Join the ninth annual CALLS FROM HOME radio broadcast for prisoners.

The United States has 2.4 million people behind bars. Thousand Kites wants you to lend your voice to a powerful grassroots radio broadcast that reaches into our nation’s prison and lets those inside know they are not forgotten.

We are asking you to call our toll-free line 877-518-0606 and speak directly to those behind bars this holiday season. (An answering machine will record your message) Read a poem, sing a song, or just speak directly from you heart. Speak to someone you know or to everyone—make it uplifting.

So call right now at 877-518-0606. We will post each call on our website as it comes in! Check our website  to listen to your call and others!

CALLS FROM HOME will broadcast on over 200 radio stations across the country and be available for download from our website on December 13.

Call anytime (now through December 9) at 877-518-0606 and record your message.

Learn how you can help blog, distribute, broadcast, or support this event.

CALLS FROM HOME is a project of Thousand Kites/WMMT-FM/Appalshop and a national network of grassroots organizations working for criminal justice reform.

In Peace,
Thousand Kites Team (Nick, Julia, Dudley, Donna, and Amelia)

Thousand Kites
91 Madison Ave
Whitesburg, KY 41858

Awareness-raisng special programming on homelessness on WFHB. 7p-9a.

From a WFHB press release:

Bloomington Community Radio pre-empts normal programming for national special on homelessness

On Wednesday, February 20 and Thursday, February 21, Bloomington’s community radio station will once again unite listeners with people all across the country to raise awareness of the defining social justice issue of our time.  WFHB is one of more than 120 independent radio stations carrying the National Homelessness Marathon, a 14-hour live broadcast featuring the voices and stories of homeless people from around the U.S.  WFHB will air the entire fourteen-hour program, currently in its eleventh year, starting at 7pm on Wednesday and ending at 9am on Thursday, when the station returns to its regularly-scheduled programming.  This year is extra-special because the national broadcast will feature a segment produced by WFHB News Director Chad Carrothers.

“We slept out in a tent in the middle of winter, so that was kind of rough…we had like fifty blankets it seemed like and we were still cold…tryin’ to fight, we gotta figure out something, and I remember saying we gotta find something because we can’t be out here forever”

– 22-year-old Josh Morales, Shalom Center client

Josh and his father Abraham are featured in WFHB’s special segment “Father and Son: Generational Homelessness”, exploring how being homeless together has bonded them in a way that transcends typical father-son relationships.

As a local lead-in to the National Homelessness Marathon, WFHB will air an hour of locally-produced programming on these issues, including a feature-length interview with the Morales father-son team and a rebroadcast of the recent memorial service for the people who died homeless on our streets this past year.  Airing from 6-7pm on Feb. 20, the local programming will include Joel Rekas, director of Bloomington’s Shalom Center, a day facility for local people struggling with poverty and homelessness.

“It’s unacceptable in a country like the United States that this continues to be an issue”, says Rekas.  “We’re twenty years out now from this being identified as a major social issue, and unfortunately for most of us, a walk downtown in a big city involves stepping over people on the sidewalk and lying on park benches and we don’t blink an eye.  Folks experiencing homelessness have really become part of the urban landscape.”

There are approximately 4,000 homeless individuals and families living in poverty right now in the Bloomington area, according to Rekas.  That’s just one reason why WFHB News Director Chad Carrothers channels significant volunteer effort into local coverage of the issue.

“The best way to understand someone is to really listen to what they have to say,” Carrothers opines.  “Radio can be a very personal and intimate experience.  The stories told to me by people living on the streets of my town leave the mike wobbling in my hand.  The stark reality is overpowering.”

While WFHB News regularly produces its own stories and special features on homelessness, being a part of a national broadcast is a unique opportunity to bring different communities together.  The Eleventh Annual Homelessness Marathon will originate from Nashville, Tennessee.  It will be hosted by Nashville’s community radio station WRFN and a committee of activists on poverty and housing issues.

“As the Marathon has grown, its philosophy has evolved. When I started, I thought I had to scold people and tell them why they ought to care,” confesses the Homelessness Marathon’s director, Jeremy Weir Alderson.  “But now I know that Americans really do care, and that no matter how grave the failings of our society may be, homeless people aren’t on the streets because that’s where we, as a people, want them to be.  I now mostly look at the Marathon as giving people the reasons for what they already know in their hearts.”

The Homelessness Marathon isn’t a fundraiser; there isn’t a single pitch to donate a dime to anyone.  Instead it’s what Carrothers calls an “awareness raiser”:

“There’s no 800 number, there’s no slick ads for donations.  These are real people talking about what life is like for them.  They don’t want your money, they want to be understood.  They want you to think about how your life is different from theirs, but also how it’s similar.  They want your humanity.”

