Radio clowns

By CHRIS FARAONE  |  May 12, 2011

"We're all very pro-legalization, so everything we do around weed is pretty natural for us," says Loftus. "The original idea behind the station was to bring local music in, and obviously the local music scene is very tied in to the local marijuana-reform movement. . . . I'm glad that we have live radio as a forum where people can discuss these issues and provide some feedback and give their opinion — whether it goes along with ours or not."

At 4:20, Dex gives the keynote address, reminding everyone to burn as much as possible, but to never hold more than one ounce, since that's illegal. He then weaves his way through the crowd, discussing the joys and politics of pot with friends and listeners. Other hosts, like Niki Smokes from UNregular's Friday-morning wake and bake, join the fun, taking pride in what one jolly stoner describes as "the greatest hash mob of all time."

"Marijuana is the common thread among us," says Dex, exhaling billows toward the tape recorder. "The people who are fighting for the end of weed prohibition now are the same people who fight for gay rights and civil rights. There are a lot of us, and now we're all together."

VOX POPULI

On a typical weekday afternoon at UNregular, Lax and Loftus are cranking at the screen-printing machine, which they're using to ink 100 T-shirts for the local online paraphernalia depot Boston Vapes. Goodenow, wearing his trademark sailor's hat with a "Don't Panic" button, is transitioning the studio from one show to the next, while Crespo is on the phone with a venue where he has four bands booked for tonight.

Despite all the work going on, the guys sporadically break to puff an ornate Pyrex bubbler packed with something that stinks like an exotic grapefruit dipped in maple syrup.

"It's easy for us to get along," says Lax, "and to get everything done that needs to be done. We're all likeminded about how we want our lives to be, and about what's important to us. We put real people, being happy, and not being douchebags above a lot of other stuff. That's not typically what goes on at a radio station."

"Everything we do is in a laid-back way," adds Goodenow. "Whether they're getting T-shirts made, or just coming to do the Boston Local Music Show, we don't treat the bands who walk in here like customers. We appreciate our guests and the time they put into everything — we're not asking them for money to play their shit, and then kicking them out the door as soon as someone comes along with deeper pockets. That doesn't work. I think terrestrial radio has more or less proven that."

Dex agrees. "It's like the movie UHF," he says. "It's fucking wild, and there's a big community response. We can be a voice for anyone and everyone, and for us that's what it's all about."

Follow Chris Faraone on Twitter @fara1.

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