Monday, September 28, 1992

Editor's Page

Another week has past since the last great Thompson Twins album- oh but what a week it was! On Monday along with most of the nation, I watched thee long anticipated season premiere of "Murphy Brown." Unlike most of the nation, I struggled to make it through the hour; an hour I might add that I will never get back (as if the current administration hasn’t wasted enough of this country’s time).

Later on that same evening our own Melodye appeared on the 10 o’clock WCCO news, interviewed on the unjustified rising price of CDs (see accompanying articles). I had to blink my eyes to make sure Melodye was actually on TV (our newest media sensation) and for a minute I thought it might be the whiskey I was sipping on but she eloquently expressed the outrage I’m sure most of us feel.

What do these two items have in common you might be asking? It might be stretching it a tad (OK I’m no William Buckley) but the principle economic theory of the Reagan/Bush years has been to encourage the growth of businesses to stimulate the economy which will in turn “trickle” down to the working classes making us all healthier, richer, and wiser. Al wrote last week about TDC (thinly disguised contempt) which is what the past 12 years has politically been about. TDC is something which has tinkled down from above. It’s this crossover into “non” issues (i.e. Quayle vs. Murphy Brown), which shows the people running this country haven’t a clue on what this country is facing. The recent attack on Hollywood shows they can’t even distinguish fiction from reality any better than your average fun fact writer.

This environment leads to an atmosphere where nobody is accountable to the people they serve. A business, say a record company, can raise its prices regardless of the actual cost, any time it wants to knowing their customers will pay the extra cost (and they probably will). TDC.

It’s an election year if you haven’t noticed (rock that vote) so the opportunity to make changes exists. As Scott points out effectively elsewhere in this issue, the choices are limited. A change for change’s sake isn’t the best route either, as H. Ross Perot nearly proved. But it is more than merely the President and Vice President we are choosing this time around. All of Minnesota’s House members are up for election as well as all state representatives and many city office positions. We can complain all we want about the choices we are given but we’re the ones that make those choices. Instead of trying to take steps to get better our country seems to be locked into the philosophy of not getting any worse thus the options we create are extremely limited. The lack of participation and interest only deepens the problems.

We live in a convenient society. It is easier to pay the extra dollar to buy a Garth Brooks CD so why protest? We’ve been conditioned not only not to listen to the other side, but to disregard it altogether. Instead of working towards a mutual solution, we’ve become accustomed to doing what’s best for our own interest. In the end, it just leads us to where we are now.


I recently purchased my first set of pillow covers. Up to now they have been an item my parents got for me. Upon opening the package I discovered my “standard” pillow covers were about twice as long as my pillows. Does this mean most people have longer pillows than me? Have I been missing something else all these years?

Monday, September 21, 1992

Editor's Page

We would like to take this opportunity to thank those who took the time to respond to our survey. Your input was greatly appreciated. There was not a huge response so we will continue to do what we’ve been doing in spite of ourselves. I would like to respond to a few of the suggestions that were made.

1) “I would like to see credit given to where the used news articles come from.” Unlike most things in my life, I actually gave some thought to this issue before the first newsletter was printed. My original reason for not including the contributor’s name was the desire to encourage as much “original” material as possible (see below). We wanted our “bylines” to be something one had to earn. I remember when I was first starting in journalism how proud I felt when my name appeared above an article. That pride was matched only by the fear of my writing would make me look stupid. The thrill of the byline along with the fear of a public display of stupidity is long behind me, but I think it is natural for people to enjoy seeing their own name in print. Also, my original policy decision on “used news” items was based on our breaking of all the copyright laws and I might as well be the one responsible. I don’t’ have a problem with giving people credit for anything they contribute- I hope if you see an article which would be of interest to other employees, you will send it to me (and receive credit).

2) “I would staple the newsletter on the left side like normal people.” Nobody has ever accused me of being “normal” but I will compromise on this one. I’ll staple fifty percent on the conventional although inconvenient side and 50 percent on the margin saving “right” side.

3) “Can we start a personals section?” You give me your personals, I’ll print them. – S.A.M.

4) “I don’t think we should make up ‘fun facts.’ There is something unethical about combining reality and fiction.” – your “estranged friend.” Some of us don’t see much difference between the two.

