Saturday, November 23, 2002

Grambling-Southern Rivalry On NBC

In much the same way that the Daytona 500 is just another NASCAR race, the annual football game between two of America's Historically Black Colleges, Grambling State and Southern University, is just another football game... that happens to have a wild halftime show wrapped around it, featuring both schools' marching bands. (It's officially known as the 29th Annual State Farm Bayou Classic.)

The bands' primary showcase has actually become the Friday evening performances (with a Greek stepping show added) in the New Orleans Superdome. The Grambling Marching Tigers and the Southern Human Jukebox are arguably the two best college marching bands in America, bar none. Combining the traditional marching band stylings with equal does of soul, funk and even hip-hop, both schools arduously prepare and drill to put on the best show they can. This is not to say that the halftime show during the actual Saturday game takes a back seat. The formation to watch for at this game every year is Southern's band spelling out the game's halftime score on the field. No matter the score, the drill is always perfect and I've never seen them flub it up. The weekend also features a Saturday evening concert, a Friday afternoon job fair, and a fan fest that runs all day Saturday.

The game this year is expected to be a one-sided affair, with Grambling (10-1) winning all but their first game this season and Southern eking out a 5-6 record. With Eddie Robinson's retirement some years ago, Grambling's program is now under the helm of former Tiger QB Doug Williams, who went on to a successful NFL career that saw him earn Super Bowl MVP honors.

The game - and those bands - will air Saturday, November 30 beginning at 2:00 p.m. on NBC.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

That Other Dave Mackey

How do you like this? I've got competition!

I have found out there is a, and it's not me. It's another guy named Dave Mackey, from the great Midwest. He registered the domain name on March 17, 2001, but hasn't put anything up on his page just yet.

Listen To This!

This is the first album from the Brass Tacks, "Live & Kickin'". Please visit the Music Page for all pertinent details.

Sunday, November 10, 2002

Joe Dante Doesn't Read My Website

From a print interview with "Looney Tunes: Back In Action" director Joe Dante:
Most of the humor in the original Looney Tunes cartoons was for adults; it's only in recent years that cartoon characters were juvenilized. My 10-year-old niece can watch one of Tex Avery's Bugs cartoons from 1943 and still laugh.
I'm laughing too, because Dante is blissfully unaware that by 1943, Avery had been shipped out of Termite Terrace and was over in Culver City making cartoons for M-G-M.

Saturday, November 09, 2002

Disney Wants To Monopolize Your Kids' Entertainment Options

This LA Times article notes that the current #1 song on Radio Disney is a sprightly little tune called "I Can't Wait", by that well known songstress, Hillary Duff.

What? Who?

Turns out that Hillary Duff is the actress that plays Lizzie McGuire on the Disney Channel TV show aimed toward adolescent teens. And it also turns out that no other radio stations in the country are playing this song, only the 56 Radio Disney stations nationwide.

What gave me a real laugh in the article is that the director of programming for Radio Disney says, "Now, it's Hilary Duff that kids want to hear. It doesn't matter that she's signed to Disney. We don't need to disclose it."

That's where you're wrong, lady. On two counts.

1. Kids don't want to hear Hillary Duff. If kids wanted to hear Hillary Duff, every other radio PD and MD in the country would have run with this record. Nobody bit.

2. It does matter that she's signed to Disney. Radio Disney plays what it wants to force on its young, impressionable listeners, and it is always product that the company itself can profit from in other ways. If you watch enough of the Disney Channel on television, you will find the same attitude there - its marketing strategies almost always exclude entertainment options from other companies (i.e. Nickelodeon, Warner Bros., Universal, etc.) Try watching their "Movie Surfers" interstitials for info on the upcoming Harry Potter movie. Since it is not a Disney product, it does not exist in the Disney empire. This is dangerous and is possibly in violation of anti-trust statutes.

I have never allowed Radio Disney to be on my car stereo, because they have in the past censored or re-recorded versions of hit songs to "sanitize" them for the young audience. Now I have even more ammunition to say no.