Wake-up call

Hey! Who shit on my radio?

Ho, ho. Robinson Meyer at The Atlantic examines NPR’s new “Morning Edition” theme and finds it wanting.

He’s not the only one. Composer Timo Andres and jazz singer Theo Bleckmann had thoughts as well.

“For me, it was so reminiscent of childhood, of car rides to school,” Andres told me later of the old theme. “Even though, objectively, it sounds like an artifact from a universe where Steely Dan was co-opted into writing state-propaganda music.”

The new theme, meanwhile, was summarized more pithily by Bleckmann. “Yeah, it sucks,” he said.


But what do you expect when you commission a committee to compose your theme song?

Robert A. Heinlein was wrong about a lot of things, but he was right on target when he noted that a committee was “a life form with six or more legs and no brain.”

And yeah, the new theme: It sucks.

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16 Responses to “Wake-up call”

  1. Pat O'Brien Says:

    That stinks. Sounds like something AI came up with after being fed the original track. Wonder if B.J. got any royalty money from that contractor? NPR should have hired John Pizzarelli to redo the theme.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I’ll shill for Tom Waits here. Given the state of the news lately, this might be a more appropriate theme. Guaranteed to blast you right the hell out of bed.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        It would do, that.

      • Hurben Says:

        I hate that man, if you want me to go full on chain saw psycho, just play me his music. On the plus side, the latest Mojo magazine had a great feature of Joni Mitchell

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I can’t listen to all of his music, especially some of the more outlandish stuff, where he’s playing theramin with a machine gun and whatnot.

        Still, he has his moments. At just under two minutes “Frank’s Wild Years” is a great short story. “$29.00” and “Invitation to the Blues” are good blues. “Sight for Sore Eyes” reminds me of all my old bros from Back in the Day®. “Ruby’s Arms” is a fine hasta-la-vista song. “What’s He Building?” reminds me of Ken Nordine’s “Word Jazz.” “Jockey Full of Bourbon” is a real finger-popper; Jim Jarmusch used it in “Down By Law,” which Waits called “a Russian neo-fugitive episode of ‘The Honeymooners.'”

        And “Nighthawks at the Diner” is absotively posolutely top shelf. Though I could do without his take on “Big Joe and Phantom 309.”

  2. Herb from Michigan Says:

    Tivoli radio? Had same once upon a time. Damn thing got the jitters and the volume control had bipolar tendencies. Company wouldn’t take it back and so it sat for years. Then my son in law salvaged it and damn if the little turd didn’t straighten up and fly right. They listen to NPR on it regularly and also stream internet podcasts. But when I had it there was no love I’ll tell ya.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Izzat what it is? I just mish-mashed up a couple pieces of clip art. I don’t think we have an actual radio in the house, unless you count the tuner in the home-theater setup.

      I was listening to NPR on the Mac this morning. But I can’t take too much Scott Simon, even through Bose speakers. Too chipper. I’d prefer Waits, Paul “American Splendor” Giamatti, or Zombie Leonard “You Want It Darker” Cohen.

      Speaking of darker, it’s raining again. Unreal. I’m getting moss on my north side.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      Raining here too, but just sprinkles down low with rain up in the higher elevations.

      Thought about a Tivoi, but I like Sangean better. We have two. One in the dining/kitchen/living room and one in our bedroom. Plus we have a Boston Acoustics radio (discontinued I think) in the garage. I put the one in the bedroom on the classical station with the timer set for 45 minutes. Puts us to sleep most nights unless the fat lady is singing. The dining room one is sometime used in concert with the iPad or iPod Touch to play NPR stations in other cities.


      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        The sun is back out today, and I intend to take advantage of it. Just 48 degrees at the moment, but the weather wizards anticipate a high near 70, with light winds.

        • Pat O'Brien Says:

          Rain and thunderstorms here right now, and I am dressed in jeans and a turtleneck. And, it’s May in the Sonoran desert. So, no riding today. But, we are going to a concert at the folklore preserve this afternoon to see Sue Harris who plays a RainSong guitar. That’s got my interest. I want to hear how it sounds in the mix.

          • Hurben Says:

            Ditto for the rain & thunderstorms, (& high winds), down here. May must be universal weather month

          • Pat O'Brien Says:

            Good day Hurben. Same weather but halfway ’round the globe. Going to see this lady play a carbon fiber guitar, a RainSong. They are impervious to humidity and temperatures changes that would ruin a wood guitar. I don’t want a carbon fiber bike, but I am really liking my RainSong.

  3. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    We got our last Neopolitan ride in under sunny skies. Bikes now stripped down and ready to be returned on Tuesday. We won’t miss them. This time next week I’ll be airing up the tires on my Torelli 20th Anniversary (by Mondonico) bike. The fact their 20th anniversary was almost 20 years ago makes zero difference to me!

  4. khal spencer Says:

    Dreadful new theme. If the news is that bad, and lately it is, play this. If I am going to be driven out of bed, this will do the trick.

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