Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I drove up I-880 to Oakland. I noticed that on 87.9 was an FM station and as I navigated the sloping curves of the interstate I realize that there wasn't one, but two. One had to be 97.9 KSFH, a high school station in Mountain View. KSFH was initially licensed on 90.5 but in 1982 moved to 88.1 FM. They moved to 87.9 MHz in 1999. There are only two FM station in America licensed for 87.9 (KSFH and K200AA)so the other must be a pirate. The bay is loaded with more pirate radio than any other part of the world. But Google let me to Pirate Cat Radio a recent winner of a $10,000 FCC fine. Pirate cat was running some wild Ethiopian Jazz, KSFH some trite Active Rock.

I continued north, and visited Berkley to hit Amoeba Music. The neighborhood being what it is, warranted stops at several bookstores, (where I got a copy of Screwjack) and also Rasputin Music. Some parking terrorist saw fit to give me a ticket even though I had minutes on the meter so I fled Berkley feeling unwelcome. I'll take my tourist dollars elsewhere if the commies don't want it.

Why hit only one Amoeba when there is one on each side of the bridge? I crossed the bay bridge and four dollars later I was in San Francisco. Once you pass Presidio and roll downhill, reception changes drastically.
With the heights between me and the bay, San Jose simply vanishes. The band is just KALX, KPOO, KUSF and KQED. I stopped at Ocean beach for a bit and found a sand dollar, then headed back down skyline drive onto Route 1 stopping only once for tacos. KCSM started coming in again before I got to Pacifica. I headed east on Route 92 heading back to 280, to San Jose airport and as I got into that valley KFJC came in again and the first song I heard was "Teenage Enema Nurse." I wasn't ever able to hear KLSI but that might be for the best.