The Rock Hall just announced their list of nominees for the 2016 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Earlier this year Jann Wenner made a move that could jeopardize the integrity of the hall of fame by shedding a group of older voters in favor of youth. The speculated theory is that these younger voters will help induct younger artists and make it more attractive to sell the ceremony to HBO. What did Dylan say? Money doesn't talk, it swears.
The list of nominees this year doesn't look bad at all though. The Cars, Chic, Chicago, Cheap Trick, Deep Purple, Janet Jackson, Chaka Khan, Los Lobos, Steve Miller, Nine Inch Nails, N.W.A., The Smiths, The Spinners, and Yes. Some of these first time nominees are long overdue including Cheap Trick and Chicago.
You can make a small impact on who gets in by voting for your top five here.
And now my five choices:
Yes - Prog rock has been given short shrift since the Rock Hall began. Yes was both hugely popular as well as being innovative and influential. Sadly, bassist Chris Squire recently passed away. Is this a sympathy nomination?
Los Lobos - One of the best American bands of all-time. Their Kiko album is a classic.
Deep Purple - Not so much a prog rock band as a heavy metal forebearer. Another nominee long overdue.
The Smiths - They were nominated last year and made my top five. Here's hoping we may get to see a Smiths reunion. Fat chance, right? Even if they do make it would Morrissey and Johnny Marr bury the hatchet?
Chicago - I'm going to get some haters with this pick but hear me out. Those first three albums and the following four disc live set at Carnegie Hall are monsters. They brought a powerful horn section to rock and roll and truly kicked out the jams. The fact that they morphed into schmaltz does have me holding my nose a bit.
Others that could've made my list include Cheap Trick, The Cars, and Steve Miller. Sadly, when I voted for my choices and looked at the current standings the saying "the masses are asses" came to mind.
I just spent the past two weeks on the island of Sicily. I'd say I was in Italy, and I was, but the people on that island, just off the toe of the boot, consider themselves Sicilians first.
Sicily has an amazing history. They were under the rule of numerous leaders including the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Spain and, eventually, Italy. It leads to a dazzling mix of culture and architecture.
The only disappointment for me was the litter. It's everywhere and they seem to have little concern for it. I watched people freely toss wrappers and the like on the street and out of their car windows. I hope that the government might spearhead some sort of awareness campaign.
Still, the sights are beautiful. Here's a few of my favorites taken, simply, on my iPhone 5S.
Wake up. Commercial radio is crap across the dial with the rare exception. Streaming radio allows you to find those rare exceptions along with every other type of format you could imagine.
I've been compiling a list of my favorite streaming radio stations over on my AV Adviser blog. Give them a listen and then add your favorites to your TuneIn app.
Here's the complete list.
192 Radio - Radio Caroline, a Dutch station that broadcast from a boat in the early 00s just like the pirate stations that catered to England in the 60s. And just like those 60s stations it's a fantastic oldies format with many songs that only charted in Europe.
70s Disco Nights - Another online only station that plays, yes, 70s disco music. It originates out of Monterrey, Mexico.
91.3 Da Pa'ina - KQMQ, the first of a few Hawaiian reggae stations. Did you know reggae was huge there? This one's from Honolulu.
AM 1710 Antioch - Old-time radio programs like Jack Benny, The Campbell Playhouse, Dragnet and plenty of others.
AM 580 - Broadcasting from Detroit this station channels CKLW, which means glorious oldies.
Ancient FM - Literally very old music from medieval and renaissance days.
BBC Radio 1 - Now a string of BBC stations, some of the best radio in the world. Partly because the UK taxes citizens for TV and radio. This is the country's top 40 station.
BBC Radio 2 - The most popular station in the UK. A mix of adult contemporary, adult album rock, oldies, etc. Some legendary presenters (That's what they call DJs) and great programming.
BBC Radio 3 - One of the great classical stations in the world.
