In The KCSBeat, the Santa Barbara Independent‘s column on all things KCSB, Colin Marshall profiles station development coordinator Ted Coe and his program The Freak Power Ticket, which serves listeners their recommended weekly dosage of politics, culture and zombies:
“I kind of see the show as a magazine,” Coe said, describing the program’s core organizational principles. But “magazine” doesn’t capture it; to give me a better idea, he references the 1980s’ and 1990s’ explosion of ‘zines, the handcrafted, Xeroxed, manually distributed publications so beloved of certain stripes of Gen-X rock listeners, cult cinema fans, or general fringe-culture enthusiasts. Despite their makeshift nature, any given ‘zine often managed to deliver more interesting, impassioned material than a dozen of its high-budget counterparts. By the same token, Coe’s project is the creative risk-taking ‘zine to Terry Gross’s glossy, more middle-of-the-road NPR magazine. “I’ve been compared to Fresh Air a few times,” Coe mentioned, “but when they play music, they don’t play the full tracks.”
It is easy to discern a certain generational and subcultural mix in The Freak Power Ticket‘s composition. “The overarching theme — you might just call ‘counterculture,'” Coe explained, though his long list of influences seems at once both varied to near-randomness and selected with the utmost deliberateness. These are some of the figures who, Coe tells me, contribute directly or indirectly to his imagination’s ideal of how radio should be done: Bill Hicks. Thomas Pynchon. Huell Howser. ‘Zine icon and This American Life contributor Dishwasher Pete. John Cusack. Pre-corporate Mad magazine. The Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew. Richard Linklater. Chuck D. And of course, no true fan could miss the reference of the show’s very title.
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