Video supposedly killed the radio star back in the 80s’, but radio not only survived — it has thrived. In no place has that statement run truer than in Brooklyn. The Heritage Radio Network records and releases dozens of programs from inside recycled shipping containers, and now two guys in Brooklyn are starting their own radio network, to provide the artists that live in Brooklyn a place to express themselves and bring themselves, and the communities on which they reside closer together.
Radio Free Brooklyn is the creation of two veterans in the performance arts scene here in NYC, Robert Prichard and Tom Tenney. Prichard , who was the co-founder of Surf’s Reality House of Urban Savages: a performance art theater in the East Village that closed in 2003 after a decade at the Village; Tenney is the director and founder of the RE/MIXED Media Festival and has been producing events in NYC since the 1980’s. The two men are paying for this project completely out of pocket, and they’re setting up shop in the basement of the Velo Brooklyn bike store in Bushwick, according to The Brooklyn Paper.
The station, which will officially launch on May 13th (you can listen live now if you want) will have a mixture of music, comedy, talk and narrative programming, all commercial free. For those who want to keep up with politics, Democracy Now is an independent program that has been running for almost 20 years. Run by two veteran journalists, the show tackles important issues of the day with voices you won’t hear on MSNBC or CNN. If you need help going to sleep, Bed Time Stories with Legs Malone is a show where burlesque dancer and teacher Legs Malone reads stories to help listeners relax. And, for those who want to listen to more than just today’s top 40, 50 Years Ago This Week, has actor, writer and editor Jim Melloan spin records from the half a century ago, with insight and information about the artists of the 1960’s.
That is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to programming. The amount of shows being offered by Radio Free Brooklyn almost guarantees there will be something for everyone. To celebrate their launch, Radio Free Brooklyn is hosting a launch party in Gowanus, with the first people inside getting free pizza and the chance to witness the birth of a new radio station in Brooklyn. Radio is alive in New York City and Radio Free Brooklyn is doing it in the way it should be done: without commercials, with unique voices and with the help and support of themselves and the people of NYC.