Nearly 1000 Peel Sessions now available online

Blogger Dave Strickson has been keeping an up-to-date list of all of the BBC 1 Peel Sessions that are currently available online.

There is nearly a thousand sessions of music to date. Some of the artists include David Bowie and The Spiders from Mars, Roxy Music, Joy Division, New Order, The Cure, Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Smiths, The Fall, Echo & The Bunnymen, Nirvana, Hole, Jack White, Elvis Costello, Cocteau Twins, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Sonic Youth, The Wedding Present, The Raincoats, Nick Drake, T-Rex, Buzzcocks, Can, Billy Bragg, Fairport Convention, Pulp, The Breeders, The Fugees, The Kinks, The Specials, The Slits, and Thin Lizzy.

[Via Brooklyn Vegan]

Image: YouTube Read the rest

Pirate radio pioneer Ronan O'Rahilly of Radio Caroline has died

Ronan O'Rahilly, founder of Radio Caroline, the first pirate radio station off the coast of the UK has died. O'Rahilly, who lived in Ireland, died from the vascular dementia he was diagnosed with in 2013. He was 79.

Here is a brief obit on BBC News.

And here is a funny bit of O'Rahilly history, his 1965 appearance on "To Tell the Truth."

[H/t Matthew Hawn] Image: YouTube Read the rest

Why 5G doesn't cause Covid-19

People in Britain are burning down cellphone masts in a panicky reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic, goaded by online trolls and ignorant TV presenters telling them that radio waves, especially at frequences used by 5G, might carry the virus.

As futile as it may be, Science Man Dan explains in a few minutes why 5G cannot carry viruses, and is as demonstrably safe as all other low-frequency radio waves floating about.

BONUS: the underlying rage here is at cellphones and social media and news and the scraping hollowness of life mediated by technology. Read the rest

Hollow Earth Radio: "local music, found sound, paranormal encounters, crank calls, dreams, etc"

Last week David posted about the Aquarium Drunkard music stream and I quickly signed up on Patreon. I also listen to Chilled Cow, a streaming lofi hip hop radio show on YouTube. Those two streams are enough to keep me happy throughout the day, but I just came across another awesome stream: Hollow Earth Radio. Based in Seattle, it's a Low Power FM (LPFM) non-commercial DIY radio station featuring "local music, found sound, paranormal encounters, crank calls, dreams, etc! 24 hours a day!" I need three brains so I can listen to all three at once.

Image: Twitter/Hollow Earth Radio Read the rest

Punk legend Henry Rollins has a new long-form streaming radio show

Henry Rollins, the hardest working punk in show business, has launched a new long-form streaming radio show via KCRW in Los Angeles! The four-hour first episode of The Cool Quarantine features tunes from Rollins's massive vinyl and cassette collection punctuated with personal stories about the artists. And as we all know, Rollins really knows how to spin a yarn. From Rolling Stone:

The debut episode, which runs four hours, features a story about Rollins and his pal, Minor Threat and Fugazi frontman Ian MacKaye, seeing Led Zeppelin in 1977 — along with bootleg audio from the concert and a bootleg MacKaye made of the Cramps. Rollins also shares stories about the early days of MacKaye’s Dischord Records — which put out Rollins’ first seven-inch with S.O.A. — and his time in Black Flag.

“For many years, I’ve had this idea for a long-form show,” Rollins said in a statement. “I mean really long-form. Like hours. To do it terrestrially would be difficult because I would be crowding other shows out. But if it was online, hey. It’s as many songs as I want, language issues are not a factor, and if anyone gets bored, they can just turn it off or mark the time they checked out and resume later.”

“The idea is that you’re in your room and Engineer X and I come over with a bunch of records,” he continued. “We play you songs, I tell you stories and we do time together. Now that many of us are under some kind of confinement, we might as well get some good listening happening.

