Saturday, July 28, 2012


John Mayall

The Death Of J.B. Lenoir by John Mayall on Grooveshark

J.B. Lenoir


The great J.B. Lenoir (pronounced not like I have or Mayall has for decades, but like he himself has said it "la NOR") has a classic driving blues song sung by his good friend John Mayall at the time Lenoir died of a heart attack three weeks after a bad car wreck in Urbana, Illinois. He was 38 years old, just a few years older than the British bluesbreaker Mayall. Today, somehow, John Mayall is 78 years old and still at it. 50 years ago, at the foot of a ferris wheel (why not) a friend and I paged through a teen music magazine (cheesy great stuff then) and we're captivated by this guy (Mayall) who already seemed a very old man in a young man's game. He ran most of them into the ground.



Sam kopper, program director for WBCN Radio, broadcasting from his bus "Gypsy Dancer"

photo : Bryce Vickmark for The New York Times

FreeForm BCN

To Go Straight to Phil Olenick’s URL and SmartPhone instructions, click here

FreeformBCN's mission is to take what we were doing in the late 60s through the early 90s and bring it firmly into the 21st Century. We are streaming at, click Continue, then click on the FreeformBCN “Listen Live” button. Or, hear us in the Boston area on an HD radio at 100.7, HD3.

The approach to music is, simply put, extremely eclectic, a Progressive Rock “We Play Everything” station. With a definite Rock base/core, as in the "old days" we will go off in every direction, playing all of Rock's "relatives:" relevant Country, Blues, R&B, Reggae, Art, Punk, Southern, Grunge, Folk, Alternative…you name it. We’ll even play what we call crossover HopHop. With HipHop and Alternative we certainly won’t be playing the hard core stuff, but we know that there is great music within every genre! Our ears and hearts are wide open and they didn’t freeze up in the 1980s, so for sure we play new music. As in WBCN’s greatest years, we will look for, and listen to the audience for good new music. The average radio station plays 800 to 1200 songs. Our library will have 6000!

During our early months we are necessarily “robotic,” with a few of us “heritage” BCN people doing “liners,” short announcements now and again between songs. Ultimately, hopefully within just a few months, we will bring back live disc jockeys who: a. will NOT talk too much, b. will talk when they have something worthwhile to say, c. will have progressive music and social attitude, d. will be drawn from a few of the old staff AND some of the top young just-out-of-college radio people. We’ll be starting the live dj programming on a part-time basis and it’ll grow organically, based on success, audience reaction, and availability of the right air talent.

Audience response will be, as it was in WBCN’s glory years, our main motivation. Our Facebook and Twitter sites and direct e-mails will be our 21st Century “Listener Line.”

And now here’s Phil Olenick’s tutorial on programming various types of SMARTPHONES….

Here's how to get Free Form BCN on a phone other than an iPhone or
Blackberry, or with another Internet radio player, like a Squeezebox.

You can do this as long as your device is able to play streaming Windows
Media Audio (".wma") files. However, if you can listen through the player launched by the
website, please do.

You don't actually have to go through two pages on the website to
start the player - a shortcut aimed directly at will bring up the CBS Radio player playing Free Form BCN, just like going through the website does. Once it's playing, just drag the icon to
the left of the address in the browser's address bar down onto your shortcut bar.

Why should I listen with the player? It shows the names of the artist, the song, and the album, and even the
album cover in most cases - but much more importantly, because that way, you'll be included in the count of how many folks are listening to the stream.Why does that matter?Because we need to be able to show that there are a lot of people listening. That's how we'll be able to convince CBS to invest in making Free Form BCN a live radio station again, with disk jockeys - not computers - picking songs that make sense together and talking about what's going on in the world, with a news staff that covers current events from a progressive perspective, and with a high quality stereo signal over the
air (not just on the internet).So if you can listen through the CBS player, please do. (That'll actually help us more than listening on an HD radio.) But if you can't, or want to listen on the go with a smartphone other than an iPhone or a Blackberry:

Open up the place where your player lets you put in the web address ("URL") of a new stream you want to listen to. There are two URLs you can try. The first URL to try is: The advantage of this URL is that the first part of this address ("") will automatically be translated by an internet "domain name server" (the mysterious "DNS" initials you've run across) into the real numeric address of the site that's putting out the stream. If the site's numeric address changes, an update will be sent to the domain name servers very quickly, so the verbal address will resume working. (Such changes don't happen often, but they do happen.)However, many devices don't know how to deal with that URL because it relies on an ".asx" playlist file. So if the first URL doesn't work, you can try telling your device to go directly to the stream's current numeric address and real filename with this URL: I'm using this URL on my 6 year-old Windows Pocket PC phone, with a music player called the GSPlayer, from an outfit called Green Software,
which put it up as freeware a few years ago. The most recent version is available for download here: You'll need the version of the player for your phone's version of
Windows Mobile, plus the Windows Media Audio plugin. Both are free downloads from that page.The GSPlayer has a built in 10 band equalizer and will show the artist name and track title with this stream - pretty good for freeware.Once you get the stream playing, use your player's feature for creating a bookmark, playlist file, or whatever it calls a shortcut to make it easy to play a favorite stream later.If your shortcut stops working, it will probably be because we've
succeeded in getting our over-the-air signal moved from WZLX's HD3 channel (which is mono) to one of CBS' stereo HD2 channels - and you can see from the URLs above that they're "hard coded" to ask for WZLX HD3.When we succeed in pulling off such an upgrade, we'll be delighted to put up new URLs - it'll mean that we'll be sounding as good over the air as we do on the web!

Phil Olenick
Chief Stream Hacker


Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders

Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders, an independent, said the democratic foundations of the nation are currently enduring their most severe attack in history on both economic and political fronts.

“We are well on our way to see our country move to an oligarchy, where power rests in the hands of a few families,” he said.

Senator Sanders said inequality in the US is worse than it has been at any time since the 1920s. He noted that 23 billionaire families have contributed at lease $250,000 each so far in this year’s campaigns.

He added that the wealthiest 400 individuals own more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans – roughly half the country.

“What the Supreme Court did in Citizens United is to say to these same billionaires and the corporations they control: ‘You own and control the economy, you own Wall Street, you own the coal companies, you own the oil companies. Now, for a very small percentage of your wealth, we’re going to give you the opportunity to own the United States government,' ” Sanders said.

“This is the essence of what Citizens United is all about – and that’s why it must be overturned,” he said.

~ Bernard Sanders