Flashback Friday: Just Push Play

jpp_bannerOut of my love and enjoyment of shoutcasting (see last week’s Flashback Friday) I had the opportunity to develop my own online radio show that was not centered around online computer gaming. In 2005, after making the switch from TsN, the Team Sportcast Network to Radio iTG (Inside the Game), management decided to add alternative online program to our gaming schedule. At this time, coverage consisted of Counter Strike, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Call of Duty, Quake III Arena, Urban Terror and Starcraft, just to name a few. The online personalities each came up with their own, unique program. My show was called Just Push Play (JPP), as I flashed back to the 1980’s!

Originally my show debuted a few years earlier preceding Blankz and his late night antics on Anything Goes. A deal was struck with Blankz and Radio Oz was introduced, a 2-hour all request 80’s radio show. Unlike JPP, there was very little on air conversation, as I let the music do the talking. Using IRC, I would take requests and do my communicating in the IRC channel. This worked well, as I was able to get some experience with a live listening audience, but I wanted something more.

When the opportunity came around, I did not hesitate. With endless ideas and a large collection of 80’s MP3s, Just Push Play took to the air on January 26, 2005. Episode 001 was challenging, wanting to come off as a professional production and not sound like a tool. Listening now to the first episode is hard but it was a learning experience and the second episode on February 02 was a hit (download and listen).

The two hour show featured lots of 80’s music, as well as segments that included; Pop Culture, Boob Tube, Flick Pick and Album Rewind. I had also planned a Button Bashers segment. Pop Culture took look at toys, video games, nostalgia, fads and fashion. This was sort of a catch all segment. Boob Tube talked about some of the classic, action television shows we remembered. Flick Pick dealt with movies that were playing on the big screen during the 1980s. The most iconic segment, Album Rewind took a closer look at classic albums of the 80s. when vinyl still existed. The Button Bashers segment never materialized, which was to feature the best local arcades had to offer in video games. Unfortunately, the station ran into hard times and I was never able to get this segment introduced before the station had their plug pulled.

aliens_posterEpisode 002 was one of my favorite episodes, not that is the best produced show, but the content made this a favorite out of all the episodes I recorded. The music was all one-hit wonders including Tommy Tutone, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Rockwell and Taco. Pop culture featured a few toys from my childhood, the Milton Bradley Big Trax, something I never did own as well as the Choose Your Own Adventure Books published by Bantam Books. Surprisingly enough, I just picked up a few of these books for my son and they are still a great read, just when I flipping pages back in the early 80s.

It could be said that many of those tuned into Just Push Play had no idea what I was talking about. Thankfully our listeners were quite diverse and many knew the music and movies, but the pop culture and TV shows seemed to fall by the wayside, unless you happened to be turned in to your weekly favorites. DVRs did not exist and VCRs were not affordable.

The Boob Tube segment featured one of my favorite shows a-teamas a youth, The A-Team. “If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team.” An American action-adventure television series that ran on NBC from 1983 to 1987 about members of a fictitious former United States Army Special Forces unit. The members, after being court-martialed “for a crime they didn’t commit”, escaped from military prison and, while still on the run, worked as soldiers of fortune (wiki).

On the big screen it was the 1986 sci-fi thriller, Aliens. James Cameron’s sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1979 sci-fi horror film, Alien. The film followed Sigourney Weaver’s character, Ellen Ripley, who was found floating in space, as she returns to the planet where her crew first encountered the alien. The film grossed $180 million worldwide and was nominated for seven Academy Awards. Still one of the top 10 science fiction movies of the 80s and based on Rotten Tomatoes, ranked 31 in their Top 100 Science Fiction & Fantasy.

moving_picturesThe final segment, Album Rewind featured Rush and their undisputed best, all-time album, the 1981 classic, Moving Pictures. The album became the band’s highest selling  album in the United States, peaking at #3 on the Billboard 200, was also the first to be certified multi-platinum by the RIAA. Moving Pictures includes some of the most influential rock written by the group including Tom Sawyer, Red Barchetta, YYZ and Limelight. All timeless classics that still rock your ass 35 years later.

Through out the show, during my breaks I would play music associated with the theme of the show. Episode 002 was ‘one hit wonders’ and included Dexy’s Midnight Runners with Come on Eileen, Taco, Puttin’ on the Ritz, Michael Damian with Rock On, Falco sand Der Kommissar, Eddie Grant took a walk down Electric Avenue while Wall of Voodoo went south of the border with Mexican Radio, Red Ryder sang about the Lunatic Fringe and Tommy Tutone with 837-6309/Jenny. These songs and more rounded out the shows for the week.

All in all Just Push Play was a great way to flash back to the 1980s and remember how good we had it. It was a passion providing my listening audience the things that made the 80s great and memorable in my mind. Over the run on-air I received many accolades and requests from listeners who heard the show live, as well as those who downloaded the MP3 after the fact. While the show will never return and I won’t grace the microphone, I can still flask back with Just Push Play.

Her Name is Rio

Yes, the 1980s were a great decade. I know the same thing can be said of any previous decade, the 60s and 70s. The 90s…bah. Spellbinder always brings be back to my youth and the  radio show I used to run on the Internet called Just Push Play. It was  everything to do with the 1980s from music and movies to toys and events  from the decade of decadence. While I never did video on JPP, the 80s also introduced us to music videos on MTV. Of course that was WHEN they played videos, and not that shit they have on there now. So in honor of Spellbinder and all those supports of JPP or anyone who still lives in  the 80s I present Duran Duran and RIO.

While I doubt I will ever have time to produce another Just Push Play show, many sites still have some of those classic 1980s music videos. Thanks Spell for bringing this music video to us. Who knows what will happen in the future, but JPP was great fun!

