Commercial Stations Interfere With Airplanes

A couple of reports surfaced this month about a station in Louisiana changing frequencies due to interference to aviation radio channels. The 50,000-watt station in question broadcast on 107.9 FM and is owned by Cumulus Broadcasting, and the interference reportedly involved intermodulation between it and another station in east Texas.
Unlike last year’s hype of a pirate station in Florida interfering with aircraft communications, the Louisiana interference affected the instrument navigation signals of several airports, including the Barksdale Air Force Base. Continue reading “Commercial Stations Interfere With Airplanes”

Social Forum Threatens its Broadcast Voice; Sounds of Shortwave Restored

The basic story is here, but this is the synopsis: the annual World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brasil is in full swing. The Forum had an “official” radio station broadcasting from the events, but that was apparently hijacked by NGOs, sucking the community right out of what was to be a community radio project. So a “people’s station” was established, with volunteers from all over the world donating gear and time to making it work. The official station’s burned out two transmitters – so “The Other Radio FM” happens to be the sole voice of the Forum. Continue reading “Social Forum Threatens its Broadcast Voice; Sounds of Shortwave Restored”

Churn at the FCC

Mikey Powell’s giving up the ghost (don’t look back, buddy); Kathleen Abernathy may follow; and W. Kenneth Ferree, head of the FCC’s Media Bureau, is also done. Also, Michael Copps’ term expires in the summer. It’s unusual to have such turnover in a short time. Can we expect substantive change in the agency’s direction?
Probably not. The replacements will not be reformists: they’re straight from the farm team that breeds regulators. These being three primary sources: campaign contributors, congressional staffers, and those already in administrative positions. All of the (speculative) candidates for a Commissioner’s post hail from one of these places. Congressional staff are an especially fertile ground, seeing as it sometimes seems easiest for the two major parties to agree on the appointment of folks already within the family, so to speak. Continue reading “Churn at the FCC”

Black Boognish Project Online

Given my personal penchant for Ween, when I heard wxm had no online distribution for his mashup project I was quick to volunteer. Therefore, The Black Boognish now has a permanent home at and as each track is completed it will premiere there. Two tracks are in the can so far; a third, “HIV Problems,” is in production now. wxm says he hopes to finish a track a week, meaning the project will take three months minimum to finish. If you’ve got suggestions on mashup ingredients hit him up via e-mail.

KBFR Gone For Good: "FCC is trying some very scary new tactics."

Straight from the mouth of Monk:
Please report that we are, after almost 5 years on the air, indeed, shut down for good and out of business. Obituary coming out soon. Our yearly benefit [happening this Thursday] will become a wake/legal defense fund.
This implies that there’s a legal struggle brewing in the courts, details unknown – although a team of lawyers is on the case (including some from the Dunifer defense crew). I’m working on the details, stay tuned.

Inaugural Insurgency to be Broadcast, Relayed

Back around the holidays CNN ran a story about a pirate radio station in D.C. calling for “massive protests” during Bush II’s second inauguration (happening this Thursday, with the festivities running into the weekend). The unexpected exposure caused WSQT, or “The Squat,” to switch broadcasts from the AM to FM band. The station is now also semi-mobile, transmitting with a five-watt brick which it claims can be heard for several miles. There’s apparently quite the engineer behind this operation, as most if not all of the gear in use is homebrew and built especially for the job at hand.
WSQT’s also posted some new audio to IMC-Radio: snippets of public service announcements the station’s been running in the runup to the inaugural action. Other tactical radio projects may be in the works and any streams coming out of D.C. will be rebroadcast via microradio (check with your local station for times). It was the 2000 inauguration protests that really demonstrated the power of the impromptu radio network model, which has only grown more advanced in the last four years.

Pirate Radio USA Almost In the Can

The feature length film is currently in the touch-up phase with most elements locked into place. The producer tells me a trailer will be available most likely by next month, with the project itself to wrap by the end of February. Then the festival-submission process begins – one of the first copies will go to Cannes (cross your fingers). The soundtrack will include several properly thematic songs, including a few that have been featured as ear candy here.

Boulder Free Radio Off the Air

The transmitter location got a visit on Tuesday afternoon – coincidentally the one-year anniversary of “first contact.” Station founder Monk says, “this feels somehow different [from] other FCC visits.” That inkling is not completely new: the FCC began numbering the warning letters left in Boulder recently – perhaps an indicator that the agency is attempting to build a case against the station in preparation for stronger enforcement action. KBFR’s web site reads “RIP” but something tells me this isn’t the end just yet…

Just When Jay-Z Thought He Was Safe…

Last year it was all the rage: the acapella version of Jay-Z’s Black Album got mashed up with a plethora of unlikely accompaniment. There was The Grey Album (Beatles), The Slack Album (Pavement), The Double Black Album (Metallica), The Black and Blue Album (Weezer), The Black Album Unplugged (Nirvana), and many more.
The saga continues now with Jay-Ween. The album, The Black Boognish, may be late to the party and it’s still early in the production stage but one rough track is now in the wild. Enjoy:
Homo Service Announcement (MP3, 2:48, 6.5 MB)