A San Diego radio station that has been championshipping the genre of dementia is signing off next month.
Due to declining listenership, DFSX Radio will be signing off as a comedy music station after July 11, 2007.
With rising CRB rates driving our streaming provider live365 dot com to go either out of business on July 15th or raising the cost of our streaming package to unaffordable levels, as well as declining hours spent by listeners, the programming of dfsxradio.com will cease to have a streamer after the final edition of the "Kahnman's Comedy Corner" airs on July 11th.
After peaking with over 5,000 hours of listeners a month in December of 2006, DFSX was well on its way to having 50,000 hours a month by June of 2007. The hourly count stands at a paltry 1,900 hours for June alone.
With a lack of a needed level of VIP listeners (300 needed to break-even, current total is only 15), the programmer and bankroller of dfsx felt it was time to sign off as a comedy music station.
After seven years, DFSX should have grown into a top 100 live365 broadcaster. Instead, it's stalled outside the top 1000.
After July 11th, DFSX will switch to an unknown format until the stream is gone either July 15th when Live365 shuts down, or continue until mid-October when the P1000 package expires.
"It's time for me to sail off into the sunset like Gene Autry did in 1996," says David Tanny, who launched DFSX in February of 2000. "DFSX has opened up the genre of dementia to all kinds of interesting subjects that have gone ignored and unnoticed, even playing novelty songs that never got any airplay on the terrestrial airwaves."
Says Tanny on signing off, "With my streaming expenses currently losing over $35 a month, and the fact that there isn't enough people spreading the word about DFSX, and not enough VIP listenership, which helps pay for the streaming expenses incurred (only $3 in June), I took a long hard look at the future and felt it was time to go in another direction in my life."
Reasons Tanny, "The few that were spreading the word about dfsxradio helped prolong its life, but it's apparent that not enough of the fans were telling their workmates and friends to listen, the DFSXradio merchandise on Cafepress (now shut down) featuring bumper stickers and buttons have only $10 in sales in the past two years it's been in existance, not enough artists are telling their fans to listen to the station and vote for their songs that are on the DT20 ballot, and in short, it's just plain too much work for too little reward in numbers, hence, it's time for me to free up some of my time for other things in my life."
"Also contributing to the ebbing of listners are competeting websites like myspace, itunes, download sites, wi-fi, broadband, other streaming internet stations, HD radio, and satellite radio, stuff that didn't exist in 2000 when DFSX began," continues Tanny. "By comparison, there was once a lot less competetion when Buffy the Vampire Slayer wasn't yet in reruns!"
DFSX has broken many artists through the ramdonized playlists as well as the specialty shows. One notable artist that got its debut on DFSX was Lemon Demon, played in a 1994 episode of "The Kahnman's Comedy Corner," which will continue on as a podcast run independently, as well as "Dave's Gone By", which will have its final airing as a triple-header on July 7th.
Other shows such as the "DT20 Zone" will be revamped as a plain "DT20 Countdown" podcast, while the features "New Strokes" and "Demented Resurrection Zone" will either be incorporated into the podcast or cancelled. This is provided if a new home can be found since Tanny can't afford the copyright fees to ASCAP reportedly in the hundreds of dollars.
Cancelled shows include "The Humpday Special", "DFSX Time Machine," "Best of the Mad Music Show", whose original podcasts were derived from can be downloaded at http://www.themadmusicarchive.com/, as well as "The Best of Manic Mondays".
Also cancelled is "The Steve Jarrot Show," which will continue to be carried on other affilliates. DFSX will link to the website http://www.stevejarrott.com for the listener's convienience.
The long-running "I Still Get Demented" radio show will have its final airing on DFSX July 9th, which will be the 30th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley.
After that date, "ISGD" will be open for syndication possibilities on other streamcasters as well as podcasters.
"ISGD has been our flagship radio show since January of 2003", says Tanny. "I'd like to see that continue on other comedy music radio stations and podcasts at least in rerun form."
"The numbers for the specialty shows except for the DT20 zone were averaging around the 5-9 listener mark, which is too low to sustain a streamcast and my energy involved in creating them," says Tanny. "The lone exceptions were the Kahnman and DT20 Zone shows in the 15-25 range."
DFSX signed on in February 2000 when it was just a randomized playlist full of songs and no specialty shows. Specialty shows began in December of 2002 when a pilot called "The DFSX Fun Show" aired as a one-time shot, which evolved into the "ISGD" show the following January.
During the time since December 2002, DFSX ran marathons of Halloween music, Christmas and Hanukkah novelties, and counted down the top songs of the past year around New Year's Day.
In its early days in 2001, DFSX was once a duo-cast, running two channels. One devoted to the current novelty hits, and one for the nostaliga hits of dementia. One year, the second channel switched to all demented holiday music, then was off the air a few months later. DFSX ran a solo cast since then.
Powered by live365 dot com back in 2000, DFSX had visions of creating more specialty channels devoted to holiday music, reruns of ISGD, and comedy talk sketches and stand-up, but due to the cost of the packages offererd by Live365 that began in mid-2001, those plans were put on hold until the target VIP count of 600 listeners would be reached. The highest it got was 20.
When the Copyright Royalty Board set the high rate of streaming copyrighted music retroactive to the beginning of 2001 in mid-2002, Live365 began charging for streaming their services to pay the costs of royalties due to SoundExchange. With the new rising rates retroactive to January 2006 due on July 15th, Live365's bill for paying SoundExchange is a prohibitively high $7 million fee, which is so high that the company will have to shut down and declare bankruptcy, or continue on but charging the streamers higher costs per package to cover the copyright fees.
With the rising costs of streaming not keeping in line with the number of VIP listeners, many thousands out of over 10,000 radio stations using Live365's services are estimated to either go independent, shut down their stream, go underground using a streaming service that goes under the radar of SoundExchange, or exist as a podcast.
DFSX has exposed many dementia and non-dementia artists including the aforementioned Lemon Demon, plus Drunk and Disorderly, Hyde Tanner, Deirdre Flint, The Melonheads, Organ Failure, Frozen Inertia, Switchblade Kittens, Ken Turetzky, Richard Cheese, Whitie McWhiteivich, The Weasels, Alex Whitmore, Brett Eidman, The Morells, Automatic Pilot, Wendell Ferguson, Mr. Plow, Big & Rich, Swinging Erudites, Ruby Tunes, Throwing Toasters, The Dude From Mars, Marc Gunn, No Holds Barred Radio, Chaston and Groditski, Bright N Perri, Hypnotic Clambake, Steve Goodie, Avenue Q, The Blow Kings, Screech and Bif, The Consortium of Genius, Jeff Daniels, Nick Noxious, William Shatner, The Frantics, The Vestibules, The Arrogant Worms, The Worm Quartet, Tony Goldmark, Carla Ulbrich, The Four Postmen, Bob Pyle, Art Paul Schlosser, Ian Butler, Cab City Combo, S'Aint Willy, Russ Buchanan, Fast & Dirty, Mister Joe, Kacey Jones, Man Bites God, Ostrich-Back Riders Hayseed Dixie, Whimsical Will, Raymond and Scum, Sean Morey, the late Logan Whitehurst, The Mod-est Lads, Jim's Big Ego, Jane Hathaway, Dave Blackledge, Glenn Erath, The Kwiffs, KJV Presents, Jimmy Fallon, Dan Orr Project, Donna Kay Honey, Brobdingnagian Bards, Warp 11, Sudden Death, Bob Ricci, Slant 6 and the Jumpstarts, Bret Walton, Phil Van Tee, Dan Hart, George Lopez, David M. Kilgore, Tom Tuerff, Jim Caruso, Larry Weaver, Atomic Jefferson, and many thousands more including, David Tanny, and Weird Al Yankovic.
DFSX also broke from its dementia genre format to prove that the format is more than a cookie-cutter genre by playing a few mainstream artists, subjects that wasn't known to fit the dementia genre, nostalgia novelty and old time rock and roll music, even disco.
DFSX will continue on as a podcast, but it's likely that it will be a sixty-minute weekly or monthly show depending on interest and subject. The DT20 Show as it is now may continue as a podcast with the lower ten songs played in excerpt mode to save time.
More details to follow soon on the dfsx website http://www.dfsxradio.com/
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Enter DFSX. In short, this is a sample of the type of music that you will hear on DFSX. For the most part nearly all terrestrial radio stations have given up playing syndicated funny music radio shows featuring any of the above mentioned bands, and some comedy stations on satellite and the Internet play very few dementia music if any, mostly from the last ten years or don't play any dementia older than five years old. DFSX delves deeper. We play dementia from the Spike Jones era all the way through to the Lemon Demon era. We also play stand-up comedy that is mostly rated PG-13 as well as comedy sketches from acts like Monty Python and The Frantics.
