KUSF Killed By the University. How Absolutely Horrible for the Community

Well I wanted to use the word STOLEN, but technically I guess it’s impossible for the University of San Francisco to steal what they already own. But they sure as hell did treat everybody like a squatter that didn’t belong. Way I hear it, they showed up with guards and probably did one of those quick lock changes that say in no uncertain terms “you are no longer welcomed here.”

DJ Push, I think

How very shitty. How unbelievably shitty.  Not just for the people of San Francisco. In 2011 a “community” is no longer defined by geographical borders. I am currently in Chicago. I’ve never lived in San Francisco. But on the basis of the radio station alone I’ve literally been considering the place I might move next. Well, that and the women. But mostly, KUSF.

Just trying to lighten the mood. This is just horrible. I was LISTENING TO THE STATION WHEN IT WHENT OFF!! I’m thinking, oh the live365 stream crapped out. I’ll just turn back to my other staple station KXLU. But after 2 hours and the nature of the silence I started getting worried. Check out these pix from the meetings. I don’t know how to identify anybody but the photos link to the folder

I’ve lived in NYC and LA-a little under a decade each. While in NYC one of the stations I listened to was WFMU. Also while there I began listening to a young lady named Jantine. She did a show called Mint Condition. Lot of fun. I was so impressed with her music and personality I stuck with her all the way back to her home town and station KUSF. That’s how I came into this mess.

But there’s a TWIST. I also listened to the “school station” when I was a student in NYC. Columbia’s WKCR. Guess what happened  at KCR a few months ago? The University TOOK a 20 year old Hip Hop show known as Squeeze Radio and GAVE it to some students. This is important because a) same deal; school makes a decision DESPITE what the community wants and  b) it was secret and sudden.

So it goes without saying the Univ of SF made this decision in secret because SF is an activist town and they KNEW all hell would break loose, so they did the whole deal behind closed doors. By the way you can read the University version

Here at the University page

And you can read the STATION version

Here at the KUSF Archives page

And if you’re ready to move beyond “what happened” and into “what can I do” then you need to go to http://savekusf.wordpress.com/

Man, this is so sad. I feel worse because I had been intending to write about KUSF for a while where I talked about what I liked about a pretty long list of DJ’s and shows. So for the time being all I can do is write this little post and add another log to the fire of trying to “keep hope alive” and let those DJ’s and volunteers know that people all over enjoy and respect them and if it’s an online only future so be it-but how horrible for the people in the city. Another money decision.

It’s Quits. Jason Bentley Shuts Down Metropolis on KCRW

I wanted to send my favorite DJ, Jason Bentley, an email which was essentially this post. But he’s pretty much never going to get the email with the amount of mail he gets. SOOOO, on the blog it goes. And for this post I have to explain a bunch of stuff that he already knows. So let’s start with the basics. JB is a DJ on KCRW. How’s that for a bunch of initials! His 7:30 PM to 10 PM show has specialized in “electronic dance music” on the Santa Monica College “school station.” That’s one of way describing his/our type of music. And that’s one of describing that so-called school station. He is my favorite DJ, not just because of the music, but his delivery. In fact I like other things too, like his passion for music and the lack of interruptions he allows on his show.


I heard the news a few days ago, and not to bring up a sad event, but it hit me like another KCRW tragedy. It’s a far more serious event, but the death of Warren Kolodny. When I first moved to LA in the mid-90’s I quickly discovered KCRW and KXLU. And then, as now, I pretty much listen to the KXLU during the day and KCRW on nights and the weekend. KXLU does basic college rock for most of the day and middle of the night (and I hear it’s where JB got is LA start after his move from Boston). Whereas KCRW used to have some interesting evening shows, then sort of didn’t, and now have some late evening shows that are JB clones-but I’ll get to that in a second.

So I got to LA and found Bentley doing his Metropolis show and at the time he had some demo tapes form a group called Underworld, and having grown up in Chicago when House music was invented, I was pretty well versed in dance music. Also having spent 10 years living in Manhattan prior to moving to LA I was pretty well versed in hip hop, and club music-not to mention my youth in punk and metal. BUT, no matter how much guitar music I thrived on, I had never given up on beat-centric music. So Jason’s show caught my ear RIGHT AWAY. As did another show, by a man named Warren Kolodny. At the time Warren was doing a show with music that I’ve heard described as “cocktail” music or “space age bachelor pad” or “exotica.” Anyway I took to his show right his show too, so those were my main shows. And then one day I heard Warren was dead. Apparently it was a suicide. Kinda shocking and I think it might have been the first time that a radio show had left me rather than the other way around. And for such a heavy reason.

