drunken lirr adam carolla podcast blogging

February 23, 2009

Hey guys. So, I went out to a bar on Nassau Street for a drink (or 5) with my buddy. I’m writing this on my blackberry while coming home on the LIRR. I heard adam’s podcast earlier today and I actually really liked it. Adam came off extremely honest, genuine and very funny without trying to be so. His opening line about the podcasting experiment being either a sucess or embarrasment was great.

So, a couple of points:
He needs a live show. He needs to interact with callers. Put the live show on the internet, somewhere.
Put the show as a torrent. Why should Adam pay for distribution costs when he has such loyal friends who will do it for free!
I love that Adam is taking his show directly to the people. Fuck the terrestrial radio management! I think I like the idea of the podcast more than the show itself (adam was really funny though)
Overall, I enjoyed the show and will download it again!

Also, I would love for Howard to do this, but he is too corporate at this point I hate to say it, but he is no longer the renegade that he portrays himself as. Maybe its the jack and coke talking, but I would love for Howard to do what Adam is doing. However, I know the reality, he is part of the corporate system he used to rail against now. Too bad.

I hope the post makes sense in the morning. Heavy editing will probably be needed.


Adam Carolla’s Podcast-Viable radio model?

February 23, 2009

I was just thinking, about Carolla and the move exclusively to podcasting; short term, it is quite obviously a “loser” move.  Who wants to be on a “podcast” only?  The most important downgrade is the lack of live audience.  How would the host interact with the listeners?  Also, now a consumer has to “download” the podcast, therefore adding a barrier.  No longer “just” turning in is enough.  These problems are not without solutions, though.  Its pretty cheap to have a broadcast over the internet.  If Eric the midget can have an internet show, so can Adam Carolla.  As for downloads-you have to live under a rock not to know that the Stern Show is the most “shared” broadcast and obviously there are a lot of people who would gladly fill up their MP3 players with content. And judging by this from Huffinton Post, Adam Carolla has some great fans, who might go the extra mile.

What about some other implications?  First, no FCC.  No middle-man. No terrestrial radio executives.  But more importantly, Hi-Speed Internet coverage is growing faster than Satellite Radio. (I-phones as an example)   A internet-only show can be successful, with The Young Turks as a prime example. The internet took down the music industry, crippled the TV, Movie and Gaming industries.  Maybe radio, both Terrestrial and Satellite, are next on the list.

I think that even though Adam Carolla’s show is being a podcast out of necessity, it is being forced to be ahead of the curve. It will benefit in the long run from establishing itself as a native to the internet. That will allow the show to react to its listeners needs, (their blog is carollaradio.com where anyone can post a comment) and naturally evolve with the medium.  Plus, Adam Carolla is a genuine talent with a solid resume and talent is shown to shine on the “tubes” (see funny or die)

I have never heard the Adam Carolla Show but I think that I will have to download the show later today to check it out.

*Edit:

The very first Adam Carolla Podcast is now up!

Via CarollaRadio

**Edit:

Major disappointment.  What is the point of a podcast if you can’t put it on your ipod?  Or am i missing something?

***Edit:

So, I CAN put in on my Ipod.  All I had to do is look for instructions, located here.  Hopefully ill figure this out before going out to lunch.  If I don’t listen at lunch, I probably won’t be able to listen at all (with the Stern show coming back this week)

****Edit:

I have it on my Ipod and going to lunch now.  Will have a review afterwards.  Haven’t heard a radio show other than Stern and Mike and the Maddog (together and separately) in about 10 years now.