Video Killed the Radio Star?

I guess I could file this news under gaming, Urban Terror or Just Push Play. As many who have followed The 6th Floor know I currently host Urban Radio and in the past I developed an all 80s show called Just Push Play.

Urban Radio actually debuted on Radio iTG before casters from TsN broke off to form a new station, Inside The Game. For years I hosted Urban Radio from TsN and then iTG. In 2005 I had the opportunity to create new content, non-gaming related, thus Just Push Play was born.

Now on the third anniversary of Just Push Play’s second show, broadcast on February 02, 2005 I am looking for a new challenge to expand the horizons I created with both Urban Radio and Just Push Play.

The newest content to the weekly radio show was the addition of live video providing listeners the opportunity to watch Urban Radio. While I admit, it is rather boring to watch me do the show, change is coming (hopefully).

I am currently working on creating 24/7 for Urban Radio that will streamed, both live and recorded on a daily basis. Urban Radio would be live during the week, as it is now. The show would also be rebroadcast on a daily basis. Other content would include video clips of previous interviews and television appearances, as well as demos and videos from around the Urban Terror Community.

I think this is definitely a niche to explore. I will start with Urban Radio and if it ends up being as successful as I envision, then there would be a great chance that Just Push Play would be cast live on video as well, substituting music videos for the 80’s music I played and adding 80’s commercials to the mix.

Again, both of these ideas as still a few months off as I am working on the production of both. Hell, ideally I would love to give up the audio stream and go solely video, but I feel the demand for audio is still there and dropping it would not be advisable.

So, I will continue working on my plans for the 24.7 UrTV and keep the gamers in the community updated as to the progress. If you have ideas or suggestions, by all means feel free to email oswald [at] the6thfloor [dot] com.

Shoutcast Comeback?

I know some have caught bits and pieces of what I do…well, what I did during my free time in the gaming community. I am a member of Inside the Game, an online, gaming related radio station. Of course there are times we stray from the standard format for something a bit different. For me, it was an all 80’s show called Just Push Play. But that show has not aired for some time due to a lack of time. The same can be said for my online gaming coverage live from Clanbase, the BEST league in the world. While there I covered Medal of Honor and Urban Terror.

With some free time today, I was able to get the shoutcast setup nearly online. I was able to move around a few monitors (whoever thought you would see the day you use 4 monitors?) and make some room and get my compressor, mixer and microphone set up. This is a good thing. I was also able to test the gaming sounds, microphone and music from my server. So far all is moving along at a great pace, but as Monday rolls around, I am sure I won’t be spending all day in front of this keyboard until Friday, at the earliest.

I am not even sure I will have time to cast, even on the weekends, but at least I will be set up if the chance rises. I still maintain an open communication with Lagus over at MOHAA for Clanbase. Not sure how their leagues are going this season, since I have not cast for some months. The next piece on the agenda is to get the audio/video server, aka the “media box” online. It will do nothing but process the audio from the mp3s and the video component in order to do some live videocasting!

Exciting time, not sure when or if it will all work out, but thought I would keep you up to date. Who knows maybe JPP will return before the end of the year, even if it is just a bullshit fest on a Friday night with requests.

Turn Up the Radio!

For those who have followed me from Urban Terror and Inside The Game you might recall I hosted two radio shows called Urban Radio and Just Push Play [which I feature on the site]. Both shows have been somewhat non-existent this year due to the fact that I have very little free time. Unlike years past, that free time was spent in front of my computers. But a wife, a house and a son are just a few of the reasons I have not been able to follow through and continue those two shows on a regular basis.

Urban Radio will probably be the first to return as the development team [formerly known as Silicon Ice Development], Frozen Sand, LLC gears up for an all new release for Urban Terror. Some call it version 3.8, while others call it version 1.0. Some don’t care what it’s called, as long as it is released. Well, that I can guarantee it, it will be released. But prior to the release we will feature a 2-hour show that will take a look back over the years [coming on 6 years now] at Urban Terror, the team, events we have attended, leagues, the community and history. Not sure Urban Radio will become a regular feature as it once was on iTG or not. I believe a lot of it really depends on what becomes of my potential job opportunity.

I am not sure why, but Just Push Play never seemed to really catch on. Odd too considering the average gamer is in early to mid 30s, which would mean most grew up when I did during the 80s. Even when I began the show a few years back it never really brought in “big numbers” and was mostly done out of my love for all things 80s. I guess in the end that is all that matters, right? I there are many hardcore fans who will listen and others who would tune in if it were on. But I am not sure what direction I am going to take this show, if indeed I keep it. Maybe more music and less talk. We do have some good segments, include the Boob Tube, Flick Pick, Button Bashers, Album Rewind and Finish the Lyrics. So the makings of a good show are there. Maybe you have some thoughts? If you have not tuned in, download a previous show.

I have been thinking how to tie in a show more dedicated to the web site. I figured I could call it the 6th Floor WiRe or The 6th Floor Week in Review. I have seen other web sites I visit do similar things in podcast form, which is what I would tend to lean towards. None of it would be live, it would all be prerecorded and made available via feed once it was uploaded. The show would feature items that have made there way into the web site during the week. Since the site is updated on a regular basis, content is not really a big problem. I would also look to add a few dedicated segments to the web site in the coming weeks in order to support the podcast. Again, lots of this is still in the planning stage and would probably not take place for a month or so.

*Reminder* I still have a major update to do on the web site. So it might be done on Monday or Tuesday, but should return in much better form. Who knows maybe the comments section and RSS feeds will actually work when it gets upgraded. Same goes for the damn gallery plugin I still can’t get working correctly.