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Another Portland Blog

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


The Shane Company and the worst music in the world

While stuck at a lengthy traffic light today I started mindlessly flipping through Portland's FM airwaves. I blazed past all the Shane Company ads and...

...ok, hold up. Let me swing off course and point out something that may help you down the line. If you're ever somewhere and for some strange reason you need to determine if someone is a local or a transplant, bring up the Shane Company. Anyone that has spent a few years in this city can quote the following with some degree of accuracy:

"The Shane Company. Open Monday through Friday 'till 6...."

Can you complete this sentence? If not, you. sir, clearly haven't been around these parts for long.

The diamond importer has used the same announcer at the end of all of their local radio spots since at least the '80s. Whoever this guy is, he has a voice that's as distinctive as Bill Schonley's or Tom Peterson's. If you've heard a Shane Company ad more than a few times, these few sentences have no doubt become permanently lodged in your brain. If someone walks up to you in the year 2050 and you're standing on a corner in Bali and they look you straight in the eye and say "The Shane Company. Open Monday through Friday 'till 6..."

you'll no doubt spit out "...Saturday and Sunday 'till five." It will be like a gag reflex, even if you haven't thought of Tom Shane or jewlery since sometime during GW's third term (if he's gotten away with this much and still hasn't come close to impeachment, you can bet it'll happen). You'll have no control over yourself. "Saturday and Sunday 'till five" will come pouring out of your mouth from a long forgotten but still functioning recesses in the back of your head.

Yet another reason to get a SIRIUS subscription, I guess. Anyway, back to the rambling blog post already in progress

...I landed on "The Fish," a station that plays nothing but Christian pop. On the air was a gospel cover of Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed." As "South Park"'s Cartman once discovered, any love song can easily be translated if you simply replace the word "baby" with "Jesus." The minds behind this song didn't change any of the words around but did manage to work in a church choir and what sounded like a few million Goodwill synths.

Music doesn't get much worse than lousy Beatles covers. I still have nightmares about the time I listened to the entirety of Robin Williams and Bobby McFerrin's cover of "Come Together." It still stands as the single worst recording I've ever heard. Remember the box in "Hellraiser"? You know what would have been scarier than pale sadists in leather gear? A box that contained the Beatle's catalog and demon versions of McFerrin and Williams with megaphones hanging around their necks.

As bad as the gospel cover of "Maybe I'm Amazed" was, it didn't match what KGON had in store for me as I was heading to Uwajimaya tonight: a recording of Styx doing "I Am the Walrus."


"The horror! The horror!" doesn't cover it. The misery this song dished out can't be put into words, Conrad's or anyone else's. Instead, here it is described in a series of painful grunts.

"Bleah. Bleah. Ugh. BLeah. Allahlajelrhawlkuf. Agh! Arrrrgh! Pbbbbbbt! Blah. Ugh."

I hate you, Portland radio.

UPDATE: While driving home from work on Thursday, I heard a new Shane Company commercial on KNRK. It was for their Valentines Day pendants (only a mere $150! Get 'em while they last!) and they had a sultry woman read off their URL and location at the ad's conclusion. It's the end of an era, I guess. *sigh* BRING BACK THE OLD SHANE COMPANY GUY! A new generation of Portlanders need to be brainwashed!

This is the stupidest blog post I've ever written. Or at least the stupidest in a week or so.

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