Last week, the folks at The Southside Pirate, the 2-year-old Near Southside-based internet radio station devoted to Fort Worth music, announced on their Facebook page that they’re going terrestrial. Pirate co-owners John Rody and wife Sallie Rody’s request for a frequency (part of a 2010 federal initiative to open the airwaves to small fries) was approved. Finally. They petitioned the FCC not long after launching their nonprofit web project.
John said KFTW/97.5-FM The Pirate will go live this spring, after he and Sallie get their mitts on some upgraded and federally approved technology. They’re accepting donations via PayPal at Southsidepirate.com and are working on a crowd-funding campaign. Their goal will be about $15,000, John said, mostly for a transmitter and antenna. With cash in place, the Rodys plan to build a live remote facility that will double as their studio.
“The system we are configuring will allow citizens to produce and air programs from anywhere,” he said. “Like Wayne’s World except radio.”
John, who essentially co-created the wacky morning show format in the late 1970s in North Texas at KZEW/98-FM The Zoo, is seeking programming proposals. Local news, local comedy, local reggae –– if you can talk about it or dish it out intelligently, the Texas Radio Hall of Famer wants to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org. Musicians can still drop their CDs into The Booty Box, a large container at Avoca Coffee on the Near Southside (1311 W. Magnolia Ave., 817-233-0957).
“We are really excited,” John said. “We will offer some DIY workshops, so the peeps can produce and deploy programming into our space-age system for playback or live broadcast.”
The workshops “for wannabe radio stars,” he continued, will begin on Thursday, March 19, at 7 p.m. at Arts Fifth Avenue (1628 5th Ave., 817-923-9500). Sign up now at Southsidepirate.com.
(May I offer some suggestions? Little Balls: Kids talk sports and predict the outcomes of local contests. Unsurprisingly, the hosts’ predictions are more accurate than Corby Davidson’s. Phattening: Laurie James, Tim Love’s chauffeur’s chauffeur, and members of the Rivercrest Yacht Club debate the hot-button gastronomical topics of the day. Is Aledo becoming a foodie town? How many ways are there to tongue-bathe AF&B? What’s the difference between a scallion and a rapscallion? [Answer: a microphone.] And Ash Adams’ Be Witching Hour, in which the titular Yalie magician and local bon vivant changes the contents of your pockets over the airwaves, sending you into cardiac arrest.)
The commercial-free station’s ambit will be about 10 miles, which means the all-Fort-Worth-music-all-the-time format is perfect. Now. Does anyone really need an all-Fort Worth music station? No, but you probably didn’t “need” that fifth shot of Fireball last night either. Will anyone other than local musicians whose music is being spun on the station and their loved ones tune in? Unless Rody can attract some quality shows and offer some quality programming, the answer is probably not. But if we could only realize how exceptional it is that The Pirate simply exists –– and if we could support it by throwing wadded-up dollar bills at it and by bragging on it to our Dallas and Denton friends (suckers) –– maybe Fort Worth artists could make some inroads into the North Texas mainstream. Creating an economy in which workaday musicians can focus on their craft instead of screwing up our lattes means a big win for everyone.
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