Sirius XM is a failure

February 11, 2009

When Howard Stern left K-Rock for a hefty payday of $500 mil, he immediately became a poster-boy for Satellite Radio. From that point on, it was obvious that Sirius and Stern’s fates are tied together. Well, today we got the news that Sirius XM will file for bankruptcy. Tomorrow we will see dozens of reports painting Sirius as failure for getting Stern, and for Stern being a failure for Sirius XM. In my opinion, hiring Stern was one of the right moves made by the company. Howard Stern not only brought in buzz and excitement to the medium, he fulfilled his promise by bringing along millions of subscribers. He is a radio personality coming to do radio. Plus, If we do simple math, then each million of subscribers bring in $144 million/year to the company. If Howard Stern brought in 2 million subscribers, that translates to $288 milliion/year. His deal, if you remember, is about $500 million for 5 years, plus (now worthless) stock. That deal is a winner.
Here is where 2 major mistakes were made:

1. Stars, and lots of them! Oprah, Martha Stewart, Jamie Foxx, Eminem. These names cost a lot of money. Sure, “Oprah coming to XM” is a good headline, but was it worth it? Oprah is not a radio personality and being one is not that easy. Remember David Lee Roth? Besides, Oprah did 30 minutes a week. The rest was filler. Millions upon millions of dollars down the radio drain.

2. Trying to compete with an Ipod was the greatest mistake, however. I don’t think Sirius ever figured out in what business they are in, content or hardware. Sure you need Sirius Xm-ready car stereos, but people do not spend all of their time in the car and radio is a habitual entertainment. The Stilletto was the answer to the Ipod. It was ugly, bulky and you had to wear a satellite antenna on the head. Riiiiiiiiiight. Why wasn’t there a genius up there in the managment of both companies saying: “we have hours and hours of original content, and the smallest Ipod is 4 GB, which comes off the shelf COMPLETELY EMPTY!!!” Sirius XM should have set up an I-Tunes like platform and become the go-to place for ipod fill. No imagination at all.

The mindless and shortsighted signing of non-radio stars got the company into a huge financial hole. However, failure to connect people’s MP3 players with the Sirius XM content was a monumental disaster from which the company will not be able to recover from unless addressed in immediate future.


Sirius XM bankrupcy possible!

February 11, 2009

I had some links saved from earlier in the day, but they will have to wait. there are some MAJOR news. Siriux XM is just days away from bankruptcy, New York Time says. Here is the AP report.

Ofcourse, tomorrow we will have hundreds of reports, putting the blame straight on Howard Stern and the 500 million dollar offer. However, the only immediate editorial i found was actually fair
“The expense and inconvenience of combining a $150 piece of hardware–or several, if you want to listen at home and in your car–with a monthly service contract. The robotic, generic onslaught of dozens of channels, which completely wastes the intimate, conversational quality of radio. The rise of the iPod and podcasting”-that sounds 60% right. Hardware, monthly contract, and the biggest one-Ipod. In fact, the only reason in my mind is they actually tried to compete with Ipods. And “conversational quality of radio”? Clear Channel? Really? 2 out of three, not bad.
Still, the writer goes off the deep end…”People like to have hundreds of TV channels because it’s a passive activity for which expectations are generally set really low”-riiight. And some other usual non-sense, like having a lot of commercial free music is actually annoying.

But the point that I want to make is that the blame would be wrongly set at Howard Stern’s feet. He will be thoughtlessly lumped in with other celebrities that were hired by Sirius and XM. Yes, Martha Stewart, you. And you, Oprah. You too, Jaime Foxx. None of these celebrities are radio personalities. None of them should have been hired in the first place. Sirius XM is radio, and did right by hiring radio talent such as Howard Stern, Bubba the Lovesponge, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, Cousin Brucie. That are the right moves that did not look sexy on the paper, but were prudent and wise. That is the kind of talent a radio company should have invested more. Can you imagine if instead of Martha Stewart, Sirius hired “Mike and the MadDog” without breaking up the best sports radio team? They could have used that money to lure radio personalities. Instead, they went for the names that sold newspapers. Hundreds of channels should have been filled by professionals, and not amateur celebrities. After all, how did David Lee Roth do on CBS after Sterns departure?
Howard Stern will get his lumps tomorrow. However, us fans and subscribers of the Satellite Radio, see whose fault the bankruptcy is, and it is not with genuine radio talent. Howard Stern brought in millions of radio subscriptions and did great radio. His deal paid for itself.

