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Radio revolution begins in basin

Megan Michelson
Court Leve / Tribune News ServiceSteve Luna and Jason Yates buddy up for Revolution 33.3, Lake Tahoe's first Internet-based radio station.
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TAHOE CITY – Although they go by the aliases “DJ Stepdaddy” and “The Broke Superhero,” Steve Luna and Jason Yates are trying to encourage others to be true to themselves.

They’ve just launched Lake Tahoe’s first Internet radio station, an underground hip-hop Web site which plays mainly unknown beats.

Through the site, they’re hoping to feature music that is positive and true to life.



“We want to bring up positive groups, ones you can vibe to that aren’t violent,” Yates said.

Unlike most popular rap and hip-hop these days, which Luna and Yates say focuses on crime, sex and money, they want to support music that has more Tahoe-inspired lyrics – Yates raps about eating local deli sandwiches and chilling at the lake.



They call themselves Revolutions Radio 33:3 because turntables spin at 33 and one-third revolutions per minute when playing hip-hop and since both men are 32 – and in their 33rd year in life – they figured that number should be incorporated into their radio station’s name. The revolution part came naturally, they said.

“We think hip-hop can start a revolution,” Luna said.

“More of a mind revolution, not a physical one,” Yates added.

Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night they’ll be adding 20 to 30 new songs to their Web site, http://www.revolutionsradio.com.

Although Yates and Luna will be releasing their second, self-titled album in March, less than 1 percent of the music on the show is their own.

Last Friday night in their rehearsal studio, which doubles as Luna’s bedroom, the duo compiled a list of songs to play on what they called the Friday Party Mix.

Most of the artists fit into the unknown or barely heard of category – Abstract Rude, Buck 65, Sage Francis, Atmosphere and Freestyle Fellowship, to name a few.

“We specialize in playing underground music, dirty garage-type style,” Yates said.

Sitting on his bed in a T-shirt that said Burn Tahoe Burn, which he screenprinted himself, Luna is tall and thin with his hair shortly shaved. By day, he works for a West Shore security company, by night, he’s the resident DJ at the Tahoe Biltmore. Yates makes what he admits is a meager income painting houses.

“They call me The Broke Superhero,” he said. “At least one part of that name is true.”

The Web site has only been up and operating for one week, and Luna said it’s still a work in progress.

Eventually, visitors to the Web site will be able to access an archive of recorded shows and buy albums, songs and T-shirts made by the site creators.

Although the site’s not yet making any money, the two hope that through T-shirt and song sales and advertising the site will eventually pay for itself.

“We haven’t seen a dime yet, but we’re hoping to,” Luna said.

The Web site received about 100 hits during its first week from as far away as London and even Iraq, where a friend of Luna’s is serving in the U.S. military.

And it’s only going to grow, Luna said. They want to incorporate jazz, reggae, an alien conspiracy talk show and other types of music that don’t make the typical Top 40.

Internet-based radio stations are becoming more popular around the world, Luna said, particularly because they don’t have to adhere to the same regulations as AM and FM stations.

“We can talk about whatever we want,” he said. “The content is unlimited. There are no rating restrictions.”

That freedom of expression, along with primarily unknown music and a taste for honest lyrics and soul-thumping beats, is what makes Revolutions Radio 33:3 unlike all the rest.

“If you want to hear something different,” Luna said. “Listen to our station.”


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