Remember that grinning sax player asshole who told us in 1996 that deregulating the Telecommunications industry was a good thing? I do, I think he’s still a war criminal. One thing you never hear from the right wing Ayn-Randian-Ron-Paulistas is any mention of the effects of deregulation has had on the U.S. If they had their druthers, we’d all be visiting the Halliburton Library and Monsanto would be regulating our food supply. But I digress.
As a product of the 1980’s, I fondly remember dubbing all my favorite jams from the radio for my super sweet-whiffleball tournament-all night party mixes. I could barely get this one R&B station in at my house in Union Ky. I’ll bet that I had every LL Cool J song mixed in with some mouthbreather breaking the up the intro with promises to the next caller right up until Mr. Smith killed it. Even the amplitude modulation was another universe because my Mom & Dad killed the crushed the classic rock station 24/365. If it wasn’t that, there was a steady dose of Bob Seger System, Uriah Heep, Deep Purple, and the rest of the usual tight crotched bell bottom lot occupying the needle. All of which I hated until much later in life. I listened to rap and proudly rocked my Public Enemy shirt for two full years. I can thank them for teaching me more about the Black Liberation movement than all of my AFAM classes combined. In 7th & 8th grade no less!
[insert “back in my day voice”] The only thing I had growing up were stations that played music by genre. One for pop, one for country, classic rock, new rock, R&B, etc. etc. It’s the format we’ve all come to hate know since multinational media companies have been consolidating their competition for well over a two decades. How were they able to do this? Well, deregulation, a well lobbied and compliant FCC, and the always present lining of political pockets is a great first step. Radio was for many generations, a central gathering point and distribution of culture. Sometimes it has served the worst parts of empire. But in the hands of the people fighting for justice, it can play a remarkable role in educating, agitating, organizing, and entertaining.
In the CoMo, there are three standout radio stations that have become my “when my ipod is boring” staples. Honestly, I listen to 89.5FM KOPN everyday. They broadcast Democracy Now! Everyday. They have NPR. They have Alternative Radio with David Barsamian. Understand this: if you live in an area where you cannot get a daily, independent left wing news source on the dial, it sucks. Let’s be honest, NPR kinda sucks every now and then and most of the time their analysts leave much to be desired. KOPN has a plethora of shows that are hosted by real human disc jockeys. They also have a fund drive going, help them out if you can.
88.1 FM KCOU is “the University of Missouri’s only student-run radio station since 1963”. They actually play some decent indie stuff as I was introduced to this band through them and have been enamored since. It’s odd when that happens today in the hyper cycle world of wall postings and networking. Their studio apparently caught fire sometime this year and for most of the summer, they just had one long playlist. It was way better that way since listening to Amanda or Josh tell me about the big game or when campus wifi went out isn’t that interesting. However, I don’t Mizzou so that makes more sense.
88.9 FM KLJU out of Lincoln University in Jeff City plays some pretty cool stuff too. They play a lot of cruise boat/waiting room jazz but the stand out programs are the Friday Night Jamz from 8-Midnight and Classic Soul Sunday from 3-5pm.
Remember how bad y’all felt back in November when we lived in a “center-right nation”? How you were seriously thinking about your escape route to Canada or Mexico? Normally this time of year we’re being choked to death with the endless detailing of horrible campaign trail story boarding and throwing the nearest objects at TVs. Occupy has changed all that. Let’s occupy the radio! Occupy Everything!