Article, photos and video by Angie Martoccio
The studio of KPISS.fm once reeked of urine, but Sheri Barclay doesn’t want to talk about it.
“No one would rent it, because there was a homeless person living here for like five months,” the station owner acknowledges. “But every time I tell this story, people accuse me of having evicted that person.” Though she is a native New Yorker, Barclay is often blamed for gentrification. “They see Bushwick and they see hipster project and they automatically put two and two together,” she said.
Hipster project or not, KPISS.fm was named after its lingering smell. A 9×7 magenta studio, KPISS sits at the end of Punk Alley, a narrow outdoor flea market in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn. Right below the thundering J/M/Z train, the tiny studio often feels like being in a kitsch time machine. Camp objects and rock and roll memorabilia—a Rolling Stones tongue telephone, a Bee Gees transistor radio—litter the equipment tables, while a vibrant, trippy poster of a unicorn adorns the main wooden wall.