On Friday someone posted to the WXDU mailing list that all of our Prefuse 73 CDs have disappeared. This really, really pissed me off. Not only because I like Prefuse 73 -- a lot -- but because I feel in a way responsible for the RPM section now. So it upsets me to lose one of the best things in there. The station does have a periodic theft problem, but it's also possible that the CDs were just misfiled. Which is as good as stolen until somebody reshelves and finds them.
I wrote a really shrill rant to the WXDU mailing list about about how people who wanted to steal music should just bring their laptops and make copies, that way they'd be sticking it to the record labels, not the station. And if a would-be thief didn't have a laptop I'd gladly bring mine and make the copies for them, if it would prevent us from being cleaned out of artists like Prefuse 73.
But then I thought better of it. After all, it would be a bit hasty to start screeching about thieves at the station (even though, let's face it, everyone knows they exist) if the CDs were just misfiled. So I wrote a much calmer email instead, about how the RPM section is confusing so it's extra important to file correctly.
After my public plea I thought I might as well see if the Prefuse 73 had indeed been misfiled and if I could find it. So I went in with Georg, he was doing the world music show from 1 to 3, and checked the RPM section. I scanned RPM and Urban for Prefuse. Didn't find it, but I did find a heck of a lot of R&B/Soul that had been misfiled in Urban. I had been looking for a couple of those CDs so it was nice to find them. And while I was there I worked on reshelving RPM.
The section truly is confusing. It's hard to tell sometimes what is the exact name of the title and the artist, and is something a compilation or not. Sounds silly, but if you have a CD called DJ So-and-So presents Blah-de-Blah Remixes, which is all remixes of one band, Blah-de-Blah, by different people, compiled by DJ So-and-So, then is that a comp? Or is it filed under Blah-de-Blah? Or DJ So-and-So? And what's the title of this CD, is it DJ So-and-So presents... or just Blah-de-Blah Remixes?
My rule of thumb is that a comp put together by a DJ is a comp, and should go under "various," not the name of the DJ. A remix album, if it's all remixes of the same artist, should be filed with that artist rather than comps. As far as titles, I usually defer to however the CD was labeled by the music staff. Unless they obviously made a mistake (for instance, the compilation Torch: A Six Degrees Collection of Modern Torch Songs was labeled as "artist: Torch; title: A Six Degrees Collection...") But if the title is iffy, I go with however they labeled it, even if that's not how I would have done it.
I had gone through the RPM section in detail a couple of months ago, so it wasn't in as bad shape as before. Still, the comps were a mess. I guess I should be glad because it means that people are actually playing RPM. Also I found New York Lounge, which is still on the playlist but someone had accidently filed it away in RPM comps. (At least they put it in what will be the right place!) Georg told me that it was still on the playlist shelf when he did his show Thursday night, so it couldn't have been misfiled for more than a day. Whew! Anyway, I got almost all the way through reshelving RPM -- would have finished entirely except for an interruption which I'll go into below -- and didn't find the Prefuse 73.
The fact that almost all the CDs by an artist are gone tends to indicate theft, in my mind. But on the other hand, the empty spot on the shelf tends to support the "misfiled" explanation. Because our friendly neighborhood thief usually takes the CDs but leaves the empty cases, to cover his/her tracks I guess. And can I say, is there anything lower than stealing from a library? Well okay, stealing food from starving people is lower. And lying about weapons of mass destruction, that's way lower. But I've got a good head of steam worked up about the library thing, so that feels like the lowest of the low right now. I mean, what utter selfishness! "This is a great CD. I really like it! I think I'll take it so I can listen to it all the time! I could just bring my computer and make a copy, but that would take effort. Effort is no fun! Stealing is way fun!"
OK, had to take a break to watch AVS, the Indian pop culture show, with Georg. They only showed a couple of videos but they were pretty good. Most of the show (at least the part I saw) was about a big Indian Day parade in NYC.
So the interruption at the station yesterday. Around ten after two, a cople of young guys showed up, saying they were trying to find Phil for a 2 pm training meeting. They said it was supposed to be there at the station, but we'd been there since before 1 and hadn't heard a thing about it. I knew that Phil was working on new DJ training but had no idea where or when the meeting was. I took them upstairs to ask Georg if he knew about the meeting. Actually, I went upstairs to ask Georg, and the guys followed me. But still, Georg looked none too pleased about the interruption. It is hard to do a show with a bunch of people in the room talking about something else.
While we were standing around trying to figure out where this meeting was, another guy rang the bell. He said that the meeting had been rescheduled for 3:30 at the "student union." Now, I went to Duke, albeit 10+ years ago, and there's no student union building. The student union is called the Duke University Union and it's located in the Bryan Center. WXDU is part of the DUU so I thought maybe they have conference space over there that Phil was using for the meeting. So I told the guys how to find the Bryan Center ("it's that big ugly concrete building off Science Drive on West Campus") and sent them on their way.
Ten minutes later Phil showed up. With a map to the rescheduled meeting location. In the East Union building, on East campus. So I sent those poor guys completely astray. Argh! Phil called the Bryan Center info desk, in case they checked in there trying to find the meeting, but there was no one there. Double argh!
I feel terrible about misdirecting those guys. Phil was really nice about it; he kept assuring me that the fault was all his, for getting there late, and that the guys would email him to find out what the heck happened, and he would meet with them later. I hope it all works out like that.