“Coronavirus.” Jeez…I HATE that fucking word. There, my first swear word on the new website for the new internet radio station. “Internet” means the music can have swear words, too. But, this is only the first divergence from normalcy.
Without doubt, COVID-19 is the most impactful event in my years of (no, I’m not telling you how old I am) life. I will tell you that I was upset at missing cartoons for a week when JFK was assassinated (OK, so that kinda tells you how old I am). I remember driving to Boulder, CO to do some software training and hearing Carl Kasell on NPR mention “reports of a small private plane crashing into the World Trade Center.” But, as I write this with no end of the pandemic of 2020 in sight, nothing compares to the impact it has had on the world, and my family personally.
Whimpering about the state of my data visualization/data management practice is no longer of any benefit (hyperlinked, just in case you need the help! 😀). And, the state of many other businesses, world health, personal lives, and everyday habits has been so drastically altered that it seems every day brings another just when you thought it couldn’t get more bizarre moment.
Along with enduring more than enough “pandemic changes,” May 30 brought the end of my time with traditional terrestrial public radio in the Denver/Northern Colorado area after 16 years of volunteer hosting and technical involvement. While this was my choice, it left me with one more personal void that needed filling.
With terms like “pivoting,” “re-thinking,” and “getting back to basics” being tossed about liberally, the one cliché that came to mind about 10 hours after my last public radio show was go back to what you love. It really is radio. I first sat in front of a radio station microphone during Christmas vacation during 9th grade. And, even though I transitioned to software from radio as a career long ago, I’ve always been very involved with radio — if only just listening, learning the formats, markets, personalities, and technical details (like which stations over-process their audio into aural garbage and which ones maintain some semblance of sound quality). And, there was that 16 years of hands-on/on-air involvement with public radio without being paid one red cent.
One must consider that a traditional terrestrial radio station involves things like expensive transmitters on tops of mountains, FCC licenses, and other pesky stuff like that. And, it looks like this “Internet” thing appears to actually not be a passing fad. Combine this with our new municipal broadband service here in Fort Collins that provides full 1gb downstream and upstream bandwidth (the official non-geek term for this amount of bandwidth is shit-ton). It was time to set up an internet station.
I actually purchased the domain SummerMusic.org with the idea of running all summer music for three months (and, you’ll hear that collection rotated and highlighted here). But, I ultimately decided to reimagine the HD3 channel I programmed on KUVO from 2009 to 2016 (remember The Other Side of KUVO). Well, here ya go! The concept from 10-plus years back is fundamentally the same — a truly eclectic mix of music, with genres, eras, and styles that don’t even remotely fit any formulaic traditional radio format.
So, if you’re a big fan of typical classic rock (e.g. songs that were played to death 50 years ago being played again now), classic hits (e.g. songs that were played to death 50 years ago being played again now), Top 40 hits, or Toby Keith putting his boot up your ass on a Country station, you’re probably going to be disappointed. But, if you want to hear something like a new Drive-By Truckers track, then a deep R&B throwback, followed by Sinatra, some EDM from deadmau5, then the new Taylor Swift/Bon Iver collaboration, a little hip-hop, new Sarah Jarosz, followed by another largely unpredictable selection of sophisticated music, you might just be in luck! And, there’s no extra charge for audio quality that no radio station can begin to provide (even if their engineers know how, or want, to do it — I’m jabbing at one particular local station here). Have a really good pair of headphones or ear buds at the ready.
I did this all myself, entirely with hardware and software I have in my home. My wife Denise is my partner in this venture, too — you’ll hear her on some of the promos and see her writing here. At this point, this is a pure labor of love. There are profitable internet stations, but they are few and far between. For now, The Other Side is just free of commercials and free for the (very high quality) listening.
Have a listen — give it an hour two and see what you think. I’d LOVE to hear about what you think works, doesn’t work, what you’d like to hear, not hear, new program ideas, and whatever is on your mind about radio and music (internet, or otherwise). And, if you like it, spread the word. Word of mouth (or, as I mention in one promo, word of mouse) is going to make or break this project.
Welcome to OtherSide.live!