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Houston Radio Still Sucks

David Sadof shares his dream station with Racket

Fans of Sadof's “Lunar Rotation” show on the old Buzz and defunct station The Rocket will already know this, but his dream station — his is called “KDAV” — is a lot less elaborate than mine. (And realistically, probably more viable.) His would pretty much confine itself to the old-school alternative rock he has played since 1981, and the bands that music has directly inspired. “A bunch of bands that start with ‘C,'” he says. “Costello, the Clash, the Cult, the Church, the Cure. None of those bands are getting played anywhere here anymore, pretty much, or if they are, it's just one song.” And judging by the list of bands on his MySpace page (myspace.com/thelastdj), he would also be spinning newer bands like the Arctic Monkeys, Ash, Tapes N' Tapes and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs as well.

A station like Sadof's might not be a ratings blockbuster on the level of the Box or Majic 102, but could it do any worse than the Point? If you are going to draw ratings as lousy as the Point's, wouldn't you rather do it playing songs like Sadof is touting instead of the Point's insomnia-curing mélange of Boston, Genesis, “Sunglasses at Night,” Billy Idol and freaking “The Heat of the Moment”? What's more, there's infinitely more upside to Sadof's proposition. A station like KDAV could conceivably do very well. After all, it's not like huge numbers of Houstonians are gonna wake up tomorrow and think, “You know, it's been way too long since I last heard Men Without Hats and A Flock of Seagulls. I think I'm gonna tune into the Point and rip out the knob.”

Scuttlebutt Caboose

So I attended my first ever musical “house party,” wherein a touring artist plays at the home of a fan. In this case, it was Nashville alt-country songwriter Mark Germino, who performed in the high-rise home of local performer Lise Liddell. Dug the show, and even more so Germino's stories. The singer is an avid Wiffle Ball player, has a stadium in his backyard, plays in an established league and all that, and one day, he managed to wangle having Harmon Killebrew over for a game. (Killebrew hit 573 Major League home runs and is in the Hall of Fame. He is also rumored to be the guy Major League Baseball used a model for that silhouette that is the symbol for the league.) “He didn't really want to play,” Germino remembered. “He just watched us for a long time. We begged him to get in there and bat, and he finally did. He took three or four pitches and then just hit a rocket down the third baseline foul. I have never seen a Wiffle Ball hit that hard in all my life. Then he just went back over to the sidelines and started watching again”ÉCaught a rehearsal of the Umbrella Man on Sunday night. This is the new project that combines the forces of Nick Gaitan of Los Skarnales, Geoffrey Muller of Medicine Show and fiddler Hilary Sloan. Interesting stuff — they play a mix of old-time country, blues, klezmer, Gypsy swing, covers and originals like the blues Muller sang about his no-account former roommate, the Kaiser Soze of the Houston music scene Hambone, who is currently a denizen of the Texas Department of Criminal JusticeÉLater that night, I caught a couple of tunes from Son Volt at their sold-out Continental Club show, before heading over to Third Ward to see what Etta's Lounge had put in to replace Grady Gaines and the Texas Upsetters, which turned out to be nothing, no music at all, at least last Sunday. Sad.

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