July 31, 2011

Sounds Good!

Because a full calendar month without Tony Mowod is far too long... The Pittsburgh Jazz Channel is up and running ahead of schedule!

Even with a very quiet, low-key early launch, it was necessary to raise the maximum user count on the stream almost immediately. (This is a good problem!)

So... go listen already! The Pittsburgh Jazz Channel lives at pghjazzchannel.net

Random Observations From The Weekend

You know what was missing in your life? Pee-Wee Herman on velvet. You're welcome.

There's a store called "New York Swagger" on the main drag in Bloomfield. Currently, its front window display prominently features a t-shirt airbrushed with a portrait of Justin Bieber. I believe this is what they call "mission creep."

Another Eggpocalypse... I made Alton Brown's chocolate ice cream.  (Yummy!) Unfortunately, that left me with eight egg whites, and I have a well-documented inability to waste the unused half of separated eggs.  So I made angel food cake (also chocolate, also yummy). My point? Nyah nyah, I have homemade cake and ice cream. In conclusion, nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah.

What's the most disconcerting thing about revisiting Season One of The West Wing? The countless small, nostalgia-triggering manifestations of a pre-9/11 mindset? The [insert your own joke contrasting the real world debt ceiling mess with the happy parallel universe of the Bartlet Administration]? No, no no... it is that ZOMG, ZOEY BARTLET IS MUPPET BABY PEGGY OLSEN!!!!!! (Let us now pause to remember the less fortunate, like poor Mrs. Landingham, who died and went to Mega Python vs. Gatoroid.)

July 29, 2011

August 1, 'Round Midnight

As the calendar flips over to a new month, a new page of Pittsburgh's jazz history opens.  The Pittsburgh Jazz Channel launches right after midnight on Monday, August 1.

So...  what is The Pittsburgh Jazz Channel, exactly?  It's a hosted, 24-hour-a-day online jazz stream, brought to you by some very familiar voices.  Access will be free--you won't even have to register in order to listen.

You'll be able to enjoy listening to a priceless Pittsburgh treasure we've all been missing for the last few weeks... in fact, you'll have the opportunity to make up for some lost time.  The entire first day will be a marathon, 24-hour presentation of Jazz With Tony Mowod.

I would be remiss as a marketing/development person if I didn't take the opportunity to remind everyone that this is a listener-supported service.  On behalf of the whole Pittsburgh Jazz Channel team, I want to thank everyone who has made a contribution so far, enabling this project to get off the ground.   If you enjoy what you hear, please consider making a contribution to PubMusic, the local nonprofit that produces The Pittsburgh Jazz Channel. 

Counting down the hours to Monday...  

Happy Sysadmin Day!

A hearty shout-out to SMLTS' many, many geeky homeslices on this glorious System Administrator Appreciation Day.  May your spam filters be strong, your I-D-10-T errors few, and your iPhone be gloriously bereft of frantic 3AM support calls.

And while you're here...  can you look at my computer?  It's been running kind of funny ever since I clicked the monkey to win the free iPad...
(ducks to avoid flying motherboard)

July 28, 2011

If You Don't Know Where You're Going, Any Road Will Take You There

Here are some of the more amusing search terms that have landed people in the magical land of Secondmost:

"famous guy tattoos"

"lucha libre gear"

"matching guy tattoos"  (For someone who actively dislikes tattoos, I sure get a lot of traffic out of them.)

"ow [sic] to install tv inside bath room wall" (Answer: With a cartoon French accent!)

"tv show" + "mermaid tank" (!??!?!)

"rubber ducky inner tube"  (Disturbing number of hits on this one...  I almost feel like apologizing to the beach toy consumers of America for leading them to a "Plants vs. Zombies" post.)  (Or selling rubber ducky inner tubes out of my house.  Hmmm.)

