Friday, January 29, 2010

My Roots...A Love Story

Reflecting on the power of community this morning, I felt compelled to write a little bit of my history within Whole Wheat Radio...the roots of our communal connection. I began my initial online presence as a union member who was/is active in the grassroots unionism that has been growing with the web. That is another story for another time, but it was that activism that allowed my introduction to Anne Feeney and her music. It was the lead she posted in her newsletter that led me to Whole Wheat Radio. Anne wrote in her September 2006 Fellow Travelers' Advisory: "The next time you're sitting in front of your computer for a while, tune in Whole Wheat Radio from Talkeetna, Alaska ... they have a really wonderful mix of independent music that I think you'll really enjoy."

Anne was right! I did enjoy the much so that I'm still hanging around the place regardless of how many times Jim tries to run me off! :-)

This is a big old hug and thanks to rock! I wrote the following on Anne's artist page at WWR, and it continues to hold it's sincerity: "I first met Anne on the old union reform site of Members for Democracy. Her participation and level of concern for people led me down the path of her music and more importantly...her stories! I have always admired her level of activism when it comes to social justice for the common people! By following Anne down that path, I discovered a new love, a light in the window for wayward travelers. Anne brought me to the cabin door of Whole Wheat Radio! So there just isn't enough I can say about this little girl with a huge heart! Thank you Anne for your willingness to stand up for us...and for bringing me home!"

Keep fighting the good fight my friend, and we'll try to help you keep the paths lit along the journey! The pertinent question is...

"Have you been to jail for justice?"

That was September of '06 and my initial checking of the WWR waters so to speak. Of course I couldn't wiki walk back then, but I did begin crawling around on the media wiki, copying code from others, and playing in my sandbox. The more I learned, the more trust and belief I had in this unique person to person, all volunteer, listener/artist community whose goal was creating a neighborhood of support for the greater independent music community. It's worth was derived from the personal commitment of the volunteers, and the humanness that radiated throughout the community. These shared goals are what has created the value of the physical/virtual village of WWR.

My next large step at WWR was a direct involvement with artist Jen Sygit. She has that rare quality that is unfortunately missing in so much of this see-saw physical / virtual experience of ours. She seems to have bridged that gap between the heart and the mind. Her roots run deep! Simply said, "Leaving Marshall Street" blew me away! Jen's music was the first to move me to action, which resulted in my editing her artist page...the first wiki editing of an artist page for me...and also my first web contact with any artist. That was back in December of '06, so Jen will always be my first...and my most memorable! Thank you Jen for being so gentle with me, and we look forward to the latest release! ;-)

"Dig a little deeper boys...back to the roots! Just a little furthur boys...till the truth is absolute!"

So my roots are forever woven with those of these two awesome people who happen to be independent artists. I want to thank Anne and Jen for sharing so much of their life with the world. This thanks goes out to all the great independent artists I've discovered through WWR. For those of us who are fans, the positive side of this sharing has allowed us the opportunity of getting to know them through their wonderful music. Now we bump into each other in all the latest social gathering places...WWR, Facebook, Google, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, etc....and I'm thinking it's never easy living under a public magnifying glass. For that sacrifice and commitment, I sincerely thank you all. The independent music revolution rocks!

Roots run deep and they tend to draw from the riches of the's goals, character, ethics, and transparency...the richness of which creates it's value as a supportive community. We are real flesh and blood folks who donate their time and effort in this support of independent music. I know it is an overused cliché, but there really is such a thing as a labor of love. Rule #1: Nobody gets rich or famous around here. Remember it, believe it, believe in it ... and you'll be just fine. Hey, my community fed me for a whole week after my surgery...just doesn't get much better than that my friends!

Want to give us a listen? You can use Whole Wheat Radio's popout players in three flavors of quality...Low, Med, and High. Or if you prefer, you can use your own player with our Low, Med, and High streams.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tania Opland and Mike Freeman Concert

Tania Opland And Mike Freeman House Concert & Webcast this Saturday. 8PM Alaska time, 9PM Pacific, 10PM Mountain, 11PM Central, midnight Eastern. Or use this handy time zone converter for other locations.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Another Old Coot's Birthday

The year 1956 gave us Carousel. That special year was also witness to the debut of a rock-n-roll pioneer when Heartbreak Hotel hit the music charts. And 1956 was the year that New Yorkers had the opportunity to see the musical My Fair Lady open on Broadway. It was also the year that the lovely and vivacious Norma Jeane Mortenson changed her name to Marilyn Monroe and also when actress Grace Kelly became Princess of Monaco. It was the year our country witnessed the writing of the Southern Manifesto by 101 of our Congressional leaders. And 1956 was the year of the first hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll.

During that year, President Dwight D. Eisenhower was instrumental in the addition of the words In Gawd We Trust as the motto of the United States and also in the creation of our Interstate Highway System. Also in that glorious year, the people came to know two of our most recognized news commentators when the Huntley Brinkley Report debuted on NBC TV. And later that year, the long running screen adaptation of the story Wizard of Oz, is shown on television for the first time. People witnessed the debut of the game show, To Tell The Truth, and were introduced to a new game show host named Bob Barker.

But of all these extraordinary events and people that have been captured for posterity in the annals of our history, one event and one person stands out above the rest. I'm speaking of the birth of a boy from Ohio. His name is Jim Kloss, and he is the dreamer who had the courage to follow his dreams and the creativeness to establish Whole Wheat Radio. January 8 is a day for all Wheatheads to celebrate for sure! Happy Birthday Jim, and thanks for all the inspiration and all the hard work and efforts. The world is a better place for you having been born my friend. Hope it's one of the best!
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