Thursday, October 28, 2010

...or, Past Masters re-mastered forever and ever...
Blogger's note: This is a way-too-long post that you'll probably have to read in shifts.
Last year, all of The Beatles' British-edition albums were made available in Remastered form. Those, plus the re-mastered "Past Masters" 2-disc set, contain All of The Beatles Songs. "Re-mastering" involves mixing the sound, perhaps bringing more top and bottom range to the music and fiddling around with it until the Engineers are done fiddling with things. I'm not so sure the Remasterings sound all that much different unless you play them through a really sophisticated sound system. They didn't sound all that different to me. I was bound and determined not to buy them because I had all the albums in original LP (and CD) form. I maintained that resolve until the Beatle Collector in me capitulated and bought 'em. What can I say, I'm a Beatles Collector. I think I must be a 'record hoarder' (?)
Well, once again, Apple Corps, the Beatles' licensing/business entity has found a way to keep that Brand New Beatle Product comin' at ya. The RED and the BLUE albums (you know, '62-'66 and '67-70) have been released, you guessed it, in Remastered Form. These are basically the Beatles' Biggest Songs, and both albums were initially released in 1973. I've read that since some of the songs had never been issued in Stereo in England, those songs dating back to their early days were re-mastered, re-processed, mixed into stereo, what have you, in order to fit the concept of Shimmering Stereo which was featured on Original Red and Blue albums.
In short, for these re-mastered CD's, the songs which were featured on those albums which were re-mastered way back in the '70s evidently have been re-mastered again for current release. So, the 1973 re-masterings have now been re-mastered. Re-re-masters. Huh? What? And...there are three songs on the "Red" album which were issued in Stereo on the 1973 "Red" album which are now in MONO on the currently-remastered CD's you see here. The re-gressing of technology. Confusing? You Bet It Is.
The "Stereo" effect, which is how "Love Me Do", "Please Please Me" and "From Me To You" were originally issued on the original Red and Blue albums has long since disappeared. For some reason, the original multi-track tapes ceased to Exist in the Record Company vault and as such, "True Stereo" versions of these 3 songs weren't available. You can mix a stereo recording down to mono, but it doesn't work the other way around unless you use an "artificial stereo" mix, which includes emphasizing High Frequencies in one channel and Low Frequences in the other. This is yer basic "Mono Reprocessed For Stereo". For instance, I have an "Artificial Stereo" version of "Love Me Do" on my copy of "Early Beatles" album (issued 1965) which still sounds great. So now, with all this high-tech available, it's Back To Mono for these 3 songs? Some things I just don't understand. Phil Spector, the Prince of Mono, must be splitting a gut over this in his prison cell!
When these Red and Blue double-albums came out in the '70s, a lot of fans felt cheated because the Red Album is So Short. These are the older, shorter, under 3-minute Beatlemania songs. Total song time for the Red Album is somewhere along the lines of 65 minutes. You'd think all that could fit on one CD. But noooo...Apple Corps has issued both the "Red" and "Blue" re-masters on Two CD's each, just like when the vinyl sets first came out, on 2 LP's each. All of the Red album could've been squeezed onto one CD, and the leftover space could've featured some of the Blue album, since that's a longer album. Gosh, they've gotta be makin' money hand-over-fist on this deal. Two Short CD's per album. Lots of wasted disc space. Hardly a great deal. In the '60s, the Beatles tried to give fans more bang for their buck (witness the "White Album" which is Achingly Long). I guess those days are over.
The justification for these re-master releases, so says Apple, is that a lot of younger fans first became aware of The Beatles in the early '70s by hearing these albums; so now the albums are important enough to Buy All Over Again. Of course, if you Follow The Money, the Record Company seeks to put out more product for the "Holiday" Season; get 'em on the shelves NOW! They make great stocking-stuffers!!! Be the first on your block to own one...or two...or... So What's happening next? Well, it turns out that Apple Records artists besides The Beatles, are also going to be issued in re-mastered form. I'm lukewarm on this deal. Sure, many others recorded (briefly) on the Apple Label, including Doris Troy, Mary Hopkin, Badfinger, Billy Preston, James Taylor and the Radha Krishna Temple vocalists (that last one is obviously a George Harrison signing, he being the mystic one, after all.) I'm probably not going to buy these. Emphasis on the word "Probably". A case of me needing Wiggle-room there. (I almost forgot: All of John's, Paul's, George's and Ringo's solo recordings will also be, if they aren't already, re-mastered and if not currently available, they soon will be at a big-box store near you).
So, it's a case of re-meeting The Beatles all over again. And again. And so forth. Re-mastering the re-masters into Infinity. Remember back in 2001, The group's "1" album was such a big hit? Hint: That CD, if you can find it, is a really sweet deal, going for around $12, and it's loaded to the gills with music, unlike the Red and Blue album re-masters, which both feature enough empty space to park yer average SUV in. If you're not a Beatles' collector who has to have everything, you can re-master any record or CD you have. Just tweak the Treble and Bass buttons on your unit; perhaps even add some extra Bass at low volume by hitting the Loudness button.
As I'm typing this, I'm listening to the remastered version of "Here Comes The Sun" on the re-mastered "Blue" CD and it sounds the same to me, and believe me, I'd know if one note was tampered with. I was gonna say, "You Can't Fool Me", but that's not true. I bought these CD's, after all. Please help me. I can't stop...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