"pvz hd buy bacon"  (I have no idea what kind of person would Google "Plants vs. Zombies" and bacon at the same time...  but I suspect I'd really like them.  Get in touch, Googler; we'll do Bacon Night at the Harris Grill and discuss the relative merits of Wall-Nuts and Tall-Nuts.)

July 27, 2011

Full Disclosure

Alan Freed says "hi."

I've always promised that I'd disclose any freebies I took in connection with this site, in the hopes that Steve Jobs would take the bait and send me an iPad. (Hell, it works for Colbert.) My efforts to date have yielded a distinct lack of consumer electronics, but I will be attending the Bloggers' Blast at the Toonseum next Friday. They're still taking reservations, so if you're a blogger/tweeter/podcaster... why not sign up?

Brand Overextension: A Drama In Three Acts

Scene 1
The designer is sprawled on the couch, alone, in front of the Lifetime original movie Women In Danger XXVI: No, Really, This Is Supposed To Be Empowering. 

It was a nasty breakup.  The designer is surrounded by crumpled tissues, a pitcher of frozen strawberry daiquiris, and four boxes of Peeps, empty.

Inspiration strikes.  The designer rises, wobbily, and attempts to wipe the yellow sugar from her mouth.  It is stuck to the daiquiri residue.  It is not a proud moment.

Undaunted, she picks up her laptop.  An idea has formed.  It must and shall be brought to life.  She enters a trance of sorts.  An hour passes, perhaps two.  She emails the project to her supervisor, then fades gently into a sugar-and-cheap-rum-induced haze.

Scene 2
The designer awakes to an infomercial and a splitting headache.  She deposits the empty Peep trays in the trash and stumbles off to find the aspirin.  She remembers nothing of the previous evening.  Nothing, that is, except a vague recollection of a put-upon but spunky hausfrau portrayed by Meredith Baxter Birney.

Scene 3
The designer returns from lunch, finds this prototype on her desk, and wonders what idiot thought of this.

For a moment, she could swear she tastes strawberries.

July 25, 2011

Stately Homes And Gawkers Thereof

My mother and I were standing in a very long line. A very long, slow-moving line. We were in Washington, which still snuggled behind its naturally protective layer of tourism and bureaucracy rather than countless cement barriers passed off as flower planters.

After quite some time in the Line of No Return, probably after noting the very high environmental yuppie quotient, a horrible realization dawned upon Mom.

"Is this," she asked the fellow in line ahead of us, "the line for Treasure Houses of Britain?"

As it turned out, it was not. The interminable wait was for tickets to an impressionist act.  (This story is so '80s that it physically hurts a bit to recount it.)  "But he's really good," our informant assured us, brightly.

We perhaps lost out on the chance to see the next Rich Little... but mumblemumble years later, I still fondly remember Treasure Houses.

There were several videos produced in support of the exhibit, hosted by writer/historian/character Lord John Julius Norwich. Unfortunately, they've never made an appearance on DVD, but some kind soul has uploaded one of the installments to YouTube.

Compared to contemporary offerings like Treasures of the Trust, this looks anything but slick... expect a few moments of unintentional hilarity owing to changing production standards as well as the quality of the transfer. (The narrator assures us that a crookedly-framed shot of Sir Robert Walpole's Houghton Hall illustrates a home that "stands strong and foursquare as the man himself.")

There are shinier documentaries kicking around, even on basic cable, these days. But there's an appropriately well-worn, eccentric charm to this one. There are repeated references to "Sir Robert's wastrel grandson." A Holbein portrait of an unidentified woman yields the marvelously unilluminating explanation that the squirrel in her lap was there "to emphasize what an excellent housekeeper she was." Throw in a couple of elderly noblemen discussing, with great seriousness, cases full of toy soldiers.

Also, "Cholmondeley" is pronounced "Chumley." I mean, come on, this culture clearly has a sense of humor.

July 23, 2011

I Tread A Troubled Track, My Odds Are Stacked...

