WOMM-LP 105.9FM 'The Radiator' Call to Artists!

080116-radiatorcrew.jpgJim Lockridge, Sean Larock, and Lee Anderson. Photo: Taylor Cook

By Alex Tirpack

The Burlington community has just gained a new addition to the airwaves. The Radiator has now started broadcasting on frequency 105.9 FM WOMM. The low-power FCC-licensed radio station is dedicated to presenting Vermont-made music and has extended an open invitation to Vermont artists of any music style to send their recordings for broadcast on the station.

The Radiator is a collaboration between local non-profit Big Heavy World, and Lee Anderson, proprietor of Radio Bean. Both Big Heavy World and Radio Bean are musically inspired organizations, working to keep the music scene alive in Vermont. Directed by James Lockridge, Big Heavy World is devoted to preserving and promoting Vermont-made music. Radio Bean, a coffeehouse in Burlington, is well known for cultivating eclectic live music programming in an intimate atmosphere. Sean Larock, volunteer and Director of Engineering at The Radiator, teamed up with Anderson and Lockridge and has worked tirelessly over the past year to bring the station to technical fruition. The station is not-for-profit and fully staffed by volunteers.

“105.9 The Radiator is a media resource that will bring the community together and provide a profound exposure opportunity for regional musicians,” Lockridge said. “It’s a great expression of Big Heavy World’s goals as a volunteer-staffed organization dedicated to uplifting and celebrating Vermont’s music.”

Anderson explains 105.9 The Radiator is expanding its programming as on-air hosts become involved. Currently, The Radiator’s programming draws from a music library of approximately 3,000 Vermont-made recording titles. In addition to the music library, many of the transmissions will be on-location, such as the November 3, 2007 live broadcast of The Radio Bean Birthday Party, which featured over fifty bands, and the January 9 live broadcast from the studio of Chicago hardcore band Harm’s Way.

“105.9 The Radiator is the result of a lifelong dream to create a non-formatted community radio station that could broadcast local music, live music from local venues, and creative music programming, such as radio theater,” Anderson said.

105.9 The Radiator had the help of numerous supporters throughout its four-year development. Companies such as Speaking Volumes, Recycle North, Farrington Construction, Magic Hat, Shively Labs of Maine, and local broadcasters including WRUV (University of Vermont) and Vermont Public Radio contributed materials, funding and labor to the station.

Lockridge explains the support from these companies and the community was invaluable to the station’s launch. “Our supporters pushed us forward; this has been a real community effort,” Lockridge said. “We’re especially appreciative of the engineering and technical support provided by Vermont Public Radio. As assets to the community, LPFM and public radio compliment each other, and VPR fully supported our start-up efforts and continues to work with us as we grow.”

Launch of 105.9 The Radiator follows a local Internet-only streaming broadcast of several thousand regional songs archived by Big Heavy World. Established in the mid-1990’s, the internet-stream was discontinued due to expensive performance royalty rates imposed on webcasters by the U.S. Library of Congress. 105.9 royalty rates have changed and The Radiator’s broadcast, including all local music programming, will be webcast via the Big Heavy World server, hosted in by Sovernet, making the station available in multiple mediums.

Vermont music submitted to 105.9 The Radiator will be kept in the Vermont Music Library. A project of Big Heavy World, the library is a public listening archive where the historic record of Vermont-made music is preserved for future generations (see vmls.org).

Musicians and community members interested in creating programming or hosting live programs are invited to visit http://www.theradiator.org to find a request for proposals.