Meal...

posted by Zentronix @ 4:14 PM   1 comments links to this post



Sunday, November 27, 2005
Feds To Benzino: Show Us The Money
Today, the Boston Herald and AllHipHop.com reported that Benzino has been charged by the Feds in Massachusetts for failing to pay taxes on $1.5 million in income in 1999 and 2000.

This apparently is part of the decade-long FBI probe into Benzino and his former group, the Almighty RSO. That probe included an extensive search into Benzino's background, including whether he and his crew were involved in a homicide case.

He said, "They been investigating me for years and all they got me for is not filing taxes."

You gotta hand it to Zino. He's always ready with an entertaining quote. Here's more from his lawyer, a former federal prosecutor named Leonard Sands:

“He’s very likable, very versatile, very outgoing,” Sands said. “He’s a very down-to-earth, soft-spoken guy.”


Benzino took the opportunity of his indictment to tell Allhiphop.com he has two new dis tracks coming--one aimed at Funkmaster Flex and the other at Eminem.

Thought he and Em had squashed their beef? Well, bills must be paid.

posted by Zentronix @ 10:10 PM   0 comments links to this post



Friday, November 25, 2005
The Voice's Aina Hunter on The Source
Huge props to Aina for the most thorough piece on The Source's troubles to date. Among the warning signs--estimates of the magazine's ad pages have it at less than half the amount booked in 2000, and estimates of its readership have it at half the amount it was just two years ago. Aina's piece is wonderfully written as well:

"When 50 Cent himself showed up in the Hot 97 studio of Funkmaster Flex on a recent Thursday-evening shift, the pair spent precious airtime stoking the feud. 'I gotta ask you about this wack rapper Benzino,' Funkmaster Flex said, referring to The Source co-owner Raymond Scott by his performing name. Hearing it, 50 Cent began to murmur menacingly.

A few days later, on allhiphop.com, Scott upped the ante, asserting that Flex 'talks a lot of trash [on the air] and when he leaves, he has a group of security guards, but one day he is going to slip, and when we do collide you are going to hear about it.'

People really do get hurt for less beef than this, especially around Hot 97, where broadcast taunts have preceded flying bullets, and especially around The Source, which has picked countless fights since its birth in 1988. But given the number of hits they're taking--tens of millions in credit claims and lawsuits, arrests, even murder charges against key staffers--it's amazing that Scott, fellow co-owner David Mays, and rookie editor Dasun Allah can put out a magazine at all. Just keeping track of the major court cases advancing this month is a task."


Click here for the rest...

posted by Zentronix @ 3:10 PM   2 comments links to this post



Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Davey D & Snoop Dogg On Tookie

Snoop Dogg & The Dogg Pound :: Real Soon (Davey D's Rally Mix)

This MP3 comes from Davey D who says about Tookie Williams:

"Last weekend at the Save Tookie Rally, DJ T-Kash who does the Friday Night Vibe asked for all of us in media to try and find ways to keep the situation surrounding Tookie Williams in front of people... He suggested we be creative and use the same tools we use to let folks know about Nikes and parties to keep people informed about Tookie..

In case you aren't aware, Clear Channel has launched a 'Kill Tookie Williams' Hour on its number one rated station here in LA. They are going all out by making racist comments, dissing not just Tookie, but Black people in general etc etc.. This isn't shock radio. its regular talk radio where millions tune in to get news and information..

In any case here's a small contribution to hopefully combat that... It's an extended version of Snoop and the Dogg Pound's song with Snoop's remarks from last week's rally attached at the end... I think he sums things up nicely..."

posted by Zentronix @ 5:15 PM   2 comments links to this post




I'm A Little Rootkit / Google World Order

Sidney Verba: Lonely librarian seeking hot books? Or the new face of Google World Order?!

Don't you love it when corporations get all Big Brother on you? Maybe Sony-BMG and Google should just merge.

Now just to clear this up--because we all know intellectual property law is the ongoing legal equivalent of a tule-fog 20-car pile-up (in which the victims are always the artists), and also because I've had my own recent episode in, uh, code appropriation--the two situations aren't exactly the same.