jb lynda

The ironic thing about Jason is that I recently discovered a training series he’s hosted on Lynda.com’s website about musical inspiration. And at first I laughed in disbelief. But then I realized how perfect it is for him to be doing that. He IS an inspiring guy, and it doesn’t really need to be pointed out how inspiring music is. In fact the reason I listen to the radio almost round the clock is because I do creative work the music inspires me to NO END. I write specific things based on the music I’m hearing-and Jason’s music choices have not just shaped my work but the COUNTRY’S musical taste. That’s right. Did you know he did the musical selection for the Matrix? All that cool music when Neo is flying through the air over Orpheus’ head in the kung fu scene, or that cool as music when they start shooting up the mezzanine-that’s Jason! And every time you hear some cool iPod commercial or car commercial or tons of other things-it’s all inspired by Jason’s show. The show is in LA and they DO make all that stuff IN LA. Clearly I’m not the only person listening to the radio when I create.

So when Metropolis first started it really was a lone voice in the night. I mean I knew where to get electronic music or where to find stations on the internet that were broadcasting it, but that type of music wasn’t really “out there” for the general public. And tonight on his show he said he’s been doing it for 16 years and yeah, that’s a long time. I mean really it is. So, despite my sense of personal loss, I can’t fault the guy for moving on. He’s going to do the Morning Becomes Eclectic show AND become the Musical Director for the station. And I think it’s really the MD position that’s prompting the move, not the format change in his show. He’s been an enlisted man long enough, time to become an officer. And electronic music is safe. I mean the war is over. That music is no longer on the outskirts of society. It’s infused and integrated, hell some people would even say it came and went. But I wouldn’t say that-the Basement Jaxx will STILL blow you away and Sam Taylor Wood’s new I’m in Love with a German Film Star will be a minor classic. But as I mentioned earlier, KCRW now has half a dozen Bentley-lite clones that do dance music in the late evening. None of them are as good as JB, but you can still hear that kind of music. But still, The End of an Era. There is some good news though; did you know that JB does a Saturday night show on KROQ called After Hours? Well he does, and one can assume that since it’s the same format as Metropolis it’ll be a pretty strong show since it’s only the once a week [hold that thought-it’s a few days later and JB just announced he’s quitting After Hours too after the Nov 30th show].

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    Thank You George W Bush jr. for Our Black President

    No, no really! We couldn’t done it without you. Take a bow my brother-you deserve it. Stand back and observe what you have wrought (I know you’re big on the Bible so I threw that in for you). Now, no gnashing of the teeth! You must move forward. Get started on you Presidential “library.” Lot of people would underestimate designing a 2 foot by 3 foot space but I know, even that, takes planning so don’t let us hold you up on your next exciting adventure.

    All kidding aside, many do view you and your presidency as a joke, but let’s be real for a minute. A lot of real live people died because of you. A lot of people died here in the country as a whole, in the Armed Services, in Iraq, in Louisiana! And all the people who did go to work and came back missing limbs, or missing jobs, or missing years of their kids lives, or coming back to NO FAMILY AT ALL. A wife who jut couldn’t’ take the stress. And a lot of people lost their homes. Your REFUSAL to deal with wall street gone wild cost people their retirement with the Enron and all the other companies who played with people’s lives. But turns out that was just the tip of the financial iceberg right? In other words your damage is very real. Very real. And so much carelessness because you surrounding yourself with a callous and greedy body of people. Cheney and his Halliburton money grab, Wolfowitz and his theories and Rumsfeld and his armchair general’s approach to combat. Real people really suffered.

    But with Obama’s election the world is proud of America. The signal has been sent. That the ugly Americans have finally been beaten back into submission. Everybody recognizes that they’re still here, but that it will take an enormous effort for them ever to regain power and wreck havoc on the world again. People knew that we black Americans didn’t have the numbers to ever put a black man in office, that it was going to take all types of Americans pulling together to enact a actual “regime change.” But we did it, we ending a stranglehold that went on for too long. It’s over.

    The thing that has struck me in life is how unusual are the people who want to be president. Invariably what I see is this desire to go down in history. I only see the desire to serve the people as in afterthought. Except in 2 cases Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, otherwise it’s been one history whore after another. As we’ve just seen with McCain’s use of Sarah Palin. His greed for that office prompted him to insult the American people to such an unbelievable degree that after the initial shock wore off his OWN party realized that guy couldn’t give a flying fuck what happens to us if it meant he would “get to be president.” I have a theory that I’m always telling people; toothpaste does not come out of the tube on its own. I’ve learned that in life almost no movement forward happens without the appropriate pressure. And you Mr. Bush backed the country into such a corner, such a corner, that they would vote a black man into office. That’s a hell of accomplishment. You will go down in history, not just as the worst president ever, but the main who made Obama possible.

    So again, being the good Bible man that you are I guess there’s only one way to say goodbye; don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.

    Here’s an image brought to my attention by HotRod at WFMU. As you know this blog is 1/5 about comics and Alex Ross who went to art school here in Chicago did this one.