This show helped anchor the last day of the KAOS Spring Pledge Drive. I cut out all the pledge drive jabber but if you feel inclined to support KAOS, here’s how you do it. But you don’t need to pledge to listen the show, just click the arrow in the the Mixtape box below. (something has happened to the embedded feature for mixcloud so here’s a link directly to the podcast.)
To reward myself for doing hosting two pledge shows during this 10-day Spring Drive, I finally bought the album and discovered that there are some other amazing tracks on the release, including the fifth song on this show. The recording is of North Carolina fishermen singing a chantey that they used to sing when hauling in menhaden fish. Here’s a bit more about that fishery. The producers noticed an island lilt to the singing and turned it into a reggae-style number with Trombone Shorty providing some great tracks. I pair that song with a couple of other reggae-influenced New Orleans performances.
Given all the pledge drive appeals that were edited out, this week’s show is not as long as usual so I hope you’ll stay listening for the last two songs — a live at JazzFest performance by The Wild Magnolias and a humorously well-done funk song by Mem Shannon that caused local musician “Dr. Soul” to pull over from his driving so that he could call the station and pledge. Thank you man!
This week’s pledge drive show was a delight to host with guest and friend Juli Kelen helping out but you won’t hear much of our conversation. The show below is almost all music with only the song announcements. Go ahead and get it started.
Our station manager contends that even during pledge drive shows, KAOS and other community radio stations still play more music per hour than commercial stations. Well, this podcast is a good test. While it doesn’t contain as much music as my regular weekly shows, it still includes 18 great songs from New Orleans and Lafayette. I start the show with four excellent contemporary cajun numbers.
Even though this show doesn’t include the wonderful and charming banter between Juli and I, laying out the important reasons for why you should support community radio, you can still support KAOS and KMRE — the two stations that carry my show. Just click the call letters and it will take you to their respective membership pages.
My show rotation means I’ll be doing another pledge drive show next week. Catch me live on KAOS, 89.3 FM and streaming at www.kaosradio.org/listen . Show starts at 10 a.m. (PST) on Thursdays.
I miss the days when my Dad would pull out the slide projector and set up the screen and we’d look at the slides of our last vacation. Well, get my show started and you’ll hear an audio slideshow of my trip to New Orleans last week.
Since this show was part of the KAOS pledge drive, I have the honor of Anch Bergeson, host of Sundrenched, and Vertis Love, host of Old Ship of Zion (KAOS shows) as company. I kept our discussion of New Orleans but edited out the pledge requests. However, if you want to support our community radio station, its easy to do.
For West Coast visitors, there’s a nice alignment for catching Rebirth Brass Band at the Maple Leaf Bar on Tuesday nights. Usually, flights are cheaper on Tuesday and the two-hour time change helps in terms of staying up late enough to see this venerable band that usually doesn’t start performing until after 10:30 p.m. This show recognizes how I started last week’s trip with Rebirth’s “Who’s Rockin’, Who’s Rollin”
My next set portrays our ride on the Natchez boat down the Mississippi, an easy and fun tourist activity and I feature two bands we saw later in the day at clubs on Frenchmen Street (Bon Bon Vivant and Tin Men).
I do a set featuring coffee because my wife, Kim, still raves about the cup of coffee she had at Morning Call located at City Park. Most tourists get their cafe au lait at Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter. Morning Call used to be there but now they have a wonderful place at City Park. I finish the set with a Corey Henry song because we ended the day at Vaughan’s in the Bywater for his weekly late Thursday night performance.
Lena Prima, Louis’ daughter, is a wonderful performer with an excellent band and a crowd-pleasing songbook. She holds court in the Carousel Room of the Monteleone Hotel every Friday night. I play “Scuba Diver” off her live album which pretty accurately captures the music but to catch the antics, you’ll have to wait for my narrative after that set.
I caught up with Helen Gillet at the Courtyard Brewery’s fourth anniversary party and she gave me her latest release and I play “You Found Me.” Charles Sheffield “It’s Your Voodoo Working” and Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown’s “Swamp Ghost” symbolize the Krewe of Boo parade we caught.
It took some deciphering but we figured out how to catch up with the Men of Luck’s Second Line parade on Sunday. Cyril Neville’s “Running with the Second Line.” capture that feeling.
Happy Spring! I didn’t record last week’s show because it was the pledge drive and I always seem to booger up the sound level when I do a pledge drive. And because of other complications, I won’t be recording tomorrow’s show either.
So I think this is an excellent time to introduce you to Bill Boelens and his wonderful show “Back Down the Bayou” on Baton Rouge community radio WHYR. Bill’s show airs on Sundays and features roots music with a distinct Louisiana and Southern flair.