BBC Radio 4 - The unique spoken word station with news, talk and radio theater, as if it were the 1930s.
BBC 6 Music - The alternative/indie rock station where Russell Brand once DJ'd. Again, great presenters and the prime minister's wife is a regular listener.
Cambridge 105 - A community radio station in Cambridge, United Kingdom focused on music. Like many community stations it's wonderfully eclectic.
Cherie FM - A French station that plays love songs.
The Coast - A terrestrial station out of Auckland, New Zealand playing adult contemporary music focused on oldies. I love listening to this station in the winter when it's summer there. It helps me fantasize about being someplace warm. And it's cool listening to the next morning's drive time in the afternoon.
ESPN 850 - The first Cleveland station on the list. Sports talk. Mostly for The Really Big Show with Tony Rizzo. They broadcast Browns games but like all pro sports they're blocked online. For that I use my SiriusXM subscription.
FIP - A Parisian station that plays a fantastic and eclectic mix of music I'd simply describe as cool. If you own a hip store this would be the perfect background music.
France International - Yes, I listen to numerous French stations in a futile effort to sharpen my French language skills. Still, I try. Here's the French national public news and talk station.
France Musique - Yes, another French station. This is the national public classical station.
Island 98.5 - Another Hawaiian reggae station. This one's out of Honolulu.
KCOU - A great example of college radio from the University of Missouri
KCRW - Southern California's public radio station and one of the best in the country with a fantastic array of original programming.
KEXP - One of the best independent radio stations in the world. Kind of the perfect station.
KHEI - And here we have an Hawaiian reggae station broadcasting from Maui.
KPIG - This is the only station on the list behind a paywall. It'll cost you $5 a month to listen to the best Americana radio station. The terrestrial station is located on the Monterey coast of California and was the first station to stream on the internet.
KUT - The University of Texas's station is a perfect fit for Austin.
Soma Radio - My favorites are Boot Liquor, Digitails, Drone Zone, Groove Salad, Illinois Street Lounge, Lush, Mission Control, Pop Tron, Space Station Soma, Subrubs of Goa, and The Trip. They range from Indian ragas to bachelor pad to space music with NASA audio mixed in.
The Departure Lounge - This could be my favorite internet only radio station. Soundtrack for the jet set. It's a swinging good time. Another one perfect for a hip bar or store.
The Sound 99.1 - Sometimes I like stations from places I've vacationed. It triggers memories. I spent a number of summers on the Outer Banks and this is their alternative rock station.
Triple j - Australia's premier indie rock station.
TWIT - This Week In Tech radio network started by Leo LaPorte. I've been listening since the early days of this pioneering podcast network. If you're into tech you should be listening.
WRUV - Another great community station with a variety of shows serving Burlington, Vermont.
WWOZ - New Orleans public radio station sounds just as it should, filled with jazz and blues and DJ'd by some colorful characters. Listening to them over Blues and Jazz heritage Festival and Mardi Gras is particularly awesome.
WXPN - The University of Pennsylvania's radio station, like WFUV, is a adult album alternative mix of music. It's also the home to the long running World Cafe.
Did you know I'm a mobile DJ. It's rare that I mention it on this blog. I've been doing it for over 25 years and I'm very good at it.
I'd hardly call it work except for the load in and load out, roadie work. Otherwise what's not to love? I'm invited to one of the biggest days in two people's lives. Everyone's dressed to look their best. Well, for the most part.
And I get to play the music with an objective of getting as many people to dance as possible. That is not done by coaxing through goofy antics but by choosing the right mix for the room.
I came up with the phrase "no cheesy DJs" when I started the company which is now called Packy Malley's Wedding DJs. Packy's been my business partner for about 15 years and the Malley name is good marketing here in Cleveland.
I don't like to take on as many gigs as I used to which gives me the ability to choose ones that appeal to me, be they personal referrals or cool venues. Did I mention that I'm really good at it? ;)