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Friday, August 27, 2010

A Bit About WPIX-FM


Most people, when they hear those call letters, think "Love Songs, Nothing But Love Songs". Some people think of "Dr." Jerry Carroll (later the TV spokesman for Crazy Eddie.) But I like to think of their stint as the best New York City radio station ever.

From 1978 to 1980, they identified themselves as "The New 102, WPIX-FM: From Elvis To Elvis" and they weren't kidding. With a seriously wide rock record selection and live broadcasts featuring everyone from Jerry Lee Lewis and Sam And Dave to XTC and Buzzcocks, they remain the gold standard for rock variety on NYC airwaves.

Somewhere, someone's writing a book on them. Somewhere else, someone's probably sitting on hour upon hour of airchecks from the era. But I've just discovered a healthy message board featuring stories from the guy who ran their live remote truck, so...happy reading!

(You may note with some amusement that the frequency - actually 101.9 - is now occupied by WRXP. They're trying...Lord knows they're trying...)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

First REM Contest Winner - Second REM Contest Today

Firstly, congratulations to Craig in High Point, NC on winning the REM prize package we've been touting hereabouts - his winning entry came in near the end of the contest period, but certainly well within it, so after being selected at random from the entries, he walks away with the Fables Of The Reconstruction two-CD box set and the classic REM video collection DVD.

Is it your turn next? Pay attention to our Twitter feed today (which is relayed to our Facebook and MySpace pages) and you'll have another shot, but you'll have to be quick for this one, because the first one in wins the package. (It's described in great detail here.) When you see the Twitter message that says WIN REM NOW, come back to our home page here at, choose "Respond to a story we've published" and send us your name, address and email address so we can get it to you if you're the winner.

Again, the validity of all entries will be determined at our discretion, and our decision is final. You must be the first person to respond, and that'll be judged by the timestamp we see when it lands in our inbox.

Good luck!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Win A Classic R.E.M. Prize Package, Starting Now!

It's time for the first of our R.E.M. Fables Of The Reconstruction prize packages, including the new deluxe edition of the album and their classic videos DVD (click here to see the more complete description and rules).

Hit the feedback link
above (on our home page at if you're reading this via feed), choose "Respond to a story we've published" and send us your name, address and email address so we can get it to you if you're the winner.

Your entry must be received by 11:59:59pm tonight Eastern Daylight Time. The validity of all entries will be determined at our discretion, and our decision is final.

We'll draw a lucky winner at random from all the valid entries we receive; the winner will be announced at noon tomorrow (August 11.)

Good luck!

(And if you don't win, you've got two more chances - keep watching our Twitter/Facebook/Myspace feed and listening to our station via HD Radio or online at for more chances later this week...)

Monday, August 09, 2010

Want To Win An R.E.M. CD and DVD? Pay Attention...

Thanks to the folks at EMI Records (who are now the stewards for portions of the IRS Records catalog) we've got a little something to give away. It's a nice package, too.

The package consists of:

The 25th Anniversary reissue of R.E.M.'s Fables Of The Reconstruction, provided in a sturdy keepsake box containing two compact discs and a variety of lithographed liner-note and poster ephemera. The compact discs are:
  • - The remastered Fables Of The Reconstruction album, and...
  • - "The Athens Tapes", a rather snappy sounding collection of the demos R.E.M. recorded in Athens, GA before heading to London to produce the resulting album. It includes the embryonic version of "I Believe", called "Throw Those Trolls Away" that we've been playing in heavy rotation at Altrok 90.5 HD2 lately.
Plus, we'll throw in a copy of "When the Light is Mine... The Best of the I.R.S. Years 1982-1987" to fill out the prize package you'll be getting.

So how do you get your hands on this hyar little package? Well, the good news is that if you're reading this page, you're in the running...
  • Sometime in the next few days, we'll post a message on this blog where to send us a note telling us you're interested the prize. In that note, we'll tell you when we'll stop accepting messages. We'll draw at random from the valid entries we receive ("valid" means you've included an email address, your name and a mailing address.) We'll announce the winner as soon as we choose one.
  • Also, we'll be giving one package away if you pay attention to our Twitter, Facebook or Myspace pages. Get hooked up with those, and you'll be in the running when we give the word.
  • And finally, we'll be giving one package away to our listeners - be listening when we give the go-ahead on Altrok 90.5 HD2, and you'll have another chance.
All the standard giveaway caveats apply: you can't have won anything from Altrok 90.5 HD2, 90.5 The Night or Brookdale Student Radio within the past thirty days, mechanically reproduced entries will be voided based on our sole judgement, and our decisions are final.

So, ya ready? Keep an eye on us...

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

"A Glorius Dawn" Vinyl Release - Cosmos Goes Chill-Out

This slipped under my radar as I began the vacation-ish portion of my summer - and in fact has been slipping under that radar since it first pulled itself tentatively onto the mainland of the Internet. But thanks to the fine folks at Third Man Records, a copy has wended its way into my hands.

Basically, a guy by the name of John Boswell, having amused himself and many others by adding autotune to news reports, turned his attentions to the somewhat more august speculations of Carl Sagan, courtesy of his masterwork PBS miniseries, Cosmos. Using clips from the show (and from Stephen Hawking as well) he's put together a series of pieces that are far more compelling than they have any right to be.

At the end of June, Third Man Records made the initial single available as a vinyl 7'' record, and that's available at their website; the song can also be acquired through free download at the Symphony Of Science website, and of course you can get a high-quality copy at iTunes (search for "A Glorious Dawn".) Boswell has since set other speculative treatises to music, and he's made more of them available at Symphony Of Science; a $25 donation to the project gets you the vinyl and his undying thanks.

And who can argue with this:

By the way, thanks to the fine folks at Hulu, you can see Cosmos in its entirety. (Let it not be said that Altrok would stand in the way of a good education.)
Please Look At Our Advertisers (Or The Website Gets It)
Congratulations, you've found the hidden text.
Welcome to, also available at and Here's where the remaining listeners of several fine radio stations have retreated, regrouped, and built a replacement strong enough to stand on its own. It builds on the independent legacy of New Jersey's FM106.3, New York's WPIX and WLIR, Oklahoma's 105.3 The Spy, the pre-buyout mindset of KROQ, WBCN and WHFS and of every other alternative station that was destroyed at a moment's notice - not because they weren't making money, but because there was bigger money to be found elsewhere.
We've stood by as truly independent alternative rock radio died. Sure, something called "alternative" took its place, but we know for sure that anything that "tests well" with soccer moms just ain't alternative. (Even if some of us happen to be soccer moms.) So we've taken matters into our own hands.
This really is independent alternative rock radio, visible here at and audible at our web radio station. It has the classic music that fired our passions back in the day - or that we maybe only heard about from our elders - but it's mostly made of the new music that does precisely the same for us now. We're paying attention to scenes all over the world, watching the energy build, and waiting to see what it creates. Wherever it happens, we'll make sure you can hear about it here. We've been slowly building all this since 2001, and now that you've noticed us, we're glad you're here.
Of course, it's only here because you want it to be here, and it can only stay if you help it along - especially by checking out our advertisers (they support us) and by listening (the more that listen, the more visible we are.) Please use the "feedback" link above to let us know whether it works for you, and what you want it to be as the future unfolds. (And if you need help hearing it, let us know that, too.)