I try desperately to always blog with a large set of images, but this just came across my desk and I HAD to write something about it. Co-founder and all-around indie rock proponent Josh T. Landow is currently broadcasting his last live show on YRockOnXPN.org. Right now. And then that’s it.
Josh T. Landow is responsible for programming some of the most amazing independent radio I’ve heard in a very long time. Always playing new music (including LOTS of local music!!!) and promoting so many amazing shows around the Philadelphia area, for the past 4 years he’s brought recognition and credibility back to the actual radio airwaves, which I’d pretty much given up on. He was the face and voice of the station. I constantly heard him on the station and often wondered if he ever went home. Though I only met him a handful of times, he was always friendly and gracious. No pretention, just a well-rounded, nice guy.
Where can we find another station like Yrock or guy like Landow? Nowhere. That’s why this announcement has moved me to write this posting. It’s positively disgusting and disheartening. In an age where budgets are tighter than leather pants on rockstars, we should not be canning the very people who’ve found a way around adversity to build something of substance from absolutely nothing. In times like these, people like Josh who are resourceful and MOTIVATED should be the ones we hold onto the tightest.
The renegade internet radio station he started after the untimely demise of y100 almost five years ago filled the void for me on so many nights of late-night photo editing. After working through the many financial and technical issues (getting a radio station working on the internet is no small task), XPN took notice of Yrock’s loyal following and put them back on the radio as part of the XPN family a few nights a week.
Because of the current state of finances, XPN has decided to let Josh go, and from what I’m hearing, a large number of staff and volunteers are leaving as well, in solidarity with Josh. Here is his heartfelt goodbye letter. I get so sad reading this.
July 08, 2010
Dear listeners and friends,
It is with a very sad heart that I write this letter to you. After 4 years running Y-Rock at WXPN, my time at the station is coming to an end. This is not a decision that I have made, but rather one that WXPN management felt necessary due to the current state of the economy and station finances. Were it up to me, I would have liked for our partnership to continue for many years to come. As most of you know, I was in a similar situation back in February 2005 when a corporate decision closed down a great Philadelphia radio institution, Y100. Our fearless leader Jim McGuinn refused to let that radio station, which meant so much to so many people, die simply because a bunch of suits thought that they could make more money with a hip hop station. For us it was never about the money. I stood by Jim’s side as we rose up from the ashes with our DIY internet station Y100Rocks. For a year and half, with the help of a handful of former staff members and dedicated listeners who became volunteers, we built up a really cool source for discovering new alternative and indie rock. Then we were presented with a great opportunity – to go back on the radio at WXPN.
This station was my baby, something that I created out of love for music and radio. While it is very upsetting to be leaving it behind, I’d like to focus on the good times – the last 5 ½ years, which have been the most rewarding of my life. Starting with your outpouring of support when Y100 went off the air to building a new station and business from scratch. I’ve had the opportunity to meet and interview countless bands – some old favorites, some new favorites, and let’s face it, some that were a little less memorable too. Most importantly, I have had the opportunity to introduce people to so much more great new music than probably any radio host in the country. Whenever someone tells me that they discovered a new band on Y-Rock, I am filled with such a sense of pride that what I’m doing really matters to people. That’s a feeling that no one can ever take away from me.
I would be remiss if I didn’t go without thanking some people. First all of the Y100Rocks/Y-Rock volunteers. There are simply too many to name, but I will list some who have been with me since day 1 or close to it: Adam B, Andre, Cat, Heather, Jake, Jeff, John V, Liz, Matt Mc, Matt S, Ramon, Rob H. Also some key people who joined up during our tenure at XPN: Adrienne, Amy G, Amy M, Billy, Brendan, Casey, Melanie, JP, Kelly, Rafe, Reid, Rob W, Zeke, and of course my longstanding intern Eric. I’d like to thank the staff of WXPN who took us in and made us feel like part of the family. I must thank Jim McGuinn, now off in the land of Minnesota, for making it all possible by setting up a rogue domain name before we all got fired from Y100, and for leading us into the great unknown that we faced. Over the years he taught me so much about not only radio and music, but about how to be a leader who inspires those around him. Of my cohorts though, my biggest thanks goes to the guy who has truly been my right hand through all of this, someone who I truly could not have run Y-Rock without, the greatest encyclopedia of music and pop culture knowledge I have ever met, the Oracle to my Batman, and one of my best friends in the world – Joey O. Thank you sir.
And finally I owe my greatest thanks to you – my listeners who have become a community over the years. A community that reaches across cities, states, and in some cases even countries. You showed up on a freezing cold day in February 2005 to the stairs of the Philadelphia Art Museum. You turned off your radios and turned on your computers to listen to us even through all of the initial hiccups. You turned your radios back on to hear us Wed-Fri nights on XPN. Many of you even opened your wallets to public radio for the first time to show your support for the station that opened its doors to the music you love. No matter what anyone might say about audience or ratings, I know that you were there. It has been my absolute pleasure to share in the joy of music with you all for as long as I have. Please join me one last time here at Y-Rock On XPN – all day today from 9am-5pm. I have some great guests lined up who have been some of my favorites from over the years. After this, I may not have the same resources at my disposable, but I hope to find ways to continue to share music with you. For now it seems that the best way to do that is over at www.facebook.com/joshtlandow. Please find me there and stay in touch. It’s too hard to say goodbye, so I won’t. I’ll just say that I’ll talk to you soon…
Josh T. Landow
Y-Rock Co-Founder/Operations Director/Host
If you’re out there and reading this, Josh, thanks for all the great music. I’ve added you to my FB roster and hope to see great new things from you in the future. But for now, my ears will certainly miss you and all the excellent programming you’ve brought me for the past four wonderful years. Thanks for everything.