This special programming will air February 20th and 21st from 7pm to 9am on Indiana’s original community radio station, WFHB 91.3/98.1/100.7/106.3 FM and live on the web at  More information is available by contacting News Director Chad Carrothers at or by calling (812) 337-7827.  Additional information about the Homelessness Marathon can be found at

media check for the week of 2007-08-19

I decided to go to the IU library to check out the book The Suburbanization of New York: Is the World’s Greatest City Becoming Just Another Town? (ISBN-13: 978-1-56898-678-4) and found a wealth of other interesting books in the HN80.N5 section on the 7th floor. I also checked out There Goes The Neighborhood (ISBN-10: 0-394-57936-4), a book about the politics of race and class in Chicago neighborhoods, and passed on Praciticing Community (ISBN-10: 0-292-73118-3), a book about similar dynamics, but in Cincinatti, though it also looked good.

I heard an interesting recording of a Michael Parenti talk on Alternative Radio on WFHB on Monday, 2007-08-20 that was kind of all over the place, but mostly about how identity politics are exploited to divide people who are marginalized by race, gender, or sexual orientation. He also suggested that the division of power in this country often finds people with very different ethnic, gender, sexual, or other cultural identities on the same side of that power divide.

I read this article by Dave Zirin, author of What’s My Name Fool?: Sports and Resistance in the U.S., Welcome to the Terrordome, and other books about sports and politics. Zirin writes about the difficulties in sending copies of his books to a Texas death row inmate because

“It contains material that a reasonable person would construe as written solely for the purpose of communicating information designed to achieve the breakdown of prisons through offender disruption such as strikes or riots.”

The offending content, according to the TXDOC, included quotations such as this from baseball great Jackie Robinson:

“I felt tortured and I tried to just play ball and ignore the insults. But it was really getting to me. … For one wild and rage-crazed moment I thought, ‘To hell with Mr. Rickey’s “noble experiment.” … To hell with the image of the patient black freak I was supposed to create.’ I could throw down my bat, stride over to that Phillies dugout, grab one of those white sons of [expletive] and smash his teeth in with my despised black fist. Then I could walk away from it all.”

I use for managing my bookmarks. Often, I want to access my bookmarks through my browser instead of having to visit the site. The Bookmarks Firefox add-on lets me do just that.

Roy F. Baumeister’s talk, Is There Anything Good About Men? is really interesting. It talks about the different ways that culture have used men and women to achieve its ends. It also talks about how a fundamental difference between men and women is that men favor wider, shallower relationships and women prefer closer, more intimate relationships and how this has driven the different cultural realms that are inhabited disproportionally by men and women. At the base of this, claims Baumeister, is the evolutionary reality that far more women reproduce than men. The wider, shallower, relationships or more risk-taking activities favored by men, in general, facilitates the differentiation that will allow some men to reproduce.

On a somewhat related note, this is a program that my friend is working with. The program is trying to organize
Men of Strength (MOST) Clubs in DC and other communities. A friend who works with the Middleway House, a Bloomington shelter for women and children affected by rape and family violence says that young men who stay in the shelter really lack a community of other males to critically examine their ideas of identity and masculinity and to model ideas of gender or relationships that differ from the violence that they’ve experienced. These clubs seem like a rare example of something that might begin to provide this support/education. The clubs are described as:

Men of Strength (MOST) Club has provided young men in Washington, DC and California high schools and colleges with a safe and supportive haven to connect with male peers while exploring masculinity and male strength.

Exposing young men to healthier, nonviolent models/visions of manhood, the MOST Club challenges members to define their own definition of masculinity and to translate their learning into community leadership, progressive action, and social change.


  • Provide young men with a safe, supportive space in which to connect with male peers through exploring notions of masculinity and male strength.
  • Promote an understanding of ways that traditional masculinity contributes to sexual assault and other forms of men’s violence, perpetuates gender inequity, and compromises the health of men and women.
  • Expose young men to healthier, nonviolent models/visions of manhood.
  • Build young men’s capacity to become peer leaders and allies with women in promoting gender equality and preventing men’s violence.

I have Debian Etch with KDE installed as my workstation at work, and I had a hard time figuring out how to make Iceweasel (Debian’s all-free software version of Firefox) the default browser instead of Konqueror.  Turns out it was as easy as

$ update-alternatives –config x-www-browser

Lemuria/Kind of Like Spitting – Your Living Room’s All Over Me

So I started reviewing CDs for the local community radio station, WFHB, after realizing that, being on tour so much, I couldn’t easily have a show.  It’s a small thing, but hopefully it’s helpful.  I’m going to start posting some of the reviews of things that I find to be pretty enjoyable.

