Audiograph | KALW


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What's the sound of where you live?

A crowd-sourced collaborative radio project that takes you on a tour of the Bay Area, mapping the sonic signature of each of its nine counties. 

Meradith Hoddinott

Artists, drag queens, and members of the queer and trans community gathered together to mourn the closing of San Francisco’s oldest LGBT bar, The Stud. 

Jazz meets spirituality at the St. John Coltrane Church

Jul 25, 2019
Freimut Bahlo / Wikimedia Commons

In this week's Audiograph we head to San Francisco's Fillmore district, once known as the 'Harlem of the West,' jammed with clubs overflowing with song. While the district has changed over the decades, reverance for one musician in particular has not — a tenor saxophonist who has been canonized and praised for half-a-century. The St. John Coltrane Church celebrated it's 50th anniversary this month. 

Photo by James Hosking, resized and cropped with permission

In this week's Audiograph, we go to Aunt Charlie's Lounge, a Tenderloin institution that's one of the oldest gay bars in San Francisco.

Ted Muldoon / KALW


In this week's Audiograph we head to the mouth of the Bolinas Lagoon. 

Sarah Tan

With Pride around the corner, we're bringing you an Audiograph that sings the songs of LGBTQ resistance. Specifically, the story of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, and how they use song as an act of protest.

Drag queens bring a 'slice of fabulous' to libraries

Jun 20, 2019
Corinne Smith

In this Audiograph, we go to the San Francisco Library in Bernal Heights on a Saturday afternoon. It's packed with excited, brightly clad kids and caregivers here for story time. Instead of a librarian, they’re circled around a tall figure. Wearing a black sequined gown, stilettos, and a platinum blonde wig, and seated with a book in her long painted nails, it's Yves St. Croissant, aka Sean Santos, one of San Francisco’s beloved Drag Queens.

Hundreds of short-legged pups celebrate Corgi Con

Jun 13, 2019
Claire Stremple

Corgi Con is a semi-annual celebration of short, sausage-shaped dogs called Corgis. In this week's Audiograph, hundreds of dogs and their families descend on Ocean Beach for a day of events and festivities.

Courtesy of Mar Velez

Second Fridays at the Legionnaire Saloon in downtown Oakland are not just any bar night. In this week's Audiograph, we're going to a dance party that feels like a family reunion.

For this week’s Audiograph, we’re going somewhere that’s unusually quiet.

Exploring the legends of Twin Peaks

May 23, 2019

In this Audiograph, we go to Twin Peaks, a signature San Francisco landmark and a focus of the city's history and legends. The Ohlone believed the peaks were once a single mountain, united as husband and wife, but they argued so much, the great spirit split them apart.

courtesy of Kinetic Steam Works

In this Audiograph, we go to a warehouse tucked away behind a metal scrap yard. Kinetic Steam Works is an industrial workspace for people to tinker with old machines in West Oakland. A mish-mash group of engineers, artists and hobbyists gather here every weekend to bring back the lost art of steam power.

Bethel Island: Sounds from the outer edges of the Bay

May 9, 2019
Ashleyanne Krigbaum

In this Audiograph, we go to a place that’s a little more than an hour’s drive from San Francisco, right in the middle of the California Delta — Bethel Island. 

An ode to Morse code

May 2, 2019
Julie Caine / KALW

This is an Audiograph, a radio project mapping the Bay Area’s sonic signature. Audiograph tells the story of where you live and the people who live there with you. 

Soundbox: San Francisco Symphony's experimental space

Apr 25, 2019
Cory Weaver / cropped and resized

In this Audiograph, we go to Soundbox, the San Francisco Symphony’s experimental music space. First launched in 2014, each concert at Soundbox has a theme, and is put together by curators. These concerts feel totally different than going to the symphony — and they’re supposed to.

Saying goodbye to the Mission's Lucca Ravioli

Apr 18, 2019
Bo Walsh / KALW

In this Audiograph, we head to Lucca Ravioli, a San Francisco landmark since 1925. After being in business on the corner of 22nd and Valencia Streets for almost a century, the building went up for sale and the longtime Italian market & delicatessen is closing its doors. At the end of this month, the familiar hand painted signs on the storefront will be coming down.

Claire Stremple


In this Audiograph, Jessie Beck, a biologist with Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge, captains the inflatable boat commute to Año Nuevo Island.

