Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: Subtle Editorial Comment

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Subtle Editorial Comment

Marketplace, the public radio business and financial show, doesn't list the bumper music it uses into and out of stories the way some NPR shows do. Every now and then, host Kai Ryssdal might mention the name of the performer, but for the most part, if you want to identify some snippet of music, you're on your own. Which gives the producers some pretty wide leeway for any juxtapositions they might want to feature. Earlier tonight, they ran a story on people who sell gold pieces at parties. At the end of the piece, the music sounded vaguely familiar, and then I placed the bass line: It was "Fool's Gold" by the Stone Roses.

Way back a number of years ago, when O.J. Simpson was just beginning to experience his troubles, Extra (or one of those early Entertainment Tonight imitation shows) had a piece on whatever legal developments had happened that day, and they ran Orange Juice's "Falling and Laughing" as background music. We didn't know the full extent of O.J.'s difficulties at the time, so that song was more appropriate than we realized. You've also got to remember that this was about a year before Edwyn Collins got his first American release with Gorgeous George and "A Girl Like You." In fact, his only American exposure at all had been a duet of "Consolation Prize" with Roddy Frame on the B-side of "Good Morning, Britain." Given that Edwyn himself was unknown in this country, his previous band would've needed to have a burst of popularity to achieve "little-known" status. A guy who was PA or some other staff position on Extra lived in our building, so I told him to thank the segment producer or whoever would've chosen the music and let them know that somebody out there in TV land had taken note of what they'd done. He assured me that this person wasn't that good, and it must've been a coincidence. I didn't believe him.


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