A tiny radio station that went off the air nearly 20 years ago, and shut down online in 2010, is “having a moment” as they say. It’s garnering all sorts of “ink” (as they used to call publicity) for rounding up more than 30 DJs who worked at the station to present a 40th anniversary of the signature “Modern Rock 500” countdown of the top modern rock/indie/alternative songs from their massive library o’ tunes. And author Robin James just released a new book (The Future of Rock & Roll: 97X and the Fight for True Independence) that chronicles the history of the station and why its independent spirit still matters today.
The press parade started back in March, when the press release for the Modern Rock 500 came out.
On May 11th, Robin did a book event at The Mercantile Library – co-hosted by Dave and yours truly. That gig was sold out… and an absolute blast!
Robin James was interviewed by Jason Cohen in the June issue of Cincinnati Magazine. (Editor John Fox is a longtime friend of the station – he used to appear on the air when he was editor of Everybody’s News and later Cincinnati CityBeat.)
The press coverage is nice… but honestly, this means more to us than anything else:
We’ve been able to reconnect with a small-but-mighty community through music. And that’s more precious than all the “ink” (or gold) in the world.
“From WOXY I learned it is important to support your local scene. If you care about independence, being creative and really having the ability for both yourself and for other people to innovate and do things that are new and different, then you would care about the story and example of WOXY.”
Robin James in the Journal News article by Don Thrasher linked above
If you’d like to tune in for yourself and find out what all the fuss is about, you can do so today and tomorrow from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (the Dolly Parton shift) on Inhailer Radio, and then again over the Memorial Day Weekend at that same spot on your internet radio dial!
Photo above from The Mercantile Library’s website.
And tomorrow night, I’ll be co-hosting an event there. It’s bucket list material for me.
A sold-out event at that! I harbor no delusions that anyone will be there to hear from me. They’ll be there because they loved a little radio station in Oxford, Ohio that respected their listener’s ears and minds.
My 97X buddy Dave and I started a podcast a few years ago, recording episodes in my basement. We had no idea what we were doing. Still don’t, honestly. “Shoestring budget” would be inaccurate. No budget. Actually it’s a “loss leader” given the hosting and website fees we pay. We’ve done very little promotion of it. But somehow, someway, the small-but-mighty group of people who loved 97X found it. And Robin James, who has been our guest a couple of times, wanted us to co-host her book event. BAM! Pretty friggin’ cool.
The Alabama Crimson Tide is the #1 overall seed in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. (I can’t call it March Madn3ss or I’d owe someone money.)
Alabama is led by their freshman phenom Brandon Miller. The same Brandon Miller who, on January 15th, delivered a gun to his then-teammate Darius Miles. Miles then gave the weapon to his friend Michael Lynn Davis, who then proceeded to get into a gun battle over a petty argument… and 23-year-old Jamea Jonae Harris, the mother of a 5-year-old son named Kaine, was shot and killed.
Actually Brandon Miller’s car was used to deliver the murder weapon. Allegedly, Brandon didn’t know the gun was in his car. Allegedly it was hidden in the back seat under some clothing. But his (now former) teammate texted him and said “I need my joint.” (For those who aren’t up to date on the latest slanguage, “joint” = “gun.”) And Brandon returned to where he had dropped off his teammate hours earlier.
Yes it’s completely possible that Brandon Miller didn’t know there was a gun in his vehicle — seems unlikely but sure let’s go with that– and yes it’s completely possible that Brandon Miller was already on his way to pick up his teammate when the text came through. That’s what his attorneys claim.
But the text said “I need my joint” not “Please swing by, I need the clothes that are in your back seat.” I’m no Perry Mason, but to me, the fact that Brandon’s teammate texted him that he needed his gun implies that Brandon knew the gun was in the vehicle.
Sidebar: where are we as a society today when young men who are going out for a night on the town:
actually own a gun and
decide that they need to bring it along when they’re going to a bar?
What we do know is that the University of Alabama administration knew of Brandon Miller’s involvement right from the get-go. It’s pretty hard to NOT know when Miller’s vehicle windshield had a couple bullet holes in it. Oh and there was another player from the team who was there as well… all this info didn’t come out until a February 21st hearing.
