Random acts of radio

The mighty Zenith K725.

Back in the Day® it seemed some oversensitive jagoff was always shrieking at us to “Turn that noise down!” Or even off.

How little things have changed.

Impeachy the Clown and Porky Pompeo have it in for NPR because a couple of its reporters had the temerity to, like, y’know, report, an’ shit.

And they’ve started cranking up that tired old double-chin music about defunding NPR and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, because these fatboys can only punch down.

Naturally, this triggered me, because I’m as oversensitive as the next jagoff. Throw in the confluence of Presidents Day and Random Acts of Kindness Day, and boom: Before anyone could tell me to shut my yap I was opening wide to deliver another painful sound bite with the yellowing fangs of Radio Free Dogpatch.

P L A Y    R A D I O    F R E E    D O G P A T C H

• Technical notes: This episode was recorded with a Audio-Technica AT2035 microphone and a Zoom H5 Handy Recorder, then edited in Apple’s GarageBand on the 13-inch 2014 MacBook Pro. Post-production voodoo by Auphonic. The background music was cobbled together by Your Humble Narrator using Apple’s GarageBand and the iMovie effects bin. KRCC operations manager Mike Procell appears through the miracle of Rogue Amoeba’s Audio Hijack.

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20 Responses to “Random acts of radio”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    NPR is good.

    WSHU out of Connecticut was the first NPR affiliate I zeroed in on after leaving Buffalo. The Queen City had an independent station, WPHD which was an outgrowth of a non format FM station in Buffalo, WYSL. Holy shit I remember Jim Santella’s radio shows from my high school days.

    I left Buffalo for good in 1972 (aside from occasional motorcycle trips back to visit friends and family) and apparently WPHD detonated in 1974.


    WSHU was Sacred Heart University Radio, right across Long Island Sound from SUNY Stony Brook. SUNY at Da Brook had its own station, WUSB. I think WSHU is where I followed the Arms for Contras investigation. Then it was KHPR in Honolulu and great googly oogly, three stations in Northern New Mexico, KUNM, KANW, and the indie station in Fanta Se, KSFR.

    Long may they broadcast.

    • SAO' Says:

      I started listening to NPR in Hawaii, but spent a lot of time in Alaska as well, and the two NPR stations were similar in that they couldn’t afford the full run of programming. So I had no idea they even covered politics. They ran college-alternative and Americana music most of the time, and during my commute, it was either Neal Conan (maybe they greatest interviewer of the last fifty years) or Science Friday or whatever show brought you the clips like “The Elizabethtowne, Kentucky 7th graders thought they were just collecting water samples from the nearby crick to look at tadpoles and guppies … little did they know they would discover a thought-to-be extinct species of Muskie …”
      wasn’t until I moved stateside that I realized NPR had a certain reputation … I was like, waitasecond, how is Car Talk political??

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      They aren’t always awesome, o’course. We used to call “Hearts of Space” “Farts from Space,” or “Gas Music from Jupiter” (h/t The Firesign Theatre, “Everything You Know Is Wrong”). But still, I’ll take gas music over morning zoo any day of the week.

      • khal spencer Says:

        There was an Audio Saucepan broadcast on KSFR until a couple years ago. It was usually pretty good and eclectic. Then Lauren Camp got tired of doing that gig and something replaced it that caused us to turn off the radio and put on Pandora.

  2. SAO' Says:

    I’m one behind, but got a morning of “executive time” tomorrow, so I’ll catch up then.

  3. Larry T. atCycleItalia Says:

    Public broadcasting is listened to by nobody who would vote for Rethuglicans – so in Don the Con’s tiny mind it’s a useless expense the country can do without.
    Every time I hear the whines of “It’s too expensive, we can’t afford it!” whether it’s about healthcare for all, getting away from fossil fuels, etc. my first response is the old Ben & Jerry – “We can’t afford it? Why don’t we use some of that tax money we’re spending on so-called defense? $718 billion a year could do a whole lot of good things.” Why isn’t that part of “America First” instead of throwing money away bribing or murdering our enemies, both real and perceived while making the military-industrial complex ever more profitable?

  4. Patrick O'Grady Says:

    What’s happening to newspapers now happened to radio first. Consolidation, homogenization, emasculation. As NPR’s Marissa Moss put it in a 2019 article, “many bullhorns being held by the same hand.”

    Remember Clear Channel and its DJs’ habit of urging listeners to run those annoying cyclists off the road? Lighten up, they said. Just a joke, they said. What’s not a joke is that CC — now iHeartMedia — has more than 850 stations for making its little jests.

    Shit, they have 10 of them right here in the Duke City, including an AM podcast channel. And their spiders even snare Radio Free Dogpatch in their nefarious webs.

