Showing posts from 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 …
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 her…
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.
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 in…
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…
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 broadca…
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 o…
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.
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 gen…
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.
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 the…
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 …
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…
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 c…
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 bou…
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 wor…
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 pr…
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.…
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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?)
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 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 c…
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'…
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 abo…
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 '…
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,…
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 list…

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"
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…
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"
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 …

Down we go. Stay tuned (pun intended).
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