Categories
Music

Alas, Poor KROQ

Image source: http://www.tvparty.com/homeroom1/10-06-81.html

I saw this article in Variety about the death of KROQ.

LISTEN UP, YOUNGSTERS! AN OLD MAN IS ABOUT TO TALK ABOUT THE GOOD OLD DAYS.

I’m really sad that Post Malone is on KROQ. You might think I mean “that’s not KROQ music!” And I do think that- but I probably don’t think it the way you think I think it.

As I said above, I am an old man. I’ll be 54 in two weeks. I’ve started listening to KROQ at the start of the eighties, when it sounded like a college station that liked to get drunk and fight with its best friend, pirate radio. You might hear Van Halen, you might hear Devo, you might hear the theme from The Jetsons.

You would almost certainly hear the theme from The Jetsons. It wouldn’t have sounded like this though; it would have sounded like someone recorded it by holding a mic up to a TV.

DJs would have a loose playlist, but they really played whatever they wanted to play. They brought in their personal records (remember records?). You could call and make a request and it might actually get played. They played some mainstream music, most of what they played couldn’t be heard anywhere else. And new, weird sounds showed up all the time.

Not all of the new sounds were good ones.

I loved listening because I knew I’d hear things that were only on KROQ. I’d probably hear something I’d never heard before.

But then radio shifted, and KROQ shifted with them. “KROQ music” started moving onto more conventional stations. KROQ started to sound like New Wave Oldies. How many times can you play the Red Hot Chili Peppers in a day? A lot, apparently.

Somewhere along the way I stopped listening. The old music was old, and I owned any of it I wanted to hear. The new music didn’t appeal to me, and I thought that was a good thing. I’ve always told my students that every generation needs music that the previous one doesn’t like, or at least doesn’t understand. KROQ was never about appealing to older people, and I had become older people.

So you might think I’d be fine with Post Malone on KROQ, since he clearly fits the “not for old people” profile. But he’s not weird and new. He’s already a pop star. And he’s pretty mainstream. You can’t be an outsider and write the theme to a Spider-Man cartoon movie. Even worse: I like some Post Malone stuff.

It’s probably time to let KROQ die. Radio stations can only adapt so much before the world passes them. Online source make even early KROQ look stodgy and professional. The current format will get played with, shuffled, adjusted, rejiggered, and eventually – probably soon – they’ll abandon the whole thing and start over. It happens. When it does, KROQ will join stations like KMET, KDAY, and KNAC as wistful memories of old farts like me.

SPECIAL BONUS: I used to be a big enough fan of KROQ that I would make KROQ-specific websites. Here’s one. It might look bad now, but at the time it looked terrible.

Categories
Uncategorized

End of the Year!

I posted about how hard the last few weeks have been. It’s time for a little counterbalancing. Here’s the end of the year video I put together with the help of our staff and students. Enjoy!

https://drive.google.com/open?id=17UxqsxnAXC6AzrNyaF_9T7kw3z-JB10c

Categories
COVID work

Two Hours

I did something today I haven’t done for two months: I worked at school. First I shot some video of our principal, then I helped clean out lockers.

It was hard.

Dr. Macias and I talked a bit about this year, and about the next. Next year’s kids will almost certainly be going to a school where they are rarely on campus, and never all on campus at the same time. Electives and physical education are particularly impacted. I teach digital media, and there is simply no way to be socially distant in a computer lab. I do not know how (or what) I will be teaching in August.

After the video, I went on locker duty.

Every locker is open. Most of them had school locks that were opened with a master key. Some had personal locks; those were opened with bolt cutters. Every unchecked locker has a profile page of the student to whom it’s assigned. It was the first time I had seen most of those faces since we closed.

The lockers are weird little ghosts of the students that once used them. Some students are organized – their lockers are usually empty. Some students are a little less focused. Their lockers look like mine did when I was their age: messy and stuffed with whatever weird trinkets I loved that week.

I know the kid who owns this backpack. He thinks it’s hilarious.

One of the lockers had a big pink and purple button that read “I REALLY WISH I WEREN’T HERE RIGHT NOW!” It was absolutely right and completely wrong. I didn’t want to be there. I didn’t want to be throwing student treasures into plastic bags. But I wanted to be there. I wanted to be making jokes with students, complaining about “that kid” to my friends at the lunch table, working out final grades, watching students get ready for high school and beyond.

Is it a Spongebob thing? It looks Spongebobian.

Our eighth graders always have a big promotion ceremony. Family and friends fill the PE field. Awards are given. Crowds shout and applaud. Friends hug. Summers together are planned. Students get one last moment as a single group before they get split up and absorbed into larger schools, before they really make the first steps from adolescence to adulthood.

This year they will get a video they can watch at home. Teachers are working to make that video something special, but it will always be more isolated and distant. Next year will probably be even more disconnected.

I’m not in the center of this thing. I spent two hours bagging belongings, not two months bagging bodies. But if my tiny actions on the edge of this pandemic hurt this much, I can’t imagine what it’s like at the epicenter.

Take care of yourselves.

I really wish we weren’t here right now.

Categories
Bike Mortal Enemy ridesfv

A WINNER IS ME!

My Mortal Foe, Daniel Quinn: VANQUISHED!

Peep this:

DEVASTATING. YOU’RE DEVASTATED.

TWENTY FIVE POINT TWO PERCENT. Pity poor Daniel Quinn, for his paltry 25.02% of the Valley has been crushed.

This is me:

…and this is PATHETIC HAS BEEN DANIEL QUINN:

At this point, the only way he could possibly catch me is if he rode SEVEN MILES. IMPOSSIBLE! NO MAN CAN RIDE SEVEN MILES AND LIVE TO TELL THE TALE.

My glory will never be surpassed!

The killing blow:

Now go and tell the world of this glorious day!

(maybe don’t tell Daniel)