Amy Winehouse was the embodiment of a hot mess.  Her personal life was, famously, a wreck.  Her live performances were unpredictable; even at her best, she never looked comfortable on stage.

She leaves behind--let's face it--one really great album.  And yes, its artistic success owes a lot to the backing band and to the production process.  No question, when we're talking about sheer pipes and stage presence, Sharon Jones is by far the more talented frontperson for a Dap Kings record.

The unique offering that made Back to Black--and for a brief moment, Amy Winehouse--compelling was a potent cocktail of passion and frailty.
Not that we're implying anything...

Amy Winehouse did not put herself forth as a woman in control of her own urges, be they chemical or sexual.  She owned her weaknesses as profoundly as her desires.  There was a tremendous self-awareness in those songs, delivered with a bitchy insouciance that recalled Ronnie Spector, Dusty Springfield, maybe a soupcon of Joan Jett.  

Winehouse's look and lyrics both hearkened back to the past and declared an ironic detachment therefrom.  Even the retro schtick, the beehive and the eyeliner, spoke to a generational rootlessness, a palpable discomfort with the twinned implications of liberation and responsibility.  

Amy Winehouse, in short, had the bravery to say that she was screwed up.  Not in a charming, gosh-aren't-I-a-caution hipster way.  No.  In real, life-altering mistakes; in poorly-controlled appetites; in hedonistic bad choices of all flavors.

It would be great if every woman channelled her inner Aretha; would that we were paragons of self-possesion.  But in the real world, there are moments that any woman with a pulse ends up allowing her emotions to override good sense, moments of infatuation with a choice intoxicant, be that booze or a man or something purchased furtively in an alley.

Those sordid little tales set in cheap bars and strange beds are resonant precisely because they're about weak moments.  It's never been fashionable to own up to the kind of emotional sloppiness that fuels Amy Winehouse's best work.  I cry for you on the kitchen floor.  Too messy for those autotuned blondies; not even a shade of grrrrl power as demanded by the granola set.

Weakness.  It's not pretty.  It's not neat.  It's universal, though, and Amy Winehouse's ability to face down her own fuckuppedness was strangely beautiful.

Would that she could have followed all that introspection with some corrective action.

Nobody's surprised that Amy Winehouse (ostensibly) OD'd; it is of course frustrating that she had every opportunity to get help.  But in the end, I feel sorry for her in a way that I couldn't about a dead child-molesting pop star who shall remain nameless.  She dragged herself into a dark place, but only herself.

Addiction forces us to regard the perpetrator and the victim in one body.  It's a terrifying sight, one that fills us in turns with rage and nervous laughter and confusion.  Sympathy or blame?  Empathy or judgement?  Yes.

It's no surprise, but it is a shame.

She may not have put on the brakes, but she warned us.  I told you I was trouble.  Yeah, you know that I'm no good.

On Today's Sad But Unsurprising News

Sometimes it sucks to be right.

July 21, 2011

Clever Headlines Latest Casualty Of Heat Wave

"I'll Be Funny Again When We Get Back Into The 80s, OK?" Pittsburgh Blogger Promises. "Why Start Now?" Community Wiseacres Ask.

Our mailman, wisely, has taken to doing his rounds early in the day to avoid the worst of the heat. Neither rain nor sleet nor snow nor hail shall keep the postman from making his appointed rounds, but a 90+ degree day shall cause a wardrobe adjustment. He may have been wearing USPS-issued shorts, but I'm pretty sure the tank top was procured independently.

Once I got home from the grocery store this morning, I unloaded (among other things) a jar of pickles. Not even the fancy-schmancy refrigerated kind... just plain ol' pickles. As they sat on the counter, the chill from having been in an air-conditioned grocery store was enough to cause condensation to form on the outside of the jar. Freaky.


Clueless city slicker lady:  I wasn't sure if you'd be here today, with the heat!
Patient vendor of corn:  We've got the product, so we have to try to sell it.
Clueless city slicker lady: (Temporarily immobilized at the revelation that produce does not wait patiently in the field but will indeed rot.)  Oh!

