Good morning, everyone.
Call me old-fashioned, but listening to the radio can be nice sometimes. And I don't mean the stations like Lightning 100, the Big 98, or WKDF that play stuff you're as likely to run across on a Spotify's Discovery playlist as you are on the air. I mean the more obscure stations that as the rest of the music industry has shifted its focus to streaming linger behind like artifacts of a forgotten time.
I'm talking about stations like Roots Radio on 89.5, talk radio on 98.3 WLAC, and in a prior age, classical music on 91.1. I have many fond memories of late-night drives after long workdays as a youngster listening to 91.1 on the way home. There was something alien and comforting about it. It felt like a privilege to listen to. Things like that don't and didn't exist in the world. Like a flower through the concrete. Etc.
In 2020, 91.1 changed its callsign to WNXP and adopted a more commercial/contemporary sound relegating the classical music to a forgotten strand of HD radio that makes it less accessible. The sound of 91.1 is now undifferentiated from Lightning 100 or even 107.5 The River. The question I have this morning — and not to sound too much like a boomer — is why tax dollars are going to support commercial music. Purportedly, motivated by the success of “music discovery” stations around the country, the station is aimed at the very crowded 18 to 49 age group, particularly younger listeners who don't listen to the radio anyway.
There are, of course, economic incentives here. Nashville Public Radio CEO Steve Swenson says he hoped to roll out a more trafficked radio station to bring in more money and help him double the size of WPLN's staff to 25 by 2024.
Let's check in on that. It's been two years, and not only is 90% of the music on WNXP derivative and undifferentiated, but no one listens to it. WNXP consistently ranks at the bottom of Nashville's radio stations in terms of monthly listeners. Some months, it doesn't even register a score. The complaint about the former classical programming is that it only brought in 40,000 - 60,000 listeners a month. WNXP, by comparison, brings in somewhere around 20,000 listeners a month.
Additionally, WNXP has what looks like a more extensive production budget than any allotted to the classical station. Their YouTube page is full of under trafficked videos shot on a nice, colorful sound stage from acts like My Morning Jacket, alt-J, and Shannon & The Clams — all bands who receive more viewers in the highly trafficked "studio recordings" genre of music video that permeates the web and is typified by KEXP who basically have the market cornered.
Another complaint lobbed at the old classical station is that it siphoned off $250,000 annually. Financial information regarding WNXP's annual costs was not available at press time.
The whole thing reminds me of the Catholic Church forgoing the Latin Mass and skipping Meatless Fridays under the mistaken assumption that loosening the requirements and stripping Catholocism of its more, well, religious components would lead to more parishioners.
Something to consider.
Today, we recap last night's Metro Council meeting, look at the recent disqualification of two big names running in the 5th Congressional District, and look at some numbers on life expectancy in the US and who thinks Biden will run again in 2024.
Thanks for reading.
Edward Landstreet looks at a recent development in automobile manufacturing that requires automakers install a device to monitor and limit drivers.
OTHERS YOU MIGHT LIKE
- What's Dirt to You? by Davis Hunt (Read)
- The Death of the Home Mechanic by Edward Landstreet (Read)
- Fall in Love With Your Car by Davis Hunt (Read)
↩ Last Night in Metro City Council…
Nashville Metro City Council went through 108 pieces of legislation last night. Some highlights.
RS2022-1451 & RS2022-1452
Both of these resolutions passed which means the council authorized the purchase of the Antioch Global Mall site. $46M was granted to cover the purchase and it will house a medical care center and other facilities. Controversy around the speediness of this deal coordinated by Councilmember Styles and Mayor Cooper has drummed up suspicion regarding the purchase and project. (More Info)
The annual state of Metro address was approved and will be held on April 27th at 10 a.m. at the Southeast Community Center.
1451 Sponsors Styles, Porterfield, Allen, Withers, Johnston, and Parker
1452 Sponsors Allen
RS2022-1497 & RS2022-1494
Both resolutions were approved which reinstate the Music City Music Council and $260K of American Rescue Plan Act funds that will help identify strategies and assist independent music venues recovering from the impacts of the pandemic. (More Info)
1497 Sponsors Syracuse, Evans, and Allen
1494 Sponsors Johnston, Sepulveda, Gamble, Syracuse, Sledge, Welsch, Allen, Evans, and Styles
This resolution passed and approved a half of a million dollar grant to continue enhancing DUI enforcement and the targeting of distracted driving and seat belt enforcement.
