Here and Now

Gingrich Leads Poll, Tea Party on Romney, Ear X-Tacy Closure on NPR, Future Classics: Today on Here and Now

Some highlights from today’s show.

1:06pm Because of his long career in politics, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says he’s ready for the scrutiny that comes with being at the top in the polls.  The GOP candidates head into another debate tonight where Gingrich is expected to come under attack because of his newfound frontrunner status.  Mitt Romney unveils his first TV ad in New Hampshire, where President Obama pushes for an extension of his payroll tax cut.

1:11pm Newt Gingrich is the 6th candidate to rise to the top of the polls, as the GOP continues to search for an alternative to Mitt Romney, who’s still considered by analysts the most likely to win the nomination.  Mark Meckler, co-founder of one of the largest Tea Party groups, Tea Party Patriots, told the LA Times that if Romney becomes the GOP nominee, “it would cause a drop-off of enthusiasm.”  So how likely are Tea Party activists to turn to a 3rd party candidate in the general election?  And what does the Tea Party want to hear in tonight’s debate?

1:20pm Forty-eight years ago today, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. We revisit a conversation Robin Young had with her neighbor, Priscilla McMillan. A community activist and scholar, McMillan was a speech writer for Kennedy in the 1950s. Then in 1959 as a reporter in Moscow, she spoke to a young defector, Lee Harvey Oswald. After Kennedy’s assassination, McMillan’s desire to find out more about why he was killed led her to befriend Oswald’s widow Marina, and write the book “Marina and Lee.”

1:34pm As part of the month-long series, “Hard Times: A Journey Across America,” NPR’s Debbie Elliott covered John Timmons and the closing of Ear X-Tacy.  We’ll hear the feature.
WFPL News coverage of Ear X-Tacy

1:40pm 50 Years From Now, What Will Be ‘The Classics’? We remember the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, I Love Lucy, the Wonder Years and The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger from decades past. What – if anything – will go down in history from our era?

Local News

Ear X-Tacy Leaves Void in Music Promotions and Bookings

The closure of the Ear X-Tacy record store has surprised much of Louisville’s music community, but the effect could be even more widespread.

Ear X-Tacy has frequently been a key player in the SoundScan system that tracks album sales. Sales at the store were often weighted. Depending on the year, one album sold at Ear X-Tacy could count as three or six sold elsewhere. So for artists planning their tours, heavy sales at Ear X-Tacy could make Louisville a more appealing stop.

“We think it really sucks,” says John Wetting, who is part owner of Zanzabar, a restaurant and music venue. “They helped us out a bunch doing what we do here and selling tickets for our shows and that kind of stuff. Basically we’ll all have to work a little harder now that they’re not here anymore.”

Local News

ear X-tacy To Relocate

By Rick Howlett

The founder and owner of Louisville’s ear X-tacy Records says he will move his store to a new location on Bardstown Road this summer.

John Timmons announced that the nearly 25 year old independent business will relocate about a mile south near Douglass Loop Station. A FedEx facility in the building will remain open.

The store has been at its current Highlands location (in photo) for 15 years; Timmons says the new site is a smaller space.

“It’s going to be one large room..the store right now is three different rooms on different levels and there’s a lot of wasted floor space that we’re paying for. So this will be downsizing in a way, but all the merchandise that we have now will fit into that space, plus there’s a better parking situation there,” he said.

Timmons announced in February that he could not afford to continue operating the store at its current location.

He says the move will take place in July.

Local News

Timmons Says Ear X-Tacy Must Change

The owner of the Ear X-Tacy record store says he will do whatever he can to keep the store open, but he’s not sure what that is just yet.

Ear X-Tacy founder John Timmons released a statement this week saying he was concerned for the store’s survival. Since that announcement, there’s been an outpouring of support online. Timmons says he would like to see the same support in the store.

“If every one of the 19,000 people on our Save Ear X-Tacy Facebook page came in here and spent a dollar a day for a month, this store could live for a few more years,” he says. “It’s that simple.”

At a press conference Friday morning, Timmons elaborated, saying his lease is up in March and the store needs to make more money to stay open.

In this regard, he says he’s not alone.

“This applies to so many locally-owned independent businesses here in Louisville,” he says. “I just decided to put a face on what’s going on in the Louisville community. We all take things for granted.”

Timmons says he will also have to change his business to adapt to changes in the economy and the music industry. He’s not sure what the new direction is, but he says he’s open to suggestions.

You can hear the whole announcement here (mp3)