July 19, 2011

No Quarter

Pittsburgh isn't quite like any other town. And while in many ways that's a wonderful thing, our local quirks can compel... head-scratching?  Adaptation? Adjustment of normative expectations?  Streams of profanity, muttered under the breath?

For instance, despite the fact that this is a hoppin' urban area, good luck hailing a cab.  For that matter, good luck calling a cab. (Well, you can call them, they just don't show.)  Auntie Bee's Tip Of The Day: Just go to the taxi stand outside the William Penn. You're welcome.

It's a mere eleven days until I can get my new Pitt ID, which will serve as a bus pass, which will be vastly more convenient than fiddling around with change every time I need to go outside of Bloomfield/L-Ville.

In recent years, I haven't missed the joys of feeding quarters into a tiny slot while rolling along in a PAT bus, or of making sure I have exact change all the time.  I hadn't had to scramble for quarters since I left the cash-sucking laundry room in my old apartment behind.  ($1.50 to wash, $1.50 to dry, and most loads needed two rounds in the dryer.  Renting has hidden expenses*.)

Anyway, yes, it will be a joy to have the public transportation system (near) freely at my disposal again.  We GSPIAns** are advised that it is best to go to the ID center early, so as to avoid the long lines of undergraduates later in the month.  That's right, I'm rolling VIP!

In the meantime...  I'll keep strategically paying cash whenever I can get nice $1 bills in change, and I'll continue to be shocked that transfers now cost a full dollar.  I remember when they were a quarter.  No, really.

I have a feeling my classmates will be asking me if I was at Forbes Field for Maz' World Series home run‡.

*On the other hand, homeownership meant a cool $30K of unexpected repairs right off the bat... so I guess it didn't exactly come out in the wash.  (Ha!  Wash! A little laundry humor there.  Very little.)

**Not my coinage.  It's growing on me, as is the "Gisspeeuh" pronunciation.

...and quoting Kevin Federline.  Nobody could be more surprised or horrified than me, Dear Reader.

‡  This is, of course, silly.  But to me, this "Posvar Hall" of which they speak will always be Forbes Quad.

July 18, 2011

Fortunate In Our Enemies

Big day... I received my very first piece of spam on my new business email address!  Some random clergyman allegedly wishes to send me a Camry, which I have to admit is a refreshing variation on the genre's Greatest Hits.

I don't like to tell anyone how to conduct their business <---LIE, but it seems to me that spammers blow a lot of social engineering opportunities.  Mind you, there are craftsmen in the trade--fellows who at least take the time to steal the IRS logo or construct a plausible-looking banking communique.  Evil and smart and industrious...  a thankfully rare combination.

For the most part, the public is fortunate that cons announce themselves with brass bands and fireworks.  Even the ripest potential mark has to shake his head at a missive insisting that, despite never having been overseas or having bought a lottery ticket, he has won the Irish Lotto.  Yes, Everyman, the United Nations wants to give you--you!--millions of dollars. Tales of your honest nature have wended their way into the rain forest, and a kind widow of a wise but deposed prince wishes to share the great man's riches with you.

You know what would actually work?  We wish to give you $100,000 so we can get at the Marcellus Shale via your petunia patch so give us your account and routing number please.

RELATED INTERNET CLASSIC:  Comeuppances and a handcarved Commodore 64...  What more could a Geek American want?

July 16, 2011

Radio Industry Dirt

This week, WDUQ is the host station for the major public broadcasting fundraising conference. Weird, right? Unto the point of surreal? Let's just say there have been a number of unanticipated bumps in the road since the day in 2007 we found out we'd get to host this event.

My compatriot Chuck Leavens and I have been spreading the word about PubMusic, of course.  The week has been productive and rewarding in many ways.

One of these is profoundly insignificant... but it really is the little things that keep you going.

