Jose Fritz of the great Arcane Radio Trivia has been traveling around and writing about what he hears on different regional radio dials. He just posted from the Seattle-Tacoma area and it’s interesting that he picks up a very diverse set of noncommercial stations featuring indie rock, NPR news, jazz and even dance music. He also picks up a couple of pirate stations in Seattle, including “The Whore” 101.9 broadcasting from the Capitol Hill neighborhood since 2008.
I have to admit that I didn’t get much of a chance to scan the radio dial the last two times I was in Seattle in 2006 and 2009. However when I first visited in 2002 there was certainly a vibrant pirate scene. During my time there for the first Reclaim the Media conference there was also a parallel convergence of unlicensed broadcasters who comprised a “mosquito fleet” of stations taking over empty spots on the Seattle dial, providing some airwaves resistance to the NAB Radio Show happening at the same time. Though pirate stations have come and gone in Seattle, there always seems to be at least one or two on the air at any given time. The hilly landscape provides many easy opportunities to get an antenna up high without having to construct much of a tower.
In any event, radio enthusiast’s visiting Seattle, Tacoma and Olympia should bring along a receiver and do a band scan for stations that will be more interesting than most cities.
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