1493 Sponsors Allen and Evans
This bill was approved on third reading and adds a definition of what ‘personally identifiable information’ means in Metro’s LPR (license plate reader) bill. The ordinance will allow the definition to be ‘the image of a license plate, the time and location stamp of an image of a license plate, and the make, model, and color of the vehicle associated with an image of a license plate.’ This means it will not include things like age, race, gender, any personal information collected, etc.
1114 Sponsors Mendes, Evans, Rosenberg, Allen, Welsch, Suara, Cash, Bradford, Parker, and Benedict
↯ THE THRILLER IN THE FIFTH
The Pamphleteer received confirmation from TNGOP State Executive Committee member, Beverly Knight-Hurley, that Morgan Ortagus, Robby Starbuck, and Baxter Lee did not meet the qualifications to appear on the 5th district ballot to run for the 2022 United States House of Representatives race. This comes on the heels of this year’s Tennessee General Assembly that passed a bill on March 29th that requires candidates who run for the U.S. Senate or the U.S. House of Representatives to be residents of the state for three years. The bill was turned into law on April 14th without Governor Bill Lee’s signature.
A lawsuit has already been filed claiming the new Tennessee bill is unconstitutional. The candidates will surely be holding their breath regarding its outcome. Candidates may also try to sign up as write-in candidates. Submission as a write-in has a deadline of 50 days prior to the election a candidate wishes to participate in. Because these candidates would be rejected by the Republican party if they tried to add themselves as a Republican write-in, they would probably have to run as an independent. Even so, the new law would technically disqualify them either way.
Read more about this dramatic turn of events here.
Here are the candidate's first reactions to the decision:
- ⭐️ Economists disagree with numbers in Tennessee Titans stadium impact report (Center Square) The state of Tennessee is relying on skewed economic impact data while trying to make a case for a publicly-funded new stadium for the Tennessee Titans.
- Councilmember fears hotel-motel tax bump could bring 'unintended consequences' to locals in hotels (Channel 5) Metro Councilmember Erin Evans is worried about the extra money people living temporarily in hotels will have to shell out.
- BNA rids its mask policy after federal ruling (Channel 5) Amid rulings in federal court challenging a mask mandate for public transportation, Nashville International Airport officials said they will no longer require masks.
- Tennessee has collected $2.5 billion in excess tax revenue so far this year (Center Square) The state collected $1.6 billion in March, which is $348.8 million more than budgeted and $286.8 million more than last year.
- Tres is out on leave: Wittum joins 5th District race (TNJ) Tres Wittum, an aide to state Senate Finance Chair Bo Watson (R-Chattanooga), has joined the field seeking the Republican nomination for the open 5th Congressional District Seat.
- Lawmakers seek to reduce penalties for HIV criminal exposure law (WPLN) At the height of the HIV epidemic in the ’80s and early ’90s, many states created these criminal penalties, although activists have long said they are harmful because of their punitive nature.
- Nashville bar request for diversity training requirement denied (Post) The Tennessee Supreme Court last week denied the Nashville Bar Association’s request that attorneys in the state be required to complete two hours of continuing legal education training on diversity, inclusion, equity and elimination of bias every year.
- Republicans Increase Transparency, Oversight Of Refugee & Unaccompanied Minor Re-settlements In Tennessee (TCN) The bill requires the Tennessee Office for Refugees to submit at least a quarterly report to the department of finance and administration regarding refugee resettlement services statewide.
- Lafayette Street site sells for $4.1M (Post)
- Status of long-stalled hotel project remains unclear (Post)
- Chicago developer pays $5M for Gulch property (Post)
⇣ BY THE NUMBERS: US LIFE EXPECTANCY
When compared with 21 high-income countries, the US life expectancy dropped the most over the course of the pandemic sinking from 78.86 years in 2019 to 76.99 years today — the largest since WWII. The decline of 1.87 years was far higher than the mean drop experienced by other countries of 0.58 years.
