The grand dream of public access TV — the one that birthed PhillyCAM, aka Philadelphia Community Access Media, some years ago — was that it would provide community programming that local for-profit stations had no interest in, and that public broadcasting was too institutionalized to keep up with. The irony is, by the time Philly got proper public access TV (thanks in large part to said PhillyCAM’s tireless efforts), the Internet had arguably supplanted it, and today, maybe the real waves are to be made with PhillyCAM’s new radio station, WPPM, 106.5FM.
Take, for instance, WPPM’s new weekly show, Craic Radio, hosted by local Irish expats Sean Timmons and Fergus “Fergie” Carey. Carey, after all, is so well-known in Philly arts circles that he’s a kind of unofficial mayoral figure — the kind of person community access was born to give voice to. Every Thursday at 3PM, Carey and Timmons man the controls for Craic Radio, so named for the Irish slang term (pronounced “crack”) meaning “good fun.”
“It's two Irish guys who love music and live Philadelphia,” says Carey. “It's not an Irish music show. We do play some stuff from Ireland and England. We do a Discovery/Rediscovery section every week where we feature a band that everybody over here knows but maybe they only know one or two songs but overseas they may have had twenty hits in the British Charts. We also interview a musician or a personality in the music business every week and we play what we like.”
And even just a month or so in, it’s easy to see how Craic is very naturally fulfilling WPPM’s mission — more and more local artists are finding their way into the studio with Carey and Timmons, and so are other local hosts, like DJ/musicologist Aaron “The Kosherican” Levinson. It’s almost like all the smartest Philly lifers just got their own college radio station.