Google wants to index every book in existence. I actually think the concept of public knowledge is a pretty good idea in principle. What some authors and publishers have a problem with is the idea that Google will retain a copy of all of the books. And their soaring stock price is a clue that they're not exactly a public-interest entity.

Sony wants to--or at least wanted to--index every buyer of Sony CDs in existence, which is just not that good an idea.

For a hometeam take on the Rootkit debacle, visit the good fighters at Downhill Battle.

For a good description of the Plan-Formerly-Known-As-Google-Print debacle, check this NY Times piece on poor old Harvard librarian Sidney Verba.

For an interesting, if not unflawed, alternative to Google World Order, check this piece which introduces you to Mr. Enthusiasm, Brewster Kahle.

Now, search Can't Stop Won't Stop. Go head! I won't sue you!

posted by Zentronix @ 12:12 PM   6 comments links to this post



Monday, November 21, 2005
Still Recovering From Hurricane Meters

"That felt good yall! Come on, guys, just 1 more song!"


Now this is the kind of hurricane you love to have.

The Meters played about 3 hours on Friday night and I'm still recovering. In fact, they were having such a good time on stage that Art didn't want to leave. He coaxed two encores more after two blistering 75 minute sets by just sitting at his keyboard and playing stuff--"All On A Mardi Gras Day" or "Big Chief" until the other guys----all of them about a decade his junior--came back.

At the end, when even the house folks were urging him out of his keyboard seat, he sat and did the "Sesame Street" theme. Then he smiled and got on his cane and was escorted out, but not before he got a ton of love from the audience.

It was easily one of the best concerts I've ever seen. I mean the singing was loose, the jams went on, and the cues weren't air-tight, but the joy of them playing together again really came through. Whoever gets to see them this week in NYC I'm sure will get a show.

Too many highlights to recount. Each of the songs became an extended jam--and the old songs especially got some wild new changes added in. The goosebump moment was their refashioning of "Africa" into a new version where the chorus became "Take me back--to New Orleans!"

It was Zig's night. All the bandmembers were generous in giving him the spotlight, and he gave an amazing performance. Spoke briefly to Zig the next day--a few hours before the Saturday show sound check and all he could say was, "Man, I'm tired!"

Here's Joel Selvin's review and my best recollection of the set list:

Set 1:

Little Old Moneymaker
Cissy Strut
He Bite Me (The Dragon)
Fiyo On The Bayou
Doodle Oop (The World Is A Bit Under The Weather)
You've Got To Change (You've Got To Reform)
--dedication to soldiers and New Orleans--
Keep On Marching (Art adds in Neil Young's 'Ohio')
People Say

Set 2:

Medley: Funky Miracle/Cardova/Get Out Of My Life Woman/Look-Ka Py-Py/Hand Clapping Song
Africa (New Orleans) featuring monster Zig solo
Funky cover tune I didn't recognize Folks call this one "Chug-A-Lug"
It Ain't No Use

Encore 1:
Medley: All On A Mardi Gras Day/Hey Pocky A-Way

Encore 2:
Medley: Big Chief/Go See The Mardi Gras
Sesame Street

posted by Zentronix @ 10:16 AM   0 comments links to this post



Thursday, November 17, 2005
1959 Was Their 1989: West Oakland's R & B Scene In The 50s
The great Bay Area/Irish expat Billy Jam is now on the loose in Queens full time, but he recently returned to interview Buck, a West Oakland native, who discusses how 1959 was a crucial year for rhythm and blues, and why the destruction of West Oakland killed the scene.

You can hear Buck's amazing story here on Billy's new show on WFMU.

This is exactly the kind of local history--local knowledge for all you anthropologists--we all need in our lives. In other words, everything you need to know can be heard in the song, and the story about that song.

For photos, you can go here.

posted by Zentronix @ 11:49 AM   2 comments links to this post




"Young voters led surge in 2004 election"...Uh, Duh
It only took the media one year to discover this: "Young voters led surge in 2004 election".

Just as important, but completely missed in the mass-media rush to blame young people last year for Kerry's loss (take a bow, NPR, for your idiotic, factless November 3rd, 2004 reporting--) was this inconvenient fact:

Hip-hop voters led the youth surge.

