All in Columns
When Mariah Carey released the soundtrack to “Glitter” in 2001 — September 11, 2001, to be exact — it flopped. I mean, it was universally viewed as a commercial and critical failure. The album debuted at number seven on the US Billboard 200 chart, it was by far Mariah’s worst first-week performance to date—moving just 116,000 units. At the time, that was abysmal for one of the biggest stars in the world.
According to Jacobs Media, one of the nation’s leading media consulting and research firms, between 30 and 45 percent of radio listeners say they do not listen to podcasts.
Mr. Rogers famously said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers.’”
I set out to mount a 49” television on my wall. No one would mistake it for a success.
You may have seen it on Twitter — the #UnpopularOpinion meme.
“The bassoon is underrated,” for example. Or “Foo Fighters – Everlong is better than any Nirvana song ever recorded.” Or “Tony Stark is overrated.” Or “People overuse and abuse coffee and when they don't have it, they use it as an excuse to be unnecessarily rude.” Or, most abhorrently, “Flat sheets are an unnecessary step that should not exist when it comes to making a bed.”
I once heard an episode of the WNYC podcast “Radiolab” which featured a young woman named Amy Pearl. Amy was an avid carnivore; she loved a good porterhouse steak or rack of lamb. She loved hot dogs and burgers, fresh off the grill.
Kanye is alternately vulnerable and narcissistic. But lately, I’m having a harder time defending him. I didn’t think there's anything particularly profound about the SNL performance. In fact, the past couple of albums have been sub-par, in my opinion — or at least not my cup of tea.
Several times a week, someone will walk into my office and say, “You know… Your computer might run a little faster if you closed about 20 of those tabs.”
This week, for some reason, it’s simply impossible for me to decide on a single topic for this column. So, instead, I’m inclined to share a hodgepodge of the things that have occupied my attention in the past week or so — things that I believe are worthy of yours.
From a personal perspective, Alexa has come to dominate much of my home entertainment pursuits. For Christmas, I received an Echo Dot. Because the sound quality on the Echo Dot lacks something to be desired, I hooked it up to my home stereo system. Fixed.
It all started with Ronan Farrow’s blockbuster reporting on media mogul Harvey Weinstein in “The New Yorker.”
When the legendary Aretha Franklin passed away two weeks ago at age 76, she reportedly left no will or trust. That’s kind of a big deal, because it means her estate — and any planned releases — could be caught up in probate court for the foreseeable future.
Perhaps the exclamation point on the #MeToo movement occurred over the weekend, when “The Billionaire Boys Club” got its theatrical debut. The new film, which stars Kevin Spacey alongside an ensemble cast, earned just $126 on opening day. That’s right. That’s not a typo — only $126 on Friday.
It’s called "The Great American Read" — an upcoming eight-part series on PBS that examines and celebrates America’s 100 best-loved novels — and it debuts, in earnest, next month. The novels were chosen through a nationwide survey conducted by the public opinion polling service YouGov, which surveyed about 7,200 participants.
If you know me, you know that I love a good podcast. I’ve recently discovered a new one, which I’d like to share with you.
It’s called “Caught,” and it is produced by WNYC in New York City. Hosted by Kai Wright, the nine-episode series looks at a number of young offenders caught up in America’s juvenile justice system. And it’s actually pretty compelling.
I first heard the name Joyner Lucas last week. Sitting in Klein Park with a friend who raps and writes poetry, he pulled out his phone and said, “Hey, check this out.”
He pulled up the video for Lucas’ “I’m Not Racist” on YouTube — which now has nearly 82 million views — and I was blown away.
I have a confession. I’ve got 104,440 unread emails right now — an actual number, not an attempt at humor by way of hyperbole. There are a whole bunch of reasons for this.
First, I’ve had the same email address for more than 12 years. Over that time, the emails have sort of piled up. For eight of those years, I served as music director for a radio station — a job that generates a lot of unsolicited email. (I still get 15 to 20 of those emails each day.)