Last week was the first time we printed an issue of all original articles. Someday I would like to do a few “theme” issues where several people write about the same topic but at the moment it’s beyond me what topics we could devote such attention. Last week Daryl asked for story ideas and I get the impression other people don’t know exactly what to write about. So, the following are a few suggestions (feel free to join me, just don’t touch me…)

-The Nordgaard Route: Write about something you favor, double LPs, box sets, LP artwork, cassette singles, guys or gals named Lou. A list with explanations is an excellent approach.

-The Maeda Way: Find a topic (i.e. Dylan) beat the living tar out of it.

-Reviews: We’re a music store, write about a group, an album you’ve heard that others should pay attention to. Melodye has done this very nicely.

-Comparisons: Monk vs Cecil Taylor, Evie vs Sandi Patti, AC/DC vs Black Sabbath, rubber bands vs paper clips, solar vs wind power… which are better?

-Tori Ryder: Our favorite Applause spokeswoman?

-Lecy Goranson: What’s her future after Roseanne?

-Co-workers: what makes someone easy to work with and what annoys you? Are hands or shoes better first indicators of a person’s true identity?

-Dinner breaks (Jennifer’s idea): What is the best thing and where is the best place to eat in 30 minutes?

-Recipes: Every newsletter runs them.

-Kitchen counters: How do you keep yours clean

Monday, September 14, 1992


Well I don't know about anyone else (literally) but I for one am a bit "Dylaned" out . (Those astute enough might have noticed last week I said Dylan played 49 different songs but I only listed 48. I forgot his cover version of the Dead’s "Friend of the Devil" and upon further review found a 50th song he did: Night 4's “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue.") It was fun while it lasted (just like Gandhi when. he fasted) but it's time to move on. Next we focus our attention on Wynona Judd; Wynnie and I go a1l the way back to those wonder years- ah yes , I remember them still…

Being the editor of this newsletter, I don't get the comment to comment on things we print , It's not like I can write a letter to the editor without coming across as even more of a goofball. In last week’s issue however there were a couple of items that need further examination.

I have enjoyed Daryl Lanz’s columns as much for their content as their dependability. One week he woke up early Sunday morning to wrie and fax to me his effort. Such dedication is greatly appreciated. As always, last week’s column brough up several good points but I did take exception to one observation. How can anyone use the word “horrendous” and the movie Satisfaction in the same sentence? For me the movie lived up to its title; it was very satisfying. It had a lot going for it especially its cast: TV’s Justine Bateman (or Justine Bratman as the trade experts call her), Julia Roberts (before she was the Pretty Woman or had slept with the enemy), and even an appearance by an incredibly old looking Debbie Harry who looked as if she beamed in from a Star Trek movie for no apparent reason. I actually saw the movie twice in theaters, the second time was the very last showing in the Twin Cities area. I bought the soundtrack (both LP and CD) and video. Yes, I’ll admit those were the days when I used to ask all our new employees who their favorite Bangle was but still…

Speaking of the Bangles, another fine “rock” movie Daryl overlooked was Susannah Hoff’s The Allnighter. OK, the story was a bit weak (could Susannah sleep with someone before she graduated from college or would time run out?), she didn’t sing, and the directing “credit” was given to her mother but my future wife to be did give us that “look” (the thing she does with her eyes) several tmies making the movie a must see. I guess it depends, Daryl, on what you want from a movie.

My choice for the best rock movie (excluding the entire Elvis cinema catalog) is the Beatles A Hard Day’s Night. The movie is full of such energy, style and humor, and it reflects the “Beatlemania” period effectively. They never topped the music in the movie and if they had done nothing else, A Hard Day’s Night would have assured them their place in rock history. To see John sing “I Should Have Known Better” and Paul sing “And I Love Her” explains what some of the screaming was about.

The other item from last week worth a mention was the letter Mark Lethert contributed from the president of Harmonia Mundi, Rene Goiffon. If the price of CDs was determined by their musical value, our stores would be giving away a lot of free music. An Aerosmith disc would have to be priced higher than your average classical disc because I’m sure Aerosmith spends over $60,000 just keeping Steven Tyler’s lips moist. The whole idea classical CDs should be more expensive smacks of what our dopey but loveable Vice President dubbed to be the problem of the “cultural elite.” It’s not as though the person most responsible for the classical music, the composer, can benefit from the increased revenue, because as we all know, all the important ones are dead. I don’t think we should be in a hurry to fill the pockets of some snobby Frenchman either. I did get my own personal revenge on the audacity of Goiffon’s remarks. Last week at the state, our big charitable campaign kick off was held where we decide which charities we wish to donate our money. One of the organizations represented was the Untied Arts which Harmoni Mundi is a part. I told the United Arts representative I would contribute to all the other organizations other than Harmoni Mundi- “let them get their money from overpriced CDs.” Boy did I show that Goiffon guy a thing or two.

