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MISCmedia MAIL FOR 3/28/17: THE DOOMED DOME
Mar 27th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

On the anniversaries of its birth and death, we recall the Kingdome, that building of the future that’s now long passed. Other topics include Seattle standing tall against DC’s “sanctuary city” threats; Olympia Democrats’ budget plan; the differences between Seattle’s and Vancouver’s real-estate booms; and fun with out-of-context stage dialogue.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 3/15/17: DON’T LET RACER GET ERASED
Mar 14th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Café Racer, a vital part of many Seattle scenes and subcultures, is for sale and could go away without a buyer. Who’ll be the saving patron of such a key institution? While you search your bank accounts, read about the latest developments in the Daniel Ramirez case; a woman-friendly version of a “co-working space;” a crime survivor who doesn’t want to be the poster child for an anti-trans “bathroom bill;” and whether Gonzaga basketball’s singlehandedly keeping Spokane alive.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 3/7/17: BIGOTRY, THE SEQUEL
Mar 6th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Meet the new travel ban, almost as stupid as the old travel ban. Also, meet the clever promoters who booked the nascent Ramones into the stolid Olympic Hotel; the IT guy who allegedly tried to steal data from Columbia Sportswear; the commentator who doesn’t approve of Nathan Hale High’s basketball recruiting tactics; and the Colfax boy who became a classic-film legend.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 2/14/17: WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT
Feb 13th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

In my approaching dotage, I approach at least a slightly less snarky attitude toward Valentine’s Day. And I today discuss the economic clout of “sanctuary cities;” a victory for family-leave advocates; a potential new anti-fossil-fuel initiative; and Mercer Islanders’ sense of transportation privilege.

MISCmedia MAIL for 10/26/16: A NEW GAME?
Oct 25th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Chris Hansen now says he can build a basketball and/or hockey arena without tax $$. Other stuff today:  Google assembles its own e-tail program; more landlords kick out Section 8 tenants; a lawyer turned slam poet; and the Old Spaghetti Factory will serve its last Spumoni in December.

MISCmedia MAIL for 8/8/16: KEEPING A LIGHT ON
Aug 7th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

There was a lot on the water this weekend: The fast boats on Lake Washington, a beached whale at Fauntleroy, and especially the annual Hiroshima remembrance on Green Lake. Additional topics today include the Dead Baby bike spectacle; determining whether anyone’s to blame for the Oso landslide; dying trees statewide; anti-police window stickers; and the Mariners winning big on Griffey tribute weekend.

MISCmedia MAIL for 6/6/16
Jun 5th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

No six-six-(one)-six references in this e-missive. But you do get: A Catholic priest with a (female) spouse; the Oregon oil train disaster aftermath; your obligatory Ali remembrances; the UW’s latest spurning of non-techie courses; and a techie who scoffs (mistakenly, I believe) at regulating Airbnb.

MISCmedia MAIl for 5/4/16
May 3rd, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Ivan (the Tacoma shopping-center gorilla) lives! In other stuff: GiveBIG’s big website crash; a different kind of “peak oil”; Seattle’s “not so hidden” racist heritage; and the pro b-ball team we’ve still got.

MISCmedia MAIL for 4/15/16
Apr 15th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

A big weekend for KEXP listeners, taxpayers, and others begins, as always, with our big list-O-stuff-to-do. Also: denying true respect for a murdered individual; the “Montlake spite house” can again be yours; teaching compassion to Magnolia NIMBYs; UW wins a round vs. city preservationists; whether Puget Sound whales are too “screwed up.”

MISCmedia MAIL for 3/24/16
Mar 23rd, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

The day before Good Friday finds Seattle without the #ManInTree (but not without the problems he epitomized). Also: a settlement in a longstanding abusive-priest case; a Nixon henchman’s admission from “beyond the grave;” an art gallery’s chance to survive redevelopment; and keeping Rx drugs out of the water supply.

MISCmedia MAIL for 3/4/16
Mar 4th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

We enter March’s first weekend with an odd proposed compromise to historic-preservation activists; Seattle-saved WWII radio newscasts; the area’s second-most-hiring company (no, not them); sex workers speaking for themselves; how to make Wash. state even more irrelevant in Presidential nominations; and the usual bevy of weekend activities.

MISCmedia MAIL for 3/2/16
Mar 1st, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Sooper Toosday settled nothing, and neither did the City Council committee vote on saving bike sharing. But we do know that Boeing’s planning a 100th birthday bash; a heroin treatment center’s re-opening; squatters are speaking out in favor of squatting; and one of the guys who “plundered” the Sonics is in big trouble (can you feel the schadenfreude rising?).

MISCmedia MAIL for 2/12/16
Feb 11th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

A combined Valentine’s/Presidents’ weekend finds us mulling about the end of the Oregon siege at last; a GOP dirty trick against transit; deliberations about the latest anti-homelessness plan; the demise of the UW’s nuke; and fun with kitschy old Valentine’s cards.

MISCmedia MAIL for 1/20/16
Jan 19th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

As the Obama Era’s final year begins, we discuss gated lots for people who live in vehicles; plans to legalize extant pot-delivery services; big expansion plans for the Victoria Clipper; and the UW’s plans to raze more of its brutalist old dorms.

AIRING IT OUT
Dec 10th, 2015 by Clark Humphrey

john richards b

It’s been a long time since KEXP morning man John Richards regularly broadcast to Seattle from far-off New York, as part of a co-production deal with a station there.

On Wednesday morning at 9:03 a.m. (for 90.3 FM), he was front n’ center as he played the first song from the station’s ultra-deluxe new studios. (It was Robyn Hitchcock’s “Viva Sea-Tac.”)

gathering place a

The station now occupies 27,000 square feet of the Seattle Center Northwest Rooms. The facility includes a big open office done up in Late Dot-Com style (complete with indoor bike racks), a big “Live Room” performance space, multiple audio and video editing/mixing suites, a second DJ booth for future multiple online streams, showers, a laundry room, and a big open “Gathering Place” that will be partly subleased to a coffee house and record store.

The whole thing cost $15 million, most of which has already been raised.

A formal grand opening will occur at an unannounced future date.

As some of you know, I was a “new wave” DJ on KEXP’s precursor KCMU. It was a much wilder, more freeform outfit then, and it was all volunteer-run. It was based in a tiny space on the third floor of the UW’s Communications Building (whose code in campus documents was CMU); a DJ booth, a second booth for newscasts, and a classroom.

The early KCMU could reach amazing heights of aural beauty, and equally-amazing depths of unlistenability. But that was part of its charm.

But today’s KEXP is an empire. It’s got 40-50 regular employees plus volunteers and specialty-show DJs, and an ongoing annual budget around $6 million.

What has KEXP got that other “public” broadcast radio stations (such as the apparently doomed KPLU) haven’t? Several things, including:

1) Its own “brand.” By producing all its own programming, it’s not simply “the local NPR,” or, worse, as simply “NPR” with the local call letters (and local programming) ignored by listeners.

2) A global reach. KEXP’s both a local broadcaster and a global “streamer,” and raises donations from both audiences. So “Viva Sea-Tac,” with a Brit singer-songwriter fronting a band of Seattle music legends, is an even more appropriate choice for the first song played from the new studio.

Today’s KEXP is a big-time, ambitious operation. Its new space is a postmodern palace.

That’s even more of an achievement at a time when broadcast radio, like so many other “old media” institutions, suffers from shrinking audiences and revenues, leading to cuts and consolidations (cf. KPLU).

But damn, I still miss the old KCMU.

skin yard at kcmu benefit, 1986; posted to youtube by daniel house

skin yard at kcmu benefit, 1986; posted to youtube by daniel house

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© Copyright 2015 Clark Humphrey (clark (at) miscmedia (dotcom)).