...She would've been 84 today...

Dear Mom,

It's been quite a while now; you've been gone almost nine years. I know our little family struggled through the years with tensions, problems, and moods. Perhaps every family goes through all the things we endured; they all just endure it in different ways. But we had good times too. I just want you to know that I remember...

I remember all the evenings when Dad was on the road and you had a big dinner all heated up for me when I got home from work. I'd feel guilty about that; you didn't have to go to all that trouble. And we'd talk for hours about everything. In my later teens, especially, you were a good friend in addition to being a devoted Mom.

I remember when you bought me some record albums from a thrift store; they were great, and you even took me back down there so I could buy some more of them. That surprised me, because I'm sure the music I liked sounded as strange to you as rap music sounds to me.

I remember you playing the organ and how you could, one minute, be playing hymns and then immediately switch over to boogie-woogie. You always played everything in the key of B-Flat. I also remember you playing the baritone ukelele and singing; you had a unique voice; somewhere in-between baritone and alto. I have both of your 'ukes, and I remember, much later on, when you and I would jam, you played keyboard, and sure enough, I'd find a B-flat chord on the 'uke, and there you were!

I remember you always trying so hard to be a Perfect Mom. Every single day you had the vacuum cleaner running, and we all came to a home which was just beautiful, absolutely every single day. Everything in place, everything freshly scrubbed, everything the way it should be.

I remember you always working in the garden in Spring and Summer and how you planted bushes and other plants around almost our entire house. You literally threw yourself totally into whatever you did, in spite of your weakened heart; you told me you had rheumatic fever as a child, but that never seemed to keep you down.

If I could, I would suspend the world in the late 1960's/early 1970's, for that was really my formative time period, and even though our family wasn't the most peaceful, I wouldn't trade those years for all the riches in the world. Our family always had a lot of tension, but you kept trying as hard as you could for all those years, always seeing the best and trying for it.

Most of all, I would like to apologize for all the hurts and sorrows I caused you through the years. I wish that I had the opportunity to explain everything to you with the benefit of hindsight, but since I can't, I can only hope that from your heavenly vantage point, you can look down and smile upon me.

In my mind, the most drastic realization I've come to since you passed away, is that you were perhaps the only person who ever really tried to understand me. You cared about my feelings and I'll always treasure that. Wherever you may be now, I hope you have a well-deserved eternal rest.

Sometimes I'll see a little bird who looks upon me as it sits on a branch, before flying away, and I've wondered, "is that you?". The last dream I ever had about you, some years ago, took place in the upper story of a big building, and I had a chance to apologize for the many mistakes I've made, and you said, "it's all right". Mom, I just want to thank you for all you did and how important you still are to me. I fell short many times, but I know you'd want me to keep hanging in there. And so I am.

Yer Sun,

Whenever Mom corresponded with me in later years, she'd almost always include a $5 bill with her letter telling me to "go out and get a hamburger or something". And when I wrote her back, I'd always close my letter with "Yer Sun". My memories of Mom far exceed what I've posted here, but writing this gave me an opportunity to remember the Good Things. Happy Birthday, Mom...

