DJ Mark Daley’s Irish lilt comes in after a song, introducing the rambunctious Joanna Virello, the “Queen of the Ne’er-Do-Wells” and host of Zero24-7’s Obsessive Connections, a mix of assorted chatter on pop arcana. Virello plays a new song by Looper, a side project of Stuart David, bassist of Belle and Sebastian. She segues into audio clips from Michael Caine’s 1971 film Get Carter and proceeds to rhapsodize about Dirk Bogarde, who went to that big screen test in the sky May 9. She’s particularly fond of the homoerotic appeal of Bogarde’s tight leather pants in the 1961 film The Singer Not the Song and the British actor’s description of Hollywood as “a car accident.” There is, as the show’s title suggests, a connection among the threeat least, a connection between Bogarde and Looper and one between Bogarde and Caine, but maybe not between Caine and Looperbut Virello won’t disclose it until the end of the show. Her conversation with Daley veers further into her pop-culture universe and continues uninterrupted by commercials.
Welcome to Internet radio, a toddler of a medium, yet one that is already making decent waves locally. Obsessive Connections appears as a feature on Daley’s show, Yes Indie, which the DJ describes as “independent music and guests from all over the world,” every Monday through Friday from noon to 2 p.m. on Zero24-7, D.C.’s own Web radio station.
Daley, a weekend voice on alternative-rock station WHFS, is the prime mover behind Zero24-7. It all started when his weekday employer, Zero Population Growth (ZPG), sought radio spots in the Seattle market and found that they would require too much cash. Someone suggested that the organization start its own radio station. After some lunchroom idea-batting, ZPG turned to Daleya former radio programmer for the BBC in Northern Ireland and Londonto look into Internet radio. The station went on the air in late February and has built an audience of 60,000, according to Broadcast.com, the site that streams Zero to listeners around the world.
Zero24-7, which Daley describes as “a child evolving into something more substantive,” is designed for a global audienceone that consists mainly of “radio refugees” who have given up on commercial radio or prefer to listen to underground and indie music, which is unlikely to make it into tight commercial formats. Imagine Zero’s mantra, “Zero commercials, zero playlist” announced in a booming, all-powerful voice next to the slogans of the megawatts. “This station is not about making money,” Daley says. “It’s about bringing progressive music and progressive issues together.” For now, ZPG has underwritten the show for one year, he says, and, “if we get good numbers, it will be around another year.” John Dugan
Log on to Zero24-7 at www.Zero24-7.org.