Friday, December 31, 2004

Almost forgot to write about the most interesting development!

It seems there's a LARGE portion of the population that's getting very uneasy with the consolidation and control of media, so much so that it would appear there are subsets of people from the left, middle and right, looking to pick a fight with the FCC.

I've been approached by some groups of lawyers who are offering to take our case 'all the way to the supreme court' on a pro bono (no cost to us) basis if we get the dreaded 'notice of apparent liability' (the FCC's phrase for 'we say you're guilty and we're fining you and threatening you with jail')notice.

It would seem the legal eagles have looked at a bunch of potential battlegrounds and have concluded KBFR is one of the better places to start. These are local AND out of town folks from the coasts.

So, it'll be interesting to see what happens. There are so many holes in how the FCC is enforcing it's arbitrary 'rules' that many interesting groups, groups you'd never think of as allies, are teaming up to fight how the FCC is running things. Interestingly, this isn't just the usual left leaning anarchist set (although they're part of it). There are ALOT of McCain type republicans fed up with the way things are going as well. I can't say I agree with them on alot of issues, but this set: free speech, local media and access to the airwaves ARE issues we seem to agree on.
anoteherfrst for KBFR. We, at the last minute, found we could do a live broadcast from the Fox Theater of the sold out Leftover Salmon show tonight. Other than the power going out for the entire place, it worked like a charm. Remote computer streaming over wireless over the internet. Beautiful.

An a different note, I talked to Vman, one of the two founders of Free Radio Santa Cruz. Seems he's quite the station and is unhappy with the direction it's taking. He and skidmark bob had a disagreement of some sort and, for now at least, he's not involved. It's a shame to, cause this guys been doing this for TEN years. Longer, continuously, than anyone else in the underground radio world. I offered him a show on KBFR (he can stream it from CA to CO via the internet)... I'd hate to lose his voice and his rockin the boat show. We'll see if he's interested.

We're also getting our first 'remote' DJ from NYC. B9 Punk, an artist who used to live here in Boulder and now lives in NY. She got a small setup that will allow for easy streaming over the internet and we'll be doing her show starting, I think, a week from Saturday. Noon to 3ish CO time.

We also did a live conference with the Chaos Computer Congress (CCC) in Berlin, Germany this week. They piped us into the conference and we broadcast the discussion live on KBFR. It's interesting in that they have a very different set of legal issues to deal with making it virtually impossible to do pirate radio in Germany (although it's alive and kicking in many other parts of Europe). I think we made some new friends in Europe.

Coming up on 5 years on air here. Man... seems like yesterday this whole thing started up by some guy in his basement. Many people and many interations later, we live on.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Another yearly benefit show coming up on Jan. 20th. Biggest yet with name bands and actual expenditures of money to get it all together. This will be the first time we act like an actual promotor. Should be interesting. It'll either do great, or break us. We'll know in a few weeks.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Well, it's verified. Denver Free Radio gave up the ghost. Notice the refernce to 'interested parties'.. I wonder who's got that gear? And what they'll do with it? Something useful, I hope.


News of the Moment

12/20/04 - Making Waves Update; FCC in MN [link to this story]

Michael Lahey's been getting around: his killer microradio documentary will get more screenings around the country next year, one of which will be in April at the Anthology Film Archives in NYC. Also, a professor from the UK recently contacted Michael about using Making Waves as part of an exercise/discussion in a new textbook on alternative media.

Earlier this month Michael also was a special guest on The Power Hour, a talk show carried on the Genesis Communications Network. Not only did Michael get two hours to plug the film and talk about the issues behind it, but they also opened the phone lines. That's where things got interesting:

Napoleon Williams (5:50, 1.4 MB), who's been on the run from the law for the last five years, called in (supposedly from Missouri) to tell his story.

Reverend Rick Strawcutter (6:46, 1.6 MB) also phoned in to complement Michael on the documentary and provide more details of Radio Free Lenawee's skirmishes with the FCC.

You can listen to the complete two hours (in MP3 format) here and here.

In other news, FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein and an aide to Michael Copps spent the night of December 7 in St. Paul as part of a continuing series of public forums on media concentration. Hundreds of people showed up to the campus of Hamline University, and many gave public testimony (more than 3.5 hours worth).

My favorite came from Beth Van Damm, a volunteer with Radio MCAD, and an organizer of the Radio Re:Volt conference in October:

"Until the day that the FCC and the NAB recognize that LPFM does not pose a threat...long live the pirates, wherever they may be, who forge ahead anyway, fighting the good fight for our public airwaves." (:48, 193K)

You can also listen to a complete recording of the event (in Real Audio), courtesy of KFAI community radio.

12/12/04 - Dutch Pirate Blowtorch Blowout [link to this story]

It's tough to fully understand because it's all in Dutch, but there was one hell of a pirate broadcast in Europe this past weekend. Radio Koning, Keizer, Admiraal ("King, General, Admiral") took to the airwaves Friday on 97.0 FM, running 11,000 watts out of an antenna more than 100 meters tall.

The broadcast was the result of a combined effort of four pirate station-groups operating in the eastern Netherlands, laid on (in part) to protest the methodical sweep of the FM band carried out by the Dutch government in the past few years as part of a policy of spectrum commodification. Practically speaking, however, it was just one big party.

The actual antenna and transmitter were located just just over the border in what appears to be some German woodland. Reception reports poured in from as far away as Italy. I believe this may have been the largest-ever land-based FM operation ever constructed by Dutch pirates (possibly the largest-ever in northern Europe).

The same day Radio KKA took to the air, Dutch authorities paid a visit to the station, reportedly on complaints about interference to a regional public broadcaster (KKA operated on an adjacent channel to the affected station). Saturday afternoon saw a large multi-jurisdictional German/Dutch enforcement team locate and raid Radio KKA; someone's got the last 8:47 of the broadcast online. Station crew were also slapped with a €40,000 fine (~$53,000).

The party didn't stop Saturday night: part-celebration of KKA's short but bright run and part-fundraiser.

12/8/04 - Denver Free Radio Packs It In [link to this story]

Sad news from the mile-high city: KCTS Radio, after a short but spirited game of cat-and-mouse with the FCC, has decided to retire the operation. From a communiqué first e-mailed (now available on the station's web site), station spoke Carl Nimbus answers, in detail, the question, "So what happened to 'we're just going to keep coming back'?"

The FCC was all over us. More than they have the time and budget for. More than nearly any other pirate station in the country....[Denver FCC agent Jon] Sprague and friends were coming faster and more frequently than their counterparts do in markets like LA, SF, NYC, Dallas, Chicago and other large cities. Why would that be? The FCC responds to complaints from licensed broadcasters. They very rarely go out at random to shut down a pirate.

Shortly after KCTS was profiled in Denver's alt-weekly, a New York-based "Senior VP of Corporate Communications for Clear Channel Communications" wrote a letter to the editor (number seven, slugged "Clear as Mud") in protest of the maligning her great company received in the aforementioned story (wherein Nimbus remarks, "It's sad that five guys in Texas decide what gets heard around the country"). To Nimbus and crew, that's a smoking gun:

Now why would someone from CCC in New York know about and be responding to an article in a local Denver paper (an alternative paper to boot) so quickly?

It became "clear" how this was all going down. Clear Channel was the driving force behind the whole thing. Why were they afraid of a tiny, local, non-commercial broadcaster? Because our signal was reaching nearly ONE MILLION people, that's why....So what was cheaper for them, to revamp their product to compete with us or to simply use their swing with the FCC to take us out? Well, the rest is history.

Plausible, certainly. Or perhaps, since Clear Channel's taken a beating in the press for quite some time, it hired some PR minions to scan news databases and sites, note anti-Clear Channel press, and write a response to those stories. That's pretty standard protocol for PR damage control. It's also not unheard of for FCC agents to carry a grudge. Just ask Doug Brewer, Tampa's Party Pirate, who pissed off FCC Tampa office director Ralph Barlow so much seven years ago that Barlow vowed, "sooner or later, I'll nail him," on Page 1 of the Wall Street Journal.

It was probably a bit of everything, including the hand of radio broadcasting's Public Enemy Number One. KCTS' gear has already been dispersed into the hands of "interested parties."

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Great show at the Trilogy Wine Bar last night. 4 bands and a good turnout. We even made some money.

We did learn a lesson though about timing and bars. If a venue is willing to let you use their space for a benefit show, you need to keep that bar open as late as possible with as many people as possible. That last 1-2 hours is when they make the most money (and that's where THEY get the payoff for hosting our benefit shows).

We ended around 12:15.. just ran out of music. We started early (8:30pm) and ended early. The venue's owners wheren't very happy.

It's likely that we'll offer to give them the profit they would have made that last hour from our door take. It'll kill the benefit of HAVING a benefit, but it'll keep the venue owner (who has been a great friend of KBFR) happy and the door open to doing future shows.

I think the thing to do is to always end your benefit shows with a DJ who spins dance tunes. We have a couple in the KBFR DJ ranks and if we'd had one of them there, it wouldn't have been an issue keeping the party going.

So, lesson learned this time around: Keep your venue's happy and always have a backup for music if your band finish early.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Complexity. The gobhoblin of this particular radio station.

Sometimes I wonder if the complexity we use to keep KBFR on the air is really worth it. I suppose it is, but using the internet so extensively does make for a difficult time staying on the air. The internet audio world is still far from 'dial tone' in nature.

