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DJ © Pixabay
DJ © Pixabay
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Tune In To BFF.fm, SF’s Favorite Community Radio Station

Picture of Courtney Holcomb
Updated: 1 August 2016
Since the closure of KUSF in 2011, BFF.fm has blossomed to keep community radio alive in San Francisco. This little independent radio station, made up of self-proclaimed ‘music-obsessed radio enthusiasts,’ has been voted SF Weekly’s Best Radio Station not once, not twice, but three times since its inception in 2013. Tune in for a taste of what your community, rather than your computer, has to offer.

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Sign on the studio door © Scott Schiller/Flickr

BFF.fm, or Best Frequencies Forever, was founded in 2013 by Amanda Guest, also known as DJ Cosmic Amanda. The station leans primarily into indie, electronic, and garage-type genres, but it also features a few talk shows. Look out for shows with such intriguing titles as ‘Slightly Sobbing,’ ‘Burrito Justice League,’ ‘Warm Liquid Goo Phase,’ and simply ‘I’m Sorry.’ Browse the full lineup of shows here.

The BFF.fm mixer panel © Scott Schiller/Flickr

The BFF.fm mixer panel © Scott Schiller/Flickr

Guest moved to San Francisco from Massachusetts after spending her college years DJing for her campus radio station, and now has over 20 years of radio experience. BFF.fm is the first station she has had the chance to build from the ground up. ‘When I moved, one of the top concerns I had was that I wanted to stay involved in community radio in some way,’ Guest tells Anthony Presti of SF Station. ‘I thought a bit about starting a station in my apartment, but like most people moving to San Francisco the apartment was smaller than I had anticipated.’

DJ © Pixabay

DJ © Pixabay

Despite the spatial challenges Guest faced, she soon discovered a perfect, creativity-centered space to launch her station: the Secret Alley in San Francisco’s Mission District. The Secret Alley is a building filled with offices rented by artists and creatives, referred to by Guest as a ‘multimedia art collective.’ Guest explains, ‘It was a really magical place, and it just so happened when I visited there they had a space for rent, which is now the BFF.fm studio. I went in, I arranged for an interview and casually mentioned starting a radio station and they were really into it.’ Thus, the BFF.fm station was born. ‘It was a spur of the moment thing, and I basically spent the next few months buying equipment and building a station on the smallest budget possible. I figured out pretty quickly that a lot of my friends were former college DJs or had been involved with a radio station before, so it grew really organically.’

Work from home © Pixabay

Work from home © Pixabay

In the face of computerized streaming radio through stations like Spotify and Pandora, BFF.fm thrives on the community’s need for the human connection, something that only community radio can provide. Guest describes the experience: ‘It’s like having a friend hanging out with you all day. We have a lot of listeners who are artists working in studios by themselves, a lot of scientists stuck in a lab, so they just listen to BFF.’

BFF.fm is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, keeping afloat thanks to DJ membership dues and generous donations from its loyal listeners. Support the station with a tax-deductible donation here.

By Courtney Holcomb.