2016: The Year in Charts

Chuck D Assists Record Store Day In Launching an Internet Radio Station

Courtesy Photo
Michael Kurtz and Chuck D.

Record Store Day has unveiled a partnership with DJ Skee's DASH Radio, which RSD founder Michael Kurtz announced earlier this month at a planning meeting for this year's annual celebration of all things vinyl on Apr. 18. 

Speaking onstage at Williamsburg's Rough Trade NYC record store and venue, Kurtz said the idea to have an RSD radio station was first brought to him by Public Enemy leader and co-founder Chuck D, 2014's Record Store Day ambassador, at the organization's Los Angeles press conference at Amoeba Records in March of last year. "He kept bringing up that we needed a Record Store Day radio station, so I said, 'You really want this to happen?'" Kurtz tells Billboard. "'It would be so cool, one of the few cool things Record Store Day hasn't done.' He started the whole conversation." 

Over the summer, Kurtz met up with Peter Ferraro, founder of East Village Radio, who was in the process of working out his DASH Radio involvement with DJ Skee (real name: Scott Keeney). "Before we were launching, we were going down a list of prospective partners and thinking about who would enrich the platform," Ferraro tells Billboard. "I said we should talk to Record Store Day about their home channel on DASH and Scott said that's a great idea." 

"Looking at music fans, people discovering the latest news and artists at a local level, we figured who's better than people that work at record stores?" adds Keeney. "They know the scene like no other. They're obviously the most passionate. They live, breathe, eat this every day."

Though the three have yet to figure out the programming, RSD's station has a set launch date of Mar. 1. Options include a charts show about what's selling at stores across the country, record store-curated stations (by Hollywood's Amoeba Records, Grimey's in Nashville, Newbury Comics in Boston, etc.), artist-curated stations -- a Zappa-themed, hour-long show is in the works, as well as one from the Doors' John Densmore -- and more.

"The important thing is that it's real people programming the stations, and they're going to drive people to the stores," said Keeney, who founded DASH as an alternative to algorithm-driven internet radio like Pandora; it will also have a physical studio on North 7th Street and Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg, just a few blocks from Rough Trade NYC.

Record Store Day 2015 has already started announcing some of its special releases, and these blizzard grocery store lines got nothin' on the people that are going to be waiting for that 5 Seconds of Summer 12" picture disc...