Here are the reports from the Center For Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement--which anyone who has heard me ranting about this have heard me cite over and over, and which the media will discover probably sometime around the winter of next year.

+ Electoral Engagement Among Minority Youth (pdf download)

+ Quick Facts About Young Voters, 2004 (pdf download)

On the other hand, if Rove and his comrades are not worried about other things right now, expect a big push in 2006 from hip-hop Republicans.

And that's...no joke.

posted by Zentronix @ 11:21 AM   0 comments links to this post




Garrett Caples on Mac Dre's Death and Life


Bay Area hip-hop journalist Garrett Caples does a great cover story on Mac Dre's death and life in the Crest. Fine reporting and a much needed revision of last year's press accounts of his murder.

For those not knowing,this sidebar will catch you up on what's going down in the Nation of Thizzlam.

You can download the entire Thizz discography at eMusic.

posted by Zentronix @ 11:03 AM   1 comments links to this post



Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Photo Benefit For NOLA Musicians

My Big Chief got a golden crown!

From the best photo editor in the world, the incredible Monica Hernandez, comes this:

Scott Chernis is ColorLines' cover photographer who has also photographed jazz and blues musicians in New Orleans and the Bay for the last 10 years. He's selling prints of his photos to benefit the Hurricane Katrina Relief effort for displaced musicians and their families. Only $30! (Ed. note: WHAT?!!!) That makes a great gift. Go to Scott Chernis Photography to check them out.

posted by Zentronix @ 4:19 PM   0 comments links to this post




Hip-Hop Activism Looks Back and Ahead
As we come to the end of a tumultuous political year, and look ahead to 2006, here's a good piece sizing up the state of hip-hop activism, by Maria Luisa Tucker at Alternet.

Here also is an interview with BAYLOC's Troy Nkrumah, now the National Hip-Hop Political Convention's Internal Chair. The NHHPC is gearing up for the summer of 2006, when the Convention will be held in Chicago.

One thing I wanted to pull out from Troy is this point which I think is especially resonant when we look at last year and the road ahead...:

"See, the problem with hip-hop activism is that too many people look to the artists as the political voice of hip-hop, and that is 100% wrong. Artists are artists. They are not necessarily activist. With the exception of a few, the artists that many look at as the political conscience of hip-hop, are not themselves organizers. Most are not involved with political organizations, thus they are not accountable to anyone other than themselves or their record label.

If you examine the history of political movements and their leadership in this country, you will find that the leaders are always part of something bigger. They don’t stand alone. They always have an organization behind them. You name the leader and I bet you that you cannot find one that was not part of a larger body. With hip-hop we make the mistake too often of looking at artists as leaders. We do so because they have the microphone and everyone’s attention, but that’s a major mistake since they lack the political education and organizing experience that is required of a political leader."


Point is: if we want a political movement, we need to build the one that we want, not wait for artists or celebrities.

Click here for the rest of Troy's interview.

posted by Zentronix @ 3:04 PM   2 comments links to this post



Monday, November 14, 2005
Zigaboo Modeliste and The Meters Are Back! (w/Bonus Stuff)

Zigaboo brings that beat back!

Here's a piece I did in today's Chronicle on Zigaboo Modeliste and the Meters reunion:

On a good day in a little corner of West Oakland, over the crow of backyard roosters and the low whoosh of cars passing on Interstate 880, you might hear a little bit of New Orleans heaven. Drummer Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste is laying down that famous second-line beat with a smile on his face and an extra little snap on his rolls. His band, the Meters, one of the most celebrated in the Crescent City's storied musical history, is finally back together.

"God gave us a gift," Modeliste says, "and we should be doing it."

For many hip-hop, funk and rock fans, the reappearance of Modeliste with his original bandmates -- keyboardist Art Neville, guitarist Leo Nocentelli and bassist George Porter Jr. -- at April's New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival was a stunning moment.

It was billed as a farewell show. But after their set, Modeliste teased the crowd, saying, "We'll see you again." (They play two dates this weekend at the Fillmore.) As New Orleans tries to recover from Hurricane Katrina, many see the band's return as a sign of hope for the suffering city's cultural revival.

