What's the Frequency, Arnold?

The national custody battle over radio airwaves rages on as far away as Lutz, Fla., where last November Arthur Kobres was slapped with a 14-count federal injunction preventing him from operating his pirate radio station, and as near as Berkeley, where a final ruling in the court case between the feds and Free Radio Berkeley operator Stephen Dunifer is still pending. Fascinated by pirate radio stations starting up, being shut down or squeezed out by bigger stations with stronger signals, and then reappearing elsewhere on the dial, comic book and multimedia artists the Pander Brothers have created a comic and a CD based on the pirate-radio music scene in their hometown of Portland, Ore. Arnold Pander wrote and illustrated, with brother Jacob's help, the two-part comic Secret Broadcast, a story about three renegade broadcasters that appears in comic series Oni Double Feature. The Secret Broadcast CD, meanwhile, traffics mostly in electronic music, the bulk of the playlist at Portland pirate station Subterradio. Mala Noche author Walt Curtis issues a kind of rallying cry here with "Viva Radio" ("Viva radio, motherfucker," he hollers over the hum of static), while San Francisco's dub-trance guru Mark Pistel, who has engineered efforts by Consolidated and the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, matches beats with Cornershop co-conspirator Allon Beausoleil of Portland and Deee-Lite guest MC Jamal-Ski of Oakland. They and some of their CD-mates play a CD release party for Secret Broadcast Friday, March 13, at 8 p.m. at 111 Minna Gallery, 111 Minna (at Second Street), S.F. Admission is $6; call 974-1719.

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