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Feature: Global Microradio

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From its roots some seven years ago as a completely homebrew station cobbled together from spare parts and junk, 2000 Flushes Pirate Radio graced the Twin Cities airwaves with its own brand of dissent.

It dropped off the dial pretty quickly, though, making sporadic reappearances over the past near-decade.

Earlier this month, 2000 Flushes came back with a vengeance.

Taking the Black Ball Radio concept to another level (Black Ball readily accepted MP3-encoded programming via e-mail and played everything it got), the latest incarnation of 2000 Flushes was complete public access, internet-style. Potential programmers simply uploaded their MP3 audio files directly to the station from its web page, and the files were automatically dropped in rotation to be played on in the Twin Cities on 94.1 FM.

A week later, 2000 Flushes added a phone number with voice mail, so those without a computer could also become broadcasters.

Submissions poured in, ranging from pygmy music to punk rock, Nazi propaganda speeches and rantings from people like you or me. It was electric, and it was a first.

However, an overzealous local FCC office forced the 2000 Flushes crew to rescue its 100-watt transmitter and go into hiding; while the station was on the air for less than two weeks, the response it generated - from both the authorities and listener/participants - was phenomenal.

Literally opening the world to a few dozen watts has a genius absurdity to it. There's nothing quite like making neighborhood radio using the content of complete strangers.

And since every one of us are now potential DJs on a global microradio station, there's no way they can catch us all.