Not long after I graduated college and started at WDUQ full-time, I attended my very first PRDMC.  It was so long ago that it was still known as the PRDMC--the Public Radio Development and Marketing Conference.  (In recent years, Media has supplanted Radio.  One harrumphs.)

In public broadcasting, as in any field, there are acronyms and traditions and quirks to get acclimated to.  Newbies at the P_DMC get a bit of a crash course during the annual Newcomers' Breakfast.

Someone was kind enough, lo those many years ago in Nashville, to explain the ribbons some attendees had stuck to their nametags.  There were obvious ones--SPEAKER, EXHIBITOR.  But one was delightfully inscrutable.  It simply said "OTD."

OTD, it turned out, stands for "Older Than Dirt."  After five years in the industry, you get to fly under the OTD banner.  (Five years=older than dirt?  Trust me, anyone who's been through a few pledge drives has aged in dog years.  My profile picture is quite flattering; in real life, I look like a tallish Yoda.)

Anyway, I am mightily pleased to report that this week, I acquired the coveted OTD ribbon.
There's a ribbon for real grizzled vets that says "I KNEW MARCONI."  Really.  God, I love this industry.

All this and getting to use the Wholey's lobster phone? The year has not been without its highs.

I found myself sitting in the William Penn lobby Friday evening with a couple of friends, enjoying the guitar stylings of Joe Negri and Eric Susoeff (as well as a scotch and soda or two).  And after all of the loss and pain of the last two years...  that was just about a perfect evening.  We're healing.  We're building great new things.  We have survived.

We're nothing if not scrappy.  Older than dirt, baby...  I've earned it.

July 11, 2011

The Only Constant

You know how couples feel like they can buy a really nice new couch once the kids grow up and fly the nest?  I always felt like Pitt was waiting for me to leave before they redded up.  I graduated, and all of a sudden...  glass replaced the plywood-covered windows in the Music Building!  Rose bushes and classy granite signs popped up all over campus.  They even scrubbed the grime off the Cathedral.  (I had always thought it was just really streaky sandstone.)

Over the years, Oakland has gradually become more updated and edited and polished.

They tore up the parking lot and put up paradise, or at least a lovely little park, between Hillman and Carnegie Libraries.  There's now a groomed, sloping lawn where Children's Hospital was.

No Tela Ropa!  No CJ Barney's!  (The Fun Police had killed off Zelda's months before I arrived on campus, sadly.)  No Dave's Music Mine!  Oh, the agonizing times I spent at Dave's Music Mine, evaluating which used cassette tapes to drop $3 on.

Oakland was the first Pittsburgh neighborhood I called home. I spent my freshman year in Lothrop Hall, an environment that forced some adaptation. Living halfway up Cardiac Hill--on the seventh floor of a building with iffy elevators--does wonders to help a girl fend off the Freshman Fifteen. I learned to mute my TV so the closed-captioning would pop up when medical helicopters landed at Presby. I pretended not to be creeped out that Lothrop was next-door neighbor to Scaife Hall, where the medical cadavers were dissected and ultimately cremated.

I walked a little further up the hill to Pitt Stadium for football games... sat in the stands and looked out at Pennsylvania Hall. I learned and heartily shouted the lyrics to the Pitt fight song ("Penn State sucks!  Penn State sucks!  P-E-N-N-S-T SUCKS!").  (Never mind that the Pitt football team was pretty awful when I was an undergrad... sports loyalty operates on its own internal logic of extended allegiances and socially acceptable bigotries.)

When some fool set off the fire alarm at 3AM, which happened A LOT, I knew how to escape from the building we were supposed to stay penned up in. Sneaky persons could find their way out through an attached parking garage that doesn't exist anymore. This was a deeply stupid thing to do, but I was eighteen and thus immortal.

Walking around in Oakland today, it felt very right and proper that the neighborhood has evolved in so many tangible ways.  My old stomping grounds haven't been preserved in a little time-proof bubble. Oakland is aging with wisdom and grace, which is about the best any of us can hope for.

