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Re: 35000 Watts: The Story of College Radio

35000 Watts: The Story of College Radio
May 13, 2022 08:56AM
35000 Watts: The Story of College Radio

This looks really cool! Growing up in Miami, I listened to the local college radio station WVUM (University of Miami) all the time. I can remember hearing The Chameleons and Husker Du (among others) for the first time thanks to that station. I moved to Tampa in the early '90s when I was 22, and was disappointed to learn that WUSF (University of South Florida) mostly focused on NPR and classical, though they had a great nightly jazz show. But it wasn't the "college rock" that this film focuses on and that I had come to love.
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Re: 35000 Watts: The Story of College Radio
May 13, 2022 10:56AM
Zoo - You missed the cool days of Tampa college radio by a decade! In 1981 WUSF-FM had "The Underground Railroad" on late evenings on the weekend and it was must-hear programming. I discovered a LOT of things in the late 1981 period as I carefully held my antenna wire on the FM tuner in Orlando to barely get the signal!

This reminds me of my high school radio daze in 79-80. In my first two years of high school, I was a DJ at my high school station, WGAG-FM [green and gold were the school colors]. Ten massive watts of power meant that the WWII surplus [mono] transmitter could reach my home a mile away on a good day. We were active just at the point when New Wave was popping and the ONLY label who responded to the letters from the program director for promos was the brand new I.R.S. Records! Who sent us the first issues from that label, which I actually played. Fashion, Buzzcocks, and maybe John Cale? It was fun until Reagan got into office and killed low power FM for two generations, th' bastid! We had to sign off permanently.

Former TP subscriber [81, 82, 83, 84]

For further rumination on the Fresh New Sound of Yesterday®

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 05/15/2022 10:17AM by Post-Punk Monk.
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Re: 35000 Watts: The Story of College Radio
May 13, 2022 08:55PM
This sounds super fun.
Re: 35000 Watts: The Story of College Radio
May 14, 2022 10:04AM
I was turned on to college radio (or actually community radio) by WHFS in Bethesda, Md, and its star DJ Weasel, who would play all sorts of bands I had only heard of on Trouser Press - of which I was an avid reader at the time. Sound quality was not alway great, as I'm sure the station was under-powered. It would turn out best on my grandmother's old FM radio, dating back to the early 1960s, which we had in the kitchen, which was facing north from a hill in northern Virginia. It would hardly come in on our regular radio, in the living room.

I then spent my four years in college listening to CKCU, the station of Carleton University in Ottawa. Carleton was the big rival of my own school, the University of Ottawa, but CKCU kicked all kinds of ass compared to CHUO, our own college station. That was circa 1983-1987, and they played all the usual suspects which are likely highlighted in that documentary, plus all sorts of strange Canadian content the rest of those who frequent this board have likely never heard of. College was a big disappointment overall, but at least I got to hear some good music.
Re: 35000 Watts: The Story of College Radio
May 14, 2022 05:38PM
I don't live in a town with a college radio station per se. I do, however, live a town with an LPFM (low-powered FM) which is pretty much a de facto college station.

Really happy to see Radio Survivor listed among the resources.
Re: 35000 Watts: The Story of College Radio
May 15, 2022 11:11PM
Is the first feature-length documentary about college radio? There's one devoted to WFMU. If so, that's surprising, although college radio's influence seemed to peak just before grunge and '90s alt-rock took off.
Re: 35000 Watts: The Story of College Radio
June 07, 2022 07:35PM
If you spent your college years behind a mixing board and a mic like I did at KRLX you’ll want to support 35,000 Watts: The Story of College Radio. They are coming up on their deadline and need to hit $50k in the next two days. [www.kickstarter.com]
Re: 35000 Watts: The Story of College Radio
June 08, 2022 06:35PM

Thanks to you, we did it! Our campaign is a success and 35000 Watts will be a reality. We have a lot more info to share with you in the next few days, but first, there's some important tax information that we don't want you to miss.

If you want a tax receipt from The Film Collaborative so you can deduct your donation, make sure Kickstarter has your legal name and not a nickname or abbreviation. The IRS won't allow deductions without the same name you use on your tax returns. If you donated $1000 or more, you also need to add your mailing address. If you need to make changes, you should do them before the campaign ends at noon Pacific on Thursday, June 9th.

Also, be sure to visit our website www.35000watts.com and subscribe to the newsletter (under TUNE IN on the right side of the page) so you can stay in touch with the production process and latest updates.

Thanks again and we will be in touch soon with information on rewards!
Re: 35000 Watts: The Story of College Radio
June 11, 2022 01:36PM
As someone who has been involved with a certain college radio station for his entire adult life (first as a student then as a "community member", this is definitely relevant to my interests. Funded.

There's also a documentary on KALX; only about 36 minutes but still worth one's time. (It's from 1994 - near the end of the "Bowditch" era - but most of what's covered could apply to KALX 2022 as well).


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/11/2022 01:52PM by dj45rpm.
Re: 35000 Watts: The Story of College Radio
October 06, 2023 10:31AM
Official trailer just released.
Re: 35000 Watts: The Story of College Radio
October 06, 2023 12:07PM
Ohhh man ... I know my wife and I will love seeing that.

Yeah, me and KRCC ... and her and WVUA, in Tuscaloosa ...

I was as much of a fan as anyone, during the Eighties. KRCC's late-night shows introduced me to a lot of the music that helped make me who I turned out to be. I learned a lot about jazz from the station's prime-time evening programming too. And I saw some great bands at Colorado College -- semi-well-known bands at events hosted by the college, and really cool local bands in Benny's Basement, the on-campus pub. I wasn't a student at Colorado College; it doesn't even have an engineering program. But between its downtown location and its radio station, the college seemed to be the place where more of the cool things in town were happening.

