Monday, March 15, 2004

I have to admit that I picked up 40 Watts From Nowhere by Sue Carpenter just because of the cover. How can you blame me when it shows racks and racks of cds and LPs? If the flap summary hadn't sounded interesting, I still might've bought the book just for that picture. Luckily for me, the story is as interesting as it sounded. Told rather matter-of-factly, Sue tells of her Pump Up the Volume existence as the coolest radio station manager in LA. Coolest illegal radio station manager, that is. Beginning first in San Francisco, Sue sets up a pirate radio station in her apartment and has her friends DJ for it. After moving to Los Angeles, she does the same thing, but this time she unwittingly becomes the center of a genuine indie phenomenon. The book is a quick read, mostly because there isn't a lot of introspection (I'm still not all that sure what her motives were for beginning in the first place - she isn't a music geek at all and it seems to be something to keep her occupied and illicitly thrilled when she breaks up with her junkie boyfriend) and only the briefest of sketches of the different DJs who eventually end up on KBLT in Los Angeles. I would've liked those, plus maybe some interviews with artists who appeared on the station or some listener reactions to beef up the book, but I did like it, even if I wished it had been fleshed out more.

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