July 10, 2011

Rocket Booster

I was the kind of kid who kept going back, maybe half a dozen times per visit, to touch the polished lunar rock at the Air & Space Museum.  I still look at the moon and think we've been there.  We?  Talk about unearned glory...  how much reflected light might one send out based on one's species' achievements?

Mankind had finished with the moon by the time I came along.  That and the Beatles.  That's why Gen Xers are so bitter--we caught all the cool stuff in reruns.

Watching the final Space Shuttle launch the other day, I felt a lot of the things you'd fully expect--respect for the passing of yet another era; nostalgia for a youth in which I was not yet aware of how my woeful inability to do calculus would cut in on my future as an astronaut.  (That, and... uh... my fear of flying.)

I found myself turning over in my mind the divide between what we hope and what we expect and what actually happens.  Even the vehicle's name, "Shuttle," spoke of the full expectation that the program would make space travel a commonplace.  There was never anything routine about that great, lumbering, incongruously fragile apparatus.  

If, in some alternate universe, NASA had formed at the end of World War II, introduced a vehicle, and ended that program essentially unchanged around my birth, I would be hard pressed to think of that project as cutting-edge.   When you think about how long the Shuttle has run, it really should seem utterly archaic.   And yet...  letting the program lapse feels like a step back.  Even though it never even took anybody to the moon.

There's always talk that the space program has been a hopelessly wasteful indulgence.  Sometimes, I almost believe it.  But the best justification for leaping from gravity's bonds is not the incidental technological innovations; it is not aerospace jobs nor even Florida's tourism industry.  It's that we can collectively look at the moon and think we've been there.  It's that we can look at that amazing picture of Earth, blue and green island in the seas of dead space, and see how small and fragile and interdependent we really are.  It's that human imagination is utterly captivated by something as boundless and deep and weird as the Universe is...  and the fact that the more we discover, the less we know.  The space program has given us the priceless, shining, irreplaceable gift of perspective.

Here's hoping this species never stops its impractical dreaming.  It's the only thing that keeps us grounded.

July 9, 2011

Oh No, Not Again. (Again.)

I came home last night to find a folded Xerox stuck between the entry doors. Naturally, I assumed it was a tract from the Witnesses, or possibly a Chinese menu, or maybe even a missive from Golden Panda Palace of Dim Sum and Faith Healing.

But no, no.  It was news of something far more invasive than a door-to-door proselytizer, something that has a statistically negligible chance of causing an order of shrimp toast to appear at Castle Secondmost.

They are shooting a stupid bloody movie on my block again.

This is the definition of a First World Problem, no?  My own shallow selfishness acknowledged, let the whining continue...

Film crews... they're not trying to be a pain in the butt.  However, there's nothing convenient about a multimillion-dollar production taking place in a residential area.  Quite aside from the fact that it's already a challenge navigating this narrow, one-way street, I can of course kiss normality goodbye for the duration.  Hello, flunky with a clipboard, I would like to get back into my own home now; I promise you I'm not trying to meet Maggie Gyllenhaal.  Good morning, lighting guy; please ignore my PJs as I grab the paper off the stoop.

Anyway, this Steel Town better be good.  I can look back at the Wonder Boys shoot somewhat fondly because I did actually enjoy the movie quite a bit. (That helps, really it does...  I would be totally pissed if I'd gone through several months of inconvenience for that godawful Mysteries of Pittsburgh adaptation which was missing large chunks of plot and major characters and also more generally a reason to exist.)

On the upside, it's only a matter of time before one of those giant Haddad's trucks parks on my next-door neighbor's curb.

Hmmm.  OK, Hollyweird, bring it on!

