Explore SFMission:
Bars & Nightclubs
Mission Map
Housing Forum
Visitor's Guide
Mission Dolores
Big Media Archive Consumer Guide
Travel Tools at TradeDay.com

Greater SF Bay Area Attractions:
Museums & Tours
Free & Cheap in SF
Get Aways/Day Trips

moon phases

SF Mission.com presents:


Top Selling US Artists (by album) || Charts Round the World || Bay Area Top-Selling Artists || Bay Area Buzz Local Top Music Charts

2004 saw lawsuits against music fans, the explosion of the iPod, and the battle against Clear Channel and big media hegemony. In 2005, we're tracking low-powered FM & web radio , podcasting, the continuing battle over P2Ps and the emergence of top selling  and influential artists in the Bay Area.

You can also check out our links, discover Bay Area music writers or read about the Big Media Revolt on our Music 2004 page.

San Francisco Guitar Gods & Legends: Carlos Santana and Jerry Garcia. Learn about their lives, their music, and their influences. Or, see Janis Joplin in Lipstick Traces.

Music on SFMission.com and Carnaval.com:
San Francisco Nightlife and Annual Events || Brazil Music Guide || Bahia Glossary (with lots of samba terms) || Salsa Music Guide || Media & Music Guides in Aforum

Upcoming Indie Music Events
Today's Entertainment News:

Resources for LPFM and democratization of the airwaves:

The Prometheus
Radio Project
is a not-for-profit association dedicated to the democratization of the airwaves through the proliferation of non-commercial, community based, micro power radio stations.

Center for
Democratic Communications
of the National Lawyers

Americans for
Radio Diversity

News, resources, events and actions.

Media Access

A non-profit public interest telecommunications lawfirm.

Media advocacy and reform groups

Web Radio News:

The federal government first began issuing low-power radio licenses in 2000, with a maximum range of five miles. Advocates envisioned a sea of voices, but most license had been bought up by Christian organizations, who have been better organized than other groups. Additionally, most licences are issued in suburban and rural areas, often failing to represent multi-ehtnic communites. San Francisco and Oakland, for example, have no low-power radio licenses.

But change may be on the way. A bill introduced in early 2005 by Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Democratic Sens. Maria Cantwell of Washington and Patrick Leahy of Vermont could make it easier for low-power stations to crack the big-city market by requiring less frequency space on the dial between stations. Interestingly, the bill is supported by FCC Michael Powell, but not by the National Association of Broadcasters and National Public Radio, who claim LPFM stations will cause interference.

Stay tuned to see whether low-powered radio can gain a greater foothold on the airwaves. One model for LPFM? KFOK, a 2-year-old station in the middle of El Dorado County. It's the picture of the community-based radio that advocates envisioned.

Beaming from Georgetown, about an hour and a half east of Sacramento, the station airs "Democracy Now," a left-leaning public affairs show; Calvary Chapel music on Sundays; a heavy-metal show; and a program called "Hillbilly Humor with Shaun." According to Bruce Hayden, the station's co-founder and one of the underwriters, "is that you don't have to agree with everything that's on there. Most of the people on our station felt that their voice wasn't being heard out there. And that's why they're here."

Source: Airwaves: The Race for Low-Wattage Stations on sfgate.com, 02.28.05, by Joe Garofoli

Google Search: Bay Area Guardian || sfgate.com

Low Power FM & Congress

Web Radio & Directories:

Liberation Radio
93.7 FM, SF's oldest and most tenacious micropowered radio station. Now streaming.
Thousands of free stations created by music fans.
Listener sponsored radio out of SF with ambient, breakbeats, IDM and indie rock.
Links to thousands of radio stations and a free online guide.
Claims the largest radio directory on the Internet.
Radio Locator
Over 10,000 direct links and 2,500 radio streams
Digitally Imported
Electronic lover's paradise.
KEXP Seattle
King of public radio stations from Seatttle. Renowned for breaking bands.
Radio Paradise
One of the net's finest alt-radio streams.
KPOO (SF 89.7)
Jazz, blues, oldies, reggae, '60s soul, community issues, discussions about prisons...
A collection of the best shows from community and independent stations from all over the country, all downloadable free.
The original hard-rock radio station, now exclusively online.
Listener-sponsored out of Santa Monica. Now with podcasting.
Pirate Cat Radio (87.9)
An unlicensed low-powered community radio station, broadcasting in SF.


