As should be clear if you’ve spent any time on this site, I love music and records and concerts. I’ve been hoarding records and making mixtapes for friends since middle school, and DJing any time I get a chance. My only broadcast radio gig was at Ohio University, at WSGR, where I co-hosted “Radio Free Europe” (how many 1987 college radio shows were named that?) with my friend Halley. She lost interest after a few shows, but I kept it rolling for most of my freshman year.
Aside from a few parties, scooter rallies, and slow nights at bars, I hadn’t DJ’ed much until my kid M.K. started an online radio network, WMKB*, with some friends during the pandemic. They’d been streaming their shows from their phones, but I pointed out we had a basement full of records, a couple mostly-working turntables and a mixer. On Thanksgiving 2020, we set up a surprisingly-impressive radio studio in our tiny basement bathroom and started broadcasting via Mixcloud. As my reward for bankrolling the $20/month licensing fee, I was awarded a weekly Tuesday night show, named Recorder Grot (after the Pavement song).
In the year since, WMKB has broadcast over 100 shows hosted by various friends and family, and my show, Recorder Grot, is closing in on its 50th episode. It’s been a great experience, and M.K. and I have collaborated to host fundraisers and design/print some promotional materials and stationery for the station. It also serves as a tribute to my brother Keith, who passed away in 2019, he gave us his huge record collection and much of the equipment we use for the station. Best of all, it’s been good to take time to listen to music for a couple hours each week, and share my favorite records with our occasionally-double-digit (!) listeners.
The full archive of Mixcloud WMKB broadcasts
The archive of Recorder Grot broadcasts
Tune in live (most) Tuesday nights at 9pm Central Time!
*Often referred to as #fakeWMKB, as there is a real WMKB broadcasting Hispanic music in central Illinois and we don’t want any trouble with them or the FCC!