Beware of Music PR People, Yoga Pants, Ozempic and Ticks: Coachella Valley Independent's Indy Digest: July 27, 2023
Indy Digest: July 27, 2023
While the big news of the day is yet more federal charges against Donald Trump, I would instead like to discuss a less-serious matter: PR people who bring out my curmudgeonly side.
Yes, it’s true: I can be a bit of a curmudgeon at times—although I’d hope I fall into the category of “likable curmudgeon,” at least. But lately, PR people—specifically, music PR people—have been bringing out my curmudgeonly side more and more. Here are three recent dealings that music scribe Matt King and I have endured:
• One took umbrage at the fact that we listed a concert ticket price as it was listed on the ticket website. Some ticket sites disclose the fees up front—a very good policy!—and such was the case on this ticket site, and that’s the price we put in the story. When the PR person asked us to change the price to the amount sans fees, we politely declined.
• Matt reached out to the rep for a band playing at the arena, hoping to get an interview with one of the band members in advance of the show. A PR person responded: “Unfortunately the band is not available for interviews at this time, but would love to have you guys out to the show for a review?”
We rarely do reviews, of course, because we’d prefer to cover things our readers can go see, as opposed to things our readers missed. So Matt said no, but thanks.
The day after Matt sent his email, the PR firm emailed me. “Would love to discuss potential coverage around the show with you!” the email said. Not yet knowing that Matt had been turned down for an interview, I forwarded him the email.
About two weeks later, the PR rep emailed me again. “Would anyone from your team be interested in coming out to cover (the show)?” the PR person asked. I responded that we don’t do reviews, but we’d love an interview—and, like Matt, I was turned down.
Several weeks later, Matt and I received another email, from another PR rep for the band, asking for coverage. Really?!
• The final anecdote has to do with an interview story we published. We embedded a YouTube video of a song—a rather popular song, which was discussed at length in the piece
Several days after publication, the PR rep reached out. “Can you pls swap the mention/embed … to their newest song? … They’d really like to highlight their newer song!”
A less popular song. One that was not discussed in the story. Um. No.
Given the state of both the music industry and the music-journalism world, I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to work in music PR these days. But, still, come on. Don’t encourage my curmudgeonly side!
July 26th, 2023
The Beneath the Desert Sky concert series returns for another two nights of music: Saturday, Aug. 5, at the Indian Cove Amphitheater, featuring Barrett Martin; and Saturday, Aug. 19, at Pappy and Harriet’s, featuring Mojave Lords.
July 27th, 2023
The first exhibition at MAD.KAT will feature Kim A. Tolman’s work. She emphasizes texture and color in her favored large-format paintings.
July 27th, 2023
The long, narrow plate had four croquettes, which meant the hubby and I each got two of them—and they were quickly devoured.
July 27th, 2023
Get to better know Mike Soy, a rapper from Joshua Tree who’s building an impressive online fan base.
July 27th, 2023
Topics touched upon this week include Fenway Park, traditional American values, ideological diversity, losers—and more!
• It appears a labor stoppage—one that could have had serious economic ramifications—has been averted. CNBC explains: “UPS and the Teamsters union representing about 340,000 workers at the package carrier on Tuesday said they reached a preliminary labor deal that includes raises for both full- and part-time workers and narrowly avoids a potential strike that could have started next week. It was the latest in a string of labor deals where workers from pilots to aerospace manufacturing employees have pushed for and won higher pay. The agreement is worth $30 billion, according to Teamsters General President Sean O’Brien.”
• A battle over drilling rigs is coming to a ballot near you. Our partners at Calmatters report: “Recent California elections have imparted a valuable lesson to industries unable get their way with the Legislature: Stop a new law from taking effect by forcing it onto the ballot, and then convincing voters to reject it. Defenders of those laws have learned a lesson, too: The best defense is a good offense. So public health groups, environmentalists and community organizations just announced they’ve created a coalition to combat oil industry efforts to block a new law that would ban new oil and gas wells near homes and schools. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the law last year, but it’s been on hold since oil companies—pouring $20 million into the effort—qualified a measure for the November 2024 ballot to overturn it. … Even when referendums fail, they can still serve industry purposes. By spending $20 million to qualify a referendum, the tobacco industry bought itself a nearly two-year pause on a 2020 law banning flavored tobacco products. Voters ultimately upheld the ban, but not before the industry reaped what anti-smoking activists estimated was $830 million in revenues from menthol cigarettes alone. And a pending fast food industry referendum has stalled a law that would create a council to regulate fast food wages.”
