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Admittedly I love a little anarchy over political sense. If you ask me what is the political background behind the resurgence of pirate radio then I am most likely to give out a half-baked idea of what is actually going on. Hmmm. Ok the FCC was going to give more space for community radio stations with a low frequency. Cool enough idea until National Public Radio came along with some corporate interests and wailed “Oh no, Oh no can’t let the stations bleed”. In which case the FCC says “Oh sorry ‘bout that George” and struck down the new low frequency policy. Little radio pirates across the land raised their little swords to the heaven and created low watt frequency generators to broadcast their souls to the masses.

Naturally I’m not a dummy. I’ve got google on hand I could run some phrases across the search engine and inform myself further of the legal and political ramifications of the new wave of pirate radio. Might even get some of the terminology correct. But see that’s not what this little piece is about. No that’s not why I love Pirate Radio. I’m sure that a piece needs to be written about how the corporations are putting on the clothes of rebellion forcing all of America into one form of radio, into one form of thought by some wise writer with articulation and intelligent formulation who can show the masses the way to the promised land of freedom and individuality.

Well sorry that’s not me. Today anyway.

What pirate radio means to me is the complete uncertainty of what will be played. Take me own local radio station for instance here in Knoxville. KFAR has saved me from my own classic rock boredom quite a few times on the roads of the Sunshpere City. Sifl and Olly is played at variable times for one. For those lost to the memory, Sifl and Olly was a sock puppet show on MTV way back in the 90’s. The creators had a swell ear for music and routinely parodied style after style after style. Well MTV are wankers and cut Sifl and Olly off after maybe three years. KFAR has found it fit to broadcast some of the shows in their entirety. Everyone say thank yee.

KFAR also plays music naturally. Crazy music. Insane music. The kind of stuff that leaves you fumbling for a dictionary/thesaurus to give a new tag to it. Course they also play some sort of mainstream run of the mill type of thing just to keep us in check. Rush and Led Zeppelin make appearances every now and again. They have DJ’s with actual attitudes who tell us a little bit about the music and a few other tattle tattles.

One night apparently there were zombies running around Knoxville and the only way to drive them back was to play KFAR really loud. I liked it but my fiancé thought they talked too much. Oh well can’t please us all I guess.

And I can’t be pleased all the time either. KFAR plays hip-hop music gluttonously, which is fair of course because Knoxville does have a sizeable hip-hop listening audience. Still I tend to run up the dial whenever I hear it. Also there is the habit of running commentary programs. Democracy Now, Free Speech Radio, and Counterspin are the main offenders. They have helped me come to the conclusion that opinion is best generated through the written world rather than the spoken.

But still happy-slappy pirate radio fan am I. Still listen to that old corporate rock and roll as it sticks to the blood but for the majority of my car traveling it’s KFAR for me. Makes me wanna go out and search for other pirate ships with boom boxes. Avast and whatnot.

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About Celestial Dung

  • CD, i too have a love for the pirate radio. The antics in London at the minute are nothing short of inspiring, and has led to the signing of The Streets and Dizee Rascal to name but two. (check out The Streets Original Pirate Material. oh wait, don’t. lol i forgot you dont like hip-hop.)
    I wanted to be a DJ since i saw Pump Up The Volume lol. im afriad it dont look too much of an option, but i do love doing radio stuff when i get a chance and so on. good stuff

  • so, you don’t like the news on KFAR? we get a LOT of people who say Democracy Now! is the best program on the station…


  • Eric Olsen

    Nice post CD, thanks. As you mentioned, anarachy is what this is all about and with anarchy you never know what you’re going to get, for good or for ill. Some people can embrace that, but most people can’t, which is why commercial radio is as repetitive as it is