Segarini: Stuff on my Radar

Bob hosting Late Great Movies 1985I have a very nice television. Two, actually. One in the living room, and one in the bedroom. Except for the 2012 Presidential election, the only time I have turned either one of them on has been for the Food Channel, which features my favourite kind of porn. Oddly enough, I watch more television than I ever have in my life.

I just don’t watch it on TV….

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Radio Radio….

New MusicLike my relationship with television, I have a similar relationship with music. I hear more great new music than I ever have in my life…I just don’t hear the majority of it on the radio. I am thrilled when something I heard (on Internet Radio) or saw (on YouTube) surfaces on terrestrial radio because of its quality, and not because it fits a format. Thanks to some trailblazing terrestrial stations, there are actually places on the dial that have once again engaged me. Sadly, most terrestrial stations are still serving an audience based on one of two things.

1.Nostalgia for those who want to forever live in their past.

2. Disposable ‘hits’ for people who want to be part of the crowd; the so-called ‘mainstream’, the audience that bounces will-nilly from one flavour of  the month to the next.

Neither format has anything to do with music.

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Dave_FaroughThe conglomerates who control the vast majority of radio stations are well aware of this, and have actually stated so in public (McLean’s Magazine, March 16th, 2012) “It’s not radio’s job to break new music,” says Dave Farough, Vice President, Brands and Programming for Corus Entertainment’s 37 commercial stations. “In some cases, listeners want to hear new music. But in most cases they just want to hear what they like.”

You can read the whole article here. Also read the comments…enlightening, and much more open minded than Mr. Farough. His statement is probably based on tests of their station’s already existing listenership, and his assessment of what they want is also probably accurate considering that their existing audience are tuning in for one of the two reasons listed above, not to hear music. Like most of his gainfully employed peers, Mr. Farough is quite up to speed with what radio has become, and positioned to both continue to preach this sermon, and refine it further. Music, if you want to hear what is actually available and not denied to you, is everywhere else but at these stations who believe that “It’s not radio’s job to break new music“. How reassuring to those of us who still seek out new music that there are even some terrestrial stations who do NOT agree with the current dismissal of new music by their more hamstrung cousins.

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It occurs to me that radio stations should question all the listeners who DON’T listen to them…the growing number of people who have abandoned them for greener pastures…looking for new MUSIC; that which radio is no longer in the business of.

It they still taught grammar, English, and sentence structure in school, I would be expelled for that last sentence.

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Bob  Lefsetz….

I love Lefsetz. His newsletter is a staple in my email and each is read with interest, even when I think he has swallowed the ‘Big Boy’ kool-aid more times than most people could survive.

Lefsetz 1Bob is a lapsed lawyer who gave up lawyering to run away with the Rock and Roll Circus and their accountants. He is well educated, a skier, a fan of music and its ability to be interpreted as art and/or philosophical weightiness, and is not afraid to call artists and businessmen assholes, declare them out of touch, and chastise even the most beloved icons in and around the music industry. Lefsetz is the size of a large garden gnome, and it surprises me that to date, no one has shoved him down a flight of stairs or strangled him with his VIP backstage lanyard. In fact, there are (I would imagine) lip prints all over his rear end from having it kissed so much by those who understand how to handle their insecure belief that if they don’t kiss said hind quarter, he will make them cry like he made Taylor Swift cry. Bob can be mean in a non-threatening way, unless you are uber-insecure or a young, beautiful woman who has the body and money of a super model/banker, is beloved by millions, but is as sweet and insecure as a 12 year old girl. Bob took her down, she wrote a hit song in response. Advantage, Taylor Swift…and Bob got more famous-y.

Lefsetz 2People in the music industry used to have thick skin. Now, the remaining old guard just have thick wallets and thin blood. Some are terrified of Mr. Lefsetz, and like the age old adage says, keep their (perceived) friends close, and their (perceived) enemies closer. My guess would be that this is one of the reasons Bob sits at the Big Boy table at Aspen and at high profile dinners, and gets to take in the after-show stench in the Kid Rock dressing rooms. The man has clout. And no one wants to get hit over the head with a Big Clout.