But bringing the beat back wasn't easy.

Click here for the rest of the story...


Bonus Features

DJ Z-Trip on the Meters' Josie Records: "It had an innocence to it. I don't think when they sat to do their music they thought about it. They're just getting started, and there's this sort of energy when they're all in the room, no one necessarily knows where it's going to go. But many years later, you can still can feel that when you hear the music."

Cut Chemist on Zigaboo's style: "It was about less is more. Zigaboo had a swing. He was a monster in metric modulation. The hi-hat isn't on the normal grid. He was working the in-betweens. The ghost notes are just as important as the ones that are there. It reshaped what was there by playing what wasn't there."

George Porter, Jr. on his relationship with Zigaboo: "I think my part is Zig's life is to be to get as close to his heartbeat as I can. That's my job as a bass player--I am supposed to make him make sense to everyone else."

Leo Nocentelli on whether the Meters reunion will last beyond these winter dates: "I would say yeah, I'm 95% sure that it's gonna happen because people are already making offers. I would imagine there's going to be a new record from the Meters."

Art Neville on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina: "We lost a city. I haven't even seen my home, I don't know what it looks like. I was on the road when it hit, and I'm still out on the road as far as I'm concerned. I do know it didn't flood. We had some burglars come and help themselves. I don't know if it'll ever be like it was before. My brothers Aaron and Cyril lost everything. They don't want to come back there no more. I want to go back to New Orleans."

Geek Stuff

+ Hank Shocklee's favorite Meters Record
+ Cut Chemist's favorite Meters Record
+ My favorite Meters record
+ Sundazed Records

Meters Websites

+ Zigaboo Modeliste: Zigaboo.com
+ Art Neville: Nevilles.com
+ Leo Nocentelli: nocentelli.com
+ George Porter, Jr.: georgeporterjr.com
+ The Funky Meters: funkymeters.com
+ The Meters: TheMetersOnline.com

posted by Zentronix @ 7:21 AM   3 comments links to this post



Friday, November 11, 2005
Worst Look Of The Year

The bluest eyes.


It was bad news when ex-favorite screen siren Zhang Ziyi signed up to do this flick...(note to Hollywood: anyone interested in doing "Fire In Fontana"? Thought not.)

But wow, what's next? Breast implants?

Hey, we know you wanna be loved, but you're making it hard for us, homegirl. Just Do The Rosa Parks.

posted by Zentronix @ 7:48 AM   2 comments links to this post



Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Behind the Beat

Home is where the vinyl is.


Been digging this great new book on headz' home studios, Behind The Beat by Aussie hip-hop head Raphael Rashid. Not that the idea of an underground Cribz is new--you could peep B+'s shots of LA headz' rooms in the early 90s in It's Not About A Salary, and the Bedroom Rockers book last year was killer. It might help if you know what slobs these folks are on a personal basis, but you don't have to. Anyway, it's a well done book and revealing in a "Where's the anti-bacterial soap, man?" kind of way.

You can order or here or here.

BTW a great week so far: Arnold lost--steroid big loss--and my man Phil is going to win. May the frightening reign of Phil begin!

posted by Zentronix @ 5:37 PM   0 comments links to this post




Post-Crunk Shakes Its Laffy Taffy
Cool piece in today's LA Times on the new sound, which you know, is kinda Zen-like. I don't remember saying all the stuff I did in here actually! But what the heck, rock the discotheque:

Over three decades, perhaps the only thing that has remained constant in hip-hop is change. The music's always-evolving sound has spanned break-beats to rock guitar riffs, sinuous gangster funk to the grinding Eurodisco soundscapes of crunk and riffed on just about every other musical form along the way.

These days, hip-hop's newest dictum seems to be less is more.

A spate of recent recordings arranged over minimalist beats and reliant upon "homemade" sound effects such as whispering, snapping, whistling and slamming doors has quietly ascended the charts.

Sometimes called "intimate club" music, the burgeoning subgenre has become one of the hottest styles in hip-hop...

posted by Zentronix @ 10:43 AM   3 comments links to this post



Monday, November 07, 2005
Konono Can't Stop

May we all be as cool as Mingiedi when we grow old.