Right now, KBFR is down because the damned router in the van decided to reset itself to default, making it useless. Of course, the notes we've got to re-set it up wouldn't work on it and the guy who knows how to do it isn't available. So, we're off the air until we can find the guy who knows how to do it.

BUT, hell, that's part of pirate radio I suppose. Sometimes it's just gonna screw up. Part of running a station with overhead in the hundreds of dollars a month instead of millions like some stations. A little downtime is the price we pay by not being part of (or being able to afford) 'the infrastructure' of radio broadcasting.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

I've been thinking a bit more about how so much of the media world has been forced underground in so many ways. Pirate radio isn't so much an underground media as a simple distribution mechanism for media that just happens to be unlicensed.

But it makes me think more about the other media's out there that really have been religated to the underground world. Adult material of all types. Political thought. non mainstream Religious beliefs. Unpopular with the mainstream general viewpoints. Alternative lifestyles. Art. On and on it goes.

For a society that's built on free speech, there seems to be one hell of alot of supressed folks out there. And, it seems, it's getting worse, not better. When the FCC's policies force dozens of ABC affiliates to not air a WWII movie that utters the word fuck (something that, oh my god, actually was said during the heat of battle), well, ya gotta wonder.

I think we owe it to our listeners to spend more time and effort on developing the distribution for these alternative points of view. And I don't think it's something that should really be judged by the distribution mechanism.

I'm coming full circle on this to some degree. A few months ago we shut down the station for a week and did a reset on all the DJ's. Mostly because a few of them claimed it was their right and a form of free speech to say fuck over and over much to our listeners chagrin. And, admittidly, to mine as well. I was just no longer interested in listening to my own station. But was that right?

I have no plans to go back to that type of 'programming' for lack of a better phase, but I do think we need to be tolerant of things we don't like. My tastes are mainstream, but I support the right of others to be as non mainstream as they like. But is it only if I happen to like it? Maybe. But is that really supporting free speech?

No, it's really not.

I think it comes down to the age old question: what is porn? And the age old answer: I know it when I see it. But it runs even deeper. Is porn bad? And even if it is, if someone likes it, who are we to say 'no, i don't so you can't'.

I'm thinking of putting together a radio show, or series of shows, that explores this area. Maybe interview some of the alternative viewpoint folks. The porn makers, the white hate groups, the really out of favor types that have no real voice because they're 'underground'. Who knows, maybe there's even a book in here somewhere.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

We had our regular monthly meeting today. All but one DJ showed, best yet.

We require these meetings and, if you don't make it, your show is suspended for a month (and you forfiet your time slot, making it available for new DJ's or existing DJ's if they want the slot). You can come back the next month, but you can only take whatever slots are available at that time.

We did try something new last month that allowed one group of DJ's (3 of them who do a show together) to do their show even though they didn't show up for the meeting. We instituted a 'fine' that had each DJ pay $15 for missing the meeting. The 2nd time it happens, the fine is $30. The third time it's $60. After that, they're no longer welcome back.

It seems like a good compromise. We'll see over time how it works.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

I wasn't aware of it, but the entire film industry, as we know it today, started in a way very similar to how we're operating today as unlicensed FM broadcasters. It seems the 'owner' of the equipment that made and showed movies at the time had a monopoly that he actively enforced. This man was, interestingly, Thomas Edison.

Here's an excerpt from a book I'm reading by Lawrence Lessig called Free Culture (how big media uses technology and the law to lock down culture and control creativity). It's fairly short and extremely telling:
Chapter four: "Pirates"

"If "piracy" means using the creative property of others without their permission, if "if value, then right" is true, then the history of the content industry is a history of piracy. Every important sector of 'big media' today, film, records, radio and cable TV, was born of a kind of piracy so defined. The sonsistent sotry is how last generation's pirates join this generation's conutry club, until now.

the film industry of Hollywood was built by fleeing pirtes. Creators and directors migrated from the East Coast to California in the early twentieth centruy in part to escape controls that patents granted the inventor of filmmaking, Thomas Edison. These controls were exercised through a monopoly 'trust', the motion pictures patents company, and were based on thomas Edisons creative property- patents. Edison formed the MPPC to exercise the rights this creative property gave him, and the MPPC was serious about the ctonrol it demanded. As one commentator tells one part of the story:

"A January 1909 dedline was set for all companies to comply with the license. By February, unlicensed outlaws, who referred to themselves as independents (hmmm.. sound a little like unlicensed radio operators?) protested the trust and carried the business without submitting to the Edison monopoly. In the summer of 1909 the independent movement was in full swing, with producers and theater owners using 'illegal' equipment and imported film stock to create their own underground market.

With the country experiencing a tremendous expansion in the number of nickelodeons, the Patents Company reacted to the independent movement by forming a strong-arm subsidiary known as the General Film Company to block the entry of non-licensed independents. With coercive tactics that ahve become legendary, General Film confiscated unlicensed equipment, discontinued product supply to theaters which showed unlicensed films and, effectively monopolized distribution with th eacquisition of all US film exchanges, except for the one owned by the independent William Fox who defied the Trust even after his license was revolked'.

The Napsters of those days, the "independents" were companies like Fox. And no less than today, these independents were vigorously resisted. "Shooting was disrupted by machinery stolen, and 'accidents' resulting in the loss of negatives, equipment, buildings and sometimes life and limb frequently occurred". That led the independents to flee the East Coast. California was remote enough from Edison's reach that filmmakers there could pirate his inventions without fear fo the law. And the leaders of Hollywood filmaking, Fox most prominently, did just that. Of course California grew quickly, and the effective enforement of federal law eventually spread west. But because patents grant the patent holder a truly 'limited' monopoy (just seventeen years at the time:, by the time enough federal marchals appeared, the patent had expired. A new industry had been born, in part, from piracy of Edison's createve property.
Wow... have to think on this more, but there are many storie's like this in this book. It appears that most of the folks, including radio, did something similar to get started. Primarily by ignoring or defying the existing 'authority' and doing what they considered the right thing.

And free radio, today, is no different.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Time to grow KBFR again. We're looking for 5-10 new DJ's. The way we're set up, we've concluded that, if they're tech savvy enough, they can be anywhere in the world. All they need is to be able to stream at 64kb have some music, a mic and an attitude.

Moving the website and it's got a new design and artwork. Should be up in a few weeks.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Another monthly meeting tomorrow. Some of the things we're looking at doing include sponsorship by local (only) businesses and we're finding there's actually alot of interest in helping. We're not sure, exactly, how to do this yet and we'll work it out with the businesses, most likely, on a case by case basis.

We've got a couple now, IZZE and Twisted Pine. Both provide drinks (natural juices from IZZE and locally brewed beer from Twisted Pine) for the van. We mention this on air regularly. Phinn does an 'IZZE's Kitchen" show (what can you make with IZZE and, say, vodka? What do you call a mx of izze and twisted pine beer? TWISTED IZZE.. uggg).

So this should be an interesting experiment in how supportive the local community really is of KBFR. The trick will be to keep ourselves independent and still supported by the local community. My primary concern is a sponsor trying to foist their point of view on KBFR and what we do/say/play. If there's even a hint of that from a specific sponsor, we'll drop them like hot nuclear waste.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

DFR was popped today for the third time, at a third location, within ONE HOUR of going on the air.

Methinks the FCC lies in wait for these guys.

I don't really know them (only through friends of friends) but they sure as hell are dedicated.

I don't think they're giving up either. The rumor is they're thinking of going into dig in mode: pick a site, set it up, ignore the warnings, stay in close touch with local and nationa press and when the warrant (with federal marshalls) come to haul it away, make a VERY large and loud stink.

Should be interesting to see what happens. Stay tuned.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Well HOT DAMN Denver's Pirate Radio seems to be hoppin!

Cactus Radio went on the air this week at 93.9FM. Hell of a signal (I picked them up fine all over Denver).

They have an AOL IM address: kctsradio

That's all I have though. No website or phone yet. They said they'd have a website up in the next week or so.

Welcome to our fellow pirates!

Friday, October 08, 2004

Funding: BIG part of keeping a station alive.

One thing you can do is get in touch with a new group that's formed here in Boulder. I think they plan on making their services available to everyone. We'll be adding a 'send money to' button on the website soon. They're a non profit corporation. They take the money, keep an administrative fee, and get the rest to you. Once they get their final name and websit up, I'll post it here.
Our coharts in Santa Cruz were busted last week so it made us take another long look at what we're doing.

I've come to the conclusion that, although stupid, the lengths we go to to protect KBFR are worth it. FRSC was running 'hot' (the transmitter and the studio in the same place).

If you seperate the two, run an internet radio station (which is where the DJ's and most of the equipment are) and an STL (Studio Transmitter link) that's seperate, you're just plain better off. I've gone over the specifics of how this works in past posts so I won't repeat it again, but this underlines how important it is that you play the game (as much as that pisses me off. We should just be able to GET a FRIGGIN LICENSE). What stupidity. Why won't the FCC learn? The solution is so simple, and really pretty easy to do on their part.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Good monthly meeting yesterday. With a smaller group (about 2 dozen) it's much easier to manage the station and the required duties we all have to do to keep things moving.

We took the KBFR duties list and each of the main areas where assigned to a specific point person and then other DJ's volunteered to help that person. I'll check with the point person over the course of the month to see how things are going. One thing is clear, if you don't spread the work, you'll burn out the few people who are putting in too much work while everyone else skates.