    • Larry T. atCycleItalia Says:

      Clear Channel was kind of like the Faux News of radio – a right-wing propaganda vehicle. I started out with KHJ-AM Top 40 in LA in grade school, moving to KMET-FM “A little bit of heaven at 94.7” in high-school and then to KPFK and the other NPR stations a bit later. Don’t listen much here in Italy though we do stream (one day late) the PBS Newshour pretty regularly on our big-screen “smart” TV.
      Can someone tell me why Judy Woodruff doesn’t retire and let some of the younger folks take over that show? I really enjoy it when one of them comes on and reports “Judy Woodruff is away” when they start the news summary!!! C’mon Judy, McNeil & Lehrer eventually handed things off – you can too!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      KPFK? Man, that was the mothership. It’s where Peter Bergman was doing Radio Free Oz in the Sixties. He hooked up with David Ossman, Phil Austin and Phil Proctor, and shazam: On Nov. 17, 1966, The Firesign Theatre was born.

      Their album “Dear Friends” was a compilation of what they considered to be the best bits from the live KPFK show of the same name, which had a brief run in the early Seventies.

      Here’s one of them:

      • Larry T. atCycleItalia Says:

        It was mid-to-late 70’s when I started listening while at work – a mind-numbing data-processing job at a pharmaceutical warehouse. And no, we didn’t get any free samples of any of the products, though back then we could buy even prescription-only products (no dope though) at the wholesale price for personal or family use. Once I bought some steroids for a friend – didn’t even know what they were until I handed them over to the guy and he told me!
        Meanwhile, am I the only one who sees Ralph Kramden every time Mike Pompeo is on TV? All he needs is the bus-driver hat! Only the best people – MAGA!

  5. Pat O'Brien Says:

    When I was a kid it was WLS out of Chicago and KAAY from Little Rock. I discovered NPR and PBS in 1972 when they did a simulcast, pretty new and miraculous stuff at the time, of the Muddy Water’s Birthday concert in Chicago. Watching it on TV with FM stereo sound was triple whammy on my mammalian brain. NPR, PBS, and blues are here son; what’s not to like? And, I still like it today. NPR is a daily driver around here, especially when I am cooking. The radio of choice you might ask. This one, for years and years.


    Three NPR stations here from Arizona Public media. That include the HD digital jazz 24×7 station. So, one of these may come here soon.


    • khal spencer Says:

      WLS was clear channel, IIRC. Used to listen to it on my little transistor radio while (not) going to sleep at night, because at night it came into Western New York really well. Along with WKBW, got me through grade school until I discovered the alternative FM ratio station (see above) while in high school.

      Speaking of random acts of radio, my mom used to get amused by me taking over the dining room table at night with my little shortwave radio and listening to Radio Moscow, Peking, and Hanoi during the Vietnam War. It was a nice little battery powered set. Ate up D batteries like it had the munchies but had a fantastic fine tuning knob which as shortwave kids knew, was a requirement.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        I had an old tube console radio, a hand me down from grandpa, that had shortwave bands. A neighbor who had the amateur radio bug helped me build and put up a long line antenna for it in our back yard. But, he owned the radio I lusted for, a Zenith Trans-Oceanic.

  6. John A Levy Says:

    KOMA Oklahoma cityyy. Bring back the memories from a colorado childhood . As far a FM, I remember 10:30 movies on channel 2 out of Denver and the Firesign theater cover of those movies. Took a fair amount of kansas ditchweed to get it all straight. aHHhhhhh NPR is the just about the last thing this country needs to lose. The only outlet to cry bullshit on the redhead and his thugs. Bersides they get classical and Jazz to the hinterlands of Montana. Just pisses off the rednecks and their methhead kids which does my lefty heart a warm fuzzy.

  7. psobrien Says:

    That was another great podcast. You slowed down a smidgen, which made it even better. I sent a link to it to some of my like minded buddies. Well done Sir!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Thank you, sir. Learning and growing, learning and growing. Or so it is to be hoped, anyway.

      I need to start doing my own background music. I’ve cobbled together a few short bits in GarageBand, but want to get a little more deeply invested in that so I don’t have to risk using tunes that are supposedly “podsafe” but really aren’t.

      Hal used a bit of music in a video a while back, had permission from the artist and everything, and some douche filed a complaint, said he owned the copyright. Which was bullshit, as was YouTube’s response to the kerfuffle, which was basically to shrug its collective shoulders and go all like, “What could I tell you?”

  8. SAO' Says:

    Not really a podcast question, but related to electronic communications … can’t these debate moderators figure out how turn off everyone’s mic unless it’s their turn to talk?

    I hate all of these people right now.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Shuckens, any half-bright podcaster can hit the “mute” button on a channel (if he has one) or just pot that sucker down. You’d think NBC would have acquired this technology by now.

      I’d prefer to have the candidates wearing shock collars. After a couple of blasts people would start remembering their manners. Maybe.

    • Pat O’Brien Says:

      Any attempt to enforce polite or correct behavior by technology will fail. It costs too much in a land where profit is king.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      True. Also, the offenders would probably just hire one of the Poors to wear the shock collar for them.

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