I had the pleasure of meeting Bill on my last trip to New Orleans. We shopped for music at the Louisiana Music Factory and had lunch at the Camellia Grill on Carrolton. Bill’s quite knowledgeable about regional scene and has excellent taste in the music. I get lots of ideas for my show by listening to his. Here’s a couple of his latest programs.
By the way, its no coincidence that Bill’s show is also on a community radio station. If you’re so inclined, I’d appreciate your financial support of community radio whichever one you listen to in your community. If it happens to my station, KAOS Olympa, here’s the link to pledge.
This week’s show is about money. . .because despite community radio being free of commercial pressure it still depends on hard green cash to run. You can start the show now while you finish reading this. (Don’t worry, I’ve edited out the lengthy pledge appeals.)
As a 12-year-old, I would turn the radio on instead of going to sleep and from the shadows of my bedroom in Norman, Oklahoma, I would listen to deejays from Chicago, St. Louis and Dallas. The deejays would tell me about the weather, describe the music, and talk about their day while their commercials would hail the virtues of car dealers and appliance stores in their communities. Snuggled in my bed, I would envision what it would be like to live there.
I’ve always loved radio for its ability to ground me in the moment while also transporting me to other places. Unlike the constructed mass appeal of television, radio is a personal and live experience. One person speaking into a mike, sharing music and stories, talking to me wherever I might be.
While much of commercial radio has changed to a more decentralized and impersonal experience, community radio, particularly KAOS, 89.3 FM, Olympia, has moved in the other direction. Housed and supported by The Evergreen State College, KAOS trains its volunteer deejays, works with them on developing a show, provides them the studio platform and then cuts them loose to do their thing. The result is some inconsistency in delivery and mechanics but because of that diversity, the station preserves the spontaneity and joy of being in the moment. I tell that to myself every time I push the wrong button or cue up the wrong song or stammer through some sort of transition.
We’re not slick, we’re real
And though we wouldn’t exist if not for the generous support of the college and its students, we do need to show that the station has listeners. Listeners who appreciate the station’s existence enough to help underwrite its cost. It’s a different model from the commercial era, but worth it if you love real radio.
(Today’s show – see above podcast – starts with the New Orleans Suspects, features two songs by Chubby Newsome recorded in New Orleans, a vinyl track of Huey “Piano” Smith, the Tin Men, Lil Rascals Brass Band, Roddie Romero & the Hub City All-Stars, Ingrid Lucia, James Andrews and much more)
“You’re treating me wrong, you’re breaking my heart,” sang country singer Claude King.
The song was likely about his Louisiana love but it could also apply to various radio stations I’ve known.
Over the years, I have formed some serious attachments to stations and their programming. But I learned at an early age, that they can break your heart and not say goodbye.
It first happened with progressive rock station KZAM in Seattle. From 1975 to 1983, the FM station introduced me to new artists, diverse selections, and female DJs. For a while KZAM had an AM sister station that was more cutting edge and which I could listen to in my car.
But then one day in 1981 without warning, the AM station abruptly switched to a smooth jazz format and, yes, I was heartbroken. Two years later, the FM station suddenly folded as well. Again without notice. I felt used.
Fortunately, there was KJET, another AM station. KJET introduced to me The Clash, R.E.M, The Police, Soft Cell, Devo, The Go Gos and so much more. And apparently I wasn’t the only fan. Allegedly members of Soundgarden, Mudhoney and Pearl Jam were listeners.
But one day, I got in my car, turned on the radio and heard classic oldies. Arggh! It happened again. Not even a farewell.
More recently, I listened to the “Mountain” (KMTT) decline from a KZAM-like progressive station to a shell of its past till it eventually folded. I remember thinking there must be something wrong with my radio until I realized that once again, I’d been dumped without even a “Dear Tim” letter.
What’s my point? Your ears (and heart) matter. And while change is inevitable, how that change happens matters. It should be done right.
At KAOS, your community radio station in the South Puget Sound for over 40 years, we let you know before programming changes. We have show hosts who have been offering a diverse range of music and information for years and they have built a relationship with listeners. When they eventually take their leave, they say “goodbye” on the air. And if you really like the programming, you can let us know so we can find a replacement. Or YOU could be that replacement, because the show hosts are people who live in the community and volunteer on the air.
It’s pledge drive time. This type of loyalty doesn’t happen without your support. Show your love to KAOS, I promise we won’t break your heart.
The Internet has made it possible for community radio to be our window to the world . . . and the world’s window to us.
Reader Alert: Tim’s getting on his public media high horse.
