December 16th, 2013 | by MATTHEW SINGER Music | Posted In: Kickstart My Heart

Kickstart My Heart: XRAY.FM

The little Portland-centric radio station that quite possibly could is almost a reality—it just needs a $40,000 assist.

     
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It seems like Portland has been hearing about XRAY.FM forever. So imagine how Jeff Hylton Simmons feels: He's been working to get the free-form, community-centered radio station off the ground for the last seven years. When I spoke to him back in June, when he and the Cascade Educational Broadcast Service were in the midst of their XRAY Fest fundraiser-cum-awareness builder, the station was scheduled for a September soft launch. That date passed—apparently, the fall government shutdown interrupted the construction of their transmitter—but the finish line Simmons appeared to be approaching months ago is still in sight.

And so, to Kickstarter we go!

You can get the full details of the campaign here, but the aim is to hit at least $40,000, which will get the station on the air. An extra $15,000 will boost XRAY's online bandwidth and allow for improved placement of a second transmitter, as well as the creation of a phone app. 

To help spur donations, XRAY has begun dropping details about programming. The biggest names aren't music-related: KPOJ expats Carl Wolfson and Thom Hartmann will return to the airwaves to cover politics, as will pop-culture podcasters Cort and Fatboy and former mayoral candidate Jefferson Smith, who, as Willamette Week reported in October, has been serving as an advisor to the station. Carla Axtman, Adam Klugman, Kickass Oregon History, FRSH SLCT's Kenny Fresh and Maggie Vail, among others, have also been tapped to host programs.

Watch the fundraising video—which sounds like it's being narrated by Sam Elliott— and resist the Pavlovian urge to buy a case of Coors and donate to help make (finally) this thing a reality.

 
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