Options Aerial View: Playlist from April 21, 2015 Options

Aerial View was WFMU’s first regularly-scheduled phone-in talk show. Hosted by Chris T. and on the air since 1989, the show features topical conversation, interviews and many trips down the rabbit hole. Until further notice, Aerial View is only available as a podcast, available every Tuesday morning. Subscribe to the newsletter “See You Next Tuesday!” and find tons of archives at aerialview.me. (Visit homepage.)

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Options April 21, 2015: No Stairway / No Teen Spirit / No Singing

listen to ‘No Stairway / No Teen Spirit / No Singing from Apr 21, 2015’ on audioBoom
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Tonight:
NO STAIRWAY
NO TEEN SPIRIT
NO SINGING
"Absolutely one of the worst concept albums ever made."
Musician Noah Wall - equipped with binaural stereo earbuds containing hidden microphones - entered a Manhattan Guitar Center store on March 27 of this year and exited with the recordings that would become Live At Guitar Center

If you've never been in a large music store, especially a chain like Sam Ash or Guitar Center, this "record" might be a revelation. I wish I could say the same.

I've talked about this before on Aerial View but I used to work at the Guitar Center on Route 22 in Springfield, NJ. It was a desperate time in my life. Before taking the job I had a rare bout of unemployment. I stumbled across the Guitar Center job in the classifieds and applied, thinking it might be cool to spend my days surrounding by guitars and amps. They noticed my radio background on my resume and I ended up in Pro Audio. Dear God. 

After building out the store and going through Guitar Center Sales Camp, it became my job to separate suckers from their credit cards using all the tricks at my disposal. Well, really only one trick: the "Whadda ya, pussywhipped?" move. Invariably, some talentless hobby musician would balk at spending thousands of dollars on "gear" and I'd have to emasculate him, usually in front of his friends. The "Pussywhipped" move worked more often than not. But I went home every night feeling like a piece of shit swindler. Like I was using a Jedi Mind Trick. 

Listening to Live at Guitar Center reminded me how horrible it all was, the endless non-stop wanking and noodling that goes on, the assholes showing off their "chops" and the morons who will never buy a thing wasting your time. Few moments in my life have been more satisfying than the day my boss turned to me and asked, "You're not happy here, are you?"

"No, I'm not." spilled from my lips before I could think what I was saying. He "let me go" just like that. Luckily for me, I had passed the threshold for collecting unemployment and was able to go back on the New Jersey dole. I kept my Guitar Center shirt just in case.

Noah Wall will join me in-studio tonight to discuss Live At Guitar Center." Will noodle on guitars while we ask:
  • Have you ever been in a chain music store or do you avoid them?
  • What's your favorite independent music store?
  • Which songs are banned from the place you buy music gear?
Extra points if you call 201-209-WFMU and play an instrument while talking on the phone!
What it's really like to work in a music store
What it's really like to work in a music store.
Last Week: The (Sour) Grapes Of Wrath
Last week's show got off to a rough start. Damn those CD players! But we had a nice Steinbeck conversation anyway.

Peep these playlist comments:
  • "The Grapes of Wrath Test" sounds like some horrifying survival course...
  • Rose breastfeeding the starving man is "porny"?
  • I always thought the movie was earlier than 40 just from the fact that the contrast in the black and white was so huge.
  • When Steinbeck's wife addressed him as "Hey, Schmuck!" she usually meant it affectionately.
  • I've heard of the book, but haven't read it or even seen the movie. The South Park episode "Over Logging" kind of parodied the Okies going to California in search of internet access.
  • I read pretty much every Steinbeck book while working as a collection agent at a sweltering Goodwill trailer one summer. The Grapes of Wrath is the only one that really stuck with me.
  • Great show Chris T.
  • Best FMU talker = Chris.
Listen on AudioBoom
"FUCK SAM ASH!"
Last year, Eric Gardner wrote about Guitar Center's finances and it was amazing to hear that the place is even more of a snake pit than it was when I worked there back in the 90's. As mentioned above, I was hired for the Pro Audio Dept of the brand new Springfield, NJ store and then had to build it out from the ground up, something they never told us.

Long, hard days of unloading trucks, schlepping gear, assembling display fixtures, etc., with lots of mind-numbing lessons in sales interspersed. Then back into the crappy Ford station wagon I was driving and out onto Route 22 for the long ride home. Man, was I in a bad state of mind, also going through a protracted breakup. On opening night of what had been a fourteen hour day, I'll never forget the CEO, flown in from CA, leading us all at the top of our lungs in a Nuremberg-like chant of "Fuck Sam Ash!"

