Saturday, December 13, 2008

And more from the new KBFR guy

Followup with the guy who took over KBFR (or more accurately.. 'pirated' the dormant name and logo of the original station).. From WestWord.

Pirating the old name and logo.. ballsy.. and so appropriate.

THAT's the spirit!

Westword story on KBFR

Nicely done Michael Roberts!

Roberts, a reporter at Westword, did a write up on KBFR that just shines.

It's exactly the kind of article the Boulder Daily Camera could have written, but didn't.  They wrote a trash piece and called the FCC.

Alternative media always seems to get it better than mainstream media.

I have to wonder why Boulder's weekly (the appropriately named The Boulder Weekly) hasn't done a story.  Maybe soon.




Sunday, November 02, 2008

KBFR, again

I don't live in Boulder anymore (I'm a couple of states away) but it looks like someone pirated (heh) the old KBFR logo and name and is running a station in Boulder again.

A friend sent me this link to the local newspaper story.

I have to wonder about the reporter though. There was a time when the local newspaper would do things to help the local community. Supporting a pirate radio station that created some interesting diversity in town would be a nice thing for the local newspaper to do, don't you think?

It looks to me like the reporter either doesn't think that and is working in the interest of main stream media only, or he's not very bright. His name is John Aguilar and he is, apparently, the 'police and courts' reporter. Why the guy on the cop beat is doing a story on Pirate Radio I have no clue.

Normally, you'd write a piece on a station like this and you'd talk to people and the radio people involved and you'd put the story out there. The kind of story The Boulder Weekly would do, for instance.

This reporter actually called the FCC for comment. (no return call yet.. doh). Good god man.. what were you thinking? Either you wanted to screw with these new KBFR guys, or you're just stupid.

AND he called the local Clear Channel dickhead (Scott Arbough- KBCO program director) for his opinion. This is the guy that originally called the FCC on KBFR back in 2000 and complained, causing the first shutdown of the station. Asshole.

Apparently Scott also thinks it's hurting artists because 'they don't pay fees'.

Actually, no one in the US Radio market pays artists fees. They claim it's 'promotion' and don't have to (although the rest of the world DOES do it).

US radio stations pay a tiny bit (a small percentage of a penny) to the writers... but nothing to the artists. Guys like Scott are worse than the Republicans when it comes to bending the truth and when it suites them, outright lies.

Scott will call the FCC and complain, again. You can bet on it. Since he works for Clear Channel (the FCC's 'customer'... and hence, boss) the FCC will respond. Most likely soon.

So KBFR-reborn will have a half life of a few weeks. Maybe.

It's too bad really. We need more local community oriented radio, not pre-programmed pap from corporate giants. Here in Iowa, there are some pretty good local stations, but still alot of crappy Clear Channel stuff stuff as well.

The FCC was supposed to make sure THE PEOPLE had full and fair use of the natural resource of the radio waves. Instead, they've sold it off to the highest bidder to sell more shit to a society that defines itself by it's possessions. Pitiful.

Someday, maybe, The People will figure out they can do things like what KBFR is and take it back. If enough people do it, the FCC will have to deal with it.

They started with LPFM (Low Power FM) but Clear Channel, the NAB, NPR and some other incumbents managed to kill it off. See this story:

http://archive.boulderweekly.com/090601/coverstory.html

It makes me sad that even Boulder, once a town that embraced diversity and even weirdness, is becoming just another rich white 'I've got mine' enclave of elite assholes driving their Prius's and Scooters and $3000 titanium bikes to the rock climbing gym and then to Vic's for coffee and discussion on how their eco-friendly investment portfolio is doing.

Even Boulder, once a truly special place, has gone to the dogs.

I'm glad I left.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Hmmm.... who IS this?

From the Brighter Fusion Blog:

Boulder Free Radio lives on!

Categories: Personal |

Today I was thrilled to stumble across what appears to be a reincarnation of the local pirate radio station which went off the air in 2006.

It was at 93.9 (I believe), and it was playing some very German sounding techno/new wave stuff until it wasn’t anymore…a pirate identification and then just static.

According to the KBFR wiki page:

The original founder of KBFR, Monk, who recently moved out of the state, decided to leave all the equipment accumulated by the KBFR/Boulder Free Radio collective during its operations (2000-2005) to a new generation of underground radio enthusiasts. They can be found on several frequencies including 103.9, 102.7, 95.3 and at least 6 others. They often broadcast from parties, raves and cultural events.

As of 2008 a new group of Boulder pirates has emerged under the call letters KGLR (green light radio). They have taken the reins from Monk and presented a whole new station on 95.3 fm in Boulder, CO.

