Friday, September 26, 2008

Here's a video of Jeremy Messersmith performing the song "Love You to Pieces" from his new album The Silver City in the WMCN studio on September 20, 2008. It's been featured on the WMCN website for the past week, and now it's making its blog debut. We hope to have cameras rolling when local rock band Sarah Johnson and hip-hop group Green Sketch drop by the station tonight.

Editor's note: What a delightful song! Messersmith has a lovely voice reminiscent of Ken Stringfellow, whose own vocals become more and more soulful with each passing year. Pardon the sniffling heard throughout this vid--I was not crying, just getting over a cold.

Friday, September 19, 2008

wmcn made the mac weekly today and i confess i'm somewhat irked by the article. let me be clear: i don’t want to personally attack the article’s author, who seemed very nice when i met her. nor would i want to attack the publication as a whole, though i do have some strong opinions about the newspaper that today published a picture of the brian jonestown massacre above copy about a review of “burn after reading”.

my grudge—and i guess that’s what it is—stems from feeling quoted in a way that removes the essential context and uncertainty from what i told t.m.w. to wit:

•“Mendelson [that’s my last name] said the studio will cost “very little,” but does not have a set date for the project’s completion.”

this was taken from an email i wrote. in response to the question “How much is the recording studio going to cost?” i replied: “Very little, maybe nothing actually, but again Zach's the guy.” so the above quote is troublesome because it published the least important and most misleading part of my response—which was intended as an admission of ignorance yet was quoted as if i were speaking from a position of authority. what's more, i asked the reporter to contact our g.m., zach dotray, if she wanted to determine the probably-non existent price tag on the studio; he is, after all, “the guy.” i offered the journalist zach’s contact info so she could reach him, and while he’s quoted elsewhere, i wish zach’s response to the question would have been solicited and printed. additionally, while it’s true i don’t have “a set date for the project’s completion” t.m.w. never asked me about a completion date. if somebody close to the project indeed confirmed this, the sentence needed to be rephrased so as not to attribute the information to someone who never mentioned the issue. it's lazy journalism.

•also in the article: “WMCN managers say their time in the cramped basement offices is coming to an end. ‘WMCN will eventually move to the new arts building,’ Mendelson said.”

this came from my response to the question “What does the station see itself doing in the future?” incorrectly using a semicolon, i responded: “I think that this question is probably best handled by Zach; although I believe the plan is that WMCN will eventually move to the new arts building.”

leaving aside the issue of whether or not "mangers" said this, this bothers me for the same reasons: i professed ignorance and suggested zach would know more, but was then myself quoted as an authority. my bit about how i merely believe that this is the plan, and that it may not actually be the case, didn’t make the article. this worries me in particular, as my source on this is nothing more than my recollection of a 2006-7 wmcn staff meeting where this was mentioned.

•and zach, who spoke with a different reporter, was misquoted as well (from the article: "It's always hard to fill the 8:00 a.m. slots," Dotray said. "But we did it. We have 56 shows and 45 DJs."). wmcn hasn't yet filled the 8 a.m. slots, which zach knows, and those numbers were estimates he and tech director sean hickey came up with on the spot.

incidentally i'd gladly forward anyone my correspondence with t.m.w.—i swear i'm not making this up! to reiterate: i'm not attacking the author or even t.m.w., and i'm thrilled they wanted to report on wmcn. i'm biased, of course, but i'd like to see more wmcn articles throughout the semester--it is the largest student org on campus. i don’t even object to t.m.w. using the quotes they did or editing them; i understand that journalism requires editing quotes. what i did object to was the use of the quotes in a way that changes their meaning and gives them a certainty they never had nor were intended to have. i probably shouldn't have been quoted in these instances.

i know that the author's not getting paid to write these articles and that they can’t be the most fun thing to write, but this is some scott templeton-level journalism. i know that to talk with reporters is to open oneself up to the possibility that what's printed won't be what one wants to see published. but when the question is accuracy and quotes shorn of their proper context, things move beyond the issue of quotes being used and into the issue of them being misused. the mac weekly is better than that.

more importantly, and hopefully as a small gesture for anyone who made it through the rant, there’s nothing like an inspirational tune to cheer you up when you’re bummed out. i seriously believe that “moulty”, the artyfact from nuggets-era band the barbarians, might be the most inspirational song i've ever heard. if you don’t feel at least a little bit better about yourself and the world after listening to “moulty” make sure you heart’s still beating. it's that good:

[mp3] the barbarians—“moulty”

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Liner Notes has returned. Find it on paper tomorrow in the Campus Center, radio station, and library.

Supplemental mp3s for the first issue:

[mp3] The Black Watch - "Oh Death Death Death"
[mp3] The Wedding Present - "Spider-Man on Hollywood"

Sunday, September 07, 2008

in 3 short days spiritualized, whose "songs in a & e" is probably my favorite album of 2008, hit first avenue (seemingly without an opening act). while took down a video of the band performing "shine a light" that was so good as to be mind-melting (a similar one can be found here), we can still get a taste of what jason "spaceman" pierce and friends bring to the table from the dated yet awesome video for the band's first single, 1990's "anyway that you want me":