Obvious, I know, but amazing how often it happens.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

The Denver Free Radio folks where up for about three days before getting busted by the FCC running a little thirty watt transmitter. It amazes me that the FCC has the time and energy to even bother with this. But, if you think about it, it makes sense.

The first bust is usually the one they try to scare you with. "We can fine you $11,000 and put you in jail for a year'. You're in big trouble. Just cooperate. Give us your equipment.

The reality is, the have no real power and know it, so they resort to fear uncertainty and doubt. They are not at all above lying to get into a transmitter site. They trespass on private property regularly to get a look at things. They do all they can without going through the hassle of getting a warrant to scare the crap out of you to keep you from going on air again.

They are all about complience (shutting it off), first and foremost.

What I've learned over the last several years of running KBFR is that, if you make it clear to them that they don't scare you and you are NOT going away, eventually, you reach a balance with them. They come visit your transmitter site ever six or so months, leave a warning (forcing you to move it) and move on.

KBFR has several lawyers that will work for us pro bono (free) if need be. We've let the FCC know that if they do want to go to court, that's fine. We're prepared and it's not going to cost us anything other than time.

We've let them know we are friendly with the local press and, whenever they bust us, we tell the press and they write a story on it. Not always, but usually friendly to the cause of free speech and local media.

We stay in good stead with the local authorities, especially the political ones. City council type friendliness.

And we make sure the FCC knows that the community, the media and several lawyers support us in our efforts to bring the airwaves, or at least some reasonable portion of them, back to the people in the form of small locally focused radio stations that know and understand the neighborhood and town they serve. That give a shit about what's really going on and report about it. That play local music and local news and announcements and that support local businesses.

If you do that, they'll eventually lay off. They'll harrass you periodically (they have a job to do they'll tell you) but you can come to a sort of uneasy peace with them if you don't let them intimidate you into gong away after a bust or two.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Another KBFR Benefit show this weekend. A Night on Venus. Focused on the feminine.

Our own Granola Girl came up with the idea and put together, pretty much, the entire show. She did a great job all around of pulling it together and, in the last week, the rest of the pirate pitched in and it worked out exceptionally well. ZT in particular, as usual, went above and beyond the call in helping and several other DJ's put in alot of time and effort to make it work.

It was at the Trilogy Winebar.. good friends of KBFR. This was our second show there. It's a good idea, if you're an underground station, to make friends with the various venues in your town. It gives you a platform to put on benefit shows and station produced shows like the one we did this weekend. It also puts you in good stead with the local entertainment scene, making you an integral part of it.

Hats off to the KBFR folks for pulling off another great party!

I hear rumors that Phinn's planning the next benefit already. A jam band blue grass party of grand proportions. And Flowers got her eye on doing a comedy show sometime soon as well.

I think the idea of KBFR Presents, as a sort of local promotor, is a good thing and it's going to continue to get better as we get more exprience at it and more credibility in the community by doing successful shows.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Here we are again... and things are going pretty good. Smaller group, more focus, more attention to the station by a more dedicated set of folks. It's goodness.

I think one way to bring down a pirate station is to let in anyone interested in doing it. Pirate radio, by nature, attracts some fringe folks (myself included). The problem is not all of these folks are thinking in terms of community and working withing a group of people. Some have an axe to grind regardless of it's effect on the overall view of the station by it's listeners (or the effect on the other station members). Some are just into having a party and using the station as the focal point. Some are just plain nuts. But most aren't. No way to tell though until they've been around for awhile.

The key is to have a MISSION and clearly defined reason for being. This time around, I wrote up a Mission Statement and clear set of policies (how we'll operate day to day) and went over it with the captains (that set of folks that help run the station day to day). We then asked everyone to sign it (using their DJ names only, of course).

Not a legal document by any stretch, but a clear statement of why we're here and how we'll operate. If you don't agree with the approach, no worries, don't sign it, and go do something else. I think it's given us a much clearer sense of purpose and direction than before. So far everyone's agreed with the whys and hows.

We also instituted a sort of probation period (3 mo) where your show and contribution to the station get's reviewed at the end of the period by the captains council and you then become a full fledge pirate (or not). If it's not working out, everyone agree's up front that, at 3 mo, we part ways amicably. If it is, we go forward and that person get's more responsibility and say in the running of the station.

We'll see if, over time, it sticks.

You know, the hard part of pirate radio isn't the technical aspects of setting it up. That's learnable by just about anyone, and cheap enough that, if you're really interested in doing it, you can pull it off, even as a starving student or artist.

The hard part is KEEPING it running, month after month, year after year. The last 4 years on air have been an incredible learning experience in how to operate an obviously public yet underground entity staffed (and paid for!) entirely by volunteers. I've done alot of things in life, but this has been the hardest, and most rewarding, to date.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Well, here we are, a couple of weeks into the reset of KBFR. We've pared down the number of DJ's from 45 to right around 20. I've got a set of folks as my captains council that are doing a great job of helping pull it all together. And several key folks who are stepping up and taking a very active role in the jobs needed to be done to keep the station going.

But I remain slightly skeptical. Not that I don't believe everyone is committed and pumped up about the restart. It's more of a can it be sustained. These are good people, every one of them. Some of them are truly great people. But I've found that sustaining something like KBFR, over time, can be draining.

I'm not really sure why it is that I keep this going as i do. I'm pretty sure I could just turn over enough equipment to keep it going to these folks and walk away from it and it would keep going.

The hard parts been done. We've gotten it started, learned that the FCC's been bought off by big money/big corporate interests and are not carrying on the public trust in the airwaves as they were chartered to do, forcing us to commit an act of civil disobedience just to put a simple community radio station on the air. We've learned that people really really want this kind of radio. We know that the local music community (which is rich and amazingly talented here in Boulder) desperately want something like KBFR.. We've learned the technical ins and outs of keeping a mobile/fixed/mobile system running and one step ahead- we use low cost computers to run the station, internet access to keep everyone reasonably safe and in plausible deniability and it works. We've learned our legal rights and we've recruited legal support from the local community (we have more lawyers ready to help us than the FCC has working on radio, or so we're told). We've figured out how to support ourselves through collecting dues from our members, having regular benefit shows and doing KBFR presents shows and by selling T-shirts and CD's and other chaka's. And we’ve learned you can be too small to make it work, OR, too big.

And we think we can replicate it. We're helping anyone who asks with information on how to do all this.

The original idea of creating a network of underground stations that rivals NPR or even Clear Channel (1000 stations all over the country) is what keeps me involved, when I think about it. KBFR is the model, the test bed, the place where we see if this is real or just a dream.

I started this thing 4 years ago. And through a lot of hard work, from many people, it’s grown and prospered. And it's clear that's it's not a dream, it's real. And it's also clear that it's just the beginning.

Radio is one of the most intimate of media's. There's something very personal about hearing the voice of a DJ over those speakers in your car, your office, your home, your bedroom. When we listen to radio, we're inviting it into a very private space each of us lives in. It's emotional and viseral. And it's extremely powerful.

Most importantly, radio is the most democratic of media's. It can be used by anyone. It's extremely inexpensive (the cost of a radio is, literally, the cost of a meal at a fast food joint now). You can even be illiterate and still use it to get news, listen to music and stay connected to your world.

A massively distributed network of low powered, community oriented and supported radio stations that exists alongside the commercial world of McRadio is where we need to go. The only way to really do that is to keep plugging away at creating a national network/coalition of underground and low power station.

I used to think this was just pirate radio, but I now think it’s the ‘class’ of low power/community oriented and (generally) non commercial stations that should be concentrated on. Low Power FM (LPFM), College stations and underground stations. Together.

There’s a separate group of folks called the RPR Network here in town that’s working to make this happen. They are not related to KBFR other than being supportive of us being here (and we them). They want to create a system where any non commercial radio station can be a member and they’ll collect original content and music from all the various member stations for redistribution to all the other member stations. They’re creating a sort of national database of audio content with an overlay of intellectual property protection and sharing of programming that’s reminiscent of the open software movement in the computer world. Very good stuff.

I think we’ll work to do what we can to help them, and see where that leads.

In the meantime, the tiny little world of KBFR is reborn, yet again, and we keep movin onward. Old folks who started with us and new folks bringing in new energy and ideas.

I have a rule about whatever I do: if it’s not at fun why do it? When the ‘fun quotient’ falls below 51%, you’ve got to ask yourself: is this worth doing? The couple of months of KBFR saw my fun quotient drop WAY below that 51% number. But it’s back up now. It feels good again and everyone involved seems to really be pulling together to make it a family again.

So, another chapter. It’s kind of like this mutating entity that has the same name (KBFR) but keeps changing, dying and being reborn in slightly (sometimes radically) different iterations. One thing it isn’t: boring. And damned if I’m not having fun again.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Update on KBFR going's on.

As some of our regular listeners may have guessed, the station has been down a week now, and I’ve giving KBFR a lot of thought.

We shut down on Friday, August 6th, locking the van up and wiping the schedule clean. No DJ’s, no shows, just airing a play list created and running on our DJ Computer.

