Tuesday, February 22, 2005

America has lost faith in pop/rock radio. Every station on the dial has a paper-thin range of music, programmed nationally by a Clear Channel robot. More and more, people are plugging their iPods into their cars while their retracted antennae rust. You'd think it's time to kiss radio goodbye.

Then you find a station like Minneapolis' KCMP 89.3, The Current. It hires DJs who are free to choose the songs they play. The hosts know the bands and reminisce about their earliest gigs, and they give extra attention to local acts, from legends like the Replacements to upstarts like the Bleeding Hickeys. The station's website streams audio to the world, and their management keeps a blog tracking every baby step and new development-- all the better to draw you into their community. And it's a public radio station, so instead of getting crass blocks of commercials, you'll only hear the occasional pledge drive.

The Current, which hit the air last month, is a reminder of what radio should be. Except it's not that simple...

From Minnesota Becomes Eclectic, in Pitchfork.


-epm said...

I hear that!

I know of one independent, commercial radio station in the Boston area: WXVR 92.5 (www.wxvr.com). Of course there are a few public and college stations (Boston is great that way), but in the commmercial market? It's hip-hop, bimbo-pop, or country-slop.

(PS. I don't retch at all country music, just the banal crap on Clear Channel robo-stations.)

Canowine said...

Ditto on the country, but I think it went bad with VH1 in the late 80's. People love a purty face and a nice tater in tight jeans. Video killed the country star.

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