Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Ledge, Episode 49: Casey McDonald's Reggae and Hardcore Party

Shortly after I signed on to XM radio a few years ago, I was introduced to a video networking service called Paltalk. Every day, dozens of us would gather to listen to the programming on channel 202, and would linger there long after the conclusion of the day's shows. One of those fine folks was Casey McDonald, who I grew close to partly because of her love for music that was unlike the vast majority of the 202 crowd.

Casey eventually met and married Ron and Fez producer David McDonald, and the pair invited me into their home three summers ago when I made my first (and so far only) trip to New York City. When I first started The Ledge, Casey was a person that I felt needed to be on the show, and this week she brings some of her favorite reggae and hardcore tunes. Besides the music, we talk about her days as a record store manager, her on-air wedding to Dave, and, most importantly, the medical issues surrounding her beautiful son, Stan.

To hear the show, head to, download it here, or tune in to this Friday at 5 pm central time.

Here's Casey's music selections:

1. Toots & the Maytals, Funky Kingston

2. Desmond Dekker, Honour Your Mother and Father

3. Cedric Brooks, Free Up Black Man

4. Bob Marley, The Heathen

5. Rita Marley, A Jah Jah

6. Phyllis Dillon, In the Ghetto

7. Susan Cadogan, Hurt So good

8. King Tubby, Stop Look Dub

9. Steel Pulse, Babylon Makes the Rules

10. Buju Banton, Champion

11. Fear, Let's Have a War

12. Crass, Contamational Power

13. The Epileptics, 1970's (Were Made in Hong Kong)

14. Subhumans, No

15. Choking Victim, Infested

16. Zounds, Demystification

17. Poison Girl, Real Woman

18. The Mob, Gates of Hell

19. Nausea, Self Destruct

20. Reagan Youth, Jesus Was a Communist

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Ledge, Episode 48: Dischord Records

After I did my SST Records show a few months, my buddy Angry Hugo (Michael Gibbons) suggested that I devote a show to the legendary Dischord Records label. Since my knowledge of the label is lacking outside of Minor Threat, Fugazi, and a couple of others, I invited Hugo to cohost. Besides lending his Philly accent to the show, Hugo oh so kindly also selected the tunes. You can find this episode in iTunes, or tune in to realpunkradio this Friday at 5 pm central. The direct download can also be found here.

Here's the tracklist:

1. Minor Threat, Salad Days

2. Rites of Spring, All Through a Life

3. Grey Matter, 4 am

4. Government Issue, Rock and Roll Bullshit

5. Branch Manager, Talk To Me Sometime

6. Fidelity Jones, Destructor

7. Shudder to Think, Jade Dust Eyes

8. Soulside - Baby

9. Jawbox, Impossible Figure

10. The Evens, All These Governors

11. Scream, I Look When You Walk

12. Slant 6, What Kind of Monster Are You?

13. Lungfish, The Cipher

14. Make-Up, Drop the Needle

15. Edie Sedgwick, Mary-Kate Olson

16. Q and Not U, Hooray For Humans

17. Bluetip, Yellow Light

18. Dag Nasty, Safe

19. Ignition, Anger Means

20. El Guapop, Ocean and Sky

21. Antelop, Reflector

22. Fugazi, Nice New Outfit

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Rant a Bit, Episode 5

When the "other" Scott (Ehrisman) showed up to record the fifth episode of Rant a Bit, it was a bit unclear whether we'd have any guests. Highly secretive negotiations had occurred over the past two days, but we were pleasantly surprised when former gubernatorial candidate Jack Billion showed up at my door. A few minutes later, KRRO program director Cade also appeared, and we spent the next two hours jabbering gibberish about the recent elections, Mayor Huether, the events center, and many other topics.

You can stream the show hear on this site, download it from iTunes, or download it here.

Oh Mayor Tough Guy!

In the six months that "Your Man" Mike Huether has been Mayor, he's been prone to make plenty of tough guy statements. Unfortunately, they come off like Principal Vernon in The Breakfast Club. You know, the guy who thinks he's completely in control but is openly mocked by all of his subjects?