Read the rest

Outstanding, free, and far-out music stream from Aquarium Drunkard

Aquarium Drunkard is an incredible audio hub of reviews, podcasts, features, interviews, and sessions sure to please all crate diggers, outré musicologists, fringe culture fanatics, and deep music geeks. Their genre-bending curation spans jazz, folk, garage, psych, experimental, and every other niche of music to present oft-unheard gems from across time. As the creators say, Aquarium Drunkard is "for heads, by heads." In author Erik Davis's own excellent newsletter, he shares word that Aquarium Drunkard has now launched a free online radio stream, Radio Free Aquarium Drunkard. Tune in and turn on. Erik writes:

I have been in love with Aquarium Drunkard’s mailing list, streams, and musical curation chops since I stumbled across a three-part collection of rare 70s Jesus Freak music they posted years ago. Given that millions of us are now stuck at home, addictively trawling newsfeeds while trying to stay sane, the AQ kids just launched Radio Free Aquarium Drunkard, a wonderful 24/7 radio stream of joy, verve, and reflection. Admittedly, I find my own sensibility uncannily mirrored in RFAQ’s mix of scruffy indy, ladyfolk, 90s basement tapes, spiritual jazz, weird country, and deep deep 70s. But I am particularly enjoying the intimacy, wit, and kindness of the selections, segues, and overall vibe. These days we should all be paying close attention to the collective process of meaning-making. This means ignoring the algos and opening up to playlists, personal recommendations, and DJs. Tune in!

Read the rest

Listen to spies' shortwave radio broadcasts

Gareth's post yesterday about the mysterious shortwave numbers stations used by spies to communicate happily reminded me of this article I wrote for bOING bOING Digital back in 1999 about the Conet Project, a legendary compilation of numbers station broadcasts produced by Irdial-Discs! Of course, this piece was written before Irdial-Discs sued the band Wilco for using a sample from the Conet Project recordings on their 2002 album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. From bOING bOING Digital:

Twisting the dial of your shortwave radio, you come across the most "experimental" sounding station you've ever heard. A glockenspiel tune is followed by the voice of a little girl speaking numbers and letters in what sounds like a random order. Performance art? No, the message inside the madness just wasn't meant for you. Perhaps its intended for the ears of a CIA agent. Or KGB. Or MOSSAD. You've stumbled across a Numbers Station.

"Shortwave Numbers Stations are a perfect method of anonymous, one way communication--spies located anywhere in the world can be communicated to by their masters via small, locally available, and unmodified Shortwave receivers," reads the Web site of The Conet Project, an outfit that's compiled 150 Numbers Stations recordings from the last three decades on a four CD set. (The word "Conet" is the sign-off signal on one station.)

Is this spy stuff true or not? Well, a rare mainstream media article about Numbers Stations published in the Daily Telegraph last year quoted a spokesman for the Department of Trade and Industry, responsible for regulating the airwaves in the UK: "These (Numbers Stations) are what you suppose they are.

Read the rest

Hey, remember number stations? Whatever happened to them?

When I was writing my book, Jamming the Media (1997), while working on a chapter about pirate radio, I went deep down the rabbit hole of hunting down pirate stations, shortwave stations, police and military radio, and number stations. The latter are mysterious radio broadcasts of unknown origin where a series of numbers are read over the air. These are widely believed to be coded messages to spies in the field from the world's intelligence agencies.

I was surprised to run into this video on Curiosity Droid and to discover that number stations are still a thing. I would have thought that, in the age of encrypted digital communications, number stations would be archaic and unnecessary, but maybe entrenched government infrastructures are hard to dismantle, even when they're obsolete?

Image: YouTube Read the rest

I'm loving this Reggae, Dub, Ska and Rocksteady internet radio station

LISTEN: 'Heavyweight Reggae.' Yep, the name is right, and the channel delivers. Read the rest

Baby Yoda's just fiddling with the radio (meme alert)

There's a scene in the fourth episode of The Mandalorian where the unnamed child (aka Baby Yoda) is literally pushing Mando's buttons, well, the buttons on his ship anyway. Since it aired, the internet has been doing its thing — imagining Baby Yoda is playing with the ship's radio.

The meme started a couple of weeks ago, so there a TON of them out there. I picked out a few of my favs:

And, OF COURSE...