And unlike that other website, we stream for free in full 56kbps speed with 22kHz stereo quality. That other website makes you pay for a lousy mono low-fi feed that's no better than that from satellite radio's compressed mono comedy channels.
We respect the music, meaning, we don't talk into and out of the songs like some deejays like to do.
On today's broadcast radio stations such as KISS and anything Clear Channel programs, what you hear nowadays are a mix that is solely aimed at the young women with a narrow mix of love songs in the genres of soft R&B and country-crossover pop. Today's Top 40 radio is a lame mix of neo-teen pop, slow ballads, pop punk, and monotonous hip hop that has no sense of humor. Today's country stations are closer to adult contemporary than real country. Soft music often ignores anything outside of the familiar pop genre.
On many comedy radio shows and stations, you will hear a wide variety of genres in songs dealing with more than just songs about love (there are songs about love in the novelty genre, but they're more interesting in the novelty genre than anywhere else). There are nonsense songs, songs about cars, rock and roll, computers, Star Trek, alcohol, men, women, TV, movies, pop culture, and many other topics that are too numerous to mention.
But some comedy channels outside of Dr. Demento, the inspiration of all these comedy and novelty radio shows and stations that are on live365 dot com and elsewhere, and morning show hosts think that comedy should be restricted to boys 12-14 humor such as jokes about bodily functions, sex, and anything that uses four-letter words. Some comedy and novelty shows and stations think in a cookie cutter format themselves, restricting the range of their subjects and styles.
This is where DFSX Comedy and Alternative (and Novelty) Radio come in. We play what the other pop stations and comedy stations won't play, as well as the popular stuff heard on most of the comedy stations and shows if we can get the music (via P.O. Box or CD). Many pop stations don't play the fun music anymore. We do. Many pop stations play the sad or boring songs. We don't. Many comedy stations play stuff with four-letter words intact. We put in the bleeps so that your mind is forced to come up with a substitution for the bleep that we inserted in the lyrics so that it makes more sense.
Many of the novelty and comedy acts are not played on mainstream broadcast radio. When was the last time you heard these outside of the Dr. Demento Show: "Weird Al" Yankovic, Henry Phillips, Cali Rose, Tony Goldmark, Four Postmen, Dan Hart, Tom Perri, Ray Stevens, They Might Be Giants, Eric Schwartz, Steve Goodie, Barry and the Bookbinders, Dan Orr, Mike Toomey, Tim Wilson, Cledus T. Judd, Jeff Foxworthy, Deidre Flint, Throwing Toasters, Camille West, The Vestibles, Arrogant Worms.
We're not a cookie-cutter novelty radio station as we said. We also play stuff that's in the alternative and new wave genre such as Ramones, Talking Heads, Devo, Dead Milkmen, and Suicidal Tendancies, as well as stuff from other genres like rap or dance such as D.J. Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Yaz, and maybe some M/A/R/R/S along the way.
We play some pop songs that have been overlooked for some reason as long as there's a novelty angle in there somehow such as TV stars covering the hits.
At DfsX Comedy and Novelty Radio, we're different. We're unique. We're in a class by itself. We don't tell you when to tune us in because our stream is on 24 hours a day. You can listen between "Friends" and "Will and Grace" for 30 minutes, listen during long commercial breaks on Howard Stern heard on another station, listen before or after you hear Dr. Demento's show on the Internet, listen late at night (which is early, midday, or evening in other places on earth), use as background music while you watch the McNeal/Lehrer report on PBS, the times are endless.
As Internet radio is still in its infancy, there are limitations to listening to radio stations on the Internet such as dropouts, network congestion, and disconnects from your ISP. DFSX, the web servers that carry the streams, and other stations for that matter have no control over the reception of the digital stream on your end of the computer, and the only people that is responsible for the minimizing of the interruptions to your listening pleasure are those who are in the Internet business as well as the modem speed you are using (preferrably 56K or better) and the ISP you are connecting to.
The format DFSX is programming is not and cannot be trademarked. Any broadcast radio station can use some of the ideas heard here and incorporate them into their music formats using the songs they can buy online or in a record store. Most of the stuff that gets played online is better than the stuff being programmed on the broadcast radio stations nowadays. So why isn't broadcast radio doing anything about upping the quality of the music they are playing on their stations?
I'm 34 and live in Philly. I remember listening to Doctor D. when I was about 6.(He hasn't been on the air in Philly for about 20 years, but I still get some of his stuff through the net).
