Thursday, February 14, 2008

Marc Steiner replaced by columnist

WYPR has announced their replacement for Marc Steiner.

Oddly enough, it sounds like the format, will remain essentially unchanged. Is this the format that was getting poor ratings?

WYPR has decided to replace the local, homegrown Marc Steiner with a newspaper columnist who moved to Baltimore in 1976. He was born in East Bridgewater, Mass. He is not from this area at all. He didn't grow up here. It won't be the same. I don't know him so I won't comment about his motives, but no one ever had to wonder about Marc's motives.

I am getting old and having to cope with these changes. Yes, Camden Yards and Raven's Stadium are nice, but they aren't the "world's largest outdoor insane assylum", Macy's has some nice things, but it can't hold a candle to Hutzler's. I am sure Port Discovery is enjoyed by lots of kids, but I miss the fish market. The Arabs seem few and far between now.

Dan, you seem like a nice enough guy, but you ain't no Marc Steiner.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Born in Baltimore

Philip Glass was born in Baltimore on January 31, 1937. His father owned a music store so his music collection included a fair number of unsold records. he studied the flute as a child at Peabody Music Conservatory in Baltimore before moving on to the University of Chicago at the age of 15 to study Mathematics and Philosophy. He then moved on to Julliard where he learned to play the keyboard. He also started composing.

He eventually studied in Paris and in 1959 he won the BMI Student Composer Award. He worked with Ravi Shankar on the film score for Chappaqua. He traveled to India and became familiar with Buddism. It was at this time that led to the development of his distinctive style based on repetitive structures.

He formed an ensemble in New York City in the late 60's and started performing in Art Galleries. He also held jobs as a cab driver and had a moving company.

He has composed many film scores over the years and was nominated for three Academy Awards. His first Academy Award nomination was for Kundun in 1997, for The Hours in 2002, and Notes on a Scandal in 2006. In 1999 he won the Golden Globe Award for The Truman Show.

Most recenlty he composed the score for The Illusionist and Woody Allen's Cassandra's Dream.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Goodbye WYPR

OK, so I am slow. Shoot me. I only realized today that WYPR fired Marc Steiner. Marc was their only local celebrity. He was their shining star. He was the ONLY reason I listened to their station. I can get Fresh Air, Talk of the Nation and the Diane Rehm Show on any other public radio station. And I will.

I listen to a variety of stations while I am at work. I generally listen to WDNA for Frank Consola's jazz program first thing in the morning. I then would switch to WYPR to hear some of Diane Rehm and get ready to enjoy Marc Steiner's show. I occassionally emailed my opinions into the the and my last comment was read on air, the last week his show was available. Marc Steiner did not merely work at the station, he was the station. You could tell that Baltimore really means something to him, civil rights really mean something to him, preserving the character of our city means something to him. I would switch to WNYC to hear Soundcheck and generally keep it there for the rest of the afternoon since they pretty much carry the same national programing I am accustomed to.

I would sometimes listen to the station in the evening as I adore jazz. I would listen on the weekends to hear Car Talk, but no more. Marc Steiner was WYPR. How could the station be so unaware? How could they commit suicide like this? R.I.P. WYPR, you are dead to me...

Monday, February 4, 2008

Yes, I watched the SuperBowl

I enjoyed the SuperBowl immensely. Watching the mighty fall is sweet. This was my third favorite Super Bowl of all time.

My favorite, of course, also involved the Giants. It was their last Super Bowl appearance when they fell victim to my wildcard Ravens. I felt bad for them that year because the Giants have never been a team that I have hated. But seeing my Ravens win after not having championship quality football in Charm City for so many years, that was unforgetable. Still, it would have been better for me had I not been still living in upstate New York at the time. I had to watch the game in the safety of my own home. I kept the newspaper articles I could find about how that win really gave hope to the entire city. I know how Giants fans feel this year. Their team was not given a chance by most experts. Their team was not given much attention at all in pregame from what I understand, I skipped the pre-game hoopla. Of course, the Ravens were not taken seriously that year either.

My second most favorite Super Bown was in 1986, when the infamous 85 Bears beat the lowly Patriots. How funny is that? Of course this was during the dark ages when Baltimore was left with no team to root for. I decided I liked the Bears. This was when I decided I really enjoyed a good defense over a good offense any time. Mike Singletary was the greatest, until Ray of course. The fridge was entertaining. What's not to love?

Last night will go down as my third favorite because of the controversy at the beginning of the year, because of the way they ran up scores all year, because of their coach, because of the things they got away with all year, especially when that one plyer, can't remember who, poked that other dude in the eye (how childish), because they got away with so much taunting and swaggering. It was so sweet to see the mighty fall. And Bellicheck showed his true colors by walking off the field with one second on the clock. Also, wasn't Tom Petty awesome? That was the best halftime show I have ever seen. Maybe I am just old, but give me a good old fashioned rock and roll halftime where we don't have to worry about any wardrobe failures, or watch something so over-coreographed it makes you sick.

I am a happy camper.