Today's paper had another example of Huether's silliness. In a discussion on the plan to move the downtown railroad switching yard, which is finally going to happen five later than expected, Huether informed the City Council that there oversight is not needed:

Huether told the council it's his administration that's managing the project, not the council. 
"Just to be clear, the executive branch of government versus the city council is responsible for this project," said Huether.

"I want to keep the city council involved, but guess what? We are already doing it."
After the meeting, Councilor Michelle Erpenbach said the mayor's comments were "out of line."
You think? C'mon Mayor Mike, you ran on a candidacy of kindness and open government...which you have spit on the face of the populace ever since. Maybe you're correct in that the Council has no legal basis to be involved, but couldn't you be just a bit more diplomatic?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hudson's Patriot Award

One of the most overused terms I hear these days is "patriot". It's maddening how quickly people will call themselves or others by this term. What should be the ultimate compliment has been reduced to self-importance that means nothing more than that the person in question has too high of an opinion of themselves or those that think as they do.

So I'm taking this word back. From time to time, I'm going to anoint a person as my favorite patriot. Today's choice is Thomas L. Stengrim for this wonderful letter to the Argus Leader:

The big question of the day is whether it is a good investment of almost $150 million to build a new events center in Sioux Falls.
In the movie "Wayne's World," Wayne Campbell was promised by a ghostly character, "If you build it, they will come." None of us has a crystal ball to predict if Sioux Falls could fill a 15,000-seat events center to justify this investment. So let's use the best teacher of all: history.
During the past 15 years, the average attendance for the three major sporting teams using the Sioux Falls Arena has been 4,000 fans (give or take a few hundred fans). The proponents of the events center say we need this expanded capacity to attract bigger events. OK. Recently, the NBA came to town (a big event since we are four hours from the closest NBA city), and despite discounted seats and a couple of weeks of heavy advertising, guess how many people were beating down the doors to get into the game? 5,102.
Until we can fill the Arena, building a bigger facility to be 66 percent empty instead of only 40 percent empty makes no sense. Having a Cher concert once every two years or a chance to host an NCAA basketball tournament do not justify gambling $150 million.
If Sioux Falls wants to spend some dollars effectively, it should repair our current roads and start building for future growth. As a specific example, the city should extend four lanes of Cliff Avenue from 57th Street to the city limits before it starts issuing building permits for housing developments and schools in that area.
The problem is road projects are not as sexy to politicians as an events center with their names on a brass plaque in the lobby. To quote the great philosopher Wayne Campbell on whether a new events center is a good idea: "Shaaaya, as if."

The Ledge, Episode 47: Big Brother's Ragan Fox

A few days after Big Brother 12's Matt Hoffman's appearance on The Ledge, I noticed a twitter exchange between fellow castmate Ragan Fox and Ash, one of my regular listeners. Seeing that Ragan also loved that episode, I obviously had to invite him on the show. He graciously accepted, and the result is the longest show to date. Besides his experiences on the show, Ragan also talks about his own podcast, his literary career, and his life after the show's conclusion.

You can nab this show via iTunes, or directly download it here.

Here's Ragan's music selections:

1. Liz Phair, Support System

2. Little Fish, Darling Dear

3. Hole, Loser Dust

4. Joanna Newsom, Peach Plum Pear

5. Fiona Apple, Paper Bag

6. Nina Simone, I Ain't Got No/I Got Life

7. Nina Simone, Mandinka

8. Asylum Street Spankers, Beer

9. Men Without Pants, All You Need Is Luck

10. Weezer, Hash Pipe

11. Beastie Boys, Intergalactic

12. April March, Chick Habit

13. Fol Chen, Cable TV

14. Hole, Heaven Tonight

15. Liz Phair, And He Slayed Her

16. Jesus and Mary Chain, Head On

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The Smoking Ban & The Free Market

Ever since I was old enough to somewhat comprehend the term, I’ve been taught that the “free market” is what drives and inspires our country. It’s what keeps us employed. It prevents robber barons from fleecing us when we’re shopping for everything from penny candy to giant mansions. It’s the very basis that allows all of us to attempt to fulfill our dreams of owning and operating a business.

