Assorted Declarations from Editor Tom Graham


Speak Up!
In last week’s action-packed episode of Headphones, I wrote about Scranton’s amusement tax, a tax passed on Dec. 10, 2012 that allows the city “to impose a 5-percent tax upon privilege of attending or engaging in non-exempt amusements, including every form of entertainment, diversion, sport, recreation and pastime, requiring all persons, partnerships, associations and corporations conducting places of amusements.” The City of Scranton wants its share of ticket money (from venues such as Pavilion at Montage, Scranton Cultural Center) and cover charges from local businesses which fall under the same tax. Again, this law has already passed and gone into effect in 2012 and now the city is looking to collect the money.
Shorty after the Headphones take on what I labeled the “Whack Tax” hit the streets and the Internet last Thursday, Scranton City Councilman Pat Rogan caught wind of the volatile situation. Later that same evening during the Scranton City Council meeting, Rogan brought the issue back to the attention of city council, as well as having a discussion with Mayor Courtright, and is looking into ways to possibly amend the ordinance so that it will not hurt local businesses and musicians.
Councilman Rogan is asking local musicians and business owners to contact him at patrogan1@gmail with suggested ways to help him come to some sort of resolution in the matter of the amusement tax.

Winter Blues and Booze
Panked! returns yet again to The Bog, 341 Adams Ave., on Thursday, Feb. 27, as the dancing crowd will join hands and celebrate a glorious night of winter wonder. Panked’s Frosty Bunz Winter Blowout Ball will feature all the usual fantastic staples such as a dance contest, happy hour specials, sweat, prizes and the chance to make winter leave us all alone for a few months. For more information, visit facebook.com/panked.danceparty.

Oscar pick
It’s Oscar time and the nominees for Best Original Song at this year’s Academy Awards are all over the place. The nominees include: “Happy” from Despicable Me 2 by Pharrell Williams, “Let It Go” from Frozen by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, “The Moon Song” from Her by Karen O and Spike Jonze and “Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom by an up-and-coming act from Ireland named U2.
I’m calling “Let It Go” the winner with a slight possibility of U2 snagging the Oscar, but I can’t help but wish Karen O and Jonze win the category. If you haven’t heard “The Moon Song,” it’s a simple, poignant acoustic song featuring two intertwined voices clocking in at close to two minutes of spectacular lunar love. Again, I find myself rooting for the underdog.

Here’s what’s in my headphones this week: Creeper Lagoon Take Back the Universe and Give Me Yesterday (Dreamworks) 2001.


Editor Tom Graham is a musician and singer/songwriter rooted in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Send email to tgraham@timesshamrock.com