All right, let's see here . . .
Mikey Insanity wrote: How'd Radio Dead Air get started?
Settle down, children, and I shall tell you the tale of the long-ago time, at the turn of the century . . .
It was nearing the end of 2000, and I was living in Tampa, Florida (and how I got to such a godforsaken place is a saga in and of itself that's best left untold). I was working for a software company in their customer support department, and really unhappy overall with my place in life at that exact moment. But one of the great things about Tampa is their local community radio station, WMNF 88.5. It was without a doubt one of the most fantastic discoveries of my life. Up until that point my experience with music had occasionally swerved off the beaten path, but mostly it had been straight up-and-down FM music. Now keep in mind this was a different era in radio; Clear Channel was only just becoming the monolith we all know and loathe, and Napster had only just been invented. WMNF was something different. They were beholden to absolutely no one, and it showed. They played Pacifica News Network. They played Terri Gross' Fresh Air. And they played music . . . incredible, amazing, unbeatable music. They would play Richard Thompson, Richard Shindell, Lucy Kaplansky, Cry Cry Cry, Ronnie Elliot and the Nationals, the Blue Dogs, the Nields, Lynn Miles, the Stiff Little Fingers, so much stuff I would have never been exposed to otherwise. They were the highlight of my day, driving to and from work, getting enthralled by all this incredible stuff.
So one day at lunch, I was poking around on the internet and browsing WinAmp plugins when I read the description for one called "Shoutcast." For those of you unaware, Shoutcast was pretty much the foundation for home broadcasting. It was a simple, easy-to-use method of streaming music from your own PC. And that's pretty much the moment everything clicked . . . I needed to do my own radio show. I just had to . . . there was so much of this awesome music out there I just wanted everyone to hear and experience. The question then became one of format.
Well, I was (and still am) part of White Wolf's Camarilla fan club, which has a world-wide interlinked World of Darkness Chronicle. Games in cities across the world share the same over-arcing universe, with characters thousands of miles away interacting regularly. And while there were e-mail lists and IRC chat, there wasn't any kind of broadcast in-character. With the characters as vampires hiding their own existences, how could there be? Well, what if a vampire set up a hidden, private server and used it to broadcast streaming audio . . . ?
In another way, this was kind of a calculated maneuver; by linking my show to the game, I ensured myself a more-or-less built-in audience. So having the software and the idea, I went forward. On July 31st, 2000, I put out my first broadcast of Radio Dead Air; the first song I played was R.E.M.'s "Radio Free Europe." It was sort of pathetic compared to the setup I have now; back then I was on a 56.6 dial-up connection, using a first-generation Athlon PC and talking via the cheap little two-dollar microphone that had come boxed with my system. But it was something to behold, and it gained a small but steady following.
Times changed, and passed by. In 2004 the Camarilla re-set its game, meaning all prior characters and settings were effectively "ended." While I could have continued in-character in the new setting, a couple of things had developed which caused me to re-think that option. For one, I had just covered Dragon*Con 2004, having sort of stumbled into a set of press credentials. That weekend really changed my perspective on all this; I interviewed people like Jewel Staite, Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, Julie Benz, Anne McCaffrey, Warren Ellis, I spent time with them, hung out with them . . . it was an incredible experience, and one that made me realize I could do my show in a whole new way, as myself. So, with that in mind, 2005 took the show "mainstream" as it were, and it's run that way ever since.
Late last year, when Ustream popped up, I realized it was time to change formats again. Internet audio has its place, but it's not the same as it was. A live radio show had a hard enough time competing with the likes of Pandora and about a bajillion different podcasts. So I stepped up and made the switch to streaming video, and it's gone fairly well for the past year. While we still simulcast the show live on Live365, the main thrust of the show is now the video aspect . . . but above all else, the music still has center focus. I still love music, and I never want to stop finding ways to expose people to the stuff that gets pushed to the side by the horde of crap that's out there.
And for you TL;DR schmucks: I was bored and enjoy screaming "fuck" on the internet.
Mikey Insanity wrote: What's the most disturbing story you've done for WTFIWWY?
I'm pretty sure the Donkey Brothel was one of the all-time worst, but eventually someone will find something to make even THAT look tame in comparison.
Mikey Insanity wrote:Have there been any stories that have been so bad you didn't want to use them?
Many, but mainly for content. I try to avoid doing stories about murders or suicides, or stories where children are harmed. I WILL NOT
under any circumstances run a story about rape or sexual abuse. Those things just aren't funny. I feel pretty safe laughing at folks who make the decision to go out and do something obviously idiotic. I don't find anything funny about people being victimized.
Also, I try to steer away from mocking a specific religion. While I will happily mock their individual followers when they crash a car into a parked plane for Jesus, it's a little harder to point fingers at the organization. I have my own personal views on it, but I feel certain I tend to be both in the minority and pretty hardcore about them. As a result, if I went off about them I don't think they'd be funny or relate-able so much as the catalyst for a flame war to fall upon my person, so all in all it's best avoided entirely. Since politics may as well be religion, I try to keep the same policy there. (But damn, do some politicians make that difficult . . .)
And then there are stories I'm sent that just aren't as funny as the person who pointed them out to me seems to think they are. That happens a bunch, too. "Look! It's a doggie in a hat! YOU SHOULD DO A WHOLE SHOW ABOUT DOGS IN PEOPLE CLOTHES!"