KFAT and #western106

Just completed that long overdue migration of #ds106radio this week from Canadian Web Hosting (props for a solid 5 years of hosting) to ReclaimHosting.  Broadcasting studio is now setup in a shed on the top of ReclaimHQ and the new antenna is broadcasting stronger than ever with an upgrade to Airtime 2.5.1

Given that the radio schedule is long overdue for a revamp + the fact that #western106 is in need of a country station, I started looking for some syndication candidates for the schedule.

It has been my great fortune to find “the only dead radio station you can listen to on your computer.” KFAT left the airwaves in 1984, but in its short 7 years on the air gathered devoted fans.  It appears the fans and the station recorded hundreds of hours of broadcasts – all of these broadcasts are streamed 24/7 at www.kfat.com.

Here’s a bit about KFAT from Rebels on the Air: An Alternative History of Radio in America that illustrates why I think these recordings are a perfect fit for #ds106radio and #western106 listeners for the next few months:

It may have been the only commercial station, a listener later declared, where you could hear Slim Pickens introduce a Dead Kennedys record.  There was a joke a lot of the DJs like: “It’s all country music. It just depends on what country you come from.”

KFAT was a country music station, but it wasn’t like any other commercial country operation.  It was a freeform country station run by hippies and hip rednecks … there were those weird promos it ran, like the station identification announcements that featured “famous people sneezing.” …

If the Summer of Love had taken place in a garlic-growing country town, if Berkely’s longhaired rebels had preferred George Jones to the Jefferson Airplane, if Jerry Garcia had joined Bill Monroe’s bluegrass band – well, then it would have been a very different world, and KFAT would have been a commercial triumph.  Instead, it was a financial failure, a strange tributary of ‘70s radio that didn’t lead anywhere in particular but sure took an interesting route.

“You know what?” he said. “We could create a radio station that, masquerading as a country station, is like a twenty-four-hour-a-day lampoon of country music.  But in the process, it’s playing folk music, it’s playing music with a living-in-the-country feel, whether it’s the Grateful Dead or George Jones.  And mixed in is inventive production, and mixed in is satire and engaging, interesting characters who have funny names.”  He loved the call letters Lorenzo had come up with, but ge figured they could take the idea further. “Not only do we want to call it KFAT – we want to call it The Fat One. We want to give it that image, to have a big fat cowboy logo.” KFAT, Yurdin suggested, should feel like something vaguely forbidden – like an old Mexican border blaster or a distant black station in the 1950’s South.  It should unusual, eclectic, and exciting.

I have been listening to this stream syndicated over ds106rad.io/listen for the last 2 days and loving it.  Looking forward to digging further into KFAT and #western106 over the next few months.  Also … I think #western106 & #ds106radio may be just the platform needed to launch that freaker country band …





Image via thetyee.ca

It is with equal parts frustration and disappointment that I find myself being compelled to remove the CBC Nightlines and Brave New Waves archives I have hosted at networkeffects.ca since April 2012.  In September 2015 I moved the growing archive of fan recordings to a subdomain of this site using Omeka to organize and share it.  In doing this I also provided a means for fans to share their hometaped recordings – clearly the CBC disapproves of people celebrating their affection in such a manner.

As I have been hosting small clips from my personal collection of Nightlines and Brave New Waves cassettes since 2012, I can only assume that it was my attempt to connect fans and provide a space for sharing that prompted this action.  I have found many people share my love of these programs and the artists they exposed me to – I expect they will also share my disappointment.

My friends and family know my affection for Canada’s public broadcaster.  I wore my CBC logos with pride and frequently recommended programs I discovered at cbc.ca and CBC radio.  I would like to think this incident has not tarnished my affection for the public broadcaster, but am feeling those equal parts frustration and disappointment alienating a long-time fan.



Citizen Rewind

Update: November 23, 2015 – Takedown

Back in 2013 I found a box of cassettes containing some CBC Nightlines shows from the 90’s – I shared them on a page here at NetworkEffects http://networkeffects.ca/?page_id=1301 and highlighted a few more of my favourite finds like the Nightlines Pub Rock Show and some Pooby Christmas tunes.

Soon after I posted these I received some emails from fans of CBC Nightlines & CBC Brave New Waves offering to share some of their digitized cassettes.  Some of these fans had even used their VCRs to record the radio programs – taking advantage of the VCR programmable timers to capture their favourite late-night programs.

It became clear to me sometime in 2014 that the submissions finding their way to my shared Dropbox volumes were going to far outpace my ability to update the humble collection on my blog so I started looking for a better way to not only host them, but a means for all of these great people to grow the collections + provide info/tracklists/program details.

After poking around far too long I have decided to setup the Nightlines and Brave New Waves collections at audio.networkeffects.ca using Omeka – an open source content management system for online digital collections.  I’ve called this little project Citizen Rewind … a little play on words with hat tips to CitizenFour and CBC Rewind.  I think of this project as a fan-led CBC Rewind for those of us who miss our late-night public broadcasting as it was in the 80s and 90s.  The CBC Digital Archives likely have all these program archives somewhere (or did) but are also likely handcuffed by risk averse copyright considerations … this fan-site is not.

The more I use Omeka, the more I love it.  I’ve found just enough features and extensibility to make collecting, organizing, and serving a large collection of audio files and the more I explore it the more I am finding it is also capable of considerable large-scale projects – like serving digital collections of the New York Public Library system.

I have been working on getting archives uploaded this weekend by getting started with the Brave New Waves archive uploads.




‘The Prisoner’ + ‘The Prisoner 2’ video games

With all the great in-browser software emulation emerging over the last few years I thought I’d take a cue from Jim regarding The Prisoner game released for Apple II and see if I could find an emulated version.

30 minutes into my search I not only found .dsk files for both The Prisoner and The Prisoner 2, but a great piece from The Digital Antiquarian that digs into the backstory of the game developments.  Some great bits:

It consists of some 30 individual BASIC programs which are shuffled in and out of memory as needed by a machine-language routine, the only non-BASIC part of the structure.


Throughout all this the game is constantly trying to get us to reveal our resignation code, through ploys obvious and subtle. The most devious of all comes when we visit the Hospital. In the midst of an absurd free-association personality test, we are suddenly dropped to BASIC with an apparent error message. The natural reaction to the above would be to LIST line 943 to see what the problem might be. If we do, however, we have just lost. The number 943 is of course our resignation code, and we have just been tricked into revealing it. There was never any real error at all; we are still in the program. We are still the Prisoner.

There isn’t much different between ‘The Prisoner’ and ‘The Prisoner II’ – story is essentially the same with ‘The Prisoner II’ adding a first person perspective to the maze/map puzzles.

If you are digging #prisoner106 give ‘The Prisoner’ a shot by downloading this prisoner.dsk file and loading it into this javascript-powered Apple II emulator.

‘The Prisoner II’ is available at archive.org and offered via MESS below: