From:         Patrick Douglas Crispen 
Subject:      Tourbus - 22 Feb 05 - More Gmail Invites / KCRW


The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

Howdy, y'all, and greetings once again from deep behind the orange curtain in beautiful Irvine, California, where we are frantically trying to figure out what a cubit is.

[A cubit is a unit of ark-building measure approximately 18 inches or half a meter in length. Southern California is undergoing a rainy season of biblical proportions.]

TOURBUS is made possible by the kind support of our sponsors. Please take a moment to visit today's sponsors and thank them for keeping our little bus of Internet happiness on the road.

On with the show...

A Few More Gmail Invites Audience: Everyone

So, in my last post I casually mentioned I had fifty Google Gmail invites to give away. Guess how many people wrote in to get one? ONE THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED AND the first FOUR HOURS! Gmail invites are popular little buggers, aren’t they?

For those who weren’t able to get a Gmail invite, I apologize. But, all is not lost. Thanks to a tip from Justin Baugher, I found a few more invites. How many more? Oh, over a quarter of a million! No, really. Just point your web browser to

Requesting a Google Gmail invite from is a snap:

1. Key in your email address into the box at the top of the page.

2. Click the "Request invite" button.

3. WALK AWAY FROM YOUR COMPUTER! I mean it. Walk away. Go
grab something to eat, read a book, watch a television show-- just walk away. takes just short of forever to process your request and send you an invite. Your patience will be rewarded.

Eventually isnoop tells you "Your invite has been sent to the email specified." Check your email. Sitting in your inbox should be an brand new email from with the subject "The Gmail invite you requested."

Oh, happy day!

I do have a favor to ask of you, though: If Gmail ever gives you any invites of your own to share with others, please send them to That way the folks at can replenish their pool of invites and share them with others.

KCRW Audience: Everyone

Here in the colonies, we have two types of radio stations: commercial and public. What’s the difference? Besides the requisite joke about a particular San Antonio company owning every commercial radio station in America and playing the same uninspired pop songs over and over and over again, the truth is commercial radio stations make their money by playing commercials and public radio stations don’t. Instead, public radio stations are public-supported--the stations’ revenue comes from listener donations, corporate underwriting, and/or government subsidies.

What does this have to do with you and me? Well, our next stop is at a Los Angeles public radio station that is arguably the most influential radio station in America: KCRW. What makes KCRW so influential? Well, two things: Its format and its location.

Unlike most public radio stations which play classical music, KCRW plays a free-form collection of modern, "eclectic" music. According to the station’s web site,

The station's eclectic mix combines world beat, pop, jazz, rap, hip-hop, reggae, African, new wave, classical and new music with numerous live in-studio interviews and performances.

Because KCRW’s playlist is completely created by its staff, not by a committee of corporate lackeys, KCRW is one of the best places in the world to find new music, music that no other radio station in the world is playing...yet. I say "yet" because KCRW has a knack of launching the music careers of unknown artists. For example, KCRW was the first radio station in the world to play Norah Jones [who went on to win five Grammy awards] and was also the radio first station in the states to play Dido and Coldplay [who went on to win four Grammy awards.]

The other thing that makes KCRW so influential is its location. The station’s studios are on the campus of Santa Monica College and the station broadcasts throughout most of Southern California. So a *LOT* of people in Hollywood tune in to KCRW to hear what’s new or what’s next. KCRW’s playlist is frequently raided by film and television soundtrack music supervisors. [Rumor has it that most of the music played on The Sopranos and a good chunk of the music played during the myriad CSIs lab scenes came straight from KCRW, and KCRW’s DJs are often hired by the studios to manage the studios’ film and television soundtracks.]

While I would love to say I found a Gmail-esque way to give everyone on our little bus of internet happiness a free trip to Los Angeles to listen to KCRW on the radio, I think I’ve found the next best thing: You can listen to KCRW online. Think of this as a trip to LA without the traffic...and smog...and mudslides...and earthquakes.

KCRW offers three online streams: Simulcast, Music, and WorldNews. You can find the Simulcast stream at

and the stream’s program schedule at

KCRW’s simulcast stream, available in Real Player, Windows Media Player, and SHOUTcast streaming MP3 formats, is identical to what you would hear if you were in Los Angeles or Orange counties and tuned your radio to 89.9 FM. That’s cool, I guess, but if you are looking for music, skip this stream and pick the Music stream instead. The only time KCRW plays music is during mid-mornings, evenings, and weekends. The rest of the time KCRW plays news programming. The Music stream, however, is 100% music, either live broadcasts of KCRW’s music shows or repeats of those shows throughout the day.

You can find the Music stream at

and the stream’s program schedule at

KCRW’s Music stream is available in four formats: Real Player, Windows Media Player, SHOUTcast streaming MP3, and iTunes. [To listen to KCRW’s music stream in iTunes, click on "Radio" on the left side of your iTunes screen and then go to Eclectic > KCRW Music. You can't "podcast" the stream--podcast is just a hip way of saying "download something and put it on your iPod"--but you can listen to it in iTunes.]

All of KCRW’s music shows are great, but I want to put in a plug for one show in particular: "Morning Becomes Eclectic." Hosted by Nic Harcourt, KCRW’s music director, Morning Becomes Eclectic is KCRW’s flagship music show. You can hear the show live from 9:00 AM to Noon Pacific [GMT -8] each weekday and is rebroadcast [or is it "re- Streamed?"] a couple times a day.

Oh, and if you’d rather not listen to any music at all, KCRW also has a news stream called "WorldNews." You can find it at

This stream, available in Real Player or SHOUTcast streaming MP3 formats, plays nothing but news broadcasts and informational programming from NPR, BBC, PRI, and VOA.

Anyway, if you are bored with your current radio stations and want to listen to completely new music, or if you just want to hear what music your favorite television shows will be playing six months from now, point your web browser to and tune in to Southern California’s listener-supported KCRW.

That's it for today. Have a safe and happy week, and we'll talk again soon.

The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
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