My name is John Richards. I'm the "morning guy" on 90.3 FM KCMU, public radio. I get up at 4:30am every day and program an eclectic mix of music to the best of my ability from 6 to 10 in the morning. I then go back to sleep.
Does that mean I know anything about reviewing music? Maybe. I know what I like, because what I like I play. What I don't like, I don't play. This is the formula I use each and every morning to compete with those "wacky" morning DJs elsewhere on the dial—a formula that introduces listeners to new and old music of every kind, allowing them to decide what they want to hear.
I might not be capable of stringing together adjective after adjective about a musician's brilliance or a band's place on earth as the greatest to ever set foot on a stage. What I can do is tip you off to some incredible music that you might miss if you leave it up to some jackass corporate machine to tell you what you like.
The first tip I have for you is to get ahold of the new release from the Promise Ring, Very Emergency, out on Jade Tree Records. I would tell you this is the ultimate pop album for the summer, but the leaves are starting to fall and I'm freezing my ass off by dinnertime. Maybe I don't know anything about reviewing music, but I know this album works from beginning to end—and it works well.
The Morning Show with John airs weekdays from 6 to 10am on KCMU, 90.3 FM. He's not sure when the other "wacky" morning DJs are on. Look for this column each and every week.
Countdown: Worst albums of the millennium
Air Supply, Greatest Hits (Arista, 1988) Being a 9-year-old in the Deep South sucked eggs, and no band brings back that egg-sucking feeling better than the lumbering, Adult Oriented Radio nightmare of Air Supply. Mention "Air Supply" and I picture that guy's shrunken, Afro/clown wig-accosted head, his little biting Australian teeth. It makes the skin on the back of my neck crawl off my body and drown itself in the toilet. Anyone even humming a note of "The One That You Love" stimulates a seven-day session of A Clockwork Orange-style writhing and vomiting alleviated only by high doses of Hawkwind and Agoraphobic Nosebleed. The song names read like a Who's Who in Absolute Stank: "Lost in Love," "All Out of Love," "The One that You Love," "Making Love Out of Nothing at All." And you know they blasted these songs everywhere in the early '80s—at the gas station, the wallpaper store, the airport, school dances—fetidly sweet harmonies sung by castrated half-manbeasts/half-KGB torture machines. Bass drum on the first beat, snare on the third, cymbal at the chorus, laxatives strewn liberally throughout the arrangements. Air Supply represents the ultimate depths of what music can become in the hands of responsible adults: Melody becomes sickly, emotion becomes a skeleton, and love becomes a dusty, abandoned bed. Uck, uck, a million times UCK!--Mark Driver