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From Spin Magazine:

A tree planted to honor of the memory of the Beatles songwriter George Harrison has been killed by actual beetles. As the Los Angeles Times reports, the living local monument fell victim to an infestation of insects that couldn’t be bested. According to Councilman Tom LaBonge, the 10-foot-tall pine planted in 2004 bit the dust only recently, and a new one will be planted in its stead shortly.

Harrison’s last years were spent living in L.A. — he died there at 58 in late 2001, and was cremated at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The so-called George Harrison Tree was accompanied by a plaque reading: “In memory of a great humanitarian who touched the world as an artist, a musician and a gardener.” It includes a quote from the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: “For the forest to be green, each tree must be green”

The plaque (and the forthcoming tree) is located near the city’s famous Griffith Observatory. The memorial has one very glowing review on Yelp (with photos), which now reads more as a eulogy to the tree that was:

On the day I was there, many tourists and visitors, in fact, walked right by it without noticing it at all. There is no signage that leads people to the tree, and the memorial plaque is near the ground and out-of-sight. Furthermore, I didn’t see any buskers or fans with guitars either playing “Here Comes the Sun,” “Something,” or “My Sweet Lord” (or any of Harrison’s many other well known songs). Instead, with my own private thoughts and reflections, I enjoyed that pine tree in peace just as George, I’m sure, would have wanted it.

When I was a kid, my grandfather, who had a blues/jazz bar in Toronto, passed to me a photocopied sheet with the title Reasons Why Radio Won’t Play Your Song. It was probably one of the first pieces of viral I’ve ever seen – no author, no date, no source, nothing except for a funny list of about 20 reasons.

I never forgot about that list throughout my years of working in the music industry. With an exciting extroverted passion for music, Music Directors of radio stations are, no doubt, the gatekeepers to get your song heard on the radio. I’ve spent many a meetings talking to the fine men and women about their roles, and why they love songs, and why they don’t. There’s still only one reason why they would – because it’s great. But that would make for a very short post. I found an extended list at Music Biz Academy that extended the same list to about 60. And that got me thinking – in 2014, how much different would the list look like? What would be added? So, with the help of anonymous MDs, PDs and radio pluggers across North America (you know who you are) and that list to start it off all those years ago, here are now many more reasons why radio won’t play your song.