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Several years ago, I stood out in front of the Harbour Castle Hotel during an Industry convention and played “Spot the Hooker” with Lefsetz.

I won. I know a high priced call girl when I see one.

We couldn’t figure out which record exec/radio mastermind/musician hot shot picked up the tab, but when she left about an hour later, I’m sure there was someone we knew in the shower or at the Lobby Bar having a an expensive single malt mouth wash. Lefsetz was fun to hang out with for a while. He’s a good man.

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Lefsetz and Gene 2When Bob debated Gene Simmons at another confab, Gene, unable to debate, just shouted Lefsetz down to the approval of the hundreds of fans in the audience who sided with Gene because he ‘rock and rolls all day and party’s every night’ and has a beautiful wife to cheat on. If it would have been ancient Rome, and the sweetly Jewish Lefsetz had been a Christian to Gene’s not-so-sweetly-Jewish Lion, Simmons would have eaten him in front of his adoring audience and wandered back to his money vault deep in the ‘Jungles of L.A’.

Lefsetz and GeneHad Simmons heard (or understood big words) anything that Lefsetz said, he probably would have lost the one sided zinger battle, but he just hit Bob with one schoolyard epithet after another. Taunt and belittle, taunt and belittle. Lefsetz, expecting an honest debate from a guy who will probably stuff Shannon Tweed if she pre-deceases him, and put her up for auction at Sotheby’s, wasn’t interested in an actual debate, he was interested in putting on a show for the audience. Like what he did in KISS, the content was immaterial to the attitude and volume. Bob was simply shouted down, silenced by mediocre bullying instead of mediocre music.

When Simmons pointed out Lefsetz was not a musician or had toured the world, or had written hit songs, and bedded a lot of (deeply shallow) women, Bob just caved and said, “Kiss Sucks”. I wanted Lefsetz to punch him in the throat, and stand over the unconscious man who rode his tongue to fame and fortune, and shout “Take that, you mediocre Windbag” and march off to the banquet table and eat a giant leg of lamb and guzzle a gallon of bob-and-geneManishewitz wine out of a gold flagon. That would have been cool. But, like so many things in today’s wacky world, volume and celebrity won the day. The people have embraced the Visigoths…and we are doomed.

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I rarely agree with everything that Lefsetz says in his newsletter. We are from different worlds. We share a passion for music and artists, but our criteria for what is great are miles apart.

For example, Bob feels that a sure sign of greatness is when EVERYBODY loves something immediately.

I believe that when EVERYBODY loves something immediately, it is a Hula Hoop.

Bob believes that career artists are incapable of producing anything as good as they did when they were on top.

I believe that “Free as a Bird” is the most definitive and mature Beatle record ever made, and that The Eagles are still making music that stands shoulder to shoulder with their best output.

Lefsetz extolls the virtue of Electronic Music and Dance concerts, and that we are all missing out.

deadmaus fansI believe that Electronic music is for young people and older, savvy, music industry types who like the volume loud enough so that verbal communication is impossible, and therefore they will not be heard if they say anything stupid to a boy or girl on ecstasy or good hydro that they want to horizontally bop. Also, there is a hell of a lot of money to be made here.

Lefsetz believes that for music to be vital, it must be edgy, different, challenging.

I believe that for music to be vital, it should be a wonderfully written song performed by passionate, soulful players, with lyrics that are either fun, or insightful, but always heartfelt, and sung by singers who sing the words with understanding and taste, and that will either build the careers of the artists or still be regarded as great 30 or 40 years from now.

