#RFBatHome (Part 14): John Raso of “This Music Hour” broadcasting from Red Hook, Brooklyn
Wow, we can’t believe it’s been over a month since the last #RFBatHome. Without going into gory details, this “Summer of Suck” has been one continual standstill. But it’s a new season, and NYC is oh-so-tentatively tiptoeing its way towards some semblance of normal — though some would say not quickly enough — beloved small businesses, music and performance venues keep closing in numbers too many to bear, and sometimes we wonder what will remain to rise from the ashes of this damned #CoñoCarajo of a virus. But at RFB, the music and talk goes on, whether at our newly reopened studios or continued from home. So, please enjoy this latest (and maybe not last) installment of #RFBatHome. And keep wearing that effing mask, whydoncha!
your friendly redheaded Editorial Director,
Hello, RFB! I’m John Raso, host of “This Music Hour.” Every week for the past five years I’ve filled the hour (well, 59 minutes) with songs that all share a common theme. After over 150 episodes in the can (check the show archive!) I have covered a lot of topics: the devil, groupies, time, cities, planes, the four seasons, secret affairs, fruit, booze, baseball, outer space — and the record business. I’ve worked for record labels all my life (in music publishing the last ten years), and have had a music obsession going back to my first concert at age eight (John Lennon/Stevie Wonder — thanks, Sis!). Having a show gives me yet another reason to keep digging for interesting music.
How did I begin? I saw a story in the Brooklyn Eagle about Tom and Rob starting the station and they were having a kick-off party at a bar not far from where I live. I showed up, talked to Tom — and was on the air just a few weeks later! I have been with RFB for over five years, starting in June 2015 (during RFB’s second month of operation) when we were broadcasting from the basement of a bike shop on DeKalb Avenue in Bushwick. I believe I was the first DJ to do a show regularly as a live remote, first from my Manhattan office, now from my dinner table in Red Hook, Brooklyn. I was fortunate that I was already set up to do remotes before the COVID-19 pandemic shut things down. I use an Audio-Technica AT2020 mic; my board is a Behringer Xenyx Q502USB connected to my MacBook and then just Audio Hijack, with music streamed through DJ2 off my iPhone. This setup is super portal, which has allowed me to broadcast anywhere with an internet connection and a power outlet. (Now five different states and eight different cities.)
I have taken my radio gear all around the U.S., and have done shows from Austin, Nashville, Miami — and even up in the Catskill Mountains. It was cool being one of the few live shows going out over RFB for a period of time. And it’s a powerful — and liberating feeling to be broadcasting around the world knowing everyone (especially in N.Y.C.) was stuck at home. I was particularly proud of my “Revolution & Protest” show on June 1, during the first wave of BLM marches — it was music from the past that helped me put in context the significance of what was happening in the streets of my city and around the country. I still believe that a week without live music is just not a week worth having.
The platform RFB has created for our eclectic community is a real privilege to be a part of. Thanks to all that help support us!
Tune in to “This Music Hour,” Mondays at 5:00 pm.