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The L: What have been some of the biggest challenges so far?
MB: I think now the biggest challenge is, without blowing a bunch of money on PR, how do we get the word out? I think what we're getting comfortable with is "let's make some money to pay the bills by doing a live show series once a month, put all of our collective might into the promotion, and then hopefully make enough to cover the costs of the station." Then I'm ok with it just taking its time to get out there. I feel like the foundation is there, and we just need someone to notice. It takes time.
The L: There seems to be a focus on Brooklyn bands. Is that an intentional thing or is that something that just comes through because of where you are?
MB: It's definitely part of the mission. I mean, we don't want to be exclusively that, but we do over-rotate towards that. One of the big ways we find music to put into our library, which is playing about 50 percent of the time, is though looking at concert calendars and our friends who blog and looking at who they're into. It's through our own network that we find things, and, you know, the best music coming out right now is from around here.
The L: Given that this is the "Best of Brooklyn" issue, what's your favorite venue in the city?
MB: Well, you know, we should all shed a tear for the Market Hotel. We did get to broadcast a show there, that was pretty cool—Teengirl Fantasy, Beach Fossils, Neon Indian and Blissed Out. I think the Rock Yard space is my new favorite venue. It's pretty awesome.
The L: In a year from now, where would you like Newtown Radio to be? What would be your ideal situation?
MB: Well, I would like for us to have 10 to 100 times more listeners per day. I'd like to have money coming in to cover a majority, if not all, the costs from the show series. I'd like to continue getting more bands on the air to help expose to the world. And I'd like to have a blog that's functioning. We're about to re-launch our blog, actually. Right now, it's an embarrassment to the blogging community, but we have an awesome, new, completely different format.
The L: Are there any stations, in New York or elsewhere, that you really admire?
MB: WFMU. The obvious ones. You know, they're great at what they do. I want to be different from them in that we'll always have a portion of the day just playing our library so that you know you can tune in and odds are good that it's going to be this format of music, and if it's not, then it's going to be one of a number of shows that hopefully you like, whereas if it's 100 percent eclectic mishmash, you don't know if you're going to tune into the folk show, or a talk show, or the banjo show. We definitely have our share of "eclectica," but it hangs together by our library.
The L: What songs do you have playing in heavy rotation?
MB: Well, I'm actually going to update it today, but right now we've got a Future Islands song, the Drums' Electric Tickle Machine and a song by Woven Bones.
The L: Have you run into any legal issues, as far as all the copyright stuff goes?
MB: We pay Live365 to host the stream—that little player in the corner of our website. We pay them, and they pay licensing fees to all the ASCAPs, BMIs, etc., so it's actually legit. It's legit! (leans into recorder) That was pretty important to us.