Tag Archives: KALX

All work and no play…

I know.  I know.  I said I’d be back in September.  And when I wrote that, I meant early September.  Well… it came and went, and boy did it go quick. And no sooner do I look up, but October’s pretty much gone too.  Which means my “short summer hiatus” has turned into a four-month-long-stretch that’s pulled me so far away from the daily routine of blogging that it’s been nearly impossible to jump back in.  (heavy sigh here)

I’ve thought about it.  I’ve thought about it a lot.  I thought about it in mid-September when I realized my self-imposed deadline had passed, but realized I still had no time and nothing interesting to say because, at least in terms of art, I was doing virtually nothing.

I thought about it again in the beginning of October and conceived the briefest of blog-posts in my mind… nothing more than a title – “So I lied.”

I thought about posting all of the cool happenings I’ve NOT gone to, just to show you that you haven’t missed a thing in this corner.  And then I thought about it again when I went to see Beirut at the Fox because I actually took some pretty photos and even shot a little video and it was just so exciting to be OUT, doing SOMETHING!  But still I did nothing.  I haven’t even looked at those photos or video since…

I had one other stroke of inspiration in September because the spiders were all back in my yard again (Chasing Spiders).  It’s very strange how they seemingly materialize out of nowhere at this specific time of year… Anyway, I knew it wasn’t really particularly art related and probably not the best way to relaunch the blog but I actually took some great photos of other critters in the yard (including those being wrapped up like burritos and feasted upon by the spiders).  But still I did nothing.

Until today.  Tonight really.  I got a comment earlier today saying “Please come back” (Thank you Matt!) and it made my heart leap, and sink at the same time.  So affirming to hear that someone appreciated and valued my efforts, and so guilt-inducing to know that I’ve abandoned my project.  So here I am on a Friday night… trying to write something non-work-related for the first time in months.  And all I can say is that I WILL be back.  And this is my start 😉

It’s going to take me some time to get some material going because, to be completely honest, I’ve done nothing.  My life has been work work work family work family sick work work wedding (not mine) sick sick work work work.  And needless to say, all work and no play makes this blog non-existent.

And the truth is, I miss it too.  I’ve missed the past 4 Art Murmurs.  I missed Art & Soul. I missed Eat Real.  I missed Oaktoberfest (I couldn’t even make a beer drinking festival right down the street from my house!)  I missed Hardly Strictly.  I missed Picasso at the De Young.  I missed Brad Pitt at the Paramount (dammit!)

I haven’t even been listening to music much because I’m so focused when I’m working, but I do still love me some KALX while shuttling between meetings. It’s one of the things I’d be loathe to live without.  They’re having their annual fundraiser right now, so if you love free-form independent radio like I do, please support them so they don’t end up going the way of KUSF (here’s my write-up from last year). And here’s a clip of one of my recent favs (discovered via KALX), that they’ve been playing quite a bit:

Hope you enjoy, and I’ll see you again here real soon!

Random Thoughts on Thursday…

Today I’ve got a smattering of stuff… a random collection of things I’ve been thinking about recently including local independent radio, amazing restaurant deals in Oakland, and the upcoming 2nd annual Oakland Marathon…

  1. KUSF (90.3 fm) has gone the way of classical as of this past Tuesday…  I said, “WHAT?!?”  It’s true, it’s true.  Another great independent college station down the tubes.  Or at least into the tubes.  While the University of San Francisco’s station has been broadcasting via the FM airways for over 30 years, it will now be moved to an internet-only format. You can see a recap of events and listen to an archive of an interview with relevant parties on KQED’s site:

    So please, support your local independent radio.  Here’s a recent write-up on the ever-excellent KALX. And here are a few of my other favorite local stations:

      • Pirate Cat Radio 87.9FM http://www.piratecatradio.com/listen.php This is a true pirate radio station. I actually had to look up their number on the dial because I’ve only ever heard their broadcast from a particular photo studio in San Francisco – their broadcast range is postage stamp sized. In fact, they may not even be broadcasting that way anymore because they’ve had some trouble with the FCC (they simply won’t obey!)… it may be only internet now. But they play super interesting stuff consistently.
      • KFJC 89.7FM http://www.kfjc.org/netcast/index.php This is Foothill College’s radio station. Great stuff with a focus on new music.
      • KUSF 90.3FM http://kusf.org/index.shtml Similar to KALX, but broadcast from the University of San Francisco… similarly cool off the beaten path programming… lots of local bands too.
      • KZSU 90.1FM http://kzsulive.stanford.edu/Another college radio station… this one out of Stanford University. Even those Peninsula geeks can rock!
      • KPFA 94.1FM http://www.kpfa.org/ One of our Bay Area public radio stations, it’s mostly political, but they do have some good music shows. I’m particularly fond of their Thursday nights with Bonnie Simmons and Derk Richardson. But I’m old. ;)
  2. flora oakland, cocktails at flora, art deco flora

  3. Next week is Restaurant Week in Oakland. What is Restaurant Week you ask? (I’d never heard of it before either, but perhaps this is the first year?  Anyone?) In any case, it’s a week long event sponsored by the Oakland Visitor Convention Bureau in conjunction with Visit California.  Basically it’s about getting folks to come spend their hard-earned dollars in Oakland, while getting great values at an incredible variety of top-notch restaurants.  And locals can sign up too… Here’s a list of all the deals being offered:
  4. All I can say is Flora, Camino, Wood Tavern, Oliveto… the list goes on and on.  It’s going to be hard to decide where to eat~!