Edit:

Bent Corner is right on the money:

In my opinion, the whole merger has been a complete disaster. The two services, XM and Sirius, are still run like two separate entities. If you are a Sirius or XM subscriber, the only thing that has really changed is that you can now pay extra to receive a few channels from the “other” company. They refer to this as the “Best Of” package. The fact that you have to pay extra to receive channels from the “other” company seemingly cancels out the notion that Sirius XM is now one single company.


Best Show Ever

February 7, 2009

What makes the Howard Stern show as good as it is?

As you might know, there is some criticism around the “internet” and traditional media about Howard Stern, such as that he is getting too old, or too rich and unable to connect to the audience.  Or that he is no longer funny. The critics often miss the point though.  Even if their criticism sometimes correct, it is misplaced and completely misses the context of the show.

Listening to the early days of the Show on Mastertape Theater, it is obvious that Howard used to be a completely different man.  He used to be shot out of a cannon.  He was fast-paced, non-stop, going 100 miles an hour raw human energy.  The reason for his success is that he could and had the balls to convey that on the radio.  Hearing to old Howard badgering Gary over non-sense was downright painful to listen to.  The moment where Stern made Ba-Ba-Booey repeat after him made me want to shut off my radio.  That is not the Howard Stern I know!

You see, I am a fairly younger fan who only became a superfan with the move with Sirius.  I was always a fan, but not the kind who knew the inside and outs of the Show.  Early on, I listened with pre-disposition that the Show has to be constantly funny, shocking, or provoking.  I did not know or understand his characters.  And listening to the tapes, its tough to think that  many regular major characters Howard created in the old days.  After all, it was ALL about him.  And those commercial breaks (I remember how bad those commercial breaks were).  Today, it is almost all about the supporting cast.  And he “kinda” faded to the background to become a Master puppeteer.  He obviously emphasized his staff ahead of himself (complaints about this turning into an “Artie” show makes it obvious).  Howard can no longer be judged on how funny his bits or phone calls are.  He has to be graded on the performance of his supporting cast.  Does he get the most out of Artie, Robin, Fred, J.D.?  How well is he pulling the strings.

Exhibit A: (out of a hundred) Artie Lange

How great is Artie Lange?  Immensely!  Now, let’s get real.. Howard Stern has a drug addict not almost making (almost) every show, but gets him to reveal his innermost feelings.  It could take a day, week or a year.  The real feelings are coming out, and sooner then later.  And when they do…GREAT RADIO.  And it doesn’t matter if its funny or not.  Its thrilling, and a lot of times you just find yourself laughing as well.  Not all of it is by design.  Artie admitting the use of heroin was by chance.  A fan in the studio said something about heroin addiction, and Artie chimed that he could help.  Howard then coaxed the tearful and heartfelt admission about Artie’s drug use.

There are dosens of fully developed characters on the show, from Robin to Grillo.  When a drive-by listener tunes in for 10 minutes, he or she probably expect to be blow away either way-if hes is always funny or gross.  Whatever the predesposition is, if those elements are not present, the criticism is quickly formed.  Is he old? Whats with the bitchin’ around? where is the funny?  The answer is that Howard is simply not the same person he was.  He is now an elder stateman of radio.  He is the Grand Master of two channels (its kinda appropriate that he now enjoys chess, now that I think).  Instead of being the greatest show on earth, he is runnig one.


The “Artie” dilemma

February 3, 2009

In his book, Mike Walker says:

“…I realized Stern was a genius, flying by the seat of his pants and creating something new that changed the world of entertainment.  He spawned Reality TV.  As for Reality Radio, he owns it.  He was brilliant at drawing characters out, defining and polishing them.  And these characters have become household words famous in their won right-Robin, BaBa-Boo-ey, Stuttering John, Artie, Fred…..”

I whole heartedly agree with Mike’s brilliant assesment.  The reason why the show works is because Stern allows his characters to be real.  But, when does Real become too Real?

