Scene Report: California

While I may still be on partial hiatus, as the fall semester ends in its typical whirlwind of student-meetings, evaluations, and grading, life moves on. And I am pleased to report that the microradio movement is alive and well. I will be most interested to see just how the FCC wraps up this year’s “war on pirates” – when I finally find the time to digest the data.
Some heartening news comes from the old guard in California. Berkeley Liberation Radio, after suffering a government raid on its studio premises (not related to the station itself), has safely relocated and is kicking as usual. Across the Bay, San Francisco Liberation Radio has also been revived – the correspondence I received does not explicitly state that this return will include a frequency-modulated signal, but it leaves room for speculation: “Since our court case was resolutely rejected by the Ninth Circuit, SFLR dropped the legal proceedings but continued to stream internet radio. Now [a new crew] will continue in the long and storied tradition of SFLR in the South of Market area.” You can’t keep a good idea down.
Meanwhile, down the coast, my pal Skidmark Bob has been busy. He’s produced a mega-special on the eight-year rain of “King George,” and he says he’s not done with the man just yet. As far as Freak Radio Santa Cruz itself is concerned, there is both good and bad news. The good news is the crew is now beginning the process of digitizing the station’s decade-and-a-half history, beginning with a short station video of the corporate media’s interest in FRSC circa 1995 now on YouTube. George, Uncle D, and Bob promise more is forthcoming.
On the downside, FRSC has finally ran through its massive outpouring financial support which helped it bounce back, stronger and more technically-sophisticated, after the FCC’s disastrous raid on the station four years ago. It could use a little money-love; if not, it might be back to broadcasting from the bicycle cart.