Frank's Living Room and The Birth Of Hipster Divebar Jukebox

I thought I knew drinking, and I thought I knew about music, but truth be told — I knew next to nothing. My idea of drinking was a 17 year olds technique of dumping out a third of a quart of Tropicana orange juice and replacing it with cheap vodka. Musically, I was up on the latest New Wave and Punk, but I wouldn’t know a George Jones tearjerker or a vintage STAX side if it sat down next to me on a rickety Frank’s Living Room stool, and bought me a snakebite.

After my first couple of visits, I was pretty sure his name was Leo, not Frank. Leo poured with a heavy hand. I remembered that he sighed and smiled when we called him Frank, serving us another round of Vodkas and Grapefruits, while flipping over a mixed tape. The tapes were Leo’s. He played them loud. Ear-shatteringly loud:

Nervous Breakdown

Get Off My Cloud

The Grand Tour

Holiday in Cambodia

September Gurls

After The Fire Is Gone

Lust For Life

Johnny Hit and Run Pauline (Leo had a thing for X)

Gardening At Night

American Music

Cry Like A Baby

I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry

Mamma Tried

I’ll Take You There

Rise Above

Color Me Impressed

Time of The Season

Pale Blue Eyes

Sex Bomb

One For My Baby

Like I mentioned, at first we thought he was “Frank”. After all, he lorded over the place — Frank’s Living Room — a majestically squalid, 500 square foot, literally underground bar in the greyest city on earth — Albany NY.

Leo was my personal John Peel. Although he was probably barely 30, Leo was my elder statesman. He taught me about life, love and loss all through the power of a perfectly sequenced mixed tape. Leo trafficked in classic Country, Rockabilly, Soul, Garage Rock, and the most cutting edge, and hardest new Punk and New Wave.

Without knowing it, Leo changed our take on music.
All genres mixed together.
All eras counted.
As long as it was pure, it was on the Frank’s Living Room list.

Leo created the model for Hipster Dive Bar Jukebox.
This station is for the Leo in us all.


Classic Country. Vintage Soul. Select Punk, New Wave & Indie:

Hipster Divebar Jukebox:


R.E.M. Breaks Up: Glad & Sorry

After 31 years together as a band, R.E.M announced their breakup today.

Michael Stipe:

A wise man once said–‘the skill in attending a party is knowing when it’s time to leave.’ We built something extraordinary together. We did this thing. And now we’re going to walk away from it.
I hope our fans realize this wasn’t an easy decision; but all things must end, and we wanted to do it right, to do it our way.
We have to thank all the people who helped us be R.E.M. for these 31 years; our deepest gratitude to those who allowed us to do this. It’s been amazing.

From my seat, R.E.M is arguably the most important band in the history of Alternative Rock. Part of their importance was certainly the high quality and innovative nature of their music. Their first 4 albums are nothing short of a revelation.

But equally important  was R.E.M’s commitment to community, communication and a sense of shared purpose with their fans.

If you talk to anyone who played a part in the College Radio Era of 1977-1983, they will regail you with tales of fanzines, weak college radio signals, dirty clubs, couch surfing, kids as promoters and inevitably, — transcendent R.E.M. shows that brought a community together.

R.E.M hardly invented alternative rock. Other innovators and brilliant artists shaped the scene before, during and after R.E.M.’s heyday.

But if you were lucky enough to engage with them in their prime, R.E.M. certainly changed music, and being a music fan, for the better.

I’m glad to have known them and played a tiny role in their legacy, and I’m sorry to see them go.

Humans Vs. Algorithms: The LA Times Weighs In

Hello blog.
I’m emerging after a summer respite.

The L.A. Times weighs in on Slacker Radio today:

Slacker’s handcrafted approach sets it apart not just from broadcast radio, but also from some of its online rivals, including Pandora, which relies on an algorithm to determine what song to play next.

Read the full piece here: LA Times

The Final Take: Imagine a radio station that played George Jones, The Clash, Smokey Robinson, Radio Dept. and  Sigur Ros. Sounds kinda like a Hipster Divebar Jukebox, no? Check out what the humans are up to right here.