Pump up the volume…

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Another one bites the dust

Rock radio KCUV closes doors.

The Denver Post

The owners of KCUV (102.3 FM), billed as "Colorado's Unique Voice," pulled the plug Sunday, marking the demise after five years of a local independent, progressive rock radio outlet in the competitive world of corporately owned, cookie-cutter radio programming. The company is now simulcasting KJAC "Jack" (105.5 FM) on the frequency. The station didn't have a huge fan base, but those who did listen were intensely loyal.

Sad and pitiful. We are becoming a McRadio society and the masses, it seems, don't really care.

KGLR gone (?)

Well, it seems there was some consternation among the KGLR crew and they've disappeared. Nothing on the airwaves for a couple of weeks now.

This is, I think, the biggest hurdle for radio pirates. How you're set up has alot to do with how effective you can be.

Doing pirate radio is, by nature, an act of passion, defiance and to a degree love. You've got to love it to do it because there just isn't alot of upside.

I wish the KGLR folks luck and hope they come back someday soon.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Public Radio in Boulder Screws it's listeners


I'm tempted to say 'again' considering Colorado's NPR conglomerate.

Apparently, the classical music listeners in Boulder don't much matter to Colorado Public Radio. From today's Boulder Daily Camera Newspaper:

At 10 a.m. July 9, Carla Selby turned the dial on her radio to 88.1 FM and heard... nothing.

For weeks, she’d heard announcers on her favorite radio station, KVOD classical music, warn listeners that the station was moving down the dial from its longtime home at 90.1 FM. But she never once heard that Boulder residents would likely lose their reception.

What we need is a pirate radio station that plays classical music during the day, and free form whatever the hell they want at night and on weekends. If Colorado Public Radio won't do it, maybe underground community radio will.

NPR and the local version (CPR) look out for one thing: Themselves. It's a business, nothing more. Nothing wrong with that, if you're a business. CPR is supposed to be a non-profit public service.

Bullshit.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The reality of FCC enforcement

Here's a break down of FCC actions over the last 5 or so years (thanks DIYMedia.net)

So, what does this mean? Close to 80% of all FCC actions are postal -a letter saying: cut it out- or visits (call them warnings). Only 1.5% had an arrest or conviction associated with then. And an arrest isn't a conviction. I'm better the actual 'conviction' rate is less than 1%.

So, the reality is: being a radio pirate is relatively low risk if you don't let the 'warnings' actually scare you out of taking back your airwaves.

Friday, May 02, 2008

NPR is evil

Yea.. evil. Really fucking evil.

NPR should be considered as deadly to local media and localization of news and content as Clear Channel.

If you give them money, stop. Now. Give it to your local KGNU like community station or Pirate Radio station, or bike coop, or, hell anything with some local focus. These guys are a bunch of old jackasses trying to protect and expand there 'franchise', just like any other business.

These bastards teamed up with the NAB (yea.. THAT NAB...) to shut down Low Power FM (LPFM) in 2000 by buying off a couple of weak senators. They're at it again: From Ars Technica:

National Public Radio continues to move aggressively against Federal Communications Commission proposals that would, if not allow nonprofits to build more Low Power FM stations (LPFM), at least let existing ones survive the intrusion of new full power neighbors. NPR is quite plain about the matter in its FCC filings: it stands opposed to the Low Power exceptions, even though they might help keep FM offerings diverse. NPR charges that the FCC is putting feel-good policies ahead of the laws of physics.

"The laws of physics have not changed, and a system of full power broadcast stations serves many more listeners with less interference compared to low power broadcasting," NPR told the FCC this month. "While LPFM stations may advance the interests of localism and diversity, the Commission cannot assume that LPFM is inherently better than full power service."

NPR opposes proposals to strengthen rules allowing LPFMs to obtain channel interference waivers when an "encroaching" full power station arrives on the scene. And the broadcaster decidedly dislikes measures that would require new full power signals to offer technical and even financial help to an LPFM that they've suddenly squatted on (or squatted next to).

This is a serious issue, because over the last decade the NPR service has expanded from 635 to 800 affiliated stations. Public radio's stance on this puts it at odds with practically every media reform group in the country.
Click on the title of this blog post to go to the full story.

NPR: the evil within.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The slow bleeding death of commercial FM radio


Just got this juicy tidbit from my buddy Sparky:

Providing a blunt counterpoint to the optimism expressed by commercial radio leaders during the NAB Show this week, the latest U.S. radio revenue numbers are out.

Revenue in March was off 8 percent compared to a year ago — and that’s including a healthy 18% growth in non-spot revenue.

