NEW YORK TIMES: George and Laura and Barack and Michelle | 1:50 p.m. Barack Obama and Michelle Obama have just arrived at the White House for their first visit. Their black sedan pulled up outside the diplomatic entrance on the South grounds. John D. Podesta emerged from the car first, followed by Mr. Obama, who turned around to help Mrs. Obama out of the car. Mrs. Obama wore an eye-popping cherry-red dress, and Mr. Obama a dark suit and blue tie. After shaking hands with Mr. and Mrs. Bush, the Obamas posed with them for a quick picture, ladies in the center. Mrs. Obama smoothed her hair away from her face with a flicker of nervousness. Mrs. Bush patted Mrs. Obama’s arm and the four turned around to enter the White House. Mr. Obama placed his hand on Mr. Bush’s back for a quick pat, then removed it. MORE
Beginning with the Democratic primary, president-elect Barack Obama’s campaign did not waver in its focus on “change.” Journalist Ryan Lizza argues that the constancy and simplicity of Obama’s message allowed the candidate to turn his vulnerabilities into assets — and outmaneuver both Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Lizza is the chief political correspondent for The New Yorker. His article, “Battle Plans: How Obama Won“, appears in the Nov. 17 issue of the magazine.
We discuss the economic crisis with JAMES GALBRAITH, Professor of Government and Business at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He is author of several books, most recent being “The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too.” Listen to this show via Real Audio | mp3
The Philly Complaint Choir is a community art project modeled after a concert in Helsinki, which has inspired other choirs to form in such cities as Melbourne, Jerusalem and Chicago. Each choir has written their own songs shaped by the regional discomforts of daily life. Now nearly sixty talented and whiney Philadelphians have come together, committed to a rehearsal schedule and are expressing some of the city’s most popular complaints which have been collected throughout the city over the last few months. Artist SHELLEY SPECTOR and composer EVAN SOLOT will be in our studios to describe the process. This is part of the Philadelphia First Person Arts Festival. Listen to this show via Real Audio | mp3
10 PM on WHYY
Show 153: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Reviews of the Vivian Girls & Lindsey Buckingham
Listen to the MP3 Stream of this show: (link)
Download the Podcast: (Download the MP3)
–The first story in the news this week is a sign of things to come according to Jim and Greg. They have been reporting on power shifts in the music industry for years, and now they’re seeing two giants come together: Ticketmaster and Irving Azoff. For listeners not familiar with that second name, Azoff, a longtime tastemaker and power broker in the record business, is behind the careers of New Kids on the Block, Van Halen and Guns ‘N Roses, and brokered the recent deals between AC/DC, The Eagles and Wal-Mart. Now he’ll be helming Ticketmaster Entertainment, and Jim and Greg think consumers should beware.
–The next two stories showcase two new ways the industry is trying to curb file-sharing. As reported on the show previously, the U.K. is going after Internet Service Providers, since no one has had much luck putting the fear in consumers. Now we know who will be heading this war on downloading: punk rocker Feargal Sharkey. The former Undertones lead singer is being unveiled as the chief executive of UK Music, an umbrella organization that will represent songwriters, promoters and other members of the music industry.
–Back in the States, Universal Music has struck a deal with Dell Computers to provide consumers with a bundle of tunes along with their computer purchase. They believe that if people have legal music on their hard-drive, they won’t try to get more illegally. But Jim and Greg don’t think this deal factors in the importance of choice. In 2008, with so many ways to hear and consume music, fans don’t want label executives curating their listening for them.
–A recent survey shows that indie labels still don’t have access to radio airplay despite the FCC’s effort to equal the playing field. Part of 2007’s payola settlement was to insure that 8,400 half-hour segments of airtime should be dedicated to indie labels and local bands. This was to help cease any pay-for-play practices. But, organizations like The American Association of Independent Music and the Future of Music Coalition are saying that, unfortunately, things are as grim as ever.
–Both Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ new album Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!, and Nick Cave’s side project Grinderman are big favorites of our hosts. So when given the opportunity to have Cave and his Bad Seeds into the studio, Jim and Greg, of course, jumped at the chance. Cave has been making music, along with poetry, plays and novels, for three decades, and Jim and Greg are amazed that Cave has managed to be so strong for so long. And in fact, it’s hard to tell that the man behind the dark, noisy and funny songs you hear on the show has passed the 50-year mark. Check out all the Seeds’ tracks here.
JOHNNY CASH: The Mercy Seat*
*Written by Nick Cave
[Nick Cave illustration by JAY BEVENOUR]