Friday, October 22, 2010

...will she turn out like all the others?
This is the little female Pit Bull that lives next door to me. She's been a sweet girl; when I walk out to my mailbox, she runs along the fence and greets me. We even play a little bit; I'll run my foot along the chainlink fence and she'll chase it back and forth. I've scratched her ears and petted her, and she's a good dog. At the same time, I realize she's a Pit Bull. The young guys who live next door evidently have a couple of jobs each, and a lot of the time, no one's there. And when they're gone, the Pit Bull is kept inside their mobile home. I've heard her barking in there. I remarked to one of the guys who live there, that she'd go absolutely crazy on the Ocean Beaches, and was told they'd never taken her to the beach, or much of anywhere else. She's cooped up practically all day long, from what I see. And she's changing.
Sometimes now, when I get out of my car, she'll stand in one spot and just glare at me. Kinda makes me shudder, y'know? There have been times when she's barked directly at me. But wait...she knows who I am, right? Sometimes I'm not so sure anymore. It's as if she's tried to be a good girl, but she's growing up into a Mature Pit Bull, and is becoming more and more a prisoner of her instincts. I don't know. Sometimes when I've played with her, and reached over the fence to pet her, she's accidentally "mouthed" my hand, and she obviously doesn't know her own strength. And those Pit Bull jaws are quite ominous indeed. I think she needs for someone to spend more time with her, take her to the beach and let her run (whether running free or on a leash). Her personality is changing, and it could be that as each day passes, she's "that much" closer to becoming one of those Pit Bulls we've all heard about, that attack humans, other dogs and everything else that's in their path.
So nowadays, I'm more wary of her than I used to be. And that's sad. I find myself having to guess at what kind of mind frame she's in each time I see her. Some days I'm glad a fence separates my yard from the relatively-small space in which she's allowed to roam. And then again, I could be totally wrong about her. But I think she's being neglected, and it's starting to show. I still play with her when I'm at the mailbox. But there are also times, nowadays, when she'll just stand in one spot and watch my every move, and that feels really creepy. Perhaps, because of neglect, Pit Bulls just go nuts and tee off on everything. Perhaps the line between the dog's "reason" and their instinctual behavior changes as they mature. And if they're neglected, maybe they act out in a most dangerous manner. So if you have a Pit Bull, or 2 or 3, it's probably wise to spend quality time with them or they'll Act Out. Animals have mentalities, after all...
Again, I'm no authority. I could be wrong about all this. I hope so. I'd hate to see this good little Pit Bull girl leap a fence and hunt down the kids who playing nearby.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

...or, "What's that crazy kid doing upstairs?"
...or, "What's Neil Young got to do with this?"
...or, "What? It's not even November yet!!!"
Back a long time ago, our family (me, my sister and Mom & Dad) got together for Thanksgiving. Those who've read this blog for a long time know that My Dad and I didn't see eye-to-eye on Anything. And I hated "going home" because things between he and I were so cold. It's just the way it was. Dysfunctional. My Dad would routinely point out everything that I was doing wrong, and when M0m sensed conflict, she'd jump right in and start doing the whole Martyr-Complex thing. Happy holidays, huh? When it's quiet, I can still hear Dad Yelling at me and I probably always will. After being at Mom and Dad's longer than I really wanted to be, I went home and "ruminated" about the Thanksgiving Dinner we'd all had. Dad was not friendly at all during that dinner. Dad could really cook, and he really would all put on a feast, as if food was designed to Resolve All Conflicts, which of course, it never does. Great food, a wonderful meal, sprinkled with a dash of tension and seasoned with a pinch of disquieting resent. Afterwards, in my apartment, I was sitting around, feeling worse and worse about the Thanksgiving Dinner I'd just had, and the more I thought about it, the worse I felt.
At that time (1981, I think), I had an electric guitar, a fairly good amp, and what's known as a "Morley" Power Wah-fuzz pedal that I could plug my instrument into, and then the output plug was connected to my amplifier. When both buttons ("Wah-Wah" and "Fuzz") were activated, the amplifier would literally scream when I hit a chord. I could hang onto a note for eternity, making the note go "Wah-wah-wah-wah....". I wrote some lines, then got the cassette recorder out, and began to slam and bang my way through what I'd just written...

...Don't be nice to me, 'cos you think that you have to be...

And don't have me around, if I only bring you down...

'Cause I don't think you love me and I don't think you care...

And the emptiness I'm feelin' is more than I can bear...

And I'd rather...rather not be there...

