Sunday, November 08, 2009

KXT 91.7 launches tomorrow 7AM

Some 10 years ago, KERA eliminated its 90.1 At Night music programming entirely from its on-air schedule. Little did we know that KERA had a secret plan ever since then to raise a ton of money and purchase a local low-end spectrum radio frequency (91.7 was formerly KVTT Christian Talk Radio).

The advent of a 24-hour Public Radio Music station here in Dallas is possibly the best thing for local music since the Deep Ellum area had its heyday back in the late 80's/early 90's. This elevates DFW radio to the level of a precious few other metropolitan areas in the country that have both a local Public Radio newstalk station and a Public Radio music station. (KCRW Santa Monica is a worthy comparison.)

KXT will host in-studio visits by terrific touring artists that don't fit into the Classic Rock mold. And let's face it, no commercial music station really does artist interviews anymore anyhow. Those commercial music stations are almost completely out of the concert promoting business these days.

If the broadcast tests being conducted this weekend in advance of tomorrow's official launch are any suggestion of the eclectic nature of the music that KXT will be playing for DFW, then we're really in for a treat.

Elvis Presley - Mystery Train
Debussy's Beau Soir - Philadelphia Brass Ensemble
John Coltrane - Softly, As In a Morning Sunrise
AC/DC - Problem Child
Louis Armstrong - West End Blues
Peruvian Folk Music
Enya - Orinoco Flow
Victor Wooten - Can't Hide Love
Willie Nelson & Asleep at the Wheel - South

But the main benefit here is to have a proper music station here in town that will support touring acts that come through Texas but also home grown artists from Denton, Dallas & everywhere in between Terlingua, Austin & Ft. Worth.

Good luck to KXT! Welcome to the community's airwaves. Long may you run.
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Monday, October 19, 2009

Fair Park Public Art Quirks

Art&Seek on Think TV: Fair Park Public Art Quirks

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I have many fond memories of Fair Park through the years. Somewhere at my folks' place are some Polaroid pictures of me as a kid at Fair Park during the State Fair. My birthday's in October during the State Fair. And I have a faint memory of going there for a few of my birthdays.

But I'm not one of those who claim to have been to the State Fair annually since childhood. But having enjoyed the Arts & Seek video featuring the Watermelon Kid, Steven Butler, I reminisced a bit.

Fair Park was also a yearly destination for local schools on Fair Day. I recall being issued a ticket to the State Fair and going together as a school to the State Fair on our school buses. A few years ago I took a group of 10 or so of my college students to the State Fair. It was like herding cats. So I think my memory must be a little faulty there. How could the schools keep track of so many kids running around?

Further reflection leads me to believe that we were given the day off for Fair Day and taken to the Fair Park Aquarium & Natural Science exhibits at some other time of year other than the State Fair.

I treasure the history of Fair Park. My own personal history with the park is limited because we were from Richardson and Fair Park in pre-DART Rail days was totally out of reach except for field trips.

But a quick inventory reminds me that Dad took me to see the Baylor/Alabama Cotton Bowl in January of 1981. He pointed Bear Bryant out to me a few times. I told Dad that Coach Bryant wears Tom Landry's hat.

We used to go watch my brother compete in the Cotton Bowl Tennis Tournament at the unheated Automobile Building between Christmas & New Years. It wasn't uncommon for players to wear ski jackets on top of their warm-up suits during pre-match preparations. It's now played at area club's indoor HEATED facilities.

I volunteered for FIFA during the 1994 World Cup at the Cotton Bowl. Because of my language skills, I worked protocol for World Cup ´94 out of the Magnolia building. We chauffeured FIFA big-wigs to and from DFW Airport. I went to most of the World Cup Cotton Bowl games that way.

I saw Nirvana at the Fair Park Coliseum. Bassist Krist Novoselic was impressed with the Soviet style stars on the walls of the arena. Saw Soundgarden there too. We saw Radiohead & Spiritualized at the Fair Park Music Hall for their OK Computer tour back in 1998.

At the Cotton Bowl we saw Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band for their Born in the U.S.A. tour in 1985. Saw the Rolling Stones for Steel Wheels in 1989. Saw Stevie Ray Vaughan & The Who in 1989.

We went to all of the first year 1996 Major League Soccer Dallas Burn games at the Cotton Bowl. We were even season ticket holders back then. Going to Burn games in the middle of summer meant there were always parking spaces available and a row of benches in front of you to kick your feet up on. The Dallas Burn mascot was the horse Islámico. Some rider would dramatically ride Islámico onto the field before each game.

