December 01, 2002
Where local music rules
Here's a story about North Carolina radio station WBZB-1090 AM, which plays only local music. They don't have much signal, but you can hear them over the web. Some snotnosed industry consultant gives them a "one in a billion" chance of survival, but I'm sure rooting for them. Anyone who can deliver a blow to the hegemony of the Evil Empire of Clear Channel is worthy of our support. Go get 'em, guys.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 01, 2002 to Music
We have an independent station in Houston that plays a great deal of underheard music - KTRU. It's a shame, though, that half the DJs waste airtime by playing idiots banging a cacaphony out of their instruments (or sometimes not even with instruments). In short, they've destroyed most of my faith in indy radio.
I'll take corporate dominance over mindless noise any day.
For a while, 95.7 was almost exclusively playing Texas Country from like 5-10 every day. Most of which were unsigned artists. When the ratings came in, they stopped that real quick.
I listened to 90.1 for a while, but I swear every time I tuned it they were starting a new pledge drive.
Now I've got a CD player and tons of artists no one has ever heard of. I need not the evil empire.
I was going to mention KPFT as a major player of Texas music, but Alex beat me to it. Of course, even when they're not on a pledge drive, there are other issues with KPFT.
It really is too bad about KIKK. I should have listened to them when I had the chance. Not that it would have prolonged the life of their format.
All I can say, Owen, is that after however many years of listening to Demographically Appropriate Music, I'm bored to tears. I had high hopes for KHPT, but their playlist stopped being interesting months ago.
I just bought a bunch of CDs (CD Warehouse on Shepherd is going out of business...9 CDs for $63, woo hoo!) so I think I'll be taking a radio hiatus for awhile.
Corporate radio lost me with the advent of BSB and Nsync. I even thought have of Britney Spears was alright, but I just couldn't stand being pounded over and over again with adolescent love songs.
It's just amazing what's out there if you'll just get off your ass and take the time to look around yourself.
KPFT did me the favor of introducing me to John Hyatt and Ray Wylie Hubbard (KIKK played both, but only a couple of their songs), KIKK helped me learn about tons of local country artists (as did Napster and AudioGalaxy).
I'm about to sign up for a year's subscription to eMusic with KIKK out of commission and KPFT's inability to keep me tuned in.
Don't neglect little ol' Radio New Braunfels. You can't get the signal on your radio in Houston, of course, but they do stream their stuff, and if you're an Americana/Texas/Red Dirt music fan, they beat the hell out of the odd mix KIKK used to play, or even KPFT before the FarLefties deposed "The Sound of Texas" gurus Garland Ganter and Mary Ramirez.
Kevin, you are talking to the wrong people to get sympathy for Garland Gantner as promoting the Sound of Texas. When that asshole fired Gary Coover and canned Shepherd's Hey, he killed a tireless voice for the promotion of local Celtic music. Gantner's malfeasance drove nails into the coffin of the Houston Celtic scene that it still hasn't managed to pry back out.
Texas Celtic is just as much Texas music as Red Dirt. Gantner wasn't pro-Texas music, he was pro-lowest-common-denominator. Don't think he wouldn't have been happy to play Britney Spears if it would have increased pledges.
(And I miss the Chicken Skin show on KTRU. I assume it's long gone, anyway.)