This site is the central resource for new podcasts and a directory of 3646 actively tracked shows. The directory is maintained by more than 50 category editors.

Podcast Alley

The podcast lovers portal. Featuring the Podcast Directory and the Top 10 podcasts (as voted on by the listeners). You will also find podcast software, the podcast forum and great podcasting info.

Some Bay Area Podcasts:

The Rock and Roll Geek Show
Hosted by San Francisco musician Michael Butler. Claimed 156,000 downloads one month.

Sports talk from Marin, hosted by Sam Coutin.

Google Search: San Francisco+Podcast

Podcasting 2005


Podcasting is the fusion of the Internet, blogs, Napster, TiVo, reality TV and Apple Computer's popular digital music player. This trend may point towards the new direction in the democratization of media, and provides hope for those concerned with media hegemony.

The most popular shows claim over 3,000 listeners, and run a gamut of topics from sex and food to religion and politics. Most shows are recorded at home and then posted to the internet for downloading. The advantages over radio? You can listen to your favorite show whenever you want, and there tends to be a more raw, "genuine" aesthetic than what you might hear on the radio.

Other companies are trying to cash in. San Francisco startup Odeo hopes to create an online podcast directory. Slapcast.com of Arlington, Va., is offering podcast hosting services for $4.95 a month.

Scott Chacon, 25, a Democrat from Dublin who plans to run for Congress in 2006, hopes to use the new medium to reach far-flung voters in California's 11th Congressional District, which includes parts of Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Clara and San Joaquin counties.

Source: SFgate.com, Homespun shows find big audience
Do-it-yourself podcasters turn their living rooms, basements into studios
, by Benny Evangelista, 2.28.2005

A Little History ...

Podcasting began taking off in summer 2004 when Adam Curry, best known as a former veejay for MTV, wrote a computer program called iPodder, which automatically downloads audio files posted on personal Web sites or blogs.

With iPodder or any similar podcast aggregator (the site PodcastAlley.com lists at least 17 of them), you can subscribe to a number of podcasts. From that point on, whenever a new podcast is posted online, the software will automatically download it to your Internet-connected computer. The podcast can then be loaded into an iPod or similar MP3 player.

There are now thousands of podcasters on the Web. These shows, most converted to the MP3 audio format, cover everything under the sun, from rock 'n' roll reviews to a Chicago youngster talking about the new Robosapien Robot he got for Christmas.

The most popular podcast as of early 2005 is "The Dawn and Drew Show,'' a program featuring the no-holds barred bantering of a Wisconsin husband and wife that would turn Federal Communications Commission members apoplectic if the show were broadcast on public airwaves.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, 2.28.05

Google Search: sfgate.com 2005

"Last month, I had 156,000 downloads. It's one of the most exciting things that has happened since the beginning of the Internet.'' -- Michael Butler, Rock and Roll Geek Show

"A broadcast studio in my basement with a worldwide reach. That's the part that just blows me away. I got an e- mail from someone in Belgium, and I was sold. Someone halfway around the world was listening. The most powerful station in Southern California is KFI, and my podcast has a farther reach. It's not over-processed. It's not someone working in a professional studio. I love movies, I'm passionate about them, and I don't get of tired talking about them.'' -- Michael Geoghegan, www.mwgblog.com

"It's not going to pay the bills or support my future family for a number of years. [But] it's brand-new ground, especially if you're entrepreneurial like me. It just sounds like an exciting space.'' -- Sam Coutin, Sportspod

Amazon.com's top-selling mp3 players.

Epinion's top consumer-rated mp3 players.

consumersearch.com mp3 player ratings

The stylish (and pricey) player dominates the market

Can they give the iPod a run for its money?

World Music.org RSS Feed

Contenders in the mp3 download market:
Kazaa Gold MP3Advance Epitonic

MP3University EZMP3s

P2P: Freedom of Information vs. Copyright Infringement

Napster was just the beginning. P2P Music Downloads have continued through services like Kazaa, Grokster & Morpheus. In turn, the RIAA has responded with a barrage of lawsuits in an effort to chill the illegal download trend. This has led to the rise of legal download sites -- or are P2P users learning how to better operate under the radar?