I can't go into a Guitar Center now without horrific flashbacks to my short, sad career as a salesman who hated "overcoming objections" so some poor schmuck could go into heavy credit card debt to fund his latest "toy" purchase. Fuck Guitar Center.
SEE YOU NEXT NEXT TUE!
Yes, it's true: I'm out on Jury Duty next Tuesday. Filling in is the estimable Pseu Braun. I'll be back on Tue., May 5, otherwise known as Cinco De Mayo.


Listen to this show: | Add or read comments

Upcoming Chris T. Stuff
WFMU Rec Fair Icon
Saturday, May 2
I'll be selling records, CDs, cassettes, DVDs, books, old paper and lots of interesting collectibles at the WFMU Record Fair, this year in BROOKLYN!

The WFMU Record Fair runs Friday, May 1 to Sunday, May 3 and features hundreds of record dealers from all over the planet selling a ton of vinyl and music in every conceivable format, plus posters, magazines, books - you name it. And lots of onsite programming, too!
Asbury Punk Rock Flea Market Icon
Saturday, May 30
I return to the Asbury Park Punk Rock Flea Market with whatever's left over from the WFMU Record Fair!

Held in the historic Asbury Park Convention Center, the Punk Rock Flea Market features a live DJ spinning actual 45s and lots of comic books, T-shirts, collectibles, antiques, vintage clothing and - of course - vinyl. The Asbury Park boardwalk is a short stroll away, with great food and shopping.
Obligatory Throwback Pic
On stage at Our Lady Of Perpetual Help Christmas Concert circa '77.
Note the custom white vinyl covered Univox amp.
How To Hear Aerial View
OVER THE AIR: Every Tuesday night, 6 PM Eastern time on WFMU in the metro NY/NJ area at 91.1 FM and on WMFU at 90.1 in the lower Catskills, Hudson Valley, western New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania.

ON THE WEB: Streaming audio in several formats is available at wfmu.org.
ON DEMAND ARCHIVES: The Aerial View Archive page features archives going back to nearly the beginning of the show in RealAudio and MP3 format.
PODCAST: Aerial View is available on iTunes as a podcast.
WFMU MOBILE: Listen live via the mobile app or browse the archives. Get the iOS app here and the Android version here. Amazon Kindle users can use the TuneIn Radio app. Info for other platforms, including Blackberry, etc. can be found here.

AUDIOBOOM: The newest way to hear Aerial View and share it on social media can be found here. Mobile apps are here.
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Nirvana Chris T.  Smells Like Aerial View Teen Spirit   Options CD 

Listener comments!

Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 4/21/15 6:04pm Greg from Bloomfield:

Evening, Chris!
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 4/21/15 6:05pm Ken From Hyde Park:

The intro CD is playing correctly this week! That is a good sign.
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:07pm Marcel M:

Hey Chris! Hello friends.

Chris, your skipped CD intro played, as I'm sure you know, on the pre-recorded episode of S7D. Andy thought it was avant noise music. Twas quite funny.
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:08pm Marcel M:

I hate that big wall of boss pedals that a lot of Guitar Center's have. Its all going through a damned like, PA speaker and it sounds horrible!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 4/21/15 6:09pm ikє:

So Chris, when ARE you going to stand up and wiggle your hips for us?
  Tue. 4/21/15 6:12pm Chilz:

This is gonna be good====-
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:14pm Marcel M:

Its certainly not easier to listen to it. Not to say I'm not enjoying it.
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:16pm Marcel M:

I don't understand how you can seriously test an instrument at Guitar Center...
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:17pm fred:

That's not nice or appropriate because he's coming to these airwaves soon, but a friend had to leave a Squarepusher show (a bass only thing) because he sounded like every effect demo loop when he was working in music shop. I stayed because Evan Parker was planned to join him, proving I have no judgment whatsoever
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:18pm Peteski:

(310) 475-0637 West LA Guitar Center
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 4/21/15 6:20pm steve:

has anyone mentioned St Sanders Shreds yet? im having flashbacks
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:20pm Mutant:

Both annoying and hilarious
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 4/21/15 6:21pm Greg from Bloomfield:

This is what it feels like for a drummer trying to interject during band practice.
  Tue. 4/21/15 6:23pm LES:

I'm having a GC flashback.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 4/21/15 6:23pm Lewis:

I gotta go to the library...
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:23pm fred:

If you could have someone circular breathing into a bass that would sum up one of the most disappointing gigs I've ever attended
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 4/21/15 6:24pm sugano:

Guitar Center is the Starbucks of instrument shops...these recordings are legally public..
  Tue. 4/21/15 6:24pm LES:

I did 1 month at a GC when I was between jobs in the 90s. Realized i was going to need prozac to keep working there so i quit
  Tue. 4/21/15 6:25pm Tommy:

No offense taken for the abrupt ending , I hate good bys
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:28pm Fuzzy:

No need to tune up -- this is GC, amirite?
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:30pm fred:

@Greg: I quit trying to play music after two events:
a) I played bass in a band whose "leader" pretended his compositions were Beatles outtakes. I laughed so I was out
b) Another band's "leader" fired his bass player to get me, saying "some people are made to play music, others just deserve to listen"
I'd rather listen to others than to me
  Tue. 4/21/15 6:32pm P-90:

The Electro Harmonix store on 48th St is remains vividly alive in my memory, as if it were still there. Also, @Chris T, when mentioning who's really still there, don't forget Rudy Pensa's place on the north side of the street. One of the classic shops, still hanging in.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 4/21/15 6:32pm dale:

i remember when i first went to college you would hear the opening of 'smoke on the water' coming from all the male dorms.
  Tue. 4/21/15 6:32pm JakeGould:

Flange. More flange. Also, play "Smoke on the Water."
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:32pm Fuzzy:

"Aw, that was BEAUTIFUL, man..."
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:35pm Marcel M:

I think Sam Ash moved to 34th St, and Electro Harmonix is in LIC I think... I kind of doubt they are still totally made in NYC though, because they tend to break. He mentioned Rudy's P90.

The thing about shop's like Rudy's, is they are so classic and so cool, but the prices are so freaking high, even though I really want to, I just would never buy a guitar there.

The trick is to find unauthorized dealers that you can trust, or, buy on Craigstlist and just make sure you get it at a price you can resell it for if you don't like it.
  Tue. 4/21/15 6:35pm Tommy:

I played keyboard in a band in NC in the 70s. 90% of our list was Skynyrd
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 4/21/15 6:36pm steve:

"the better they are the less interesting they are to watch" this guy needs WFMU in his life
  Tue. 4/21/15 6:36pm P-90:

There was literally a twenty-year period when you could walk into any one of these stores, anywhere in the country, at any given time, and hear at least one kid auditioning an electric bass with the intro from the "Barney Miller" TV show theme. Sometimes two, three, or four at a time...
  Tue. 4/21/15 6:37pm Tommy:

..which is great if you're a piano guy
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:37pm fred:

@P-90 and others: Are there places you would recommend to fix your guitar? Anything from regular fret maintenance to a broken Gibson neck
  Tue. 4/21/15 6:37pm jon:

lol smoke on the water but just the intro over and over

hi chris. good show
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 4/21/15 6:37pm dale:

kids knew barney miller?
  Tue. 4/21/15 6:37pm P-90:

@fred: in France?
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 4/21/15 6:38pm Ken From Hyde Park:

In an episode of "Broad City," the girls were playing drum solos.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 4/21/15 6:38pm Mike East:

Yes, Sam Ash is on 34th street now. haven't been there yet, but we buy gear there all the time. Personally, I like Chelsea Guitars and Ludlow Street guitars. Not a huge fan or Rudy's. Every time I've dealt with them, I got kind of a condescending vibe from them.
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:38pm Marcel M:

@Fred: In NYC? Norio Imai is the best. But very expensive, but worth it.
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:38pm Fuzzy:

Got me a Martin DRS-1 from ebay; a 50-something Harmony archtop modded with a P-90 off of ebay; and most recently a lefty Mex Strat from Reverb. Love 'em all! I've lucked out so far buying online.
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:38pm Marcel M:

He worked at Sadowsky for like 15 years or something as a main builder.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 4/21/15 6:39pm Mike East:

I know a good luthier in NYC, if anyone ever needs
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 4/21/15 6:39pm dale:

guitar center in paramus - 201-444-9800
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:39pm Marcel M:

Ludlow is a nice shop, I like Main Drag, a bit expensive though but sometimes they will work with you. 30th Street guitars is nice too. All places with a room you can actually test a guitar.
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:39pm Peteski:

(310) 475-0637 West Los Angeles Guitar Center - it's 3:30pm
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 4/21/15 6:40pm steve:

wonder what the most popular song to play at Main Drag would be
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 4/21/15 6:41pm Mike East:

yeah, Marcel, I used to live down the street from Main Drag. Almost bought a guitar there once, and I kinda wish I did...cuz I'd have it now.
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:41pm Marcel M:

I went and visited Nashville once and went to Gruhn Guitars which is a super famous vintage place. Was really cool.
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:41pm fred:

@P-90: Not really. I could see this show's comments getting in google searches, so it might as well head people the right way. Any location fits
  Tue. 4/21/15 6:41pm Lee Harvey Jimbob:

American Music Seattle. (206) 633-1774
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:41pm Marcel M:

@Mike: They get a lot of really nice stuff in. Nice guys.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 4/21/15 6:42pm dale:

HA! el kabong.
  Tue. 4/21/15 6:43pm laserdisc:

I wanna know what if we made a compound song Stairway to Freebird because you can't censor creativity that dope
  Tue. 4/21/15 6:44pm laserdisc:

Give me your number wife's new car
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:44pm Fuzzy:

My first electric was a '65 Fender Mustang I bought for $150 at Freedom Guitar in San Diego back in '85...call 'em up at 1-800-831-5569 and see if I can get another one at that price!
  Tue. 4/21/15 6:44pm Tommy:

While the guys at Sam Ash or any other store are trying to make a sale I have really good experiences there. They have most gave me good advice and pointed me tin the right direction. They even fixed my water damaged synth ( no charge) even though what happened wasn't covered by warranty
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:44pm Marcel M:

I just cry when I look at the 50s prices of Les Pauls...
  Tue. 4/21/15 6:44pm laserdisc:

I can't take it back
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:45pm Fuzzy:

I cry when I think about pawning that '65 Mustang.
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:46pm Marcel M:

Not TOO bad fuzzy. www.gbase.com...
  Tue. 4/21/15 6:47pm Lee Harvey Jimbob:

Marcel, My dad paid $125 in 1957 for a Les Paul Jr.
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:47pm Marcel M:

@Lee Harvey: Cool! He still got it?
  Tue. 4/21/15 6:48pm JakeGould:

You folks know about Retrofret? Located in Brooklyn near the Gowanus canal. They do Luthier work but also sell and repair stuff. http://www.retrofret.com
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:48pm Marcel M:

"I don't have access to a radio" hahahhahahah. That made me laugh so hard my cat FLEW across the room.
  Tue. 4/21/15 6:49pm Phil:

Sorry about B. St. Music. Try Gelb Music in Redwood City, CA. 365-8878
  Tue. 4/21/15 6:49pm Lee Harvey Jimbob:

Nope, I have it.
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:49pm Marcel M:

@Jake: LOVE retrofret that place. They have some of the coolest stuff.

Don't ask Main Drag how much I've spent there... oy..
  Tue. 4/21/15 6:50pm JakeGould:

Cool, Marcel. But they aren't like a guitar wanking place.
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:50pm Marcel M:

Ah man they got that guy... ask for Jake Chris.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 4/21/15 6:51pm steve:

salespeople at Main Drag are alternately super friendly and douchey
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:51pm Marcel M:

@Jake: I know that... are you implying that guitar wanking places are for me?

I once played a 55 LP Custom there. I was so psyched I was allowed to play it.
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:51pm Marcel M:

True Steve, some are super nice. The owner is a really nice guy.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 4/21/15 6:52pm Greg from Bloomfield:

Getting somebody on the radio is like inviting in a vampire...
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:53pm Fuzzy:

GC on Boylston St. in Boston let me play a sweet '60 LP Junior doublecut -- very cool!
  Tue. 4/21/15 6:54pm JakeGould:

@Marcel: No, not implying anything. Just saying since Chris is calling places.
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:55pm Marcel M:

@Jake: Maybe they hate when people play "If I Had A Hammer."
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:55pm fred:

@Marcel: don't blame Jake, I'm the one who muddled the waters by asking about legitimate guitar shops
  Tue. 4/21/15 6:55pm P-90:

McCabes! Happened to be there schmoozing one afternoon when actor/singer John Schneider came in to look at Roland guitar synthesizers. I happened to be familiar with all that stuff, and he wound up trying out and walking out with the whole rig I recommended.
*Writer's Embellishment*: A couple weeks later he called me and sent a limo to take me to a party in his house in Topanga Canyon, where we jammed on Dixie Dregs and NRBQ tunes, and I got loaded and made out with his former "Dukes of Hazzard" co-star Catherine Bach in a iridescent tourquoise-tiled hot tub under an enormous willow tree in his yard...
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:56pm Marcel M:

@Fred/Jake: All good hehe. Was just kind of pointing out that the way he wrote it made it look that way. Was kinda just going along with it.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 4/21/15 6:56pm Ken From Hyde Park:

What's the number for Ray's Music Emporium in Calumet City?
  Tue. 4/21/15 6:56pm JakeGould:

@fred: Exactly. Retrofret would be perfect for repairs. That's why I mentioned them.
  Tue. 4/21/15 6:57pm LES:

The Williamsburg guitar clerk guy was such a perfect tightass.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 4/21/15 6:57pm steve:

damn pricey stuff at Lark Street... i used to work at a vintage synth repair place and thought that stuff was as expensive as it got
  Tue. 4/21/15 6:58pm LES:

Great show ChrisT
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 4/21/15 6:59pm Mike East:

cool show, chris
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:59pm Marcel M:

Fun show thanks Chris!
Avatar Tue. 4/21/15 6:59pm Fuzzy:

Bring the guitar Chris -- do it!
  Tue. 4/21/15 7:00pm jon:

thanks chris
  Wed. 4/22/15 9:51pm Chris T.:

No, Marcel, I did not know about the 7SD thing. How did that unfold?
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