The reasons for this were varied, from an extreme overuse of profanity by our DJ’s (who than claimed it was free speech and if people didn’t like it they could just turn the dial) and a general disrespect for the station itself to several of our captains (the folks who do much of the work to keep things going) quitting in frustration and disgust at the lack of support on the part of many of the DJ’s. We just got too big. 45 DJ’s in and out of the van all week long having a revolving party can be fun, but it leaves one hell of a mess to clean up and it’s not really giving back to the community we profess to serve.

The question I had to answer was: Is this worth it in it's current form? Should I shut it down or should I restart it?

After a lot of reflection and talking to many people (including getting feedback from many of our loyal listeners) I believe hitting restart is the way to go. Restart means just that though. We're going to start from scratch. A core group of us (a Captain's Council) will, over a period of months, reconstitute KBFR from scratch. We'll be inviting back many of the existing folks that were with KBFR before and understand what Free Radio is about, and we'll be bringing in new folks.

Our goal is to fashion a more community aware station that's primary purpose is to build a platform that creates a real voice for the local community. A group of people that takes it's responsibility to it's listeners seriously and works at producing programming that's interesting, informative, entertaining and relevant.

We'll be focusing on playing new and underplayed artists, local artists and uncommonly heard popular artist’s music. And we'll focus on well known genres of music as well as little and unknown genre's, opening peoples ears, and hopefully their minds, to new sounds and new ways of thinking about the world those sounds can bring.

We'll also focus on creating original programming on wide range of subjects, tapping the rich resources of interesting people that live in Boulder. This will happen by talking to and creating shows about people, their ideas and their activities. From university professors at CU and the Thursday Night Cruisers (a 'gang' of 300+ folks who ride their bikes around Boulder once a week in the summer in a moving party) and interviews with local hot spots, music venues, bars and restaurant owners and their patrons to the alternative health community, the traditional and non traditional spiritual, political and environmental movements and the rich group of individuals and organizations based in Boulder that have something interesting to say.

We'll also focus on reporting local news and producing local opinion pieces on things that effect our community. From reporting on the city council meeting going's on and how they manage Boulder's resources and activities at the University of Colorado to the deep, rich music, art's and literature community's ongoing shows, displays and releases of new creative works.

And we’ll produce our own shows about a range of subjects from politics to sex, comedy to the seemingly nonsensical, and we expect some interesting DJ personalities to emerge who do shows that are just plain fun to listen to, for no other reason than they are just plain fun to listen to.

We’ll continue to have bands and artists in the studio to perform live in our Studio Free venue, helping them to get their music heard, and we’ll continue to produce regular CD’s from these Studio Free sessions.

We’ll also continue holding regular benefit shows geared to raising money for improvements for our operation and equipment and to help others expand the Free Radio movement.

In addition, we’ll be helping in the promotion of events all year long with our ‘KBFR Presents’ efforts (from an upcoming ‘all girl bands’ show at Trilogy in September to a comedy show sometime in the next few months). We’ll work with local venues and local promoters to bring great music and great entertainment to the local Boulder scene.

KBFR has been having fun and in it's own self centered way, but it's time we, as a group, really think about what we're doing as a whole and how we're going to use KBFR in ways that enrich the local community. We want to bring local news, views opinion, culture, knowledge, music and arts to the community using the incredibly powerful medium of Low Power FM and Underground Radio.

And we’ll continue to have fun, and, hopefully, provide something fun and interesting for you to listen to. We know that radio is one of the most intimate of media’s, where you invite someone into your home, your car, your bedroom, and you listen, connecting with a voice that’s from the ether, but seems very close.

And lastly, in case this all sounds oh so idealistic, we will never take ourselves too seriously. Because, in the end, if it’s not fun, why do it?

If you’re interested in helping, I’d love to hear from you.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Well, it's been an interesting few days.

On Friday, it became apparent that KBFR had sort of spun out of control (if control is the right word).

So I shut it down. Fired everyone, cleared the schedule, locked up the van. Just a playlist off of a computer running until I decide, is KBFR something worth continuing.

What the hell happened?

Glad you asked: We had DJ's saying fuck (and cunt, motherfucker, shit, cocksucker, nigger, faggot, etc. etc. you get the idea) at a rate of 200 times an hour, PER DJ (with 4 DJ's). It was getting so bad I was getting daily emails from long time listeners asking what happened to the station they loved? It had gotten to the point where people simply couldn't listen to it unless they were alone. No WAY would they try at work or at home with kids around.

We asked folks to moderate, and got a strange response: Hey man, this is FREE SPEECH, you can't tell us not to say fuck!

Well, we didn't. We asked for moderation. Use profanity in context. Like: That fucking idiot george bush killed 5 more kids in Iraq today. Vs: Did you see that fucking faggot fucking standing on the fucking mall looking like a fucking asshole cunt and fucking licking the pole? Fuck man, fucking pitiful. Someone should fucking give that fuck some fucking money.

I am, sadly, not overstating this.

This became a big issue, mostly around free speech, which we wholeheartidly support. Somehow, gratuitous use of profanity morphed into free speech along the way and we became the potty mouthed bad boys of radio. Howard Stern would cringe listening to some of the crap we were putting on air.

Then, to top it off, several of the DJ's started dissing the station, on air, and it's leadership (the folks that do all the work to keep it running). When asked to moderate THAT, they did even more of it.

Sadly, it was done with good intent, and truly horrible execution. Sapphire, our most active and hard working pirate, quit on Thursday because of this disrespect of the station. Her view was if these guys didn't respect the station and wanted to complain about it on air, it was time to move on. No hard feelings.

The problem is, she was putting in 20 hours a week holding it all together. Of the 6 people we consider our Captain's Council, 3 had quit (including Sapphire) in the last month.

Something's very wrong in KBFR land.

So, time to hit reset. End it in it's current form. No station. No shows. Nothing. Not even sure, today, if it'll come back up. I'm going to take this week to think about it and decide if this is really worth doing.

When you ask reasonably for someone to moderate something that's pissing off your listeners (causing them to complain) and you tell your listeners calling in to fuck off and change the dial if they don't like it, you've got to wonder if these folks really need to have a voice on air.

And when you tell them it can bring the FCC down on you even quicker and they ignore it, and when you tell them the FCC has YOUR name (me) and what they do is tattoo'd, personally, on your butt for the FCC to go after, and they ignore it, you gotta wonder: Is this shit worth it?

Right now, no. We'll see how it feels in a few days.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Language, language, language.

Interestly, this has become an issue at the station. We get regular feedback from people that there's 'too much cussin'. Many of our DJ's just love the word F**k. (yea.. might as well start now eh?). It turns people off. And it's a powerful word.

We don't want to ban it, but we want to find some way to moderate it's use. If it's an every other word thing, people are just turning us off (including me). But how do you balance that with 'censorship'. Telling your DJ's they can't say things (even a word that when overused offends) can be construed as censorship.

Hell, it is.

But where do you draw that line? Is the station for the DJ's or for the listeners?

Time to revist this and, potentially, put some sort of policy/guideline in place. You can't ban it, but appropriate use is needed.

But HOW the hell do you determine 'appropriate use'. This is the problem the FCC deals with regularly.


Monday, July 19, 2004

Cool beans in Boulder Town last night.

We were able to do a live broadcast directly from the Mountain Sun using not much more than a laptop, a mixer and a highspeed internet connection.

Hook the mixer into the venue's sound board, mixer into the laptop, laptop into the internet and Viola! Live feed to our van via the internet (which then broadcast the show live on 95.3fm).

Now all we have to do is convince all the venues in town to get high speed internet access and we'll be doing live shows all over the place all the time.

Pick Pickum instigated, Mcflurry collaberated and ZT made it all real. It's great having wonderful dedicated people working on projects like KBFR. We couldn't do it without their dedication and, man, it's FUN to boot.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Interesting show this Friday.

We participated in a live panel discussion on pirate radio that the HOPE (Hackers On Planet Earth) had in New York City. The room there was filled with 100 or so people and we broadcast it live here on KBFR in Boulder.

The response on both sides was overwhelmingly positive. The phone hookup worked great and we were able to take questions, comment on assumptions and participate like we were sitting on the panel in NY, and at the same time, broadcast it to our listeners. Good stuff. Gonna play that recording again sometime soon.

After that, Bulge, Granola Girl, ZT and I had a sceance (sp?) of sorts, contacting dead folk through a Q. board. Some bad ass murderer, a car salesman and a southern belle. Interesting stuff and, amazingly, seemed to work on air.
Interesting show this Friday.

We participated in a live panel discussion on pirate radio that the HOPE (Hackers On Planet Earth) had in New York City. The room there was filled with 100 or so people and we broadcast it live here on KBFR in Boulder.

The response on both sides was overwhelmingly positive. The phone hookup worked great and we were able to take questions, comment on assumptions and participate like we were sitting on the panel in NY, and at the same time, broadcast it to our listeners. Good stuff. Gonna play that recording again sometime soon.

After that, Bulge, Granola Girl, ZT and I had a sceance (sp?) of sorts, contacting dead folk through a Q. board. Some bad ass murderer, a car salesman and a southern belle. Interesting stuff and, amazingly, seemed to work on air.
Just had another of our regular monthly meetings. As usual, went well.

We're around 40 DJ's now, and we've come together well. The station is running nicely. The signal is clear. The computers work and everyone's up on their dues so we can actually pay our bills.

There's a joy to pirate radio that's hard to explain to someone that hasn't actually done it or been part of it. There's a kind of freedom knowing that you can play or say whatever you want, and that, somewhere, someone, is listening. Even if it's only for a brief time, you have a voice.