Why is the RIAA suing individual music listeners?
from Whatsthedownload.com
The RIAA first tried to shut down the two main companies that distribute the file-sharing software programs: Grokster and Morpheus. But because the software itself is not illegal - only using the software to trade copyrighted materials without permission is illegal - a judge ruled that the companies couldn't be held liable for copyright infringement, even if the people who used their software were illegally swapping songs. However, this case is on appeal, and as discussed in P2P Rewind , is currently being deliberated by the courts. Meanwhile, the RIAA began suing individual file swappers. The lawsuits were aimed at people who stored a large number of music files on their computers for others to download. On average, the people who were sued each made more than 1,000 music files available to other users on P2P networks such as Kazaa.

Legal Music Downloads 2005

Resources and advice for downloading music:

Steve Allen: links to free downloads, big list of MP3 sites, online music stores and file sharing programs.

Michael Crawford links to thousands of free MP3s & an argument for legal downloading.

Whatsthedownload.com list of online music stores, download sites and music labels. Also: what's up with the RIAA lawsuits; how to protect yourself.

P2Pnet a P2P and digital media news site which promises frequent updates.

Music Download Lawsuits 2005

Bay Area Legends

Carlos Santana

Jerry Garcia

Janis Joplin

Tupac Shakur

Who's Next? New Top Artists in the Bay Area

The biggest Bay Area name in music of late has been pop-punk act Green Day. American Idiot took home the Grammy for Best Rock Album of 2004, cracked the Billboard Top 100, and was notable for its vocable criticism of president George W. Bush.

From Rollingstone.com: "With snappy, three-chord songs driven by effectively unshakable rhythms and squinty-faced vocals, Green Day have set the standard for Punk-Pop. Green Day came together at a time when Berkeley, Calif., was bubbling with new bands who were blowing air into Punk's gasping lungs. Though not the first Bay Area Punk band to sign with a major label, they have certainly gone on to be the biggest. Green Day remain as obnoxious and wily as when they were teenagers."
Green Day on Amazon.com

So, who's the top-selling Bay Area rock band? The answer may surprise you: it's none other than long-time head bangers Metallica. The group has survived membership changes and battles with P2P users and Napster, not to mention some trips to rehab, but they keep on rocking -- hard.

From Rollingstone.com: "San Francisco's Metallica rule all that is metal. Their inexhaustible energy and masterful riffage have the uncanny ability to compel metalheads, indie geeks, hippies and punks to simultaneously pump their fists in the air. Combining genre-defining Speed Metal with spit-in-your-face punk attitude, Metallica provided perfect crossover material for millions of disaffected youth, garnering the band a legion of fans as loyal as they are diverse."
Metallica on Amazon.com

Next Generation

Hip-hop, electronica and turntablism have all become an integral part of Bay Area music. Top hip-hop acts include the Quannum label featuring critically acclaimed artists such as DJ Shadow, Blackalicious and Lyrics Born. Over in Oakland, The Hieroglyphics have achieved widespread fame, especially with the appearance of Del tha Funky Homosapien on the Gorillaz project. Behind the decks, Mixmaster Mike (the Beastie Boy's DJ) and QBert have become heros to would-be DJs around the globe. And on the electronic front, glitch artists Matmos have become big names for their collaborations with Bjork.

Bay Area Music Writers

Ralph J. Gleason
Wrote for The Chronicle for 25 years, covering the likes of Hank Williams, Elvis and Fats Domino.
sfgate.com || bio || amazon.com

Ben Fong Torres
Alameda/Oakland native. Wrote for Rolling Stone, Chronicle and contributes to sfgate.com
Official Site || sfgate || amazon

Derk Richardson
In addition to hosting Thursday night’s “The Hear & Now” on KPFA, he writes and produces a “Hear & Now” music column which appears every Thursday on sfgate.com
Google search || sfgate archive || sfgate playlist

Chuy Varela
One of California's premier Xicano musicologists. He also reviews jazz, and writes for sites such as nprjazz.org and salsasf.com
Google nprjazz.org || Google salsasf.com || Google sfgate.com

Mark Morford
Biting left-wing political and social commentary -- and some music coverage too!
sfgate column || archive || guide to web radio


Links & Resources:

sfstation.com: music || clubs
sfgate.com music & nightlife
citysearch bars & nightlife
sfweekly.com music
Bay Area Guardian Club Guide || Music Listings

Last Update: 29SEP05