July 7, 2011

I DARE You To Walk Away Uninspired

"You treat people like human beings, it increases the likelihood that they're going to behave that way.  It's a very simple idea.  But what Manchester Bidwell is is a culture as much as it is a program.  It's a way of thinking about music, it's a way of thinking about clay, about vocational education, about horticulture, in a holistic way in which everyone is included and no one is excluded....
"The easiest way to tell the story is to tell the truth.  You don't have to invent anything.  All you can do is reflect on what it is that you know.  And I have devoted my life to certain principles--excellence, equality, and participation in community.  Those are principles that drive my work at Manchester, and Bidwell...  Truth matters.  Integrity matters.  You know the world's got many, many troubles.  But the music that we've created, the culture that we've created, is a calm, quiet place of orderliness where gentleness and thoughtfulness still prevail..."

More of Bill Strickland's thoughtful interview with Tony Mowod is available to listen to here.


He's a cat.  Ian is my cat.

July 6, 2011

On The Air, Online, On Time!

So...  there seems to be a bit of excitement about this PubMusic thing, huh?

We're going to launch the syndicated PubJazz service and the online Pittsburgh Jazz Channel on August 1, 2011.  It's happening, folks...  there's been an enormous amount of work done in the last few days, and the project is taking shape beautifully.  It's an exciting (and tiring) moment to be part of!  

I am very pleased to tell you that the secure pledge page is up and ready for business at pubradio.net.  Your contribution at any level is an enormous help in the battle to keep jazz radio alive and well.  

(Your premium will come in the form of a top-notch local online jazz service-- sorry, no coffee mugs or umbrellas yet.  How 'bout we get this thing off the ground, and Auntie Bee promises to see what she can do next year?)

Thanks from everyone at PubMusic for the amazing support--from personal conversations to emails to Facebook...  it's been good for the soul.

July 5, 2011

Cloudy With A Chance Of Pyrotechnics

Thanks to the humid air, to say the smoke from the fireworks hung around last night is something of an understatement.  Here's a view from Mount Washington after the finale--you can just see parts of Downtown on the right.

July 1, 2011

You Didn't Really Think Tony Mowod Was Leaving Radio, Did You?

I am finally, finally able to share with you the nature of the mystery project.

PubMusic is an independent, Pittsburgh-based, nationally-distributed radio programming service made up largely of former DUQ staffers--including, as you by now have surmised, the one and only Tony Mowod.  Station voice and engineering genius Chuck Leavens is managing the organization, running the technological underpinnings, and also hosting.  Other voices familiar to the DUQ audience include former afternoon jazz host Evelynn Hawkins, overnighter extraordinaire John Lasanich, and former DUQ PD Dave Becker.   The he-thought-he-was-out-but-we-pulled-him-back-in award goes to Scott Hanley. We're hugely excited to have the great Bobby Jackson on the team.  Rounding out the list (so far) is an amazing woman whose voice you may not know yet, but will be awfully glad to: Joan Swanson, who is a top-notch broadcaster who has worked tirelessly to further the cause of jazz programming.

We're launching a hosted 24-hour jazz service on August 1, 2011.  More formats are being developed.

And near and dear to my heart are our plans to offer online jazz programming at pittsburghjazzchannel.net.  Anyone who has been in a new car recently understands how far internet radio has progressed--this programming is going to be portable and accessible in a way that HD never was and likely never will be.

By the way, just to avoid confusion--this is a separate effort from (and not a competitor to) Bill Strickland's plans to start a new jazz station.  It's fantastic that multiple innovations are coming out of this extraordinary upheaval, and I know that the cooperative spirit of the Pittsburgh jazz community is going to powerfully support this music in many more ways than one.

Jazz lives.  Pittsburgh sure as hell was never going to let it die.

WDUQ 1949-2011

"For Lena and Lennie," one last time.

The very last song played on Tony Mowod's Jazz on the Nightside--and on WDUQ as we knew it--was Gene Ludwig's rendition of "What Is This Thing Called Love?"  Seems right.

You can listen to the last moments of WDUQ here.