Fast-forward a couple of decades, to when I started as a host on KRCC. It seems embarrassingly naive, now, but back then, I honestly thought I'd be playing a role in the college experience for the new generation of students. I assumed they still tuned in to "their" station every day, and that it was a vital, meaningful part of their everyday lives. I pictured them in the dorms, during study sessions, tuning in to the late-night shows (including mine) to hear whatever new cool music their favorite DJs had found.

Forget it. Times had changed. For one thing, Colorado College had ceased to use KRCC as a part of its educational offerings. The station began requiring its on-air volunteers to be over 21, which drastically limited the pool of actual students who could host programs there. Whatever great music the station might be playing, I'm sure it meant a lot less to the students if it was selected and presented by someone old enough to be a parent. For another thing, streaming services had taken the focus away from the radio hosts. After all, these DJs may have the lofty notion that they're "curating" the shows, but why leave it to them, when Pandora enabled you to do it yourself, based on what you like? And for a third thing ... well, KRCC never really embraced hip-hop. 'Nuff said.

I would get the occasional late-night call from a listener who sounded as if he or she might possibly be young enough to be a student. (My favorite was the young lady who called, regularly, to request "I Will Possess Your Heart." Upon hearing my assurance that I'd play it, she'd always say, "Thanks! I love you! Bye!") Most of my callers, though, turned out to be burned-out late-night stoners.

Today, KRCC is owned by Colorado Public Radio. Most of its air time is devoted to news and public-interest programming. Music programming (and on-air hosts) are a very small part of its weekly schedule. One thing that was mentioned in the movie trailer, though, definitely holds true for me: I've made a lot of personal connections through both KRCC and KSER that will last.
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Re: 35000 Watts: The Story of College Radio
October 06, 2023 06:28PM
Why did KRCC require volunteers to be over 21? (Was that true even for aspiring DJs who were students at the college?) It seems like a very odd requirement for a college radio station.

NPR and the triple A format loom over the college/community radio stations which are left. I'm not sure that the music college stations play would be most students' favorites - Mitski, currently #1 on the North American college radio chart, might be a rare exception - but was this ever the case?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/06/2023 06:59PM by steevee.
Re: 35000 Watts: The Story of College Radio
October 13, 2023 02:03AM
Can't wait to see this, college radio had a huge impact on the expansive musical landscape that I live in today. I caught college radio at the near end of it's glory days, around 1990. a guy i knew sent me a tape with many of the great bands of the era: The Mighty Lemon Drops, Stone Roses, Aztec Camera, the The Lightning Seeds, The Feelies and so much more. Speaking of the Feelies, they just dropped an album of Velvet Underground covers [www.brooklynvegan.com]. "There She Goes Again" and "I Can't Stand It" are standouts for me; interestingly enough, you can hear the distinctive Feelies sound throughout the album, but they also go outside their repertoire on a number of occasions, which i always encourage musicians to do.
Re: 35000 Watts: The Story of College Radio
October 13, 2023 10:35AM
> Why did KRCC require volunteers to be over 21?

I'm sure it had something to do with insurance/liability concerns. By the time I started DJ'ing at KRCC, it was much less a service of (and to) the college itself, and much more the local source for NPR. Today, under the new ownership, the station offers very few music programs.
Re: 35000 Watts: The Story of College Radio
October 13, 2023 02:13PM
Speaking of college radio, did WMBR Cambridge cancel "New Wave New Year"? I know they've talked about it being only temporary for the last few years but I never thought they would actually cancel it. Impressive 80's show which regularly played the likes of Abcedarians, the Lover Speaks, early Ultravox, stuff like that - it sounded like an actual college radio show from the 80's.
Re: 35000 Watts: The Story of College Radio
January 21, 2024 04:32PM
Just got this over the weekend:

Happy new year to everyone! We are thrilled to announce that 35000 Watts is finally finished, and we will be announcing the first theatrical screenings in the coming weeks. This is a huge milestone for us and we could not have done it without the support of our Kickstarter backers, so thank you once again.

We have also reached out separately to those of you whose reward includes having a photo and/or audio clip included in the credits, there is still time to submit those to us but the deadline is Feb. 1!

All backers whose reward includes having their name included in the credits do not have to do anything, your name as submitted in the rewards survey will be included automatically (unless you opted out). You can check this page (https://www.35000watts.com/supporters/) to see how your name will be displayed, please contact us regarding any issues (misspellings, changes, if your name is not on the list and it should be, etc.)

Backers whose rewards include a pre-release digital download will receive a link to download the film one month prior to the online digital release of the film, which will occur later this year. If your reward includes a non-pre-release download, it will be available the same day the film is released as a download.

If you are interested in hosting a theatrical screening of the film, please contact us at michael@35000watts.com.

Thanks again for all your support, we look forward to sharing the film with you soon!
Re: 35000 Watts: The Story of College Radio
July 09, 2024 11:38AM
The film is out! I have a download code as a Kickstarter contributor but here is the general announcement and link:

We have a big announcement today: 35000 Watts: The Story of College Radio is now for sale as a digital download. You can buy your own copy for only $5.99 (with no DRM or restrictions, it is yours to keep forever). Please share this link far and wide with anyone and everyone who loves college radio, music docs and/or indie film: [www.35000watts.com]

Thanks for your support and please let everyone know that they can learn all about the story of college radio now!
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