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For all those who make their living candy-coating crap, an inspirational tale from a band called the Nocturnals:

They were one of twelve local groups that won a contest to be included on a compilation CD from radio station ZETA (WZTA-FM 94.9). After recording a new song specifically for the CD, they turned it over to ZETA and waited for all the good publicity. ZETA pressed 5000 copies for holiday distribution, and when it came out the Nocturnals heard their song.

It was recorded at the WRONG SPEED.
ZETA blames the company that produced the CD for not setting a specific speed in the Nocturnals' contract. That doesn't calm the band, which worries its image is in grave danger because the song is so s... l... o... w.

"It changes my voice, it changes the whole tone," says Nocturnals singer-guitarist Dave Scott. "It's such an upbeat song. Now it drags."

But in the spirit of lawyers, flaks, and con men everywhere, Scott called back a little later to say Nocturnals fans should rush out and buy the screwed-up CD anyway.

"Because it's recorded at the wrong speed," he said, "we do feel it's going to be a collector's item."

The song's title: "God Is Laughing."

Standing firm against the threat of serious journalism, editors at the Boca Raton News, perhaps after hitting the holiday eggnog, have risen as one to proclaim: Fire us if you wish. We will print FRIVOLOUS FLUFF!

Their paper wasn't making enough money to satisfy owner Knight-Ridder and is being sold to Community Newspaper Holdings Inc., a Lexington, Kentucky, chain promising something new and exciting for the citizens of Boca: investigative reporting and hard-hitting local news.

Not while we control the computers, snarled the defiant Knight-Ridder editors still in charge last week. In the finest Boca News tradition they filled much of the front page with eight stanzas of seasonal prose, which began:

They will march down the street, in decorations bought and homemade,
They're the entries in this year's city Holiday Parade....

Bands from Boca High, Olympic Heights and Spanish River,
Will play such songs as to send up your spine quite a shiver.
And everyone will cry, "Oh, let's go and see,"
The fire department's first truck, Old Betsy.

There will be Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and the American Legion,
And other festive companies from around the region.
Another float will hold the Little Palm Theatre,
So don't dare try to leave, or walk away, either.

Having dared to print that, the proud editors of the Boca News no doubt poured more eggnog, then tried to figure out why their paper lost so much money.

Undercurrents wants to know about any and all political deals, media screwups, and particularly dumb memos from bureaucrats. Let us know. Call 954-233-1572, fax 954-233-1571, or e-mail [email protected].

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