Beatles-Stones…and I ALSO believe that each and every one of us has the right to decide for ourselves what we love and what we don’t, what touches us and what doesn’t, and what reflects our lives and what doesn’t…and we need to realize and accept the fact that when something that does NOT engage us, or speak to us comes across our radar, that it is NOT TO OUR TASTE, instead of saying it sucks, is shit, is garbage, blows chunks, rapes your ears. We only ridicule the tastes of others by arrogantly thinking our taste is the best taste. That said, it helps to share the music you love with others, instead of trashing the other guys crap instead of proclaiming your crap is the best crap, period. If you use negative reinforcement of what YOU believe by ridiculing the opposition, you are no better than Gene Simmons, or Mitt Romney, or Gordon Whatsisname, the annoying Kitchen Hitler.

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Lefsetz is a worthy read. He writes for and is read by the Industry, the well-known artists, and the kids that beg for his help and his assessment of their music.

We here at DBAWIS are read by Industry types and artists too, but our work is directed more to those who are first and foremost, fans of music and pop culture and are more interested in what is out there than they are in making it in showbiz, being famous, or in Bob’s words, “making as much money as the bankers and Wall Street”.The Lefsetz Letter

If you’re not already reading Lefsetz you can subscribe to his newsletter here, and check out his archive here.

Although my taste in music and Lefsetz’s are miles apart, he still tips some great music, and has real and well thought out reasons for what he DOES love.

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DBAWIS, Your Ears, Your Eyes, and Something New…. 

Starting on Monday, March 18th, we are going to be adding something new to Don’t Believe a Word I Say.

Those of you in the GTA or Southern Ontario who like to drive and don’t have to work Tuesday Morning may want to take me up on this offer. No details until next Monday, but for you adventurous types, you will be able to join us every Monday starting on the 18th and be part of an audience that will enjoy some great music, talk, and meet some like-minded people.

So, for those of you who want to be guaranteed a seat (or at least a place to stand), in Toronto on the 18th, here is all you have to do:

Bob WhoSend an email to segarini@rogers.com with the subject header, ”The Bobcast”. You will be rewarded with your name on our guest list plus 1. That means one of you can drink while the other one bitches about not being able to. The drinks won’t be free, but they will be reasonable, there will be food available to purchase, and you will be part of something great. It is also legal, so relax.

The first 50 people who respond with emails will be added to the guest list along with their guest. You will also recieve the details of what is going on and who is involved by return email before next Monday if you are one of the First 50.

We will need your name and the name of your guest, your cell number, and your email addy (which we will have when you respond). This information will NOT be shared with anyone else, and you will have the option to receive updates and invites, and whatever else may be available to early adapters, that we may eventually have for you.

Space is very limited and things to sit on are even MORE limited.

Those of you who can’t attend will have to wait a couple of days every week…but you WILL hear (and eventually see) what you missed.

Check my column for a lot more details and information next Monday. Looking forward to hearing from you, and hope to see you on the 18th of March. The event itself runs from 8 pm until 10, but will continue that night until as late as you want to stay. The 18th is the day before this years CMW 2013Canadian Music Week kicks off. If you are going to be in town, this will definitely be something you will want to do before the CMW takes place.

The doors will be locked from 9:00 pm until 10:00 pm, so don’t be late.

You will be glad you came….

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Segarini’s regular column appears here every Monday

Contact us at dbawis@rogers.com

DBAWIS ButtonBob “The Iceman” Segarini was in the bands The Family Tree, Roxy, The Wackers, The Dudes, and The Segarini Band and nominated for a Juno for production in 1978. He also hosted “Late Great Movies” on CITY TV, was a producer of Much Music, and an on-air personality on CHUM FM, Q107, SIRIUS Sat/Rad’s Iceberg 95, (now 85), and now publishes, edits, and writes for DBAWIS, continues to write music, make music, and record.

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6 Responses to “Segarini: Stuff on my Radar”

  1. This post just confirms my suspicion… I love you, Bob. You really nail it every time.

  2. noticed that I got noticed by a lot of people in the industry after Lefsetz published a story I sent him. Until then I didn’t think those people in the industry could read…

  3. Glenn Gallup Says:

    That sentence is the sort of thing up with which I will not put.

  4. I don’t know about that famous (or infamous) sentence but your paragraph on what it is that makes music vital made me re-read the entire column to find it again, it is so well put,

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