True dat! The KAOS Spring Membership Drive begins Friday (April 17) with a week of regular encouragement to listeners to pony up and become a KAOS member and support community radio.
If you’re a regular listener to public radio, you know the many arguments for doing this. I’m hoping one or more of those have been persuasive enough to prompt you to support KAOS in the past and future. Here’s one you might not have heard yet.
KAOS listeners know we bring a diverse array of the world’s voices, rhythms and melodies to Olympia. But you might not know about how our station projects the culture of Olympia to the world.
Earlier this week, I was at a community station in New Orleans, WWOZ, which boasts that about half their donating members live outside their broadcast area. That means people from all over the world tune into that station by streaming it on the Internet. That got me thinking.
KAOS streams too at www.kaosradio.org. Some shows are available as podcasts (including some of my episodes) and the station is working with a provider that will allow all our programs up to two weeks old to be replayed after their original airing.
A number of our dedicated, long-time volunteers have developed a loyal following that extends beyond the station’s broadcast boundaries. Programs like J.J. Syrja’s roots rock Retroactive, the Bollywood-focused Junglee Hour, Scott Steven’s world music Spin the Globe and Raven Redbone’s show on First Peoples Make No Bones About It followed by G.W. Galbreath’s View from the Shore are just a few examples.
These and many other programs are carefully curated by KAOS volunteers who live in our community. During the show, they read local announcements, talk about upcoming events and generally convey who we are and what we care about in Olympia.
If the Internet really is making it possible for people worldwide to understand each other better, then radio shows with real live hosts delivered over the Internet expand on that through the power of music which throughout the ages has been a unifying element.
So when you hear Vertis on the Old Ship of Zion, Anabel on Folkin’ Around or even me bumbling through Sweeney’s Gumbo YaYa, think about how listener supported and volunteered powered KAOS is sharing with the world the things we care about, providing a window into our community.
Along with other volunteers, I’ll be answering phones this week. I hope we talk. And, just wait till you hear some of the great music I picked up in New Orleans this last trip on my next show this Monday.
Picture yourself at Tipitina’s in the early 80’s preparing to catch some funk by Zigaboo Modeliste and George Porter, Jr., and just as the band is about to begin, a microphone descends from the ceiling.
You would have been witnessing an early, glorious moment in community radio. Located in the beer storage room above the uptown New Orleans night club was the nascent community radio station, WWOZ. With that simple, low-tech approach, the station was able to broadcast a live performance–launching a 30-year tradition of supporting local music.
WWOZ has come a long way from that beer closet and now is readily recognized as the “Guardian of the Groove” in New Orleans.
While serving a smaller market, KAOS has a similar reputation for supporting the often overshadowed music scene in Olympia.
Like many, I listen to more than one station. But I only pledge to KAOS and WWOZ. I pledge to KAOS because its my default station that I listen to the most, providing a wide range of music and programming. I pledge to WWOZ because I love New Orleans and its music. Listening to the station connects me, albeit remotely, to the city I was born in. Without WWOZ, I would not have had the confidence to launch Sweeney’s Gumbo YaYa – a show that wouldn’t exist without KAOS.
Here are the features I like about these stations. They both are non-commercial, community radio stations. They both invite and train members of the community to volunteer as on-air hosts (deejays). While being “volunteer powered” means they’re not as slick as some commercial radio stations, the hosts convey an authentic, honest voice, portraying Olympia and New Orleans in a way that gives me a deeper understanding. These deejays work in the same community, walk the same sidewalks, drink at the same bars (you get the idea.).
Both stations are cheerleaders for local music, regularly announcing live music events, hosting studio performances and interviewing musicians and other performers. This boosterism can matter. In 1987, KAOS hosted the the first radio broadcast of Nirvana and this summer, Seattle’s Vaudeville Etiquette was written up by the music tracker CMJ because of airplay it received on KAOS.
Just last week, local musician Greg Black stopped by the KAOS table at Arts Walk and offered the station his new CD, recorded two blocks away at Dub Narcotic Studio. You’ll hear it, along with other local music, on KAOS.
Both stations offer more than music. WWOZ , owned by the same folks who bring us Jazz Fest, focuses on programs that delve into the music and culture of New Orleans. KAOS has a broader mission, providing alternative perspectives such as National Native News, Counter Spin and Workers Independent News. as well as locally produced public affairs programs like Parallel University, Speaking of Wellness and the one I contribute to, Community Connections Report.
Strong listener support for these stations are crucial. The additional funding helps enrich the quality of the programming. But it also demonstrates to underwriters and funders that the station is a valued resource worthy of their support. Please take the time to pledge to KAOS and pledge to WWOZ this week or whenever you read this.