I just wanted to drop a line and express my gratitude for what you do. A lot of the new stuff out there is weak, so
I particularly enjoy the classic SNL & Monty Python sketches, along with older melodies (Biddy McGraw, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, the Ballad of Irving, Stinky Breath, etc).
You can download the song by going to http://www.suburbanhomeboy.com/, a website authored by Eric Schwartz, who is not the same Eric Schwartz who sang "Charliesomething", but another one.
DFSXmas, meanwhile, has added the fourth and final big batch of Comedy Christmas songs into the playlist, with many of the older songs added two weeks ago removed. Also added: Comedy Hanukkah songs for our Jewish music fans.
DFSXmas...putting an end to sleepy and boring holiday music.
Also not heard at a Christmas station near you, except DFSX, of course, are songs that turn the classic carols into tributes to sports towns in Denver, Pittsburgh, Green Bay, and Chicago. The Rabid Fans (http://www.rabidfans.com/ have produced four albums turning several Christmas staples into songs such as Dashing Through The Line, Deck The Halls With Championship Banners, Should Super Bowls Be Forgot, Touchdown Time in Denver, Immaculate Reception, Over Three Rivers, The First Superbowl, Come Ye Football Fans, It Came Upon a Football Field, and 38 more.
Album names: Christmas Carols for Chicago Fans, Christmas Carols for Green Bay Fans, Christmas Carols for Pittsburgh Fans, Christmas Carols for Denver Fans.
20 of the tracks are now playing on DFSXmas.
Just try to find a station that's willing to play The Rabid Fans outside of those four cities named above. Anyone for Christmas Carols for San Diego Fans? Any ideas for song titles?
From Felicia Petrone:
I just wanted to tell you that I thoroughly enjoy your radio station on live365 dot com. I've been listening to it for about 4 months every single day at work. I've also tried some of the other comedy stations, but always end up coming back to your station. The songs and comedy are not overly offensive and curse word filled ( no Andrew Dice Clay type stuff) and I am always cracking up out loud making people look at me funny, hehe. ( I LOVE your Carla Ulbrich stuff! "My Name is Carla" is great.)
From Mark Hoemmelmeyer:
Hello, just wanted to say I love your format. Its my only preset. Thanks and keep up the good work.
From Suzanne Amara:
I happened upon your station when doing a search for Weird Al on the Live 365 page, and have been listening to it as much as I can since finding it! It's WONDERFUL! My sister and I spend many hours while growing up in Maine struggling to hear Dr. Demento on a too-far away radio station---of course all the struggle was worth it. I just emailed her about your station and I'm sure she'll be listening soon. You really fill a void---thanks so much!
Suzanne in Boston
PS: loved the duck set and candy set tonight!
I am having such a blast listening to I Still Get Demented. I'm recovering from oral surgery and I'm literally in stitches! In fact the show is so great that I'm bleeding in the mouth from laughing too hard.
Good job Dave!
I just wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed listening to DFSX Halloween Comedy!
I have been listening to it for about 3 days now while and work and it's great to have an interesting alternative to AM/FM broadcasts.
I like a lot of the Old Time Radio comedy and mystery serials too. About the only traditional broadcast I ever turn my radio on for the last year is some of the NPR programing.
I am impressed by the range of material you have been putting on your site. I have a large music collection with a lot of it a bit off beat so I know it is not something that happens overnight. It's rare I find someone who appreciates the gems I have collected. I suspect that may have been true for you somewhat before Live365.
So the main point of this message is to let you know there are people out there (even if relatively far and few between) that really appreciate and understand what you are trying to do.
Great job! Keep it up.
From Kameron J.:
Hey how ya doin tonight?
Well, I just celebrated a birfday (a few days ago) and as a present I got aired again on the Dr. D. show and see that you have uploaded my album....I'm diggin it!!
I'm going through weekly modifications, additions, the works. It heck being the guy doing all the stuff...but heck, somebody has got to do it!!
Love the station!
Greetings David. Just curious if you've heard from anybody regarding sporradic connection to dfsx. For the last week or so the connection only holds for a few minutes or seconds, where as in the past it usually holds for a good long time over an hour even. Not sure if live365 has been having trouble. Of course, remember I'm using the link piped into a dot m3u file as you stated months ago, which has worked beautifully. Oh well. Just figured you should know. Maybe there have been lots of folks tuned in at once and there hasn't been room. Keep up the great fun!! It's great!!