This one hurts.
Where to begin. The humanity? The musicians. The architecture. The culture that's lost. The hell it has become.
There's always been a connection to New Orleans on WFMU, as there would have to be for any station that takes music seriously. As I tap, Monica's doing a great show dedicated to the victims of Katrina. Doug and Spazz both did incredible New Orleans / Louisiana shows this morning and last night. (Doug's archives are here: MP3 | Realaudio and Dave the Spazz's archives are here: MP3 | Realaudio.) Doug aired that incredible interview with New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin, which you can download here: MP3.
Nagin was interviewed on WWL 870 AM last night. WWL's coverage of this disaster has reportedly been incredible.
UPDATE: WWL now was an online stream, as part of a radio consortium called United Radio For New Orleans. Go here and click on "listen live" for a windows media player feed. Thanks Chris T!
As for WWOZ, the great community radio station in new Orleans, I've been in touch with David Freedman, their General Manager. WWOZ's been destroyed - transmitter and production studio under water, no word yet on their main studios, but it seems unlikely to me that they are still in useable shape even if they were above the water. David is holed up in a motel in Arkansas, the closest room he could find when he evacuated. Needless to say, WWOZ is off the air completely, not even their stream is up. The staff is scattered all over the south, some even in the hellhole at the Superdome. They're searching for family members and each other.
And even if WWOZ were to rebuild their transmitter in a year (which is highly unlikely) how much of their audience would still be there listening to their FM signal? The hurricane has destroyed their over the air audience, but it doesn't have to also mean an end to their significant online audience. I'm working with David to help get some kind of temporary WWOZ stream back up as soon as possible, maybe even tomorrow, and then as the WWOZ staff find one another, the station will get back up with a temporary studio. WWOZ's website is till up here and when the temporary stream goes up, there will be links to it there. General relief agencies are listed here. I'll keep you posted about the OZ stream here as well, and if I get a minute I'll put up a batch of MP3s.
UPDATE: The WWOZ In Exile stream is up via the WWOZ Home Page. Thanks to all the FMU staffers who've offered help, and especially to The Professor and Bill Zurat for getting a WWOZ stream back online. In the coming weeks, this stream will be replaced by WWOZ proper, and the folks at WWOZ are already laying out plans for putting up a new temporary transmitter.