5 Things: March 9, 2011

Glowing in the dark

>>1. RADIO 1 "There's a robin singing/ his familiar tune again/ and all at once I'm clinging/ to the kiss of June again." Writing about Bay radio this week put us in a wistful mood, reminding us of KABL 960 AM (ding! ding!), the local golden oldies and big band station that was our sweet refuge from the shrieking dial of the 1990s. We wept when the station abruptly shut down in 2004, after 45 years of broadcasting classic Rat Pack, moony '30s and '40s standards, and a whole heapin helpin' of Rosemary Clooney. Lo and behold, through the magic of the gossamer Web, KABL lives again, and you can stream it! Dapper dinner parties, here you come. 

We especially dig the wink-wink "station announcements" and the comforting baritone of legendary DJ Bill Moen. Here's hoping they bring back the Shadow and the other classic radio plays they used to broadcast after hours.



>>2. RADIO 2 While we're on the Webs, did you know that San Francisco has one of the oldest Internet radio stations? The 20-channel SOMA FM has been turning people on since 1999 (quite literally: the ambient electronica Groove Salad channel is a favorite among the smooth hookup crowd), and it operates out of a small studio in, yes, SoMa. SOMA FM has outlived many other local free streaming Web stations -- miss you, Beta Lounge -- and, unlike Pandora, it provides a little unexpectedness in its programming. (For one, its playlist is a lot more free-ranging and doesn't depend on label licensing.) It's also in the midst of a donation drive, since it's all listener funded, unlike that Muslim-funded, tea-hating NPR! So, hey, support your local streaming radio station. 

>>3. RADIO 3 If all this talk of websites and streaming and airwaves is soooo 2k6 for you, navigate over to Swift.FM, why not -- it's a sweet local startup gaining traction by basically being the radio on Twitter. (And Alyssa Milano approves!)

>>4. WE MELTED They don't always have them, but if you happen to stop by one of the local La Boulange outposts and see that they're offering walnut macaroons, snag yourself a couple (and some carmel and pistachio, too). You will not regret it.

>>5. MEOW Meow