I'll admit those aren't the greatest lyrics ever, but when applied to an Fmaj7th-C chord progression, and drenched in feedback, wah-wah, and extreme volume with extra sonic saturation provided by literally hammering on my guitar, and me screaming into the tape recorder, well, let's just say it was therapeutic in a sort of primal-scream sort of way. I still have the cassette I put that song on. Instead of getting a gun and going out and actually Killing Someone, I recorded that song. It's a product of pure impulse. And anger. On a holiday. I think the song itself is about ten or fifteen minutes long. Way too long, way too insane, way too erratic, way too loud. But, my neighbors were gone...I guess they had a more pleasant Thanksgiving than I'd had. But if they'd been home, they probably would've thot, "what's that crazy kid doing upstairs?"

Looking back on all of this, I guess people do hurt each other out of love, only it doesn't feel like love; it seems to breed anger, hurt, sadness, devastation and resentment. I know I let Dad down a lot, and I know he did his best. And yet I'm still angry. Just thinking about it as I'm typing this makes me want to go out in the living room and break something. Way deep down inside, I have my Dad's temper. How I've been able to toe the line all these years, I'll never know. Unless it's that I've always been afraid of confrontation. I'm a coward. Always have been. It started when all the kids kept beating me up after school. Every night. And I had to hide all of that when I went home. I felt like I was gonna have a nervous breakdown back then.

So, what's this got to do with Neil Young? I bought his new album, "Le Noise" and much of it contains overmodulated guitar, mountains of power chords, notes that hang on forever, and songs drenched with an ominous over-modulation. When I set out to write this post, I was merely going to say that this new Neil Young album reminds me of bashing my guitar and screaming all those years ago. The title of the album is obviously a play on words; it's produced by Daniel Lanois (Le Noise, get it?), who's best known for all the U-2 albums he's worked on. Lanois seems to favor an oblique, muddy desolate type of sound, and that's what's all over this Neil Young CD. No drums, no backing instruments, no rhythm machine, just Neil and his guitar.

I was gonna rip this album to shreds; I was gonna say that here's a really sloppy, dissonant album that grates on me and just bugs the hell out of me, but I can't do that. I had anger and resentment when I recorded my song so long ago, and tonight, Neil's feedback-drenched music is just the thing for dealing with a bad head-space like I'm experiencing right now. Somehow the blasts of volume I'm absorbing courtesy of Mr. Young are comforting in a way. A sort of sonic outlet for the bitterness I've always carried with me, that I can't seem to rid myself of. I was gonna say that when you love something, that something you love exasperates you, and I know I exasperated my Dad, as I did he. So where's the love? I don't know. And at first, this Neil Young album exasperated me. It still kinda does. It makes more sense each time I play it. Plus, it contains a couple of acoustic numbers...the loud, woozy songs and the pretty acoustic ballads serve to set each other off, but it's hard work listening to this album. I'm working on it. But it's beginning to make sense.

There's a line at the top of this blog, just under the 'Atmospheric Ruminations' title, something about writing a biography; and maybe that's what I should do; undergo cathartic mental dissection by posting rants about everything. Finally, I'd like to say this to Neil: I'll buy anything you put out there, however much it may exasperate me.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