Je suis le canard gigantique.

Monday, September 7, 1992

Too Much of Nothing

Oh me oh my, oh mercy. Elvis has left the building! The final totals are in and it was a good week for Minnesota born singer/songwriters. Prince signed his record breaking deal and Bob Dylan sang 49 different songs in five nights to over 14,000 people (number of different people not available at press time).

HIGHLIGHTS: (and there were almost too many for one grinning fool to remember) Night 2's "Idiot Wind"- He sang the line "I couldn't believe after all this time, you didn’t know me any betttterrr than that..." with so much venom he drew blood. Night 5's "Every Grain of Sand”- that the following "Times are a Changin" got more applause than his inspired reading of this song means people are more into nostalgia than that which is eternal. Night 5's "Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll”- this is still his best “protest" song and when he delivered the punchline " the time for your tears" it nearly brought down the house. Night 4's "I Don’t Believe You" and Night 5's "I Believe in You" shows the range of emotion, depth, growth and amount of ground covered by one writer over thirty years. Nights 1,3,4,5's '"Boots of Spanish Leather”-this is one of my favorite songs of his he was so mesmerizing in each performance It brought me back to one who is now far away. Night 5's "Visions of Johanna- who would have thunk it? He sang the line which rhymes "freeze" "geez" and "knees” with phrasing which proves there may be more than one reason why Mona Lisa is smiling. Night 2 and Night 4's "Cats in the Well" and "Under the Red Sky"- two songs which belong in his rotating repertoire.

LOWLIGHTS: Night 1’s "Silvio”- sung with such indifference I was left to believe there is nothing "only dead men know." Night 2's "Stuck Inside a Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again”- rambled, the band wasn’t together, and it all but fell apart, at the end. Night 3's "Gates cf Eden”- he skipped several verses and made an already monotone melody even more monotonous. Night 4's "All Along the Watchtower”- he performed this all five nights and it was pretty clear people respond more to the Hendrix version than the original. On this night be didn't even "howl" or "growl." Night 5's "Union Sundown”- it was nice to hear the song no matter how politically incorrect but he left out the best line, "I can see the day when even a home garden will be against the law."

IRONY: Each night the song that got the masses on their feet and dancing was “Unbelievable”- which contains the best line he has written in the 90’s: “It don’t matter no more what you've got to say, it's unbelievable it go down that way." If I understand the meaning of "irony" right, (and like another I may not) it seemed a bit ironic that people began bopping around on the song where Dylan was singing that, no one was listening to what he has to say anymore.

SEMI-AMUSING QUOTE HEARD FROM AN AUDIENCE MEMBER: "Hey, isn't that Donovan? (cleaning up the stage)"

MISC. NOTE: By the last night I vowed if I saw one more person doing the "funky chicken down the aisles of the Orpheum, I would go lodge an official protest at Macalester Colleqe- the place bad dancing is taught for credit.

A LIST OF SONGS PERFORMED (* In parentheses is the number of nights the song was played ) : Peggy-O (2), Don't Think Twice (1), Hard Rain(1) Blowin in the Wind (1), Girl from the North Country (1), Times are a Changin (4), Hollis Brown (1), Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll (1) John Brown (1) , Boots of Spanish Leather (4), Little Moses (5), To Ramona (1), I Don't Believe You (1), It Ain’t Me Babe (4) , Mr . Tambourine Man (1), Maggie’s Farm (5), She Belongs to Me (1), Gates of Eden (1), Positively 4th Street (1),Ballad of the Thin Man (1), Highway 61 Revisited (5), It Takes a lot to Laugh It Takes a Train to Cry (1), Rainy Day Woman (2), Stuck Inside a Mobile (1), Just Like a Woman (2), Visions of Johanna (1), I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight (1), All Along the Watchtower (5), To Be Alone with You (1), Watching the River Flow (1), If Not For You (l), Tangled Up in Blue (2), Idiot Wind (1), Shelter From the Storm (1), Simple Twist of Fate (3) I Believe in You (1), Lenny Bruce (1), Every Grain of Sand (1), I and I (1), Union Sundown (1), I'll Remember You (1), Silvio (3), Man in the Long Black Coat (3), What Good Am I? (2), Everything is Broken (2), Under the Red Sky (1), Cats in the Well (1), Unbelievable (4)