The facts are simple, Artie Lange is a heroin addict.  He has been addicted to drugs for his entire adult life, however Howard repeatedly states that he does not have a problem with this.  But why should he?  If we take Mike Walker’s quote at face value, we see why.  For Howard, there is no longer an “Artie Lange” individual; but Artie Lange, a character on the show who is addicted to drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and gambling.  He has an opportunity that most Reality TV producers only dream of-a fully functioning heroin addict and hours upon hours to kill on the air.

When Artie is in (it only seems like he misses a lot of days), he creates simply great radio.  His one-liners are biting and funny.  They are just as genius as Fred’s sound clips in the background.  He is also a master story-teller, and as a drug addict has plenty of stories to tell.  Artie’s interactions with staff and audience is also fascinating.  Fights with Howard, Sal and Teddy are infamous.  The interaction with fans is great as well.  Who knew that Artie speaks to Ass-Napkin Ed and Hanzi on the regular basis?

But what about when Artie is out?  Does the radio show suffer?  The answer is a “no”  First of all, there is endless speculation about Artie that makes for terrific radio.  I love hearing fans bash Howard for not taking care of his “bro”.  Besides, Howard and Robin are pros and have much to discuss even when Artie is out.

So, to get back on the topic, what should Howard do about “Artie Dilemma”?  There are two possible solutions; do nothing and enjoy the ride, or to give some tough love and send him to rehab to get healthy.  And my answer is this:  who is Howard?  If Mike Walker is right, then he should do nothing and reap the benefits.  Every time this question is brought up, Stern claims that he doesn’t mind the drug addiction as long as Artie does his job.  That would put his actions into category of doing nothing.  I guess Artie and Howard aren’t “bro’s” after all.


Hello world!

January 25, 2009

If you are reading this, then welcome to The Craptacular!  This is the place where I would like to post my thoughts and raves on my love and passion-The Howard Stern Show.
I began listening to the show a very long time ago, pretty much after I came to America.   When I moved here from Russia, I was immediately devouring the American Culture.  One of the movies that stood out was Private Parts.  The story of a renegade disc jokey appealed to me right away.
I think I was 13 or 14 and I had to walk to High School every day.  I decided that I had to listen to pop culture stuff at the time because I did not grow up in the country, and had difficult time connecting to my classmates, so I listened to FM radio on the way there.  I usually listened to Z100 and the Z-morning zoo.  I remember it being a bland show, with some music and some celebrity news but it got me the knowledge of current music and at least allowed me to talk to my peers about SOMETHING.  One day, while listening to the borefest while walking, I had a revelation; what if the renegade jockey is still on the air?  After scanning the dial, I found what I was looking for.  Come to think, I was lucky they were not in a terrible 30 minute K-Rock commercial break.  But to say that I was hooked immediately would not be correct.  I listened because of the movie.  If I did not see the movie first, I do not think I would become a fan.
I was a casual listener until the Show moved to Sirius.  By that time, I already had Sirius Satellite Radio.  I recieved a Car Stereo as a gift for my 18th birthday.  It just happened to be Sirius Ready.  I decided to give it a try.  I immediately enjoyed my new toy for the following reasons:
1.  A great crystal clear reception.  There was no more static or bleeding over.
2.  24 hour commercial-free music.  Do I have to explain how great that concept is?  The song name/artist displayed on the dashboard was a cherry on top.
3.  Coast-to-Coast coverage.  Driving up and down the throuway to college and back actually became enjoyable.
4.  Sirius Left. Thank you Young Turks!
So, the merging of my favorite radio host and my favorite radio provider was magic.  I was extremely excited about the move and Stern did not dissapoint.  From the opening moments of his new show, I was hopelessly hooked.
I do not want this website to be a day-to-day recaps of the show.  There are plenty of those in the blogosphere.  Nor do I want to have a link-o-rama website.  Those are valuable in the long run, but do not add any quality to the digital conversation.  I will try to use this corner of the cyberspace to add to the discourse and maybe prove to the world for once that not all of Stern’s fans are the ones who post on SternFanNetwork.