...that's how old he'd be, today, 10/9/2010...
When the Beatles were doing interviews and question/answer sessions, there would invariably be one reporter who would ask them, "Do you have any plans to record separately?", and then during the years they went Solo, a question that came up in interviews was, "Is there any chance of you getting back together in the future?" Ain't that crazy? There's always someone you can't please, no matter how hard you try.
I don't have to buy a luxury box set of out-takes and audio tidbits to remember John Lennon, though. Although I'd be the first on my block to buy any all-new collections with songs I've never heard before. There've been times I've gotten in my car to go somewhere, but right then a Beatles song came over the radio, and I've paused, engine idling or not, to spend some time absorbing their music. I heard "Strawberry Fields Forever" on the radio a couple of weeks ago, and the song is so bombastic, so weary, so dragged-out; it's a song that seems to acquire more power with each play. It's one of the wildest pieces of music I've Ever Heard. Or ever will hear.
Lennon once commented that (paraphrasing here), 'If everyone wants the Beatles so badly, all they have to do is buy our solo records, and make a tape of John's, Paul's, George's and Ringo's songs'. I've done that, with some fairly interesting results, especially among their earlier solo songs where Paul was griping about John, or John was slugging away at Paul, with George above it all,and Ringo saying, can't we all just get along?' Many of those Beatles-solo albums are really great, and many are not. Perhaps the reason the Beatles kept things going for so long was that the group, collectively, counted for more than the individuals in it. I think music has an aura. It's alive. And the Fabs' musical growth between 1963 and 1970 is just staggering. "I Saw Her Standing There." "Day Tripper". "A Day In The Life". "All You Need Is Love". "Dear Prudence". "Helter Skelter." "Across The Universe". And so on, and so forth.
I remember the first time I ever heard John's "Instant Karma". It was played on an 'all-Beatles-weekend' back when the Beatles had just broken up. "Instant Karma" was so new that I'd never heard it before; later on I found a copy, and just about wore it out. The immediacy of that record still sounds so compelling. Lennon composed it one day, recorded it the next day and within a week, it was 'in the shops' . I think Lennon brought a creative, restless 'edge' to Beatles' music; an intangible ingredient that makes those old Beatles recordings sound fresh and current, decades after they came out. In John's best songs, that 'edge' manifested itself in such reactionary songs as "Instant Karma", "Power To The People", even "Woman Is The (n-word) Of The World". And in the midst of all that rabble-rousing, he recorded the Perfect Song: "Imagine".
So what am I missing here? Yearning for the good old days? That's part of it. I think a lot of it has to do with the music itself. Music from the 1960's up thru the early seventies reaches a part of me that nothing else can. I can't take those guitar-buzzing speed-metal blitzes of songs that Hard Rock stations play. A lot of today's more mainstream rock music sounds very detached and weary, and I find myself listening, really trying to figure it all out. And some of the 1970's music I played on the radio way back when is just awful. Think of "Little Willy", "Get Up And Boogie", "Smoke Of A Distant Fire", "Heaven On The 7th Floor", "Disco Lady", or Blue Swede's version of "Hooked On A Feeling", the one that starts out with a hearty "ooga-chukka-ooga-chukka". What could they have been thinking?
I've heard newer songs that appeal to me, but I think that's because those songs remind me of music that came out many years ago. An example of a fairly current song that grabbed my attention is "One Headlight", by the Wallflowers. But even that song's old; it came out in the mid-1990's. But the flavor of that song really appeals to me on some sort of subconscious level. A great backbeat, murky lyrical imagery, and just the way the tune sounded. The night that John Lennon was shot, I remember going into my music room and looking at my album collection, which took up several shelves, and what I remember thinking was something along the lines of, "if it hadn't been for Lennon, none of this music would exist." Why is all this so important to me? There's no real reason, except that the music is a part of me. I don't really know how else to explain it.
The Beatles were more than just John Lennon, obviously. I think the group was truly cosmic sometimes. (Oh no, I'm sounding like a psyched-out cream puff here...) I've heard so many songs by so many people, and for whatever reason, the Beatles' music is on a whole 'nother level. We were so lucky to have them. I believe the Beatles sowed musical seeds all over the place; touching off pop-rock, using symphonic elements, 'getting back' to that good ol' Rock and Roll, and other groups took note and developed their own sounds. As an example, Jeff Lynne of the Electric Light Orchestra has said that his group's music was based around the Cellos found in the Beatles' more psychedelic offerings.
I think that when John Lennon was gunned down, a part of us all who were around back then died. We all lost something. It's still sad, 30 years on down the line. It's something the endless Beatles and Beatles-solo reissue projects can't change. From "I Saw Her Standing There" (leadoff track from "Introducing The Beatles", their first USA album, to "Carry That Weight/The End", from their last album, "Abbey Road", that's where it starts, that's where it ends. But there's a lot of good music in-between. The Beatles are still important to me. I feel good when I hear their music. I've tried to explain it (in vain, probably), so I'll just close things here. But before I go, here's a little something I found on the internet...

At left, John Lennon in the early 70s. At right, John Lennon in his '70s. Trying to depict how he'd look if he were still alive obviously took some Imagine-ation...