San Francisco Sherriff's Department / cropped and resized

From our Audiograph series:

San Francisco’s oldest working jail is located on the top floor of the city’s Hall of Justice. That jail is seismically unsafe, and it’s got a bad reputation — rats wandering behind the walls, peeling old paint, and even frequent raw sewage floods

Last call on BART

Mar 14, 2019
Jeremy Dalmas

From our Audiograph series:

Unlike other metro systems, BART shuts down for several hours a day for routine maintenance. That likely won’t change unless they build another track under the Bay. Meaning if you don’t get into the Embarcadero station by 12:27 a.m. you’ll have to find another way across the Bay. And, this isn’t your quiet-but-crowded morning commute.

The Museum of Entomology

Mar 7, 2019
Photograph by Kyle Merrit Ludowitz.

From our Audiograph series:

In the basement of the life sciences building at the University of California, Berkeley, there’s a little known museum that’s home to millions of dried bugs.

Finding Home In San Jose's Grand Century Mall

Feb 7, 2019
Christine Nguyen


From Audiograph, signature sounds of the Bay Area:

I’ve moved 16 times. So when I settled in San Jose, I thought I could finally get some real Vietnamese food.

But where to go?

Courtesy of the Oakland Athletics

From Audiograph, signature sounds of the Bay Area:

The Bay Area has a rich pro sports scene with distinctive voices who bring us all the action.

Zeina Nasr / KALW

From our Audiograph archives:

Tiny Telephone is a recording studio in San Francisco’s Mission District committed to making analog recordings on tape, maintaining affordable rates, and welcoming a diverse range of local and international musicians into its colorful, creative, and caffeine-enhanced world.

Truc Nguyen


From our Audiograph archives:

When Metallica, the Rolling Stones, or other big rock acts come to the Bay Area, and they need their guitars fixed, there’s a good chance you can find them down at 15 Lafayette Street in San Francisco.

Ninna Gaensler-Debs / KALW News

From our Audiograph archives:

On the south side of San Francisco, a performance is taking place. It's an annual tradition, in a transformed arena off Geneva Street. In a space once reserved for livestock and cowboys, the streets of Victorian England come alive. It’s the Great Dickens Christmas Fair.

Jeremy Dalmas / KALW News

Every year since 1975 the Indigenous People’s Sunrise Ceremony has taken place on Alcatraz Island on Columbus Day and Thanksgiving Day. Native Americans of many tribes attend the ceremony to commemorate the 1969 protest when the Alcatraz Red Power Movement occupied the island. They stayed there for 18 months, until they were removed by federal marshalls in 1971.

Honoring Jerry Garcia's little-known past with Jerry Day

Jul 24, 2018
Used by permission from CC Flickr account humboldthead


From our Audiograph archives:

You might expect that a Jerry Garcia-themed event in San Francisco would be founded by a Deadhead. You know, a stereotypical Grateful Dead mega-fan who followed the band around the country for years, dropping acid, wearing tie-dye, and talking about world peace.

Hannah Kingsley-Ma


Audiograph is a crowd-sourced collaborative radio project mapping the Bay Area’s sonic signature.

Audiograph tells the story of where you live, and the people who live there with you. Every Thursday, we tell you the story behind our weekly mystery sound on Crosscurrents, and here in weekly blog posts.


Chapel of the Chimes Solstice Concert

Jun 11, 2018

This story is from our Audiograph archives. Audiograph is a crowd-sourced collaborative radio project mapping the Bay Area’s sonic signature. These sounds tell the story of where you live, and the people who live there with you.

Amber Miles


It’s Friday night on the corner of 16th and Valencia in San Francisco’s Mission District. Shops are closing up and folks that live out here are settling into vacant doorways. The traffic on the street sounds frustrated; revving, waiting, and beeping as the last of the commuters surface from the BART station and breeze by.


Most of them don’t even notice a man in a poofy red and white mushroom hat, sorting through a tangled web of colored wires and extension cords.

Guess this Bay Area sound! February 23, 2018

Feb 26, 2018

This is Audiograph — the Bay Area’s sonic signature. We’ll play you a sound recorded somewhere in the Bay Area. Your job? Listen to the sound in the player above, figure out where it was recorded and what it is, then call to let us know.

If you think you can identify this Audiograph sound of the week, call 415-264-7106. Also, tell us where to record next. We’ll give away a KALW t-shirt every week to one lucky caller.