Lost and found in PA
One of my projects this week is to clean-up and even clean-out my rehearsal space and hopefully find a place for this Sansui RA-500 reverb that I brought home from the keystone state. A new relative happened to have one sitting in his workshop and who was I to stop him from passing on his junk down and across a few generations. I'm reading good things on about the RA-500. I was reminded as I drank wine in a giant 70s resort style hot tub in the Poconos this past weekend of how much I dig Philly, even the slightly gentrified Philly of today. I was taken out in little Italy for perhaps the finest meal ever in PA (more later for my Philly tribe), had drinks in the almost-so-chic Rittenhouse Square and then dragged the relatives down to gritty but still happening South Street strip on the way to the airport. Man, I just might have to move back to the #3 homestate at some point. I'm also burning with that desire, after hanging out with 70+ year old relatives with heartbreaking/inspiring stories of toil and romance in the mid-century factories of the industrial and prosperous USA to construct an accurate family tree, to research the United Mineworkers history, to visit some long neglected relatives. It's interesting how something that seems to drag you down as a youth (extended family) can be so fascinating as you start to ripen.

Top tending
I've gotten a case of Top Ten fever for this end of the year time and I've been reading the magazine, blog and critic's top tens with interest and in some cases, just plain whattheeff. In the past, I considered these things way too nerdy. I kinda think Top 25 or Top 50 lists are just plain silly... and top 100 is bordering on cop-out. Here's some links to a few:
Pitchfork, SFJ, Mark Jenkins, NME...
2004's Pazz & Jop which will soon be replaced by 2005s.

I'd like to throw some other polls out there. What was 2005's most covered song? Over-hyped band? Over-rated record? 2005's worst "underground" trend? And music journalism's worst case of following the prevailing wisdom? Another thing... the year-end issue of Rollin' Stone is quite well-done and contains some genuinely passionate, informed political stuff. Who'd have thunk?


Almost postal
I really don't have it in for publicists. They're cool, I guess, it is just that I was gunning for anyone and everyone yesterday and by that I mean kind of growling at people in my office, but on the inside. No, publicists just happen to throw themselves in my crosshairs by email, phone, mail and IM at every possible moment, so when they also show up in the publications I read, I notice that.

On the catching up with the last six months of culture tip, I finally say Me and You and Everyone We Know... Someone is calling me, gotta go.


Crossing the line but nobody cares
Take a look at the list below and ask yourself: Which of these publications allows publicists to write about their own bands (or write music editorial copy at all)? Which allows people in the employ of record labels (or the label owners themselves) to write for them? Which publications are actually cross-promotional devices for record label/marketing companies? Also ask yourself, which of these magazines allows label owners or publicists to submit year-end top-ten lists which are published? Also, ask yourself... should people currently working publicity be writing editorial copy of any kind, even unrelated to their clients? Just thinking about that kind of thing right now. Comments are welcome.

The Fader
Stop Smiling
Chicago Reader
Time Out Chicago
Black Book
Rolling Stone