Got to see Konono last night--their first show in San Francisco, probably one of their first gigs in the States period--and they are certainly No. 1 in generosity and joy and general ass-shaking funkiness.

It took 3 songs--about oh, a half hour--for the uptight SF Jazz festival crowd to actually get on their feet and start dancing. Which must have really confused the band. So to make up for it, they played an extra long last "song". They started that one at about 8pm, an hour into their set. Every 15 minutes or so, lead vocalist Waku Menga would say, "Thank you thank you thank you!" Then the band would pick it up and go another 15 minutes!

That happened, like, 5 times.

So 75 minutes later, they gave their last thank yous and goodnights, ended their epic last track--I think the title was something like "I Thought I Told You That We Don't Quit"--and everyone filed out nice and sweaty. Mingiedi was in the building and feeling himself, and punctuated his exit stage right with several little hip wiggles. Next time they play in SF, they need to sell some We Heart Mingiedi T-shirts.

Then the whole band came back. And even though the house monitors and the sound men were done for the night, Konono played another half hour for the 100 or so punks and punkettes, Aquarius Records employees, and this aging hip-hopster. Note to bands and DJs who would knowingly or unknowingly seek to violate your house contract: it is always good to bring your own amplification system.

Of course, The Suburbs Are Killing Us has the entire world scooped on the next installment of Congotronics and Konono, because Christopher just can't stop either. Includes complete US tour info!

posted by Zentronix @ 3:13 PM   1 comments links to this post



Saturday, November 05, 2005
Paris Is Burning

Deputy mayor of Aulnay Franck Cannarozzo said, "Rather than playing on their Playstations, they attack the police."


It's the 10th day of rioting in the poor suburbs of Paris in what appears to be shaping up as a fight between second- and third-generation French Africans and the hard-line interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy. Earlier this year Sarkozy promised an all-out "war without mercy" on the residents of these areas, and now the rioting has spread beyond the capital to other areas across the country. These are the biggest race riots Europe has seen in decades.

Some context for those unfamiliar with the French way of housing poor people: substitute "inner-city" for "suburb", and think "housing projects" instead of "subdivisions. These are areas of concentrated poverty created decades ago when French sought to push working class folks out of the city's core toward the industrial jobs on its outskirts. The idea was not unlike Robert Moses' urban renewal plans to clear Manhattan of the poor by shuttling them to the Bronx and Brooklyn. Of course, deindustrialization and white flight have since been the rule, and poor African immigrants replaced working-class Europeans in the projects.

Bomb the suburbs, indeed.

posted by Zentronix @ 10:06 AM   0 comments links to this post



Friday, November 04, 2005
Rumors of Jay-Z Buying The Source Circulating Again
Been receiving this news item from Women's Wear Daily all morning: the rumor that Jay-Z is part of an investor's group including Lyor Cohen and Steve Stoute seeking to acquire The Source is making the rounds again.

Here's the question for the day: is this a potentially good thing for the magazine and hip-hop journalism in general? Or is it an ethical red-flag only slightly less troublesome than the mag's current situation?

Damon Dash's own investment in America Magazine wasn't a smooth one. This fall, editor-in-chief Smokey Fontaine and Dash were reportedly having it out over control of the magazine, with Dash allegedly attacking Fontaine in an argument over a Sean John advertorial. The beef apparently continues, and Fontaine is looking for new backers.

posted by Zentronix @ 10:25 AM   5 comments links to this post




Hip-Hop Voters May Swing Mayor's Election In Detroit
The Detroit Free Press describes a a swing in young voters toward Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, the 35 year-old self-dubbed "hip-hop mayor" who has been trailing in his race for re-election to 55 year-old deputy mayor Freman Hendrix. Young voters have closed Hendrix's one-time 13-point lead to almost single digits in the closing days of the campaign.