  5. The Oakland Running Festival! It’s coming again (March 26/27) and it’s going to be awesome.  Please check my posts from last year which have lots of information about this excellent event:

    I’ll be writing more about this in upcoming days (because I’ll by plying you for any hard-earned dollars not spent on Restaurant Week!), but I’m going to be running in the festival this year (last year I was a spectator), and I’m going to be running with Team Ella Baker Center.

    The Ella Baker Center is a local non-profit human rights organization working to “promote justice in the system, opportunity in our cities, and peace on our streets.”  I wrote a bit about them last year (Ella Baker Center Murals) and am extremely excited to be supporting their organization this year.  They’re hoping to raise $25,000 with approximately 100 runners, so if you’re interested in running with them, click this link: “Oakland Love Runs Deep“.

    I went to their kickoff party at Somar last night and it was incredibly inspiring. A representative from Corrigan Sports (the organization responsible for bringing the marathon back to Oakland… after a 25 year hiatus) recapped the 2010 event, saying that 98% of participants had a positive experience, 90% of participants came away with a more favorable view of Oakland, and thousands of dollars were raised for local organizations.  This is a super-positive event and I encourage everyone to get involved.  There are lots of ways to participate:

    • As a runner – there are races for everyone: 1/2 marathon, full marathon, relay race, twilight 5k, and kids’ fun run, and you can run for a cause too (bonus points!)
    • As a spectator – crowds lined the streets last year to cheer on the runners. It was truly inspiring.
    • As a volunteer – over 1,000 volunteers are needed to help orchestrate this huge event. Click here for more info

    More reading:  Corrigan Sports Enterprises Brings You the 2nd Annual Oakland Running Festival

KALX ~ “the greatest radio station in the world”

Ok, so that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s the tongue-in-cheek claim of one of their on-air pre-recorded DJ messages, and it always makes me smile.  Yes, this institution is based in Berkeley.  But their airwaves stream across Oakland and the greater Bay Area, and it’s one of the things I love most about living here.

The station was started nearly 50 years ago in 1962, broadcasting through a cigar-box mixing board (literally made out of a cigar box) hard-wired to the UC Berkeley dormitories. They played classical music for 4 hours a day .  Just classical music.

They’ve come a long way since then, broadcasting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with an incredibly diverse set of programming, not to mention their amazing roster of DJ’s. You can read The Full and Unabridged History of KALX if you want all the gorey details, including how  President Ronald Reagan inspired the station’s complete embrace of punk rock in the 80’s.  F&*k yeah!

There’s a great quote from 1986 by then General Manager Bill Davis: “What KALX stands for, more than anything else, is freedom. KALX doesn’t have a true format. KALX has no predetermined playlists. In general, KALX’s policies are designed to give programmers, reporters, producers, and sports announcers maximum flexibility, responsibility, and freedom. And that gives the listener the opportunity to hear things on the radio at 90.7 that he or she would never hear anywhere else on the dial. If that freedom is important, call 642-5259 to keep KALX independent.”

It’s still true today.  They play everything.  Ambient, disco, funk, hip-hop, punk rock, indie pop, country, bluegrass, classical, the list goes on… I can’t tell you how much amazing music I’ve discovered listening to KALX over the years.  I always keep pen & paper handy so I can jot down who I’ve heard when the DJ comes on air and announces their playlist.  Or even better, now you can go straight to the website and see the entire playlist for the last 24 hoursThank you KALX!

So please, support your local independent radio station.  You love freedom, don’t you? KALX is holding it’s annual Fall Fundraiser right now!  It’s one week only and we’re already mid-way there… drive ends this Sunday, October 31st.

They’ve got all kinds of schwag for your hard-earned cash:  bumper stickers, t-shirts, sticky notes, etc.  But they’ve got great packages too where they’re giving away limited edition cd packages, concert tickets, and more.  And one of my favorite donation options is to buy an hour of guest DJ time.  I did this two years ago… for 100 bucks (I was feeling flush then!) I purchased the right to join Alisa, Queen of the Cowbell, in KALX’s underground lair for an hour of spinning tracks of my own choosing, and even speaking on air.  It was awesome!

So please… take the next few days to tune into KALX… 90.7 on your FM dial.  Or you can find them on the internet (info here), and through iTunes (go to Radio->College/University->KALX). And call them up with your donations…

Support Freedom on the airwaves!

note: image above found on Facebook, no info on artist.  sorry.