Greetings dear readers- here is where we celebrate all the wonderful people who pay the bills at KVMR- our beloved members.
KVMR Member Profile #3: It's Dogs & Cats (and birds & rodents & a freakin' Water Buffalo!) listening to KVMR together! Animals are people too at KVMR. It's hard to quantify how many of our listeners are pets because they lack thumbs and can't call us without help. But I'm willing to wager any amount of fake money that the number has at least 5 zeroes. My totally unscientific (pretty much made up) reasearch unequivically proves that furry friends are some of our most, um, rabid supporters...? Sorry! Meet the fur and feather crew intrepid enough to get their owners to send in a photo!
Nimbu the Kiltlifter is an Afgan Hound, from the Bourbon Lodge Hounds- KVMR members since 1985. His beloved mistress, Diana Smith, passed away last June. Our heart goes out to Nimbu and his family!
This lovely waterbuffalo, The Apex of Sweetness, lives in Galt and is partial to barstool honky-tonk. Cadillac Jim cranks the radio on Saturdays and she gets up out of the water and comes in the shed to listen. Animals- they're just like us!
I'm embarrassed to say I can't tell if this is Max or Mildred the hamster. M lives in Grass Valley and enjoys shredding- guitars and paper!
Big Suze was literally rescued by Sammies Friends after contracting feline herpes in a cathouse (stranger than fiction!). Her owner found her thanks to Barbara Graves Shelter report on Mondays. She's currently spoiled rotten.
Spike the Parrot listens to KVMR all day, but her favorite is Michael Keene's Hawaiian show Kani Ka Pila, says Spike's bestfriend Cheryl.
Moby and Luna live in Shingle Springs and love County Line Bluegrass with Eric Rice. It's a dogs life!
KVMR has our own (ok- she belongs to volunteer coordinator Edy Cassell- but she loves me best!) pooch mascot, Pearl. Here's me and Pearl horsing around on the floor. That's her big paw snuggling me!
KVMR Member Profile #2: Rich Z from Czech Republic- he listens via the interwebs and DONATED HIS CAR TO KVMR. From Middle Europe, people!
Here's Rich riding in a marathon with his partner, Libuse (left), and friend Milena (middle)
Rich began emailing KVMR after he donated a car he had left in San Francisco. Since Czech Republic is 9 hours ahead, he listens regularly when most of us Californians are asleep. And late night is when KVMR leans towards more edgy, experimental programming. Fortunately, that--along with free-form blues & jazz shows-- is exactly what Rich likes about KVMR.
"My discovery of KVMR-FM dates back to a period when I was commuting/tripping from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe in my old 1959 Karmann Ghia. KZAP had become too commercial, I was in search of a lost chord, and suddenly there was welcome relief from karmic kongestion at 89.5. Later, as a grad student at Chico State, KVMR-FM was the house radio station via a long dipole antenna and a strategically placed relatively sensitive Fischer 202 receiver. Blues with Phil, Black Vinyl, Lunar Tunes, & Haines Ely shows were so compelling that I went around Chico and encouraged coffee houses and bike shops to tune in, providing them with dipole antennas to pull in the far away signal. As a result, Pullins Cyclery became a "Blues With Phil" underwriter! Whenever a trip to Nevada City could be arranged, I'd make a point of getting a Cowboy Pizza and visiting the KVMR studios."
[Wow- Rich remembers Cowboy Pizza- "Small Children Cry for It, Mother's Ask for It by Name."]
"After Chico (1987), it was back to SF, where Richard Gossett on FM 98.9 KQAK ("The Quake") was providing the last bastion of commercial creative progressive rock programming, powered by Anchor Beer, champagne, and whatever happened to be in the air. By this time, KSAN, KTIM, KOME, KSJO, KFAT, KMPX, KSFX were all history, and other than Pacifica's KPFA & college "cultural oases" like KUSF, KALX, & KFJC, the radio dial was getting relatively stagnant. When the Quake died, the only fresh air seemed to be Alex Bennett's morning show, and when that ended, it was time to hit the road. After stints in Berlin & Prague, Brno, CZ became my new base, and the KPIG stream with Travus T. Hipp's morning reports credibly connected me with "all the news I never knew I needed to know..." If I missed Travus on the Pig, archive.org reminded me that I could catch him live on KVMR at 7:30am. On Wednesday mornings, I began sticking with KVMR for Mike Bissel's blues & Bruce Maiman's commentaries. Ultimately, it seemed that it was "high time" to become a member-supporter of such excellent programming."
Gee- that's quite the KVMR timeline- how'd you decide to donate a car to KVMR?
"Well, I heard about the car donation program from station anouncements aired between thematic musical sets (listening to the stream via Winamp). Live dj 'reminders' were the most influential. Old family friend Greg in S.F. made the toll-free call and negotiated the pickup."
Any shoutouts to KVMR's latenight crew?
"The return of Russ Roy means great blues programming with an amazing blend of the old & the new. Ed Gardner's shows include excellent live sets from legendary venues like the Old Waldorf. Eric Flaherty' shows--especially when he brings in his own vinyl -- are a pleasure. A "Dip into the Hank Tank" with Brent Parcher is always worth a listen, and Mark Leviton's "Blue Moon Red Eyes" are like revisiting "A Little Bit of Heaven, 94.7, KMET-FM"! The Vinyl Avenger's thematic garage rock shows are absolutely unique and indispensable, and some of the new djs like Sean Dooley turn us on to fresh indie artistry. Radio sucks throughout most of Europe these daze. No one has been able to take the place of John Peel since his untimely death. Occasional free-form rock shows from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Radio Split's weekly "Bluesoteka" are refreshing exceptions that make for compelling listening when camping under the stars along the Adriatic coast. If any folks from the KVMR community areplanning a visit to Middle Europe, it would be my pleasure to show new friends backroad sights seldom seen."
Sounds sweet to me. How do I get there...? :)
"Catch a cheap charter flight from Las Vegas to Frankfurt, Germany, and then either hitchhike (gas station to gas station) or catch the train further on down the road to Brno, CZ. Another option would be to fly from SFO to Vienna & then head north. Make sure you have a valid passport! It would also be prudent to bring 'proof of financial responsibility", documenting that you have a job back in California to return to and plenty of disposable funds in the bank to cover your 3-month (90-day) stay. A Visa debit card is the best way to deal with purchases and foreign exchange issues."
KVMR Member Profile #1: Enlightened Students of Bus #5
One morning in 2012 I opened an envelope to find a wad of crumpled cash and a note thanking KVMR for all the great bus rides from The Enlightened Students of Bus #5.
Turns out the Enlightened Students of Bus #5 were high school students who had informally been doing radio experiments during their bus rides. Their Enlightened Bus Driver would play different stations and the kids would log how much music actually got played, vs chatter and commercials... Commercial radio stations on a morning show fared the absolute worst- being about half commercials, plus a lot of chatter- some stations would play as little as 18 minutes of music, on a "music" format station!
Their bus driver- a community radio fan from way back- invited the kids to do something to support a creature so rare as KVMR, and they did! For years in a row... Who would have thought teenagers were smart enough to support community radio? They are the future indeed.
The bus where the kids performed their scientific experiments on why KVMR is superior!