• ProPublica continues to show why it’s one of the top national journalism outlets of today with a story headlined: “How the Ultrawealthy Use Private Foundations to Bank Millions in Tax Deductions While Giving the Public Little in Return.” The subhead: “It’s a simple bargain: The rich get huge tax breaks by donating art, property and company shares to benefit the public. But some donors collect millions while offering little or no public access.” The lead anecdote involves billionaire Charles Johnson donating his mansion to his charitable foundation—and receiving a massive tax break in return. “The foundation later told a California tax regulator that the estate was open to the public every weekday from 9-5. There was a lot of money at stake. Johnson, a Republican megadonor and part owner of the San Francisco Giants, had gotten an appraisal valuing the property at $130 million, a price higher than any publicly reported home sale in the U.S. up to that time, and five times the $26 million he and his wife, Ann, had reportedly paid 14 years earlier to buy and restore what then was a dilapidated property. The plan worked. The IRS granted the foundation tax-exempt status. That allowed the Johnsons to collect more than $38 million in tax savings from the estate over five years, confidential tax records show. But the Johnsons never opened Carolands to the public for 40 hours a week. Instead, the foundation bestows tickets on a few dozen lottery winners, who receive two-hour tours, led by docents, most Wednesdays at 1 p.m. Self-guided tours, like the ones described in the attachments to Johnson’s IRS application, are not offered.”
• CNN reports on a serious side effect some users of diabetes/weight-loss drugs are experiencing: stomach paralysis: “The diabetes drug Ozempic, and its sister drug for weight loss, Wegovy, utilize the same medication, semaglutide. These and other drugs in this family, which includes medications like tirzepatide and liraglutide, work by mimicking a hormone that’s naturally made by the body, GLP-1. One of the roles of GLP-1 is to slow the passage of food through the stomach, which helps people feel fuller longer. If the stomach slows down too much, however, that can cause problems. … Doctors say that more cases like these are coming to light as the popularity of the drugs soared. The US Food and Drug Administration said it has received reports of people on the drugs experiencing stomach paralysis that sometimes has not resolved by the time it’s reported.”
• We’re sharing this story because it’s SO weird. The CBS News headline sounds like a drunk MadLib: “Up to 450,000 in U.S. have red meat allergies due to alpha-gal syndrome spread by ticks, CDC says.” What? The lede: “Thousands more Americans are now testing positive each year for alpha-gal syndrome—a condition spread by tick bites that causes allergic reactions to eating red meat. New data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows up to 450,000 people in the U.S. may have been affected since 2010. … Many cases are also likely going undiagnosed, the CDC now says, citing ‘concerning’ knowledge gaps found in a separate study among American doctors surveyed about the red meat allergy.”
• And finally … please do not wear yoga pants to your MRI appointment. The Washington Post explains: “High-tech athletic clothes made with anti-odor fabrics are popular. But they also come with a little-known health hazard: The apparel may be infused with metal fibers that can cause burns in an MRI. ‘It’s like putting your skin up against a hot plate,’ said Dr. Hollis Potter, chairman of the radiology and imaging department at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. Lululemon, one of the largest athletic apparel brands, boasts on its website that its ‘Silverescent’ technology infuses silver fibers into fabric to make it ‘stink-stopping.’ But the company declined to discuss which of its clothes may contain metal fiber. The company also did not comment on the risk of wearing Silverescent clothes during an MRI, which stands for magnetic resonance imaging.” Ow!
Where else will you find news on local concerts, dangerous yoga pants, art-gallery openings, and tick-caused red-meat allergies? Only in the Independent! If you’d like to support us in doing what we do—or perhaps you’d like to just buy the curmudgeon who’s writing this a drink, to ease his frayed nerves—click the button below, and learn how to become a Supporter of the Independent. As always, thanks for reading!
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Jimmy Boegle is the founding editor and publisher of the Coachella Valley Independent. He is also the executive editor and publisher of the Reno News & Review in Reno, Nev. A native of Reno, the Dodgers... More by Jimmy BoegleIndy Digest: July 27, 2023UPS and the Teamsters union representing about 340,000 workers at the package carrier on Tuesday said they reached a preliminary labor dealSo public health groups, environmentalists and community organizations just announced they’ve created a coalition to combat oil industry efforts to block a new law that would ban new oil and gas wells near homes and schools. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the law last year, but it’s been on hold since oil companies—pouring $20 million into the effort—qualified a measure for the November 2024 ballot to overturn itThe IRS granted the foundation tax-exempt status. That allowed the Johnsons to collect more than $38 million in tax savings from the estate over five years, confidential tax records show. But the Johnsons never opened Carolands to the public for 40 hours a week. Instead, the foundation bestows tickets on a few dozen lottery winners, who receive two-hour tours, led by docents, most Wednesdays at 1 p.m. One of the roles of GLP-1 is to slow the passage of food through the stomach, which helps people feel fuller longer. If the stomach slows down too much, however, that can cause problemsThousands more Americans are now testing positive each year for alpha-gal syndrome—a condition spread by tick bites that causes allergic reactions to eating red meat.The apparel may be infused with metal fibers that can cause burns in an MRI. ‘It’s like putting your skin up against a hot plate,’ said Dr. Hollis Potter