The marked decrease in life expectancy is due, in part, to rampant diabetes, heart disease, and dozens of other conditions that uniquely plague the American people. Additionally, the spike in overdose deaths over the course of the pandemic likely contributed.
As much as journalists and politicians want to use these stats as evidence that the US mishandled COVID, what's more apparent is that COVID exposed the fragile state of health in the nation and exacerbated an already burdened health system.
Source: U.S. life expectancy fell by 2 yrs in 2020, sharpest drop among high-income peers
Reuters, 13 April 2022, Read Online
☁ SURVEY SAYS: THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PRESIDENT
Some survey results wondering if Biden will finish his first term and gauging confidence in Harris if she were to become President. Well, if you have to ask...
How likely is it that Biden will complete his first term?
- 45.4% Very likely
- 25.3% Somewhat likely
- 12.3% Not very likely
- 8.7% Not likely at all
- 8.2% Not sure
90% of Democrats believe Biden will finish his first term while only 49% of Republicans think the same.
Confidence in VP Harris if she were to become President.
- 24.8% Very confident
- 20.5% Somewhat confident
- 15.2% Not very confident
- 29.9% Not at all confident
- 9.5% Not sure
80% of Democrats expressed confidence in Harris compared to just 14% of Republicans. Only 32% of Independents expressed confidence in her.
Source: Will Biden Even Finish His 1st Term? One In Five Say ‘No’
Issues & Insights, 18 April 2022, Read Online
⚔ MISSIVES ⚔
- 🏗 The Biden administration is taking a key step toward ensuring that federal dollars will support U.S. manufacturing — issuing requirements for how projects funded by the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package source their construction material.
- 🏁 Uber and Lyft lifted their respective mask requirements for U.S. passengers and drivers on Tuesday, one day after a federal judge overturned the Biden administration’s mask mandate for air travel and public transportation.
- 💰 Elon Musk is willing to invest between $10 billion and $15 billion of his own money to take Twitter Inc. private and is planning to launch a tender offer in about 10 days.
- 🐭 Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday he will formally seek to strip the Walt Disney Co. of its self-governing status after it publicly bashed the Sunshine State’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law.
- 🤡 The Justice Department announced on Tuesday that it will appeal a federal judge’s ruling that overturned the Biden administration’s mask mandate for air travel and public transport.
THINGS TO DO
You can view our full event calendar here.
🍺 The Pamphleteer hosts Bar Hours every Thursday night at Lucky's 3 Star Bar from 6-8 PM. The first ten guests get drinks on the company tab. Join us to discuss how to shake off the sloth of the modern era and recapture the vitality that made this country great.
🎙 Hannah Juanita is playing two steppin' music every Friday in April at Bobby's Idle Hour.
🎪 Check out our favorite driving distance festivals this summer.
🇺🇸 Discussion of Monetary Policy w/ The Federalist Society @ Hilton Downtown, 12p, $15+, Info
⚾ Sounds vs. knights @ First Horizon, 6:35p, $10+, Info
🎻 Bluegrass Night @ The American Legion Post 82, 7p, Free, Info
🍸 Electric relaxation @ Bar Sovereign, 9p, Free, Info
GET ‘EM WHILE YOU CAN
🌊 The Brian Jonestown Massacre (5/5) @ Brooklyn Bowl, 8p, $25, Info
🐷 Primus: a Farewell to Kings tour & Battles (05/09) @ The Ryman, 7:30p, $55+, Info
🥁 Gogol Bordello (5/21) @ Brooklyn Bowl, 8p, $33, Info
NEW THIS WEEK
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Around the Web
↗ A Brief History of Inflation With rising prices comes economic instability, which may be on the horizon once again.
➥ Why the past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid It’s not just a phase.
✪ Red Dusk Xi Jinping’s China faces challenges of its own.
Political Theater Highlight Reel
- Jen Psaki breaks down in tears condemning ‘harsh and cruel’ anti-LGBTQ bills in Florida and elsewhere
- LA Woman shamed for 'distracting' breasts at dinner: 'Prejudice against big naturals'
You May Also Like
Words of Wisdom
“The press today is an army with carefully organized weapons, the journalists its officers, the readers its soldiers. The reader neither knows nor is supposed to know the purposes for which he is used and the role he is to play.”
Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West