The Unauthorized Biography of Rosco P. Coltrane

When it's my moment in the sun, I won't forget that I am blessed, but every hero walks alone, thinking of more things to confess

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Location: Owensboro, Kentucky, United States


Thursday, June 30, 2005

Looking Smart and Semi-Popular

I picked up last Sunday's New York Times last night from a friend. He and his wife were getting them free for some reason and hadn't read it. So I took it instead of having them place it in the ol' recycling bin.

I must admit that I love newspapers. I always have. When I was a small child I used to read the local newspaper and then make up my own little newspaper. Fully plagiarized and nearly free of charge to all my neighbors. What can I say I was quite the little entrepreneur.

I usually read three newspapers either online or in hard copy form. I still get the majority of my news and knowledge from newspapers. But what I really enjoy is reading the New York Times on Sunday mornings. It just makes me feel good to know that the rest of the world is either sleeping, going to church, or reading the same paper I am.

Now with most papers, I admit that the first section that I read is the Sports page. Usually it is the primary reason why I read a paper. I like the sports columnists and reading box scores of baseball games. With the New York Times, I rarely read the sports page. Sometimes I might glance at it, but it isn't the main reason I read the NYT.

I love the Opinion Page, The Book Review, and the Times Magazine. I usually read the magazine first. I usually scan through all the articles really quickly and pick an order to read them in. I don't usually read the magazine straight through because I like to savor the entire magazine throughout the entire week, picking it up and reading and article here and an article there.

This week I found two articles in the magazine that really caught my attention because they were very relevant to me.

The first article I read was entitled Looking Smart and was about a type of journal/notebook, Moleskin, that I recently bought before my trip to Mexico. Evidently the Moleskin is the hip joural/notebook to own. It boasts that Picasso and Hemingway used these notebooks and how it inspires creativity and thinking. I didn't realize when I bought the notebook that it was so chic. Truth be told I bought it because it had a band around it, it was sleek, small, and had a pocket on the inside. I bought it for it's functionality. I didn't buy it because it was a trend or I think it would make me write better. Truth be told, I have only written in it a few times and only one thing of any consequence or quality, that being Gravity. The fact that the poem turned out as well as it did had all to do with the inspiration, not the notebook.

The funny thing is, now that I know it is hip and chic, I wonder if I read this article before hand I would have still bought it. Would I have to have it? Would I say, wow, that's so cool, Hemingway used these and the NYT magazine featured this and now I have to buy one?

Probably. But after the fact, I think, this is so played out. This is so much hype. When, in all actuality, it's just a bunch of blank pieces of paper. The same kind of blank pages I stare at everyday of my life, hoping and praying that the words will flow.

The other interesting article that I found was an article on Nic Hardcourt of NPR station KCRW in Santa Monica. I found out about KCRW probably 6 years ago when I had time to spare and a T-1 connection. I was trying to find some Dave Matthews Band music on the Internet and found the MBE site. I found all kinds of fascinating acts that I wanted to listen to on the site.

Since then, I have been hooked. MBE plays the best music to be found anywhere. Hardcourt usually finds bands that NYT calls "semi-popular" and champions them. MBE is the first place I heard about Coldplay, Damien Rice, and Howie Day. It's the first place I really started listening to Beck. I always thought that the Flaming Lips were just a throw away band until I heard them on MBE. I used to like Ben Folds Five before I listened to them on KCRW, after that I fell in love with them.

MBE's only discrimination is quality, not genre. It is new and refreshing. It is the first place I look when I want to hear something different. I know that Hardcourt won't disappoint me. I know I will hear something on his show and be absolutely floored. Usually after I pick myself up, I go on an insane and sometimes fruitless search of CD at my local CD shops and superstores. So I would always come back to MBE. If everyone's local NPR station was like this one, the guys from Cartalk wouldn't have to promise any totebags to raise money.

I would gladly help support any local radio station that modeled itself like KCRW. Sure, we have a local college rock station, and I usually find a song or two I like on 88.3. But more often than not, I just hear something that I think is weird, out there and not very good.

If you have never checked out the KCRW site and you love music, you would be a fool not to go there.


Blogger shauna said...

hey lafe, do you like "paste" magazine?

4:19 PM  
Blogger EY said...

love the moleskins! i got my first one before italy, the second and third in amsterdam, and well i've been too broke since then to buy another one. i go for the bargain book journals 100x more paper to write on and not so easy to lose.

12:24 PM  

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