The club, like the rest of Major League Soccer, was struggling back then and left Fair Park because they didn't get a cut of the parking. The stadium was way too big for TV. That is, it didn't look good on camera to see so many empty seats. So Fair Park lost MLS soccer's Dallas Burn to an exurb stadium in Frisco, TX.

A few years back, the State Fair Hall of State hosted a very impressive exhibition of WWII propaganda posters and uniforms. I really enjoyed going back in time to see how enemies were depicted and how ominous colors and contrasts were used to maximum effect.

I would love to see & use Fair Park more often. I applaud the efforts of the Friends of Fair Park

A couple of weeks ago we went to see Mexico play Colombia in a soccer-friendly at the newly renovated Cotton Bowl. It was a chance to see the new Fair Park Green Line rail stop in all its Art Deco glory. Parking was $10 and the four of us opted for that rather than spend $4 each on the DART train. (State Fair of Texas & DART need to pow-wow about that cost discrepancy for future State Fairs).

Dallas is a forward leaning city. Always has been. So it's nice to have a place that has some history to it. Fair Park should always be preserved for posterity's sake. There was talk some time ago about making Fair Park a 365 days/year amusement park. I don't know about that. But I would like to see more invested in Fair Park's future in our city. Perhaps a city/state plan would combine Fair Park with efforts to revive Deep Ellum.

This past week saw the opening of the Arts District's flashy Winspear Opera House and the Wyly Theater. While these are events to be celebrated, it makes me wonder whether our city's development efforts are scattered about too much over disperse areas of town.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Xavier the baby owl

My neighbors George & Betsy rescued this little baby owl Friday
morning. We named it Xavier. Our postman James had no problems
reaching in the milk crate to pick up Xavier and hold him in his hand
like "The Falconer". Xavier was taken to a local rescue.

Friday, July 03, 2009

While Steve Jobs got a liver transplant...

CUPERTINO, CA - OCTOBER 14:  (FILE PHOTO)  App...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

How Apple didn't manage to make a deal with U2 on this latest tour makes me wonder. Did the Apple/U2 negotiations happen to coincide with Steve Jobs' 6-month absence? Surely Steve Jobs wouldn't have let this opportunity slip through Apple's hands. And yet here's U2's latest gargantuan world tour and the big smart-phone sponsor is RIM's iPhone competitor Blackberry.

After having appeared in Apple iPod ads for "Vertigo", it would have been a natural follow-up to have featured U2 on the iPhone 3GS - imagine sharing video clips of the concerts directly from the show. It would have been the most obvious way to promote the iPhone 3GS. In light of Steve Jobs' absence, this might be one of the most obvious things to point out. Would Steve Jobs have missed an opportunity like this to RIM? Hard to imagine.

U2 will be coming to the Dallas-Fort Worth area on October 12th. The concert will be the first big show of note at Cowboys Stadium and one that will highlight the stadium's technology. But how will the amazing stage fit under the big 60 yard midfield diamond vision screen?

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Happy Birthday, Pete!

Birthday regards to a rock favorite of mine: Mr. Pete Townshend of The Who. He's turning 64 today. I was a regular reader of his fantastic website ( for many years when he would post regular "diary" updates and MP3's of songs he was working on, lead tracks that he would record before the band, etc. To my disappointment, Roger Daltrey had him put a stop to that and focus on a Who website that charges a yearly $50 fee for "premium" membership. So the little snippets of Pete genius are no longer featured as they once were on (Although there is a Pete's Blog portion of website. He just doesn't update it as regularly...something I actually have no place to really complain about on Pablo's Point of late.) I harbor no hard feelings toward Roger for ending the presence. After all, without Roger, we might only have Pete as a Susan Boyle-style American Idol contestant. (See this awkward video of Pete on VH1 some years ago singing along to the backtrack of the Jerry Maguire version of "Let My Love Open the Door". It's not far off from American Idol or Britain's Got Talent. Thanks for still being in The Who, Roger!

Also on the old site there were videos of him in the studio preparing songs, track by track, that were brilliant snippets of the work behind the genius songwriter. Pete's terrifically honest in these little "behind the scenes" peeks. I thought about featuring one in particular on this post. But opted for this video from a 1996 Late Night with Conan O'Brien in which Pete's promoting his solo greatest hits collection. With Conan about to take over The Tonight Show spot from Jay Leno, this video serves as a reminder of how much of a music fan Conan is and how good a raconteur Pete is. (And with Pearl Jam just announced as playing on Conan's first night, it's clear that he will continue to spotlight music.)