(Geekologie) Read the rest

Pacifica Radio ignores injunction, continues to play canned content on NYC's WBAI

On Oct 7, workers and volunteers at New York City's beloved Pacifica Radio affiliate WBAI received a sudden notice informing they that they were all fired without notice or a board vote, as is required by Pacifica's by-laws; the next day, a court issued an injunction requiring Pacifica to reinstate local programming until a hearing on Oct 21. Read the rest

New York's WBAI Pacifica Radio affiliate has shut down, orphaning 2600's Off the Hook, the Hour of the Wolf, and many other beloved mainstays

WBAI is a beloved New York City institution, owned by the Pacifica Foundation and run primarily by volunteers who produce longrunning, cultural-defining shows like Jim Freund's Hour of the Wolf (science fiction) and 2600's Off the Hook (information security and tech policy). Read the rest

New Ways of Seeing: James Bridle's BBC radio show about networked digital tools in our "image-soaked culture"

James "New Aesthetic" Bridle (previously) is several kinds of provocateur and artist (who can forget his autonomous vehicle trap, to say nothing of his groundbreaking research on the violent Youtube Kids spammers who came to dominate the platform with hour+ long cartoons depicting cartoon characters barfing and murdering all over each other?). Read the rest

THE BUREAU: Part Five, "The President Has Been Shot!" — with an RF Nomad Shortwave Radio Receiver

From the weekly series The Bureau.

Adblocker for radio

Tomek Rękawek, irritated by ads on the radio, created an app that mutes them. Radio Adblock uses digital signal processing to detect distinctive audio patterns that signal the beginning and end of breaks. (via Hacker News)

I also prepared a simple standalone version of the analyzer, that connects to the Trójka stream on its own (without an external ffmpeg) and plays the result using javax.sound. The whole thing is a single JAR file and contains a basic start/stop UI. It can be downloaded here: radioblock.jar. If you feel uneasy about running a foreign JAR on your machine (like you should do), all the sources can be found on my GitHub. Apparently, it works :)

https://soundcloud.com/tomek-r-kawek/commercial-block-muted

To make it work universally, perhaps DSP could detect the use of extreme waveform compression. This makes ads sound as loud as possible without increasing the signal volume, and is a technique that advertisers and radio stations supposedly use to skirt the regulations that forbid them from doing just that. It would also have the bonus of silencing shitty pop songs. Read the rest

What was hot in pop culture in June of 1998

YouTuber thepeterson makes video montages that pull together clips from pop culture days of yore, highlighting what movies and TV shows the masses were watching, what they were listening to on the radio, and what video games they were playing. In the latest one, June 1998 is put into the spotlight. Prepare to take a (possibly nostalgic) trip down memory lane to see what was "in" twenty years ago this month.

(Tastefully Offensive) Read the rest

Enchanting mix of experimental, minimalist, and ambient cassette music

Brandon Hocura of the excellent Seance Centre record label mined his (and his friends') rare and vintage cassette archive to create this sublime guest mix for the Noise In My Head show on NTS Radio. Listen below, preferably with headphones. Turn on, tune in.

Noise In My Head W/ Brandon Hocura (Seance Centre)

Tracklist:

Claire Thomas & Susan Vezey - Bright Waves Pablo's Eye - Blind And Quiet Mo Boma - Jijimuge Two (Rebounders / Nanga Ningi) Robert Haigh - Andante (For Strings, Piano, Percussion) Sebastian Gandera - Chienne De Viel The Field Mice - Let's Kiss And Make Up Richard Truhlar - Portrait Of An Interview Hearn Gadbois - Gaht Mayh Moh8joh3 Woykihn John Celono - Instrument Flying Bruce Russell - Indigo Pool Joanne Forman - Codex Antonio Zepeda - Cuando Los Dioses Juegan A La Pelota Roberto Mazza - Artigli Arguti Peter Griggs - Fragments John Di Stefano - Nuage Philip Sanderson & Michael Denton - Maps (Love In A Cold Climate) Short Term Memory - Words Houari Benchenet - Katrouli El Mhaine Jack Charles - Traverse John J Lafia - Life Is Short Short Term Memory - Hysteria John Di Stefano - Culture Schlock Smith & Erickson - Blue Skies Tony Wells - End Collage Pauline Oliveros - Earth Ellen Zweig & Gregory Jones - Sensitive Bones

Previously: "Keyboard Fantasies: exquisite New Age music you've never heard" Read the rest

More posts