1. Not for us or our sound
2. No room
3. No label support
4. I want to give record the best shot, so we will have to wait till when we have more room
5. There are no local sales
6. There is national action
7. Considering…
8. I’m watching and waiting
9. It’s the wrong image
10. It’s not modal
11. I need another copy
12. Poor reaction from test marketing it
13. The jocks don’t like it
14. No phone reaction
15. We played the import
16. We’re going to wait and see what the competition does
17. Will wait for the single
18. The record’s not in any kind of stores around here
19. Need approval from head office
20. I like it but the P.D. doesn’t
21. It was vetoed in the music meeting
22. Too hard
23. Too soft
24. It’s wimpy
25. Not as good as their last release
26. It needs to be re-listened to
27. It sounds too EDM-ish
28. It sounds too pop
29. We didn’t get the co-promotion
30. Trade #’s don’t merit airplay
31. Sounds like everything else
32. It’s not a good record
33. I don’t like it
34. The MP3 file wouldn’t play
35. The music file crashed my computer
36. We only play stuff that “rocks“
37. Saving room for when new releases get scheduled
38. Going into the library
39. We already have a female-fronted band on the playlist
40. We want to hear a hook
41. No tip sheet advertising
42. Nothing about it hits me
43. Don’t like the mix
44. Not enough guitar
45. Too many strings
46. Over-produced
47. Under-produced
48. Don’t like the band’s name
49. This song is not consistent with their last release
50. Our listeners won’t be able to relate
51. Too rhythm oriented
52. Send all our jocks copies
53. Can’t play too many singles
54. That music only works in the big markets
55. We’ll wait till more stations play it
56. Not our kind of music
57. Too alternative
58. Not alternative enough
59. Where’s the beat…the BEAT!
60. I’ve misplaced it, but its here somewhere, call me back
61. Our competition got on it first, we have to be different
62. I don’t like the cover
63. We didn’t get a co-presents on their last show
64. Too many vulgar words
65. We’re going for a younger demo
66. We’re going for an older demo
67. We don’t have an MD right now
68. We’re not the right station for this
69. The chorus comes in late
70. The intro is too quiet
71. We have too many song by the featured artist in rotation
72. There’s no release date
73. We missed the release date
74. No radio edit
75. I don’t like the radio edit
76. No campus radio promotion
77. Let’s talk when the tour starts
78. The .wav file was block because of the size
79. The YouSendIt file was blocked by my spam filters
80. There’s no story happening
81. They’re overexposed
82. I’m still waiting on feedback
83. Too much CanCon right now
84. Too much International right now
85. It sounds like something my mom would hate
86. We never received your submission
87. I don’t agree with the political view
88. We’ll play the song next week (they didn’t)
89. I’m watching the charts, it’s not very impressive
90. I’m waiting the charts, it’s pretty impressive
91. Their set at CMJ/SXSW/NXNE/CMW was way too long
92. It’s too country (from a country station)
93. It sounds like karaoke
94. We’re playing too many covers now
95. We love the song and band but have no room
96. The intro is too long
97. The chorus is too long
98. You know what? The whole song is too long (with Stairway To Heaven playing in background)
99. I’ll listen, but no promises
100. We should be playing this song but haven’t played the artist for years
101. I know this doesn’t help but your band has no relevance
102. I can’t take this band seriously until they sell 100,000
103. What are you going to do for ME?
104. Let’s face it, would you be working this song if you weren’t being paid?
105. We can’t play this. He’s/She’s way off-key in the chorus
106. Too much rap in the middle
107. The stations on BDS aren’t on it
108. There’s only one original member left
109. Didn’t the lead singer die?…oh…I thought they broke up
110. They’re only big in the east
111. They’re only big in the west
112. They’re only big in the north
113. I don’t care if they’re big down south
114. You sent us the wrong promo cds
115. We only play established acts
116. Why should I play a band that sounds LIKE Led Zeppelin when I can PLAY Led Zeppelin
117. Their website hasn’t been update in a year
118. It sounds like their last song
119. It sounds so different from their last song
120. We get no calls
121. Ever since they cut their hair….
122. I’m having trouble with DMDS
123. I can’t find my PD. Can you help me find my PD?
124. We’re a talk radio station
125. Sounds too ‘Active Rock’ for us
126. Sounds too Hot AC for us
127. Sounds too ‘Modern Rock’ for us (this, and the above 2 were all the same song!)
128. They don’t sound as good as they do live
129. They suck live
130. It sounds like something my mom would hate
131. Their video on YouTube doesn’t have enough views
132. Nobody’s listening to them on Spotify
133. Not enough Twitter followers
134. Not enough fans on Facebook
135. Didn’t they break up last week?

With thanks to all the MDs and PDs and labels who sent in their amazing stories. We couldn’t work in this business without each other. If you know the original source of the list, or have a great ‘reason’ yourself, please let me know!

Stones Throw Records released Jonwayne’s “Cassette” late last year, raps & beats designed to look like a pack of cigarettes. Soon after, they got a cease & desist letter from smokes giant Philip Morris demanding that they pull the cassettes and have them destroyed. No use fighting The Man, so they’re taking that cassette out of production …. and here’s their new one. The new Jonwayne release is a 180-gram vinyl with download card packaged as the biggest cassette you’ve ever seen. This will not play in cassette player – turntable required.

 

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From Stones Throw:

Jonwayne had the simple idea of releasing a few underground tracks on a cassette when he first signed to Stones Throw. He wanted to simply call it Cassette, released only on tape, designed by Jeff Jank to look like a pack of Marlboro cigarettes – no CD, no vinyl, no digital. 

Little did we know we’d have lawyers for the western world’s largest cigarette company kicking down our door when the tape came out claiming trademark infringement. Actually, it was thrilling that they even cared, and it presented a nice match for two things going out of style: cassette tapes and lung cancer. 

Just as the original Cassette was forced out of print, Jonwayne came back with Cassette 2. Again, tape only. Steering clear of any possible trademark issues, we packaged this one to look like a can of Coke. 

A few months later came Cassette 3, possibly the best of them all. Designed in the style of a 1st generation iPod, copies were handed out at the local Apple store.  Some of the Geniuses had never seen a cassette. 

Jonwayne went on to release his ambitious debut album Rap Album One, our stock of the remaining Cassette 2 and Cassette 3 has run low, and the lawyers have gone away. 