Four years ago, Kilpatrick mobilized a large wave of young voters in winning the office. But although he was celebrated early on by Russell Simmons and hip-hop magazines, he has stumbled badly in recent years with multiple corruption scandals.

posted by Zentronix @ 8:18 AM   1 comments links to this post



Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Defend New Orleans
This great read is from John Biguenet's blog at the New York TimesDefend New Orleans:

"Saturday night, Marsha and I attended a Nine Inch Nails tribute concert for relief and emergency workers as part of the Voodoo Music Experience, an annual New Orleans festival. The concert was held on the banks of the Mississippi River in weather that turned crisp after darkness fell.

Earlier, as the setting sun silhouetted tankers and container ships gliding down the river toward the Gulf, we had been entranced by Worms Union, a local punk drum ensemble, one of whose members wore the most commonly seen T-shirt at the festival. It featured, just above a musket, a skull emblazoned with a fleur-de-lis; circling the skull and gun was a simple message: Defend New Orleans..."

posted by Zentronix @ 8:42 PM   0 comments links to this post




Hyphy vs. Thizzin'
OK, in my screed a while back against the Voice/New Times merger, I left out a not unimportant fact--that amidst all the crapola, there are some incredible writers at some New Times papers. They include my man Sam Chennault at the Miami New Times. And I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Eric Arnold runs the Bay. We just bow down.

This week, in addition to a feature on Damian Marley, he updates the Yay slang book with a lesson on Hyphy vs. Thizzle. Fine graphic by the crazy Ariel Shepard. Teach.

None of this means I take back a word of what I said. It's just about recognizing game, yadamean?


posted by Zentronix @ 12:44 PM   0 comments links to this post




Rant Addendum
So while we're on the topic of that rant, I did want to say that I've been having lots of conversations with friends and not-so-much-friends about the future of alt-media.

Some who objected felt the piece was far too pessimistic. Others figured, eh, I don't get paid that much anyway for this stuff, so what. To those who feel I've slipped off my meds, I will take this opportunity now to say I told you so, so that I don't need to do it again in a few years when, as one very good friend put it, we could be talking about the sale of Village Voice Media to Gannett.

Still others wanted to draw me into a comparison of Bay alt-weeklies, pointing out that in particular the East Bay Express has been much bolder than the Bay Guardian of late, both politically and culturally.

This week's Express, for instance, features a thoughtful piece on a friend, Van Jones and the future of environmentalism. Yes, it's good reading--reminiscent of the Express of the late 80s, actually.

This argument is a sometimes a fun one for those of us in the Bay--and if this were a Friday-night fight, I agree that the Express would be way ahead on the card. (Let's not even talk about the websites, for which the I think the BG should be crying "No mas! No mas!")

But it misses the larger point. The Express is unique among NT titles because it's serving one of the leftiest constituencies north of Havana. When the NT bought the SF Weekly and the Express, it actually did slide right for a time, but swung back left when it realized that because of competition from the BG, that formula wasn't going to stick in this market.

It is possible that the Express--especially if the quality of its writing remains this good--could generate a number of progressive pieces that flow into red states via syndication. (A very good friend reminded me that this was the case around reviews of my book. Fair enough. I still owe him a few lunches. Though I still don't forget that Express writers took it upon themselves to personally attack me a year before the book was even out. I guess I had a "KICK ME, I'M PROGRESSIVE" sticker on my ass back then. And I guess they're gone from the staff now.) But the irony is this: that kind of progressive shift comes at the expense of localism. It's top down, not bottom up.

Worse, I think it's just as plausible that if competition ever dries up in the Bay (read: SFBG loses lawsuits, does a Source-like nosedive off the Cliff House) we could have an East Bay Express that is no longer interested in Oakland, but in the growing exurbs on the other side of the tunnel.

So call me a pessimist, call me a whiner. I said what I said, meant what I said. At least I think I did. Thank you and good night.

posted by Zentronix @ 12:09 PM   1 comments links to this post

 

Previous posts
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Notes On The Eve Of Day One
Students Occupy The New School
Farai Chideya's News And Notes on NPR Has Been Can...
I Am Nixon
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2G2K Is Back! :: On Hillary, Again, And Foreign Po...
The Impact of The Hip-Hop Vote
UCLA Education In Action Keynote Speech
A Great Day In Baseball History


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