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. Continue reading “Scene Report: California”
An FBI raid last week on the Long Haul Infoshop in Berkeley has taken Berkeley Liberation Radio off the air, hopefully temporarily. Details are sketchy as to why the FBI raided the space in the first place, but guns-drawn agents were not picky about what they hauled away. Continue reading “Berkeley Liberation Radio Collateral Damage in FBI Raid”
The New York office has been spending a lot of time in New Jersey, perhaps in response to the state’s attempt to assert enforcement jurisdiction over the airwaves. (Meanwhile, in Florida, the FCC’s busy busting construction crane operators cursing on two-way radio frequencies licensed to a hospital.)
Out west, Berkeley Liberation Radio got another visit and the Portland Radio Authority is off the air after same. Free Radio Santa Cruz‘s Skidmark Bob did a long interview with BLR volunteer Gerald Smith, where the connection between the current station its evolution from roots in Free Radio Berkeley is vividly described. Field agents have also paid respects to stations in Nevada and New Mexico. Continue reading “FCC Watch: Enforcement Tempo Quickens”
Intelligence from the scene indicates that Berkeley Liberation Radio has not returned to the air full-time. There are BLR hit-and-run-style broadcasts taking place until a permanent home can be found.
However, in the spirit of “crush one and two take its place,” sporadic broadcasts from a West Oakland Radio on 103.3 have been heard, because the Slave Revolt cannot be stopped.
According to the latest AMPB Report, Berkeley Liberation Radio returned to the East Bay airwaves at 6pm Sunday. The station has also vowed to start web streaming as well, but that seems like a stretch since its web site is perpetually under construction.
More press is available about Thursday’s raid on Free Radio San Diego, including another interview with Bob Ugly on Enemy Combatant Radio and some corporate media mentions. While FRSD is not pining for a fight in court (as it does not generally respect the FCC’s quasi-police function), it did send preemptive correspondence to the agency shortly after taking to the air, invoking the “perpetual war loophole” in FCC rules as justification to broadcast. So far the agency’s ignored that.
The station shut down earlier this week in preparation for moving out of its present space by the end of the month. The Berkeley Daily Planet was there, and reports that things ended with a party:
The small broadcasting studio grew ever more crowded as the last hour wound down, voices raised in pitch and speed as the clock counted down the final few minutes. Continue reading “Berkeley Liberation Radio Packs Up, For Now”
Freshly back from the 2005 Allied Media Conference, which definitely lives up to its hype. I didn’t get a good sense of just how many people were there in total, but the AMC bowling party was definitely overflowing. The microradio workshop went off great (I caught nobody napping). The dulcet sounds of pirate radio songs, bust audio, and the KJR culture jam simulcast could be heard throughout the Bowling Green State University student union for the duration of Saturday. Now it’s time to hope that inspiration takes root.
With three AMC sessions going on at any given time I ended up flitting between various things, except for Sunday, when I indulged in the conference film festival. Most of the panel sessions were taped, although the raw audio is of variable quality. I met a lot of talented and passionate people doing amazing work, like further exploration of the “hybrid radio” concept (webcasting plus microradio), turnkey tactical webcasting, radical librarianship, and oodles more. Continue reading “AMC Rocks Haus; FCC Drops Lit @ BLR”
Captain Fred tells DJ Rubble (via Indybay IMC) that the station’s received notice to move out by the end of June. BLR’s been at its current location (in Oakland) for more than three years.
The landlord was initially supportive of the station, but there have been some complaints about blanketing interference. Normally such complaints are pretty easily rectified but BLR’s neighbors happen to be band practice spaces that contain gear especially sensitive to strong RF fields.
The station is looking for a 10×10′ room with roof access, preferably in a commercial space, where “a somewhat raucous atmosphere” can flourish. “We’d really like to find some landlord who has a grudge against the federal government,” says Fred.
Skidmark Bob reports a special guest dropped into the Free Radio Santa Cruz studios recently: Tracy James of Slave Revolt Radio fame. They talked about their microradio experiences and Tracy gave an update on the (SF) Bay area microradio scene. Berkeley Liberation Radio is alive and well and plans are afoot to launch a station in West Oakland. Recently Tracy, Bob, and fellow FRSCista George Cadman were guests on a show hosted by KPFT’s Norton Scooter, which is available via Radio4All. Continue reading “Scene Report: California”
California: Freak Radio Santa Cruz will lose its current station location at the end of April. The hunt is on for new space. The landlord is apparently clearing out the entire building for some sort of redevelopment project, which is a shame because he’s otherwise been cool about the station (to the point of facing down the FCC twice). Freak Radio’s no stranger to moving – at one stage the station was “homeless” and operated out of a bicycle cart – but it is never a fun experience and this space had been the station’s single longest home.
Berkeley Liberation Radio continues to hum along and recently overhauled its schedule. The station’s adopted a dues format for fundraising and made out okay at their benefit show last month. BLR’s Cap’n Fred lays down the bassline on one of our recent additions to the pirate music MP3 collection (Countdown and the Blastoffs’ “We Want the Airwaves“). Continue reading “Scene Reports: California, Colorado, Oregon”