Coupled with this concept is the belief that government interference hampers this pursuit. Whether it’s through taxes, laws, or even time-consuming paperwork, we’ve always been taught that the free market is supposed to work at its best when it’s left alone.

Of course, that portion of the concept is over-simplistic and unrealistic. Society does need rules and regulations, and taxes are a necessary evil to at the very least provide the infrastructure (roads, bridges, traffic lights, sewer systems, etc.) needed to fulfill our pursuits. The challenge that is up to debate every single day of our existence is to create a balance that protects the populace while at the same time allows the business community to thrive.

One route that the populace can utilize to cause businesses to change without government interference is so simplistic that it’s been a long-standing cliché – with your pocketbook. If you don’t like how a business operates, you simply don’t frequent their establishment. If enough people follow that very same logic, a good business operator will make the necessary changes.

A perfect example occurred just a few weeks ago. While dining with some friends, the conversation turned to a restaurant/bar that I quite often frequent. One couple that was with us said that while they enjoyed the food, they would never return because of the smoky environment.

Obviously, they can now return to this eatery, as earlier this month the people of our fine state voted to outlaw smoking in bars. I find it very strange that in an election where almost every Republican on the ballot received around 70% of the vote the margin of victory in this ballot issue was duplicated. This is a move that goes against the Republican/Libertarian mantra of intrusive government interference.

Yes, smoking is bad for a person…as is sitting at a bar drinking. They’re both legal products, however. They’re also both legal products that are heavily taxed.  You would think that a state such as South Dakota would prefer that people follow the lead of the example I noted earlier and use their clichéd pocketbook to force more and more bars to stop smoking on their own will. What better way to clean up the air than the promise of higher revenues?

This type of wind of change has been already happening anyway. Every year there are more and more smoke-free establishments. At this point in time, if you want to run a mainstream restaurant/bar you almost have to not allow smoking. But the vast majority of the public will never set foot in those hole in the wall dive bars, and nobody is forcing anybody to work at these dumps. Yet those that do feel most comfortable at such a place has had their decision primarily made by a populace that rarely, if ever, set foot into a house of booze.

Shenanigans’ owner Don Rose and his pals didn’t help their own cause in this debate, however. Instead of raising some of the issues I’ve just noted, they created an advertising campaign that made Kristi Noem’s appear sane. Doomsday predictions of a state income tax and unsafe children (yes, they did go there) did nothing but anger even their supporters, and their subsequent tough talk about not following the new law is laughable. At the very least, the Empire Mall cops will finally have something to do if Rose refuses to enforce it.

Will the do-gooders behind the smoking ban stop with this victory? Possibly not. I’ve noticed in recent days that some of those free market acolytes who voted to ban smoking are loudly laughing at San Francisco’s new law banning toys in kid’s meals. Beware. Taking away one freedom can start that slippery slope to banning anything that advocates believe are a harmful product. The smoking ban in New York City was the opening statement that led to a similar ban on MSG, which is now setting the stage for taxing fast food and soft drinks. Is that really the America you proud South Dakotans want to see?

Noem Makes Gawker As a "Hottie"???

I was shocked to read this article on gawker today. I guess she really is the new Michelle Bachmann.