According to authorities, Brandon Miller is not a suspect… because if he didn’t know that he was supplying a gun … or even if he did know but he didn’t know that it would be used for something illegal (note: murder is illegal)… he’s off the hook.
Oh and by the way, did we mention that at Alabama’s next home game after Miller’s involvement was made public, one of his teammates gave him a mock “weapons pat down” during pregame introductions. Stay classy, ‘Bama!
Nate Oats is the Alabama head coach. His response has been tone deaf. At a press conference, he said Brandon was in the “wrong spot at the wrong time.” As many scribes have pointed out, actually, Jamea Harris was the one who was in the wrong spot at the wrong time. Oats also claimed that he was unaware of the pregame pat-down ritual… and that coaches can’t keep track of their players 24/7. Technically true, but I guarantee you most coaches know if a player misses a single mandatory study hall, and that players have been suspended for such minor infractions.
The University of Alabama administration’s response has been deafening silence. Yes, they kicked Darius Miles off the team. But Brandon Miller hasn’t missed a single practice or a single game. After all, he’s the star player on the #1 team in America — the team favored to win the NCAA tournament. When “win at all costs” meets “players’ actions cost a young woman her life” the entire administration has cast their vote for the former.
They call Alabama the Crimson Tide… and the Crimson Tide has blood on their hands.
Note: I drafted this post yesterday (I have the legal pad scribbles to prove it), and today when I went looking for facts to include in it, I found a Will Leitch column on New York magazine’s Intelligencer site that sums up my feelings much more eloquently and intelligently. The full column is here, and some choice excerpts are below.
She collected 138 the first day. Each night for the next several days, she rescued more. Others heard about her efforts and pitched in. These Mexican free-tailed bats are important to the ecosystem – they eat a lot of mosquitoes and other bugs.
By Christmas night, Warwick said she had more than 1,500 bats hanging inside dog kennels in her attic.
Most folks I know — myself included — would freak out about even a single bat in our house. But Mary knew these creatures needed help and she took action. Some of the rescued bats didn’t survive, but most did, and have been returned to their colonies in Houston.
I’m sure Mary Warwick could think of several other things to do in the days leading up to Christmas. But she knew nothing was more important than saving those bats. It’s work like this that can help save the planet we all share (humans and bats alike).
If you’re not a Batman or a Batwoman, there’s still probably something you’re passionate about, where your efforts can make a difference. It could be pet rescue, or bike paths, or park preservation, or planting trees, or preserving greenspace, or _______. And when the bat-signal goes out, I hope you’ll be batty enough to take action.
[The full Washington Post story about Mary Warwick’s rescue efforts is here.]
“nonstop but fruitless efforts to fill the yawning chasm of his soul by seeking the attention of indifferent strangers.”
Andy Borowitz, in The New Yorker
I probably shouldn’t be posting the entire piece from Andy Borowitz here. To make amends, I’ll mention that a subscription to The New Yorker is well worth the price (especially in Year 1, when they cut you a discount). There’s so much good content in every issue: news, features, fiction, cartoons, humor like the piece above, poetry…
In the “digital economy” I know people are used to getting their content for free. But keep in mind that most websites are siphoning your personal data and selling it to the highest bidder. So it only seems “free”… and you are the product. If you want to support quality writing, fork over a few bucks – the transaction is much more above-board. And go ahead and pay a bit more for the printed magazine… it’s a better experience, and easier on your eyes.
The only challenge I’ve found with my New Yorker subscription is that there’s so much great content in every issue that I’m constantly running a few weeks behind on my reading. A nice problem to have. Unless I break my glasses like ol’ Burgess Meredith in the Twilight Zone episode above.
Yet another ruse to separate you from your hard-earned money.
There’s a tradeoff for the convenience too… most of the stuff is made in China. And it’s just “stuff”… if you really want to give a gift that will be memorable, why not give of your time and talents instead? Most of us don’t need more stuff… but we do crave more human interaction. Ignore the hype – focus on the heart.
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