It's amazing how few of us ever actually have an opportunity to be heard outside of our own immediate little worlds. Our family, friends and coworkers. Being able to anonymously enter another persons world and, maybe, touch them in a way that somehow makes them think, smile or relate differently to the world around THEM has a power and a draw to it that's indescribable.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Humm baby.. another week of insanity with KBFR.

As I've talked about before, we use an array of technologies to keep KBFR on the air in the face of the FCC attempting to shut us down on a regular basis.

Here's a quick recap:

-We use a van equipped as a complete radio station to broadcast (FM).
-We use wireless hotspots and sympathetic listeners Wifi access to stream, live, on the internet
-We use "STL" (studio/transmitter links) sites in fixed locations that take the internet stream and broadcast it (FM)
-We have garages and 'spaces' scattered around town (including a space that's similar to a radio/recording studio) that we can either park the van to broadcast from or have enough equipment to allow us to set up a live broadcast (streamed via internet) to either an STL or to the van parked somewhere around town (with the van acting as a sort of STL site).

Carl Nimbus and ZT have spent hundreds of hours the last few weeks getting our network up and running. We've gotten a new mondo server (1 Terabyte of storage space, 100K+ songs) that acts as our main library, and we've got smaller copies of that library spread around to the van, to STL site computers and with friends of the station.

Everyone contributes. The DJ's (numbering over 40 now), the listeners (with wifi access and equipment donations) and the local music scene (the various venues allows us to put on 'KBFR Presents' shows at favorable terms that let us raise money).

By normal FM station standards, we run very cheaply. Our monthly bills are around $500-750 and include rent on space, internet access bills, a flat fee cellular phone used as the studio line, gas for the van and repair bills for the van and equipment wear and tear.

We pay our own way. DJ's pay monthly dues that cover, pretty much, the monthy expenses. Benefits raise enough money to replace broken equipment (usually, although at the moment we're digging into our own pockets again to cover some of the bigger costs).

So that's pretty much how it works today.

WHY go to all this trouble?

Simple, the FCC wants to shut you down if you don't have a license to broadcast. We tried, but LPFM licenses for this area are not available, even though FM spectrum that we can safely and cleanly broadcast on, is. We are very good radio citizens. We go to great lengths to put out a clean signal. Many of our 'licensed' stations in the area are actually much dirtier broadcasters, splattering around their spectrum and stepping on other signals nearby their own on the FM dial. We don't do that.

But every 6-12 months, the FCC comes knocking to tell us we are running an illegal station and must shut down. Our view is simple: The airwaves belong to the people, they are not to be sold off to the highest bidder. Free speech is important and FM radio is one of the best media platforms for free speech (in the form of spoken word and music) there is. It is ubiquitous. You don't even have to be able to read to use it. It is the lowest cost and most demographic of media's on the planet. And as a result of that, it should be one of the most accessible to the average citizen. It is not. And that is why we exist.

The reason for all this use of technology is mobility and stealth. If you're mobile, and, if you're visited by the FCC and can quickly move your transmitters location, you're good to go.

The first visit by an FCC agent is meant to intimidate. They are very smooth and they are very intimidating (usually bringing a local police officer, who doesn't really know why he/she is there, with them). They have only caught us one actually in the van (it was parked at a set location for several months). Usually they will find one of our fixed STL sites (a transmitter, computer and antenna in a tree with an internet connection that streams from our van internet broadcast or from one of our 'studio/garage' locations) and leave a warning to show a license in 10 days or face shutdown and an $11,000 a day fine and up to a year in jail.

Of course, they have never actually put anyone in jail. This is intimidation tactics. They've tried, but every court in the land says 'isn't this a form of free speech?' and throws it out. So they stick with fines. And they DO fine.

Here is where anonymity comes in. We at KBFR do not know each others real names. We only know each others on air names. We don't use fixed addresses (although we do have a PO box). The van is registered in the name of someone who is no longer living in Colorado and in no way associated with us (his choice). We are, in short, completely invisible from an identity perspective. If there isn't a name to attach the fine to, there's no way to stop the group from broadcasting.

And that's how it works. Two main things: No real names and mobility mixed with stealth. If you go to the expense and trouble of creating those two things, you should be able to run as long as you want (assuming your willing to put in many long unpaid hours of time to keep it going).

If it worth it? I don't know, some days, no. But most days, absolutely yes. I heard a conversation once that went something like this:

Q: "Never underestimate the ability of a small group of concerned and thoughtful citizens to change the world. You know why?"
A: "Because that's the only thing that ever has".

It's true. We are a small group of citizens who believe in free speech. And we're willing to take action to make that so. And we're willing to face down an oppressive government agency backed by large corporate broadcasting interests like the NAB and NPR (yes, NPR) to do it.

You should be too. If we created a network of 1000 underground radio station that take back the airwaves, but do it in a way that doesn't interfere with existing stations, we become a media force that changes the landscape of thought and ideas. We bring music that's never heard to the air. We bring ideas and news that are never broadcast on the big boy's networks to the people. We ARE what America was originally created to support: Freedom.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Thinking about getting a non profit set up to run KBFR from.

There's that pesky 'real name' thing though.

We'll experiment with it and see what we can come up with.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

I'm beginning to trust more in the overall intelligence of the group than specific individual opinions when it comes to decisions that effect the entire operation. Interestingly, I find there's truth to the idea of "The Wisdom Of Crowds".

Groups of people, diverse and uneffected by pressure exerted by others in the group, is better than a few people or one person's point of view in making decisions. You may not LIKE what the overall group 'decides', but you can bet that, more often than not, it's the best decision.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Folks are coming up with ideas for new fund raising.. one interesting one was for an all female band(s) night at a local club.

Considering it's Boulder, this could fly or seriously crash. The idea is intriguing though. Should we take pirate radio fundraising into the realm of niche demographic marketing to target specific segments of the population?

It's a tool, like any other, and it's the same tool used by the Clear Channels of the world. Maybe it would make sense to use some of their own techniques to turn the tables a bit... hmmmm...
Radio is about noise.. sound... the pressure of air on our eardrums...

and Music is the most inviting of those sounds, at least for most of us.

So we're developing a sort of 'communal mind' playlist for KBFR. All of the DJ's (about 40 now) put in 100 of their favorite songs. Then add periodically. This'll give us a playlist of 4000 eclectic and original songs in a mix that's about as representative of the station (and hopefully the community) as a playlist can be.

We use the playlist on off times when there isn't a DJ at the mic. Early in the mornings, daytime slots not filled with unemployed music nerds.... when someone misses their show. We put in voiceovers ever 10-20 songs IDing the station and we're working on getting the playlist up on the website (how else are you going to find out WHAT THE HELL that awesome funk piece at 2:24am was that you were listening to in the cab on the way home from a tuesday night drinking binge?)

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Some interesting developments in the pirate radio world. It seems the state of Florida just passed a new state law making pirate radio a FELONY. This does not bode well for the pirate world. One reason it works is the FCC doesn't have the resources to really police all the pirate stations out there. And once a pirate figures out that they may be able to find them and tell them to shut down, the actual process of doing it is limited. If you stand up to the FCC, and you're reasonably clever about how you do it, you can stay on the air for years.

This new development in Florida changes all that. If turning on a box that puts out the power of a 40-50 watt light bulb becomes a felony, and the full force of a state or cities police force is brought to bare on pirates, you can bet there won't be many of them around after the first FCC visit that includes a police officer.

The cops aren't at fault here. They're just doing their jobs (upholding the law). It's the (mostly Republican) Florida lawmakers (the same folks that brought you President George W. Bush). They know that control of media means contol of power. Especially big media. Stamp out the little guys shouting the truth from the rooftops and you'll be able to control the majority of public opinion.

Everyone should write an email to these folks. The governer of the state (George W's bro) and the members of the state legislature. Particularly the bills sponser who's email is: villalobos.alex.web@

Read the story below. I particularly noted the comment by Sen. Vicor Crist: "In the old days, they didn't just hang the captain of the pirate ship. They hang the whole crew

Thats YOU he's talking about folks.

Check this out:

Senate bill would crack down on illegal radio stations

Associated Press Writer

Last update: 23 April 2004

TALLAHASSEE -- There's no need to adjust the dial, because the Senate's signal is clear -- pirate radio stations operating in Florida should be facing stiff penalties.

It would become a third-degree felony to operate radio stations or interfere with radio transmissions without a Federal Communications Commission license, under a bill (SB 2714) the Senate passed Thursday.

The bill's sponsor, Sen. Alex Villalobos, R-Miami, said the illegal transmissions "bleed" into legitimate commercial stations and could interfere with emergency transmissions. Though the federal government typically oversees radio transmissions, Villalobos said the state needed to help the process.

"There are federal regulations to deal with this. There's just no one to enforce those federal regulations right now," he said. "When you open up a radio station, that's a privilege. That's not a right, that's a privilege."

Earlier this month, four Florida stations -- including one that broke into radio transmissions at the Lantana and Palm Beach International airports -- were shut down after warnings from the FCC, which says 26 other stations statewide are still under investigation.

The bill passed the Senate 30-8. Companion legislation (HB 1197) is now ready for a full House vote.

Some senators worried that raids on the illegal operations would only affect young disc jockeys, working part-time jobs for some extra money, instead of the owners and operators who invest in the expensive transmission equipment. But their efforts to amend the bill failed.