According to the Radio Advertising Bureau, local revenue (the biggest piece of radio’s revenue pie) fell 8%, while national was down a stomach-churning 17%. So if you set aside income from non-spot offerings, radio’s performance in March was –10%.

RAB didn’t post a quarterly total but overall revenue was down 6% and 2% in January and February respectively, as reported earlier, and the industry was down 2% for all of 2007.


What's it mean? Means you guys aren't listening to the radio anymore.

Notice how everyone is playing either country or classic rock? Yea.. that's because it's for the over 40 demographic. That's the only group that listen to radio anymore.

And the reason? Radio sucks. No new music, nothing cutting edge anywhere (other than the occassional community station: rare, or college station: more rare). Both usually hard to get with small footprints.

The answer? MORE PIRATE RADIO! Yea. we need more pirate radio. Incredibly, there is even LESS open airspace on the FM dial than there was when I was doing KBFR back in the early 2000's. Why? No one's listening for frak sake. Most likely, I guess, if they figure they can cover every decimal of FM space, they'll get the few people left listening.

What's next? Value of these stations, just like the value of newspapers, will start to drop. Within a few year, they'll be a fraction of what they're worth today. At some point, they'll be cheap enough that creative people just might buy a few up and start creating cool radio worth listening to again.

At least, we can hope.

In the meantime, where's my internet streaming station and my iPod..... keep misplacing that damn iPod.

Monday, April 14, 2008

And more!

Well, something's up for sure. First KGLO... then I get this emailed to me:

http://boulderfreeradio.googlepages.com/home

Someone's taking up the old KBFR mantel now it seems.

Right now, no one's talking (to me) but I welcome any email updates or announcements you'd like me to put on my blog. Just email me at: monk.kbfr@gmail.com

Friday, April 11, 2008

Calling KGLO... Come in KGLO....

To the guy who emailed me from KGLO (with the initials AD)... I did indeed get your email, but when I respond, it bounces.

That service you use is super restrictive, super secure and exclusive of (i.e. not friendly to) people not on it. Like me.

You've got my email.

One thought: get a gmail account. Gmail works really well--and securely, just put https://gmail.com in instead of http://gmail.com - Adding that s o the http encrypts everything between you and the servers.

m

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Boulder's new Pirate! KGLO

Well shit! Someone's taken over 95.3FM in Boulder!

KGLO... 95.3 FM

This is a real pirate. I'm listening to slam poetry spoken to the guy while he plays hard guitar (pretty well). Poetic Terrorism seems to be the subject.

WOOT!

They even apologized for commandeering the airwaves from the old KBFR crew, but felt 'forced' to do it, as brothers (no shit!) to fight the corporate media.

It's a riot! STRONG signal. I'm pretty impressed actually. This guy (these guys?) take it seriously.

Looking forward to some real pirate action from these guys. MOST cool.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Come yell at the Law Firm that's doing the RIAA's dirty work APRIL 9TH at CU


The War on "Piracy": A Fight for Industry Survival or a Failed Approach?

@ Cofrin Auditorium, ATLAS Building, University of Colorado
April 9, 2008, 5:30pm

Please join us for a panel discussion between attorneys from Holme Roberts & Owen and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. HRO is a Denver-based law firm that represents record companies in their attempts to stem online music copyright infringement, including actions targeting individual university students. The EFF is a nonprofit organization that frequently questions the RIAA's tactics and opposes it in court.

In the nine years following the development of Napster, the music industry has changed dramatically. To match the new methods of downloading music illegally, there are new means of detecting such activity and new legal ramifications. The ethics of downloading music illegally and who should be responsible for such activity continue to be debated. This debate relates to the broader question of whether the music industry's business model-i.e., charging for the distribution of music-faces an existential threat not merely from piracy, but the proliferation of artists willing to share their music for free.

Whether or not individuals can justify downloading copyrighted music from peer-to-peer networks or other outlets, the fact remains that this conduct is illegal. To underscore that message, the Recording Industry of America (RIAA) has brought thousands of lawsuits against individuals who have violated the copyright law, seeking to invoke the substantial damage remedies available under that statute. At the same time, organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) have suggested that the advent of file sharing cannot be stopped by litigation and that the focus should be on finding alternative ways for artists to make money.

To address the issues at the heart of the debate over digital piracy and its impact on the recording industry, Silicon Flatirons will host a panel discussion, featuring attorneys from the EFF as well as from the RIAA's outside counsel (the Denver-based law firm, Holme Roberts & Owen). Over the course of the discussion, the participants, along with moderator Paul Ohm, will discuss the ethics behind downloading music illegally, the soundness of copyright law in general and its application to digital content in particular, the appropriateness of the lawsuits brought by the RIAA, and the fate of the music industry.

