Program Notes

It's a little late now. Out of time, over deadline, which happens when you spend sixteen hours a day on the job, and still have to find time to fill this stupid space. None of this is going my way. And we promised, by God, not to critshit all over the new R.E.M. Three weeks in a row we lie, lie, lie. The Porsche won't start. At least it's not a GM. And the winner is.

First entry came from Mr. Skip Van Cel: The photo in the new R.E.M. album, Van Cel says authoritatively, is the Motor Court Motel on 137th Street and Biscayne Boulevard. "I've taken a thousand pictures of it," Van Cel says, "because one day it's going to be mowed down. They're widening the street. I was raised in that neighborhood and it's history. I am an R.E.M. fan, but the only good thing about the new album is that it might take a slot of Journey off WSHE." In lieu of further review, Van Cel notes that his "Sign (language)" art exhibition goes up atthe Alliance Gallery this Friday for amonth's run.

Of course we were taken to task (in the city) for conducting this stupid contest. "I suggest that you ask a difficult question the next time you have any kind of contest," screams Mr. Jesse Blanco. "I like a challenge." Okay, bud, what's the coldest point on Earth? "In any event," Blanco's letter continues, "here is all you need to know about the picture: Florida Villas Motel, 13645 Biscayne Blvd., North Miami, FL 33181. (305) 944-7338. The owner's name is Mr. Shuikie Stubbs and the manager is Mrs. Anastasia Farrell. You cannot get any more exact than that."

Next up is long-time reader Charles Van Tuggle, whose letter states: "It is perfectly obvious that the coldest point of Earth is the core as it is always furthest from Sol at any time and the so-called pressure is contained through gyroscopic...oops, wrong periodical. The photo is obviously a monks retreat for the Dalai Lama and it's nice of everybody to forgive the lip-synch Grammy scandal...oops, wrong group of phonies."

More to the point is this winning entry from Jason Block of North Miami, who identifies the pic as the Florida Villas Motel -- "the left side by the registration."

Copyright, right. We already told you that "Star Me Kitten" = "The Look of Love" and "Drive" = David Essex. "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight" = "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" is not only obvious, but credited on the album and used by permission, et cetera. Let's add, for Bertis Downs's sake if no one else's, that "Everybody Hurts" = "Your Best" by Tiger Tiger and "Monty Got a Raw Deal" = a blatant plagiarizing of "I Remember California," by R.E.M. And let's hope that's the end of that. Right, right.

And Rooster Head's Barnyard Delights is still the album of the year. Someone will write something substantive about it someday. I'm sure.

Did Ice-T win? Deadlines, you know. Anyway, that Spec's voter registration drive this summer signed up 15,633 new ballot casters. Kudos.

The late shows: Cape Canaveral's Red Soda blasts off at Washington Square on Friday. Malevolent Creation slams it up at the Plus Five on Saturday, the first gig of the band's first headlining U.S. tour.

Think ahead so you're not late: So how are all you fine folks down in South Dade? Forgot all about you. That's a lie. Hey, Ralphie Frank, how 'bout giving me a call? Missed your birthday, can't reach you. On November 15 a bunch of tip-top musicians -- Mary Karlzen, Roach Thompson Blues Band, Forget the Name, the Fabulons, the Jeeters, Public Sanctum, Sabrina, and the Full Clip Band -- perform at CB Smith Park from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to raise money for the Santa Fund to help the children of Andrewland. Ten bucks gets you the music, gets them a Christmas or Hanukkah. Call 432-2168. Another benefit for a more perennial cause takes place Friday the 13th at Club Nu: Holy Terrors, Day by the River, Second Coming, Cell 63, Straight Coffee for George, Amethyst, Drive Choir, the Jazz Terrorists, and others appear on behalf of WVUM-FM at 7:00 p.m.

Butthorn of the week: Me. Award courtesy New Times publisher Hal Smith, a cool guy but always a candidate for this space himself, who says he does, in fact, read "On the Beat," contrary to reports therein otherwise. Gosh, Hal, I didn't know. Better tone things down, huh?

The media circus: Did ya see those uptight white people of A Current Affair getting all shocked and offended because Luke Campbell got made in Japan and someone at the show got it on videotape? (Moral one: Those high-talking Rage-ers on Affair wouldn't have tsked-tsked their little nose-up lecture about decencywithout footage. Oh so noble.) An ambushed Luke told the Current Affair correspondent (who looked like he could use an Oriental pleasure trip himself) that, no he didn't want anyone to see the tape, he wouldn't have done it in this nation, because only Madonna could get away with something like that. Campbell was not so offensive as to mention that Madonna is white, and a woman (I think), to boot. Uptight white male powerheads are scared of them big, black boogie men, so chant this over and over (to the tune of "They're Coming to Take Me Away" if you like): Those big black men/Are coming to get my daughter/(yahoo!)/Those big black men/Are coming to get my daughter/(Take it Chuck D)/Those big black men/Are coming to get my daughter/(That's right, jack)/Those big black men/Are coming to get my daughter....

Media circus excess hype: At least the Madonna book is educational. Now everyone knows what Mylar is.

Media circus, no clowning: Hey, Dad: Feel better. I bet it's the most pain imaginable, and worse, but then again, you're the toughest person I've ever known.

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Greg Baker