Label: Art of the Underground
artist:    Lemuria/Kind of Like Spitting
title:    Your Living Room’s All Over Me
file under:    Power Pop, Pop-Punk, Indie Rock
grade:    B
Lemuria is a newer band that plays power-pop or pop-punk in a way that sounds like a less aggressive version of Discount, with catchy hooks, male/female vocals, and personal lyrics that, at times, border on the melodramatic.  Kind of Like Spitting features members of Death Cab for Cutie and The Thermals.  The songs are less polished than the former but more musically ambling than the latter.  Their sound reminds me a bit of The Dismemberment Plan if they had made more lo-fi recordings with less dynamic songs but with more present lead guitar parts.

comments / tracks  of interest:
Tracks 1-7 are by Lemuria, 8-12 by Kind of Like Spitting

3 – “Bugbear” – a driving, bitter track about severed relationships
7 – “Sophmore” – a poppy reproach that will remind the listener of their college days
10 – “You I Seek” – Faster and more straightforward than the other KOLS tracks, it sounds as good as anything ever released by The Thermals.

FCC: 1, 5, 6, 11

Link to sample track Hours by Lemuria
Link to sample track You I Seek by KOLS

Categorized as Uncategorized Tagged , ,

Manion Companion Guest Set

I’m going to be playing records on my friends Corinna and Riley’s radio show, The Manion Companion, on Bloomington’s community radio station WFHB. The show is from 11p-1a eastern standard time. You can liten in Bton at 91.3 and 98.1 FM or stream it on the web.


Update: Here’s my playlist.

  • This is My Fist – Stoy of Reconversion from I Don’t Want to Startle You but They Are Going to Kill Most of Us (Left Off the Dial)
  • Zounds – Demystification from The Curse of Zounds + Singles (Broken Rekids)
  • Soophie Nun Squad – Maybe You Heard from Soophie Nun Squad/Abe Froman LP (Harlan)
  • Your Heard Breaks – New Ocean Waves from New Ocean Waves (Plan-It-X/Masa)
  • Red Monkey – Bike Song from Difficult is Easy (Slampt)

This is what I would have played had I had the time:

  • Gene Pitney – I’m Going to Be Strong from I’m Going to be Strong (Stateside)
  • Ballast – Resign Yourself from Numb Again 7″ (Self-released)
  • Chumbawamba – The Diggers’ Song from English Rebel Songs (Agit-prop)
  • The Good Good – Redefine from S/T (Harlan)
  • The Gibbons – Kindergarten Class from Gibbons/North Lincoln 7″ (Salinas)


So what if I got called out by Corinna and Dustin for carrying the hipster pda – it really is a pretty great organizational tool.

After being out of town for a while, I’m trying to play catch-up with a bunch of projects and I’m trying to clear out some older notecards.

Once, when I was soliciting for postage donations for Pages, a man angrily asked, “Why don’t you support the military instead of goddamned people in prison?” The statistic that I wish I could have produced, not that it would have likely made any difference is that, as of 1998, there were 56,500 Vietnam veterans and 18,500 veterans of the persion gulf war in prison in the us. These statistics are from the US Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Here’s some things that I want to check out:

  • Ras K’dee – Abbey and I were driving around listening to WFHB when we heard an interesting interview with this Hip-Hop artist. Maybe it was this one. He has a new record called “Street Prison”.
  • Chris, a new volunteer at pages who is really amazing suggested that I tap the IU progressive faculty alliance for finding common interests and issues to our work at pages. Chris is a pretty interesting guy. He’s an Eagle Scout who rebuilt and restocked a prison library for his scout project. As a reference, most people do things like build bridges on hiking trails or paint fences at a park. Chris suggested that we look into how to help out prison libraries as well as look into larger scale donations from publishers.
  • Ryan recommended the record Hex by the band Earth or the more obscure Smashed Guitars and Sunn Amps. I think he got into the whole drone-metal thing from his friend Orion. I feel like drone metal has been everywhere in my consciousness lately. There was the Sunn party at the Stabbin’ Cabin the night of the Piedmonster show. Ian, a boy that I talk to sometimes on the Internet mentioned it as an influence to his drone-metal project, and Mike in Detroit was wearing a Sunn t-shirt and talking about how it was currently the music he was excited about. I think Sunn has a new double LP out.
  • Jenny recommended the documentary Afropunk, I think, in the course of a conversation about culture within subculture.
  • Freshman Rhethoric is a “mathy post-punk” band that one of the guys who set up the show at Shipwrecked in G-Rad plays in. I think they have a MySpace page or something.
  • I enjoyed listening to Re:sound from Chicago Public Radio when we were driving through.
  • Someone I talked to in Lexington mentioned a radio show they had on WRFL on Tuesday from 4-6pm that combines punk music with news headlines.
  • I finally got to see Taryn Simon’s The Innocents photo show at the CaC in the ‘natti. Its also showing at The Provisions Library in DC where my friend Katy works.