"Let's get at the real people. That's the people that own these radio stations," said Sen. Tony Hill, D-Jacksonville. "They're going to get away. ... They're going to just go set up somewhere else, but these kids are going to be branded for life."

Others said Florida should crack down on anyone involved with these operations.

"They regulate the radio business for a reason," said Sen. Victor Crist, R-Tampa. "In the old days, they didn't just hang the captain of the pirate ship. They hang the whole crew."

There were other questions about whether the state needed to step into the regulatory process at all.

"Do we want bigger government, or do we want smaller government?" asked Sen. Gary Siplin, D-Orlando.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

The virtues of not enough time.

We're working on putting together a KBFR presents show at the Fox theater and, as always, there just isn't enough time to do everything the way everyone would like it done.

I've come to the conclusion, however, that's just how it is and always will be regardless of how much time there actually is to do things. If you have 2 months to plan a big multi-artist show, or 12 months, it seems the same problems and issues come up. As the date get's closer, people freak and want to 'postpone'. Don't do it. Will there be mistakes? Sure. Is that normal? Absolutely. Just DO IT and quit the attempts at perfection.

Apple computer's a good example of this- it wanted to do everything perfectly or it wouldn't do it at all. As a result Microsoft won and we all live with the consequences. If Apple hadn't been so focused on being perfect, there's a real possibility that we'd live in a different and friendlier computer world today (as one example).

Pirate radio is about everyday people doing extraordinary things. Mistakes aren't possible, they're inevitable. We just need to live with that realization and keep on truckin...

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Ahh money.

In the end, regardless of how pure your ideas are about free speech and freedom of the airwaves, it always seems to come down to money and having enough of it to make things happen.

We had a benefit concert in Jan of 04 that raised money for KBFR that went pretty well. Enought that the venue (The Fox Theatre in Boulder) invited us back (i.e. THEY made money). That was our first lesson: create something that makes money for the venue you're doing your benefit at.

The next thing we learned was it doesn't HAVE to be a benefit. Our next show is going to be "Presented by KBFR". What we seem to have stumbled on is that, by being a radio station that plays music, we have the support of pretty much all the local music talent in the area (we're one of the few places many of them can get their music on the air at), so most are willing to do shows for KBFR's benefit, even if it's not a benefit 'specific' show.

So, KBFR as promotor is what's developing. I believe pirate radio stations should consider this as a viable option for fundraising to continue operations, upgrade equipment and outfit studios.

What we're planning now is to do ONE big blow out benefit a year for KBFR. Something that raises enough money that we can operate at a (very) minimum level for a year. Then, over the course of the year, hold several 'KBFR presents" shows that augment our finances enough to improve the operation. We also, of course, sell studio free CD's, T shirts and buttons at these shows (creating a bit more income).

We're not talking big money here folks. A few hundred dollars per show. BUT, a pirate station doesn't need ALOT to run, just enough. The actual income would be considered below the poverty line (and below what would be taxed, if we were taxed). So it's even safe.

And the other thing, and most important, is you're not begging for money all the time on air. There is no 'donation' so to speak. You get value for your contribution (give us $10 for a great show.. go home happy). That allows the station to remain independent and pure in it's approach to what it does (mostly: NO censorship for it's members). If we take 'donations' from people, no matter what they say, at some point, they will want to have a say in what's on air. This is fine, if they're willing to JOIN the group and become part of KBFR as a DJ (and share the risk with us), but if we just take money without giving something of value in return (like a concert, a CD or a T shirt) we're opening the door to having people who are not of a pirate mindset trying to set the agenda.

And, of course, we're pretty clear that there IS no agenda. Just good radio created on the fly by regular folk DJ's doing what they love: Playing music and sharing ideas and opinions about the world.

Monday, March 01, 2004

It's been awhile since I wrote here. Many goings on.

KBFR appears to be growing nicely. We had our monthly meeting on Sunday and there were more DJ's than we've ever had before. Somewhere in the 30 area. We now have shows that range from bluegrass to sports, politics to punk. It's a wide ranging group of wonderful folks, no doubt.

The Fox Theatre has asked us to do another benefit show (apparently, they actually made money on it as well, they get the majority of the bar take and our audience is a fun lovin group). We think this is one of the more likely ways to fund pirate radio. Get a local music venue on your side and then partner with them as a way to raise money and to give a stage to both known and unknown bands (not unlike what KBFR itself does). Sell Tshirts, buttons and CD's of bands who've played live on KBFR. Mix it all together and, if you do it right, you can fund a station for half a year, or fund the creation of a new station (takes about $3-5K to buy everything you need to go on air).

After reading an article in a business journal, it occurred to me that we're set up to be a recording studio/independent record label. Put the question to the gang: is this something we should do?

With the advent of iTune's and it's ilk for distributing online music that can come from, literally, anywhere, it seems to me that non mainstream sources of music (like a network of pirate radio station/recording studio/independent label entities) would be a great way to fund pirate radio and to expand it's growth.

Eventually, the FCC will simply have to accept that Pirate Radio is an entity that just needs to be accepted and officially sanctioned. This would be one way to help make that eventual inevitabilty happen just a little faster.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Thoughts and life

I sometimes wonder about the purity of our ideas around things like free speech and media freedom.

WHO's free speech, exactly? Who's media freedom? Are George Bush and Clear Channel any less 'free' to spew out what they consider free speech and their version of media freedom? Bush would have you think his thoughts are 'the right thoughts'. Clear Channel would have you think that by determining how to buy up most of the radio outlets in the major markets of the US, they've earned the right to say and do what they want. It's their freedom. Their capitalistic right.

And they are both, in their own ways, correct.

BUT, and yes, there's is always a but, this brings us back to a more philosophical argument around pure capitalism vs. community and the rights of a group of people that bind together into a community. At what level do you take away the rights of that community? And at what level do you consider a community to be 'natural'?

Some say that the size is around the 200 people. That's a group that's considered 'knowable' by everyone in the group. Interestingly, this matches the size of the average human village that existed for thousands of years. Get much larger and you start to lose the intimate personal nature of the the village.

I'm not sure our minds can hold more than 200 peoples worth of 'knowingness'.

And.. that brings us back to pirate radio. I think the best possible way to use it would be to have it address an area that covers about 200 people. A 'neighborhood' radio station, so to speak. Man.. that would be cool. 10's of thousands of tiny little stations playing news and updates, music and musiings from the 200 or so people in the community.

Of course, this is bullshit in the real world. But it's fun to dream every so often.

Saturday, January 31, 2004

I've been thinking: why do we do Pirate Radio?

What's the motivation? Why do we keep bringing it up after the FCC visits and closes us down? Part of it comes from knowing that they don't really have alot of power to stop us. But we also know they'll never stop. It is, after all, the government. They never get tired, and they never forget.

But if we stay swift and unkown, there's no reason we can't outlast them and grow Pirate Radio to the point where it's so big, it has to be made legal, and something the government no longer is able to shut down. Eventually, they'll have to find a way to make it legal and 'legit'. But only if we stay true to our belief that it's important and has to continue on.

Monk started out as a guy with a transmitter in his basement, but that guys long gone. What he is now is group of people, with on of that group becoming leader and taking on the personality of Monk for a period of time, running the station, helping to grow it, and then passing on the name and the dream to the next group that comes in to continue with the cause.

That's how to make Boulder Free Radio (or any free radio station), in a way, immortal. The "Monk" of the moment is who the the person who has responsibility (and technically, ownership) of the equipment. Each Monk passes it all on to the next Monk, and the station continues on.

This structure gives the group cohesion and continuity. It's something you might want to try if you want to create a community station that lasts beyond the presonality of a few of the original founders.

"Monk is a ghost and in many ways, many people"

Saturday, January 24, 2004

The benefit show went great! Several hundred people showed up and the Fox Theater asked us to come back and do another show in two months!

Thanks to the folks fo Boulder for all your support!

To all you pirates... this is a great way raise money for your cause! If you have a local music venue, get some of the local musicians that you've been supporting by playing their music and doing live shows on air to play a benefit show for your station. Feed them and give them a keg back stag (make sure the foods good. You should be able to get a local restaurant to two to donate some kick ass food, we did). If you have it, your local micro brewery's a candidate for donating a keg (again, we found one.. Twisted Pine.. great guys..excellent beer).

Print up tshirts to sell in the lobby. And if you have the ability, copys of CD's from recordings of on air broadcasts from bands that have played in your studio... or shows of your more 'out there' DJ's who are fun to listen to.

Put a donation jar in the lobby too.

We charged $10 per ticket. The venue (The Fox here) get's a percentage, and you get the rest. It's usually negotiable so work out your best deal with them. Remember, what you're doing is completely legal. There is nothing anyone can do to stop you here. We've talked to our lawyer on this, you and all your supporters (the venue, the food and drink folks, etc.) are all doing something completly on the up and up.

This builds alot of buzz around your station and makes you one very cool operation. It also builds alot of community support.. something that's going to be very handy when the FCC finally does knock on your door.

It's also a good idea to get your local newspaper plugged in and on your side. Ours (the Daily Camera, as well as the weeklys.. if you have them) did stories on us up until the night of the show, and then was at the show covering the bands and the scene. More positive buzz. More positive community support.
Boulder Free Radio: Radio So Good, It's Illegal

"Monk is a ghost and in many ways, many people"

Thursday, January 22, 2004


So tonight we find out if Boulder really suports KBFR. If the benefit is a success and we end up actually making enough money to operate the station for awhile.. well.. damn.. we'll just have to keep doing it!

