Friday, September 04, 2009

KALX & à la recherche du temps perdu

One of the things I miss about the East Bay is KALX, the UC Berkeley radio station.  It's old school college radio with none of the polish of the NPR varieties.  Don't get me wrong, I listen to KRCW {NPR-Santa Monica College} and WFUV {Fordham}, but there's something endearing about hearing actual college students on-the-air.  KALX is streamed, but I always forget to listen::
 mp3:  128k stereo   56k stereo   24k mono      ogg:  128k stereo    
KALX is powered by 500 watts and 300 volunteers.  In the 1970s, according to Wikipedia, it was the flagship station of the Oakland As, but it's low power at the time meant it was unlistenable at the stadium {Oakland Coliseum}10 miles away.  A few nights ago, I was meeting a friend and her guy who was in from Austin down in Rockridge.  On KALX was a song that I haven't heard in over 20 years.  Wire Train's "I'll Do You" {above}   I remember San Francisco based Wire Train from early 1984.  This song and  "Chamber of Hellos" got some airplay.  Their label, the "new wave" 415 Records often acted as an incubator for emerging artists and enjoyed a partnership with Columbia and a relationship with concert promoter Bill Graham Presents in the 1980s.    Wire Train had more of a rock sound, as opposed to the "new romantic," as post-punk evolved into the morass that would become alternative.  So, in early 1984, I put U2, The Alarm, Big Country, Icicle Works, and Echo & the Bunnymen roughly in the same clustering.

Twitterversion::  #KALX, #UCBerkeley college radio reminds me of misspent youth through #WireTrain circa 1984. @Prof_K

Song::  Ill Do You - Wire Train

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