A reception will follow.

Featured participants include:

Fred von Lohmann

Fred von Lohmann is a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, specializing in intellectual property matters. In that role, he has represented programmers, technology innovators, and individuals in a variety of copyright and trademark litigation, including MGM v. Grokster, decided by the Supreme Court in 2005. He is also involved in EFF's efforts to educate policy-makers regarding the proper balance between intellectual property protection and the public interest in fair use, free expression, and innovation. Before joining EFF, Fred was a visiting researcher with the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology and an associate with the international law firm of Morrison & Foerster LLP. He has appeared on CNN, CNBC, ABC's Good Morning America, and Fox News O'Reilly Factor and has been widely quoted in a variety of national publications. Fred has an A.B. from Stanford University and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.

Cindy Cohn

Cindy Cohn is the Legal Director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation as well as its General Counsel. She is responsible for overseeing the EFF's overall legal strategy and supervising EFF's 9 staff attorneys. Ms. Cohn first became involved with the EFF in 1995, when the EFF asked her to serve as the lead attorney in Bernstein v. Dept. of Justice, the successful First Amendment challenge to the U.S. export restrictions on cryptography. Outside the Courts, Ms. Cohn has testified before Congress, been featured in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere for her work on cyberspace issue. The National Law Journal named Ms. Cohn one of 100 most influential lawyers in America in 2006 for "rushing to the barricades wherever freedom and civil liberties are at stake online." In 2007 the Journal named her one of the 50 most influential women lawyers in America.

Richard Gabriel

Richard L. Gabriel, a partner in the Denver office, came to the firm in 1990 and chairs the firm's Intellectual Property Practice Group. He concentrates his practice on general commercial litigation, intellectual property litigation, probate litigation, and products liability litigation, including appeals, and has significant experience representing companies in a wide variety of industries including health care. He also serves as Knowledge Management Partner for the firm.

Mr. Gabriel currently serves as lead national counsel for the Recording Industry Association of America in connection with the recording industry's lawsuits against those who illegally copy and distribute the record companies' sound recordings through unauthorized file-sharing programs. In October 2007, Mr. Gabriel tried the first of these cases to go to trial and obtained a judgment of willful infringement in the amount of $222,000 for the plaintiffs. Mr. Gabriel also has defended and prosecuted trademark and copyright claims for such clients as Sony Music Entertainment Inc., Zomba Music, Michael Jackson, the Colorado Rockies, Build-a-Bear, and Coors, and he has litigated a number of patent cases, including cases involving patents for the Lasik laser eye surgery, artificial heart valves, and several different medical lasers. In addition, Mr. Gabriel has substantial experience in the defense of securities fraud, products liability, and toxic tort cases, and in the prosecution and defense of commercial contracts, business tort, probate, and personal injury actions. Mr. Gabriel has also served as city prosecutor for the City of Lafayette, Colorado.

Mr. Gabriel's pro bono and community work includes ongoing representation of the Rocky Mountain Children's Law Center, where he undertakes representation of children in dependency and neglect cases. Mr. Gabriel was named one of the Center's 1997 Champions for Children for his hundreds of hours of pro bono service to the center. In addition, Mr. Gabriel has represented the Fort Lewis College Political Science Club alleging violations of the First Amendment, and he has represented an Oklahoma death row inmate through the ABA Capital Representation project. Mr. Gabriel has also had a long relationship with Volunteers of America, coordinating a firm-wide food drive that has delivered over 20,000 Thanksgiving dinners to needy families since 1987. Other community activities include his service as president of the board of the Colorado Wind Ensemble, with whom he performs on the trumpet, and his service on the boards of the Colorado Judicial Institute and the Rocky Mountain Children's Law Center. In June 1998, Mr. Gabriel was selected to perform the Star-Spangled Banner prior to a Colorado Rockies baseball game as part of pre-game festivities honoring Holme Roberts & Owen on the occasion of its 100th anniversary.

In 2002, Mr. Gabriel received the Richard Marden Davis Award, given by the Denver Bar Foundation and the law firm of Davis Graham & Stubbs to a lawyer under the age of 40 who combines excellence in the practice of law with creative community leadership. Mr. Gabriel has been recognized as a Colorado Super Lawyer and has also been listed in the Chambers USA Guide to America's Leading Lawyers for Business. In addition, Mr. Gabriel was named the 2007 Intellectual Property Lawyer of the Year by Law Week Colorado and a 2007 Lawyer of the Year by Lawyers USA.