If not, well, that tells us alot. We'll know in the next few hours.
Boulder Free Radio: Radio So Good, It's Illegal

"Monk is a ghost and in many ways, many people"

Saturday, January 17, 2004

The Story of the Dread Pirate Roberts.

There is a story that teaches us a lesson about how a single persona can be a multitude of people and a useful way to run a pirate radio station.

The Dread Pirate Roberts was a feared pirate of the seas off of England in the 1700's sailing a ship called the Black Beauty. Pirate Roberts would raid rich ships owned by the royalty and government of England off the coast of the island. During this time, the Pirate Roberts would choose a apprentice, although the apprentice didn't know he'd been chosen. The Pirate Roberts would teach this person all there was to know about sailing the Black Beauty, and all the secrets of the pirate operation. Where the best places to hide treasure where. Who could be trusted, who to avoid. All the knowledge needed to lead the crew of free spirits.

Every few years, after becoming rich raiding the ships of the rich and powerful, the Black Beauty would dock in London and take on an entirely new crew and the Dread Pirate Roberts would leave with the crew, retiring happy and wealthy. The new crew would be chosen by the apprentice trained by the Dread Pirate Roberts. And, he would take the name Pirate Roberts and the new crew would believe, since he now had the ship and knew all there was to know about it's history and all it's secrets, that he really was the Dread Pirate Roberts.

Over time, the name of the Dread Pirate Roberts became so powerful that a ship approached by the Black Beauty would simply empty of people on lifeboats, without a fight, leaving the booty to the Black Beauty's crew. And on it went, for over a century. The legend of the Dread Pirate Roberts lived long after the first Pirate Roberts was long dead.
Boulder Free Radio: Radio So Good, It's Illegal

"Monk is a ghost and in many ways, many people"
Back on the air.

48 Hours after being visited by the FCC and our compliance in shutting down, KBFR is back on the air.

Special thanks to Sargent Socket for coordinating the teardown and setup almost flawlessly. And to Lash and Friends for finding a new home for our main transmitter (the van, of course, is always operational, you never know where we'll be actually located when we're broadcasting).

KBFR is owned by BURG (The Boulder Underground Radio Group). A group of extremely diverse but in more ways than you would think like minded people who believe in free speech and freedom of the airwaves.

Boulder Free Radio: Radio So Good, It's Illegal

"Monk is a ghost and in many ways, many people"

Thursday, January 15, 2004

BUSTED by the FCC- What happened on 2.13.04

At about 8:30pm (yes, they do work nights- so operating just nights and weekends is no protection: you might as well go 24/7 if you're going on at all), FCC Agents knocked on the door of a house where KBFR had put an STL (Studio Transmitter Link). This STL was fed by a DSL modem we'd hidden in the garage. None of us lived there. It was a renter who had no knowledge of the STL operations (although we hear they acted like us and told the agents to get off the property). They had been told by the owner of the house that it was a ham radio rebroadcaster. This is the same story we gave the owner as well. In exchange, we paid him for his monthly cable modem as 'rent' for the STL space (and we accessed is cable modem to provide the 'ham radio feed').

The FCC then posed as the renters and called the station. On one line (cellphone) they called as the FCC saying they were busting the STL. On the OTHER line (internal DSL line) they called and posed as the renters saying 'Monk' (using my old roommates name, which, of course no one at the studio's ever even heard of)should come quick cause the FCC was there!


The renters of that house have no idea we even exist, let alone having the private number. Nice move FCC- you gave yourself away instantly by trying to 'lure' us in using a number no one but a few of us have and a name no one's ever heard of. To you other pirates: This goes to show you that the FCC is capable of attempted subtrafuge, but not very good at it.

Interestingly, they appear to think one of the owners of this house the STL was at is me. Several years ago, I was the roommate of this fellow. When I was busted the first time by the FCC, it was at his house. Although pissed off (he forced me to unplug it and move out) we are (or rather: were, until this happened) still friends. I met the other owner of the house (his partner) at a party we all three were at. The location of this fellow's house (high on a hill in the middle of Boulder) was ideal for an STL so I asked the fellow (not my original room mate) if we could put a ham radio rebroadcaster in his back yard in exchange for paying for his cable modem as rent. He agreed. He then moved, but bought the house next door as an investment (along with my old roommate). He then SOLD his house, so we asked him if we could just move it next door and continue paying for his cable modem where he moved to. He said sure (I don't think he even much thought about it. Mostly it was a free cable modem to him).

The fellow they think is me (my old roommate) lives in another state now (somewhere in the midwest I think) and moved a month or two before we put the STL at the rental property. I'm sure he's going be good and pissed on this one, but that's the price of free speech. I do thank the FCC for thinking I'm so good that I could run a pirate radio station from 1000 miles away. THAT would be impressive.

We managed to get all the equipment pulled out the next day and are working on getting it set up at another site now.

We've also got several lawyers alerted (in Boulder and S.F.) in the event anything weird happens. Unfortunately, the FCC forces us to do this (use innocent folks as unknowing fronts) to keep our operations going year after year.

This would be SO much easier if the FCC just did the right thing and licensed LPFM, you know? What a waste of time and effort on everyone's part.

This is an interesting lesson as well. HAVE YOUR LEGAL SUPPORT READY. There is almost sure to be a lawyer in your town who has a belief in free speech and is willing to back you pro-bono - i.e. no cost) as our lawyers are. It's a little like having mace in your purse. You hope, if you're attacked by some big thug on the street you have it, but you pray you never have to use it. But make damn sure you can if you have to.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004


Down we go. Stay tuned (pun intended).

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Here's an email I wrote to a fellow from a local conservative think tank. He wanted to do an article on KBFR so I wrote up a fairly detailed response. I included the entire email thread just for good measure.

Date: Thu, 1 Jan 2004 07:57:15 -0800
To: Jon Caldara
Subject: RE: [KBFR] kbfr article

I can appreciate where you're coming from.

Maybe I can answer some of your questions about what KBFR is about in this

We work out of many environments. We have storage space we rent to keep
equipment in. Sometimes we'll work out of a garage somewhere when we have a
live band (or we'll pull the van up to a band practice studio and stream it
live). Primarily it's a van, though (it's a fully outfitted as a radio
station.. you'd be amazed at what you can fit into a van and how little it can
cost compared to a regular station). If you park a van with 150 watt
transmitter on the side of a mountain (think of it as a 2000 foot tower) you'd
be surprised at how far you can reach and how clear the signal can be. We've
identified all the best locations around Boulder (we use TopoMap software to
get the best locations pinpointed, then we find friendly listeners willing
to 'host' an antenna and power source for us.. more on that later in this

We use pro level equipment from a company out of England. One of our two dozen
DJ's is a professional RF engineer and EE. We're very careful to be good radio
citizens and to have a clean non splattering signal. We use low cost
compression equipment and software to get a good sound and are almost
exclusively MP3 based (you can fit about 100,000 songs onto a 300GB Hard
drive.. which is about the size of our library). We do play CD's as well and
have a dual CD player. We tried supporting albums (with turntables) but found
most of what we wanted we could get in MP3 form, so that's mostly what we go

We have internet access via wifi (802.11b or g) connections that we tap into
around town. Boulder is a very wired city with a lot of hot spots we've been
invited to use by our listeners so we can be almost anywhere and have good high
speed internet access (which is how we stream live).

We also have antenna's scattered around town in tree's, in buildings, on roofs,
and we park the van next to these spots and plug in. Again, local
listeners 'donate' this space (often along with a power source we can plug into
so we don't have to have the van running and burning gas). The Van also has a
mobile antenna that allows us to do it from anywhere, but a larger 5/8th wave
or 1/4 wave antenna well placed gives us better range and sound.

We're not overly political as a group (although some of the DJ's are very
political). We range from far left to far right. We only really have three
rules: no one under 18, no drugs and no guns. That last one was for our
libertarian members. You'd also be surprised if you meet some of us. As an
example, one of our members is a dreadlocked 20 something with a well developed
taste for herb, but a registered republican who owns his own business. Our
DJ's age's range from 18 to into our 50's.

Interestingly, we're not looking for revolution. We're looking for public
access to the airwaves. Currently, radio is almost unlistenable. Our Clear
Channel friends have made it into McRadio. No diversity. The same songs over
and over. Pure commercialism (which we don't condemn, but hell, you've GOT to
balance that with local content, music and views.. something sourly missing
from our airwaves today). We are not, as a group, democrats, republicans,
libertarians or anarchists. We are tolerant of all points of view.