We always wanted some of these tracks on vinyl, so Jon picked some of his favorite tracks from the series.  We’ve remastered them all, pressed them onto a thick slab of 180-gram wax, and packaged it in a giant cassette sleeve. The record features co-production by Mndsgn on “Altitude,” and features MCs Jeremiah Jae, Oliver the 2nd and Zero. Mastered by Daddy Kev. Design by Jeff Jank. 

The first of a three part adventure in where the Brady Kids first meet Wonder Woman. Officially this is described as the first official animated appearance of Wonder Woman on television. She is depicted in her original costume and hair style from the ‘golden age’ of comics. Strangely Diana Prince does not wear glasses in her disguise.

The second of a three part adventure in where the Brady Kids first meet Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman plans to compete in the original Olympic Games with the Brady Kids. Voices are the original Brady Kids actors and Jane Webb as Wonder Woman.

The third and final part of the three part brady Kids adventure starring the original Wonder Woman! Diana Prince finds a solution to the dilemma that sent her and the Brady Kids to the original olympic Games. Wonder Woman next appears in the 1973 animated Super Friends series produced by Hanna Barbera.

For fifteen years Prof. Anne Draffkorn Kilmer puzzled over clay tablets relating to music including some excavated in Syria by French archaeologists in the early ’50s. The tablets from the Syrian city of ancient Ugarit (modern Ras Shamra) were about 3400 years old, had markings called cuneiform signs in the hurrian language (with borrowed akkadian terms) that provided a form of musical notation. One of the texts formed a complete cult hymn and is the oldest preserved song with notation in the world. Finally in 1972, Kilmer, who is professor of Assyriology, University of California, and a curator at the Lowie Museum of Anthropology at Berkeley, developed an interpretation of the song based on her study of the notation. (Fig. 1).

The top parts were the words and the bottom half instructions for playing the music. Kilmer, working with colleagues Richard L. Crocker and Robert R. Brown produced a record and booklet about the song called Sounds From Silence.

The song, it turns out, is in the equivalent of the diatonic “major” (“do, re, mi”) scale. In addition, as Kilmer points out: “We are able to match the number of syllables in the text of the song with the number of notes indicated by the musical notations”. This approach produces harmonies rather than a melody of single notes. The chances the number of syllables would match the notation numbers without intention are astronomical.

This evidence both the 7-note diatonic scale as well as harmony existed 3,400 years ago flies in the face of most musicologists’ views that ancient harmony was virtually non-existent (or even impossible) and the scale only about as old as the Ancient Greeks, 2000 years ago. Said Crocker: “This has revolutionized the whole concept of the origin of western music.”

At a heart-stopping one-hundred and sixty-eight feet, seven inches tall, this water slide is taller than Niagara Falls. It’s the new water slide, Verrückt (“Insane”) found at the Schlitterbahn water park in Kansas City, MO. And no thank you, I’ll take a pass on this.

This is every bit like the t-shirt that was made for me, and I’d wear it proudly. Until the end of the day when it’ll go back into the closet forever because everyone would be touching me all day. Which is kinda the point, I think. Still massively cool.

In celebration of the greatest athletic achievement by a man on a psychedelic journey, No Mas and artist James Blagden proudly present the animated tale of Dock Ellis’ legendary LSD no-hitter. In the past few years we’ve heard all too much about performance enhancing drugs from greenies to tetrahydrogestrinone, and not enough about performance inhibiting drugs. If our evaluation of the records of athletes like Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, Marion Jones, and Barry Bonds needs to be revised downwards with an asterisk, we submit that that Dock Ellis record deserves a giant exclamation point. Of the 263 no-hitters ever thrown in the Big Leagues, we can only guess how many were aided by steroids, but we can say without question that only one was ever thrown on acid.

Sadly, the great Dock Ellis died in December, 2008 at 63. A year before, radio producers Donnell Alexander and Neille Ilel, had recorded an interview with Ellis in which the former Pirate right hander gave a moment by moment account of June 12, 1970, the day he no-hit the San Diego Padres. Alexander and Ilels original four minute piece appeared March 29, 2008 on NPRs Weekend America. When we stumbled across that piece this past June, Blagden and Isenberg were inspired to create a short animated film around the original audio.

And here’s the first of three short films about baseball, cheating and drugs as told by the legendary baseball star Dock Ellis, from the multi-media book, Beyond Ellis.