South Dakota Congresswoman-elect Kristi Noem narrowly won the election season's "hottest race" — the one with two under-40 female candidates — last week. And now her drooling male colleagues in Washington may give her a spot in the leadership!Noem is a true Mama Grizzly, a Tea Party favorite and mother who lives on a ranch in South Dakota. A campaign ad of her doing ranch stuff while complaining about the national debt and unknowingly posing for the next GOP Babes calendar is above.
John Boehner likes what he sees, and will make her extremely powerful right away:
Washington (CNN) – Three senior House GOP leadership sources told CNN on Monday that they are planning to add a leadership slot for a freshman member.
Two of the sources said that South Dakota's Kristi Noem has expressed interest in the leadership post and appears to have the backing of the current GOP leadership.
Think we're being too shallow in our analysis of why she's likely to get the spot?
If she got the spot, it could help the new House Republican majority with two issues: bringing someone associated with the Tea Party movement into the leadership fold, and adding another woman.
Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, who also would fit those criteria, is running for caucus chair but is not expected to beat Jeb Hensarling of Texas, who also is running.
So long, Michele Bachmann. It's over. You're through. America will now coast on the KristiWave.


Saturday, November 06, 2010

The Ledge's Daylight Savings Special!

You've got an extra hour this weekend. Why not spend it with the Ledge? There's no theme or guest in this extra episode - it's just two hours of new and old tunes. Download it here.

Here's the selections:

1. The Dead Boys, Sonic Reducer

2. Ray Davies & Alex Chilton, Till the End of the Day

3. Ray Davies & Black Francis, This Is Where I Belong

4. Iggy Pop & James Williamson, Kill City

5. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Magic Colors (31 Flavors)

6. Descendents, I'm the One from Everything Sucks

7. X, We're Desparate (single version)

8. The Flaming Lips, Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere

9. The Lime Spiders, Slave Girl

10. The Soft Boys, Rock 'n' Roll Toilet

11. Kelly Stoltz, Rock & Roll With Me

12. The Rolling Stones, She Said Yeah

13. The Rolling Stones, Connection

14. The Cramps, New Kind of Kick

15. The Nomads, Who Dat?

16. Cloud Nothings, Old Street

17. The Fresh and Onlys, Waterfall

18. Title Tracks, It's Wrong

19. The Fastbacks, On the Couch

20. The Supersuckers, Doublewide

21. Husker Du, Makes No Sense At All

22. The Replacements, Go

23. The Del-vetts, Last Time Around

24. The Seeds, Evil Hoodoo

25. The Fall, Serum

26. The New York Dolls, Personality Crisis

27. The Stranglers, (Get a) Grip (On Yourself)

28. The Ills, 123 Hate You

29. Jim Guiitard, My Garage is Better than Yours

30. Organs, Just Ain't It

31. Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band, Diddy Wah Diddy

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The Ledge, Episode 46: Guest Cohost Paul Gunnarson

I ran into an old buddy the other day while making my rounds. Paul Gunnarson, who I used to work with at a local record store, has returned to town for a short time after spending many years in Chicago and Colorado. Obviously, he was immediately invited to cohost the show, and had his song selections ready within 48 hours.

Besides his music choices, this week's show also premieres a brand new song by Paul Westerberg. "Foolish Hand Shake" is one of two songs released on a limited edition 7" under the name Mr. F.  Paul and I also reminisced about our record store days, along with stories behind his song choices. To hear the show, subscribe via iTunes, tune into realpunkradio this Friday at 5 central, or directly download here

Here's the track list:

1. Paul Westerberg, Foolish Hand Shake

2. No Direction, Letter to Jeffrey

3. Rich Show, The Great Divide

4. Tom Waits, Step Right Up

5. Rolling Stones, Before They Make Me Run

6. Neil Young, Powderfinger

7. Uncle Tupelo, Chickamauga

8. The Flaming Lips, She Don't Use Jelly

9. Camper Van Beethoven, Eye of Fatima (Pt. 1)

10. Talking Heads, Pulled Up

11. The Connells, Get a Gun

12. X, I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts

13. Circle Jerks, When the Shit Hits the Fan

14. Replacements, Take Me Down to the Hospital

15. Soul Asylum, Cartoon

16. Elvis Costello, Five Gears in Reverse

17. The Police, Be My Girl/Sally

18. The Ramones, Beat on the Brat

19. The Pretenders, Tattooed Love Boys

20. Ride the  Blinds, Grace Alley