Our view is radio spectrum is a rare and limited resource that's been sold off
to corporate America and NPR (an evil institution, at least in my opinion).
Low Power FM (LPFM), which is what we really are, was cut off at the knee's by
NPR and the NAB in 2000 using lies and fear. I had started the process of
getting a license and had ordered the equipment when NPR and the NAB bought a
couple off senators, faked up a CD to scare congress and got the LPFM rules the
FCC had put into place in 1999 to enable LPFM changed to make it impossible to
have a station in any urban area with humans around. For more detailed info,
see the Boulder Weekly story at:

More links on our website at

I had a choice then, sell the transmitter on ebay or say screw it and put it
up. I put it up. We've been visited by the FCC several times. Interestingly,
we aren't actually doing anything 'illegal'. We are breaking FCC rules, but
it's not something that has a federal enforcement agency with powers to arrest
behind it. The FCC must get a federal or local police officer to enforce a
court order obtained by the FCC through a local or federal judge. FCC agents
have no power to arrest. Each time we're visited we simply move the van (often
we'll leave it in one place for days or even weeks at a time). That resets the
legal process of getting a warrant to seize our equipment (they use an arcane
law now to get a warrant for the equipment, not a person-a maritime law used to
seize pirate ships in the 1800's). The FCC process is: first a warning, then,
get a warrant and take the gear. If you keep moving, each contact is a 'new'
contact and get's only a warning. To date it's worked well.

Several local attorney's have also volunteered their time pro bono to advise us
and, if necessary, defend us (hopefully, as long as we keep on the move, that
won't be necessary). I believe we actually have a better legal team and
resources than the FCC itself right now (they have two lawyers in DC that deal
with radio related legal issues, we've got more than that here on our side in
Boulder, and yet more in other parts of the country waiting to help if needed).

It's time for this. We NEED locally focused radio that creates a platform for
local points of view, local music and local events information.

Our long term goal is to be the nexus of a national network of underground Low
Power FM stations we're calling the Real Public Radio network (RPR). If we can
create a network of 1000 stations over the next 10 years, we become a defacto
entity that has to be dealt with. No intent to be grandious here, but it's not
unlike the USA at it's inception (as I'm sure you're well aware of: the US
was 'illegal' in the eyes of England for some time.. when it became a real
economic force in the world, the existing power structure had no choice but to
recognize it's legal status as a country.. what we're doing is something
similar- our force won't be economic as much as a voice with influence in the
local community). All we really want is to see Low Power FM made fully
legitimate and available in urban areas and opened up so thousands of small
stations can spring up in towns and cities across America, creating a local
voice for the citizens of this country. A platform for local voices of all
types. Something I believe is part of what America is all about.

We believe we can create this RPR network using the internet as our
distribution system similar to how radio networks use satellites today. Each
station can take a 'stream' of content when no one's in the studio, or pick and
choose shows or local music from other parts of the country recorded and
uploaded to a central server or set of distributed servers. I suppose this is
why NPR, specifically, seems so set against LPFM. We could do what they do for
a fraction of the cost and do REAL public radio. Local and relevent to the
listeners. NPR stations nationawide are centralizing as you read this.
Colorado's NPR is all centralized in Denver and all towns in the state hear the
same programming. Nothing local, it's all regional now.

KBFR comes from Boulder Free Radio (BFR) and I put the K on it for the hell of
it when I started. No reason other than that. One guy in a basement messing
around who got pissed off when they changed the rules mid stream and
said 'enough is enough.. let's do something about this'.

in terms of funding, I bought the original equipment (a basic station costs
about $5000 for everything) and, as the group formed (we call it 'BURG'..
Boulder Underground Radio Group) we decided to be self funding. By keeping our
costs low it takes about $25-30 a month per DJ to keep it all going (prepaid
cell phone for a studio line, storage space rent, etc). We're often offered
money by listeners, but we always ask them to, instead, donate to the other
real local radio stations in town (KGNU- a true local/public radio station) and
1190AM (the college station).

We are planning a benefit concert in Jan. Several of the local bands that have
played on air at KBFR have agreed to do the show (they get exposure and air
play.. in exchange) to raise money. Our first benefit concert. People who
come to the show get great music and an opportunity to buy a copy of our CD
(music from the bands that have been on KBFR) or a T-shirt. We don't solicite
donations in any form though. We always give you something for your money
that's solid and of specific value. We do no on air 'please give us money'
campaigns. Our view is, if we take money from non BURG members, we give up a
little of our freedom to do what we do on air. So we always give something in
exchange for money (a t shirt, a CD, a concert).

If this benefit concert goes well, we hope to raise enough money to either fund
the station for several months (up to a year) OR to fund equipment purchases to
start another station in Colorado.

Part of what we're doing is trying to model what an underground station looks
like, how it's run, how it's funded and how it can be replicated by local
groups across the country. Once we get a reasonable and workable model figured
out, and we're getting close, we'll publish it as a how to book (free to
download or for sale in paper form to help raise money).

I hope that answers some of your questions. If you'd still like to talk, I can
give you a call.

Boulder Free Radio

Quoting Jon Caldara :

> I understand your paranoia.
> I run the Independence Institute, a free market think tank, write the
> column for the camera, and work for your enemy, KOA, where I have a late
> night talk show.
> I have been hearing about KBFR from word of mouth, so I tuned it in.
> Great programming. When I heard Monty Python, I knew I should write
> something about it. I am not looking to get you busted, don't worry.
> But before I can write anything I need to chat with you, or someone.
> Can we have a phone call? Need to do it soon, or else I will have to
> write about something else.
> Do you really work out of a van or is that just an image? How do you
> get your signal so clear? Why do you try to run it legit? Why do you
> have call letters?
> -----Original Message-----
> From: []
> Sent: Wednesday, December 31, 2003 4:17 PM
> To: Jon Caldara
> Subject: Re: [KBFR] kbfr article
> Matt replied and told me you're an independent columnist, so we're cool
> with
> who you are.
> We're a bit paranoid, in case you hadn't guessed. Having a federal
> agency
> trying to shut you down for years on end can make you that way.
> No tax money supports us. We're completely self supporting (we add up
> expenses
> every month, divid that number by the number of DJ's and everyone put's
> that
> amount, usually around $30, into the pot). We pay for storage space,
> gas for
> the van, internet access, prepaid studio line cellphone, etc. with that
> money.
> Did a google search on your phone number and got some interesting hits.
> You
> seem involved in quite a few out of the mainstream things. Tell me a
> little
> more about what you do.
> I ask because the last FCC visit we had to our location (we weren't
> there, but
> a friend of the station was) left us with the impression (they said so)
> that
> there was a 'sting' operation in the works to try and catch us. So..
> again,
> we're more than a little paranoid.. hope you understand and don't mind
> us
> vetting you a bit before we talk.
> Monk
> -------
> Quoting Jon Caldara :
> > I just do a column for them.
> >
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From:
> > To:
> > Cc: ;
> > Sent: Wednesday, December 31, 2003 10:04 AM
> > Subject: Re: [KBFR] kbfr article
> >
> >
> > > Jon,
> > >
> > > Why aren't you sending mail from the daily camera domain?
> > >
> > > Matt, do you know Jon? Does he work for the Camera?
> > >
> > > Monk
> > > ---------
> > >
> > > Quoting
> > >
> > > > er...sorry about that, jon. no offence intended, we just have to
> be
> > soooo
> > > > careful...
> > > >
> > > > -sapphire
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Quoting
> > > >
> > > > > hmm... OK.
> > > > >
> > > > > Well, what DO you think? Good or bad?
> > > > >
> > > > > I've found with editorial folks that they, mostly, already have
> their
> > > > minds
> > > > >
> > > > > made up.
> > > > >
> > > > > In past lives, I've dealt quite a bit with the press and been
> pretty
> > badly
> > > >
> > > > > misquoted and misrepresented (by small publications and the big
> guys,
> > > > like
> > > > > the
> > > > > Washington Post) so I have a VERY jaded view about the whole
> thing.
> > > > >
> > > > > And, we've found, the more press we get, the more heat it tends
> to
> > bring
> > > > down
> > > > >
> > > > > on us.
> > > > >
> > > > > However, if Matt's going to do a story, and we decided we'd
> support
> > that,
> > > > I
> > > > > see
> > > > > no reason, as long as it's coordinated with Matt, for you to do
> an
> > opinion
> > > >
> > > > > piece. If you've already made up your mind, however, I'd prefer
> just
> > to
> > > > let
> > > > >
> > > > > you do your thing without talking at all. If you really don't
> have a
> > > > fully
> > > > >
> > > > > formed opinion yet, we can talk.
> > > > >
> > > > > Let me know
> > > > >
> > > > > Monk
> > > > > Boulder Free Radio
> > > > >
> > > > > Quoting Jon Caldara :
> > > > >
> > > > > > I have know idea what you are talking about. I write for the
> > editorial
> > > > > > page. Had no idea someone else was looking at kbfr. They can
> only
> > > > > report.
> > > > > > I can give an opinion on it being good or bad. I would still
> like
> > to
> > > > > chat
> > > > > > with someone. 303-279-6536
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Thanks
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Jon
> > > > > > ----- Original Message -----
> > > > > > From:
> > > > > > To: ; "Jon Caldara"
> > > > > > Sent: Tuesday, December 30, 2003 4:13 PM
> > > > > > Subject: Re: [KBFR] kbfr article
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > > > Jon,
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > Your music editor, Matt, has already contacted us (and
> talked to
> > your
> > > > > > editor on
> > > > > > > it).
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > You might want to coordinate with him first.
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > Monk
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > Quoting Jon Caldara :
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > Hi,
> > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > Jon Caldara here. I have been enjoying your radio
> station. I
> > am
> > > > > > thinking
> > > > > > > > about writing a column on it for the Camera and need to
> chat
> > with
> > > > > > whoever
> > > > > > > > runs it. Please call me at 303-279-6536.
> > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > Jon