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Time marches on and we can't stop it...
It's a while yet before September 21st gets here, but Fall is Falling all around us. The last few days, I've noticed a chill in the air and I'm back to sleeping in sweat pants (Too much information, probably). It's as if the days are getting shorter at an accelerated pace; not so long ago, Sunset happened at 9pm, and nowadays it's happening at about 7pm. I was looking at some chart that listed Sunset Times, and I seem to recall that in September, the days do seem to get shorter by a more significant margin right around this time of year.
I've been reading a lot of books about the Kennedy Family, and how Joseph P. Kennedy totally orchestrated the political careers of sons John F., Robert F. and Teddy. And I stumbled onto this point, as to Why Joseph Kennedy didn't himself aspire to Public Office. It's because he was such a crook! He was involved in the Movie Industry in the late twenties, and he swindled as much money as he could before coming back east to raise a family, where he spent a lot of his time swindling more people. Surely, had Joseph P. tried to run for office, he'd have all his dirty laundry exposed. To put it succinctly, if you compared Joseph P. Kennedy's record to that of Richard Nixon's, Nixon would look like a Boy Scout.
Along the way, I've read "The Kennedy Men, 1901-1963" by Laurence Reamer; currently I'm reading "Sins Of The Father" by Ronald Kessler, after which I'll probably read the full story of Joseph P. Kennedy's career in the movies, "The Hollywood Years" by Cari Beauchamp. I think this subject matter is very interesting, because there was so much manipulation going on in the Kennedy Family, as well as between the Kennedys and the rest of the world. It's too strange to imagine; a novelist would have serious trouble making stuff like this up. Plus, reading about the Kennedys' history takes you waaay back in time. Dull stuff this is not. It took me ages to finish the Reamer book, since it runs well over 600 pages. So, if you're an avid reader who can't find anything good on the bookshelves, I imagine you'd be entertained, informed, and even shocked at some of the revelations contained within these tomes. (A 'tome' is a book, right?)
Here is something that I've wondered about concerning the field of American Song. So many songs have used the phrase, "I'm Gonna Make You Mine" in various different ways. Well, if you "make" someone do something, it is usually against their will. So how are you gonna Make someone stand you over the course of a relationship? If they don't want you, it ain't gonna happen. And it seems to me, now more than ever, that if you have to "make" someone be your baby, chances are that you'll be a dominator, or a manipulator, which goes totally against the old axiom, 'If you love something, set it free', and if it comes back, then, "Voila". I don't know why, but this thought has been simmering in my brain for a few weeks. Another sentiment expressed in those vapid love ballads is a variant of "Make My Dreams Come True". I don't dream of being Welded to someone for the rest of my life. And if you Chase Your Dreams constantly, you won't ever be able to get anywhere, 'cos Life is about the here and now. I just can't buy into the "Make Your Dreams Come True" thing. I guess I have one of those Sick and Twisted Minds. Guess I gotta stop listening to those Oldies stations, huh?
I am a Seattle Mariners fan. Even this dismal season when they lost 101 games hasn't chased me away from Mariners fandom. But the regular season is now over, and that's great, because now comes the Best Baseball...the playoffs. Drama. Talent. Fan Excitement. Competitive-ness. So much rides on these games between the best teams, and I'm thrilled to see it. This is the time of year that I'm a Baseball Fan, not a fan of just one team, although I'd like to see the Phillies advance to the Series, because former Mariner members Raul Ibanez and Jamie Moyer are now on the Philly squad. The Minnesota Twins have their hands full with the dreaded New York Yankees, and I look for the Yankees to get to the series. Sometimes the World Series itself is a total washout, but the playoffs almost always are enthralling. Like the no-hitter thrown recently by Philly pitcher Roy Halladay. Truly, these are the days when the most exciting baseball is played. I saw almost two complete games today, and both were good games. If you can't understand what all the fuss is about, watch a playoff game or two. You'll see what I mean. And if you're a Mariners' fan, compare this year's team to the Playoff teams. You'll be shocked by How Much Better these other teams are.
Finally, I'm sure that if you've read your way through the glut of information I've hapardly pasted-together for this post, you have reason to wonder, "hey, where is the he trying to B.S. his way thru a longwinded diatribe without at least offering me some 'eye candy'?" The masses indeed do demand a picture, so who am I to deny them. So, here's a picture:

Judging from this photo, I'd say that Clark Kent would have a choice of changing rooms before flying thru the skies to bring law, order, and generally good vibes to this bustling Metropolis. Bustling? The local Oldies Station airs a daily drive-time show; it begins at 5pm and is usually over by about 5:25pm...