UPDATE: Fund Drive Suspended Due to Tea Fire; Film Screening Still On — Tonight!! (Sat., Nov. 15)

The only non-commercial community radio station in Santa Barbara County will hold its annual fund drive November 12th-21st, celebrating KCSB-FM’s unique mix of independent music, news, public affairs, cultural arts, and sports programs while also asking listeners for financial support. KCSB 91.9 FM is known as one of the best college and community “hybrid” stations in the country.

The summer’s Gap Fire emphasized KCSB’s impact in the Tri-Counties. KCSB was an important resource during massive, ongoing blackouts in the region, and for its overtime efforts received praise from listeners and local officials; this also lead to a partnership on an emergency information service with the Santa Barbara Independent. KCSB’s fund drive gives the station an occasion to publicize such accomplishments. Other noteworthy KCSB achievements during the past year: broadcasting Hilary Clinton’s townhall meeting live from UCSB, over 100 UCSB sporting events, and dozens of in-studio performances; presenting an area appearance by independent journalist Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) and 3 public concerts, including a festival at La Casa De La Raza that featured a live broadcast; and sponsorship of numerous events by a host of area promoters, venues, clubs, and organizations. (All programming is simultaneously streamed online.)

The 2008 KCSB Fund Drive will be highlighted by the area theatrical premiere of Christmas on Mars: A Fantastical Film Freakout Featuring The Flaming Lips at 7pm on Saturday, Nov. 15th at the Isla Vista Theater (960 Embarcadero del Norte). This screening is free, all-ages, and open to the public. The surrealist science-fiction feature debut of co-director Wayne Coyne, Christmas on Mars is part of an evening of film, music, and dancing (with a sbdiy-hosted after-party at Pink Mailbox House with Ventura bands Franklin for Short and Landon Sea, sponsored by KCSB). KCSB General Manager Erin Fleming says, “We’re excited about presenting this special event during our drive. Besides our on-air fundraising, we’ll also do a bit of business at the theater, taking donations and orders for our new hoodies and tees. What’s best is we’ll be having fun too in very musical and creative ways — classic KCSB. It should be a happening.”

About Christmas on Mars: Psychedelic rock band The Flaming Lips present a new science-fiction film co-directed by Lips’ singer Wayne Coyne and George Salisbury, an audiovisual technician with strong ties to the band. Seven years in the making, Christmas on Mars features original music by The Flaming Lips and appearances by comedian Fred Armisen and actor Adam Goldberg. Shot in Oklahoma City, the story is set during Christmastime, with colonization of the red planet underway. After an oxygen generator and gravity-control pod malfunction, lead astronaut Major Syrtis (played by Lips’ Steven Drozd) and his team fear the worst. Syrtis also hallucinates the birth of a baby and other strange occurrences. Meanwhile, a compassionate alien super-being (Coyne) arrives, inspiring and helping the isolated colonists. The New York Times says Christmas on Mars is “destined for cult status,” while New York Magazine claims, “It’s basically as weird as you’d hoped.”

KCSB Fund Drive (Nov. 12-21) plus Special Screening of Christmas on Mars
Film Premiere: Saturday, November 15, 2008, 7pm – 9pm
Isla Vista Theater, 960 Embarcadero del Norte (all ages, no admission charge for the movie)
(sbdiy’s After Party with Franklin for Short & Landon Sea: Pink Mailbox House – 6668B Pasado, I.V.)

About KCSB’s Fund Drive (Nov. 12-21): For $25 (students) or $50 (non-students), donors can claim certificates, books, CDs and DVDs, tickets, KCSB garments, and more. Listeners will primarily call KCSB’s fund drive hotline, (805) 893-2424, but can also contribute at and the IV Theater.

About KCSB: KCSB offers a wide range of sounds and perspectives from Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, and gives year-round media training to individuals and groups who would not otherwise have access to radio resources. Both students and non-students learn to work as radio professionals in music, news, sports, arts, and public affairs. The vast majority of its programs are produced locally, but KCSB also runs popular national shows like Democracy Now!, Free Speech Radio News, and Alternative Radio.