It’s the New Year, so why not try out a new feature that’s been kicking around my head for while? The subject is radio – a medium whose definition has changed drastically in the last 10-15 years where music is concerned. What was once solely AM and FM has expanded to include satellite radio, and of course the internet.
I’ve lived in Phoenix since 1993, and for these 17 years, radio has remained pretty stagnant here. The only station that wowed me was KZON (101.5), during a few short years during the mid-90’s. The format was adult album alternative (AAA), and I owe it a debt of gratitude for introducing me to Steve Earle and Bruce Cockburn.
Other than that, the only stations I’ve spent any decent amount of time with are 93.3 KDKN and 100.7 KSLX – both play your standard classic rock, with KDKB going a little harder at times.
Unfortunately, Phoenix has no market (it seems) for the eclectic radio I thirst for. There’s no KBCO, WXRT or KFOG – only an oversaturation of watered down lite rock, new country, and hispanic stations. Sad, really.
So thankfully, when it comes to searching out decent music on the radio, I now have satellite and internet radio to dive into as well.
The Radio Daze Series: Here’s what I’m gonna do. Each week, I’ll spend one hour with a radio station, whether it’s a local “terrestrial” station here in Phoenix, a Sirius-XM satellite station, or an internet-only station. I’ll track the playlist, and share my thoughts. I’ll try to hit all the formats, as painful as it may be (I’m looking at you, “Camel Country”).
I’m enough of a music nerd to think this may be enjoyable, so hopefully we can have some fun with this.
I’ll start with one of the stations familiar to me: 93.3 KDKB…
Station: 93.3 KDKB FM
Format: Classic & Hard Rock
Type: Terrestrial (Phoenix)
Slogan: “93.3 KDKB Rocks Arizona”
Date / Time: Jan. 4th, 2010 8-9pm MST
Commercials: 14 min
Streaming Online? Yes
Hot Chick on Home Page of Web Site? Yes
Favorite Song: Tom Petty’s “You Got Lucky” (YouTube)
Least Favorite Song: Shinedown’s “If You Only Knew” (YouTube)
Styx – “Too Much Time On My Hands”
Eric Clapton – “Cocaine”
Ozzy Osbourne – “Crazy Train”
AC/DC – “Have a Drink On Me”
Alice Cooper – “No More Mr. Nice Guy”
Shinedown – “If You Only Knew”
Poison – “Nothin’ But a Good Time”
Tom Petty – “You Got Lucky”
Quiet Riot – “(Bang Your Head) Metal Health”
Nirvana – “In Bloom”
The Eagles – “Hotel California”
Van Halen – “Panama”
Comments: Standard fare for KDKB. Populist rock ‘n roll. We got our AC/DC, we got our Ozzy, Van Halen and Styx. They also throw in some bad modern rock every so often. This hour, it came in the form of Shinedown’s “If You Only Knew”.
The only attempt at new music came with a segment called “Hit It or Quit It”, in which Hammer (the DJ) played a sample of a new song, and then took a few calls from listeners for their “Hit it” or their “Quit it”. Okay idea, but the problem? Only about eight seconds of the song was played! They played the same 8 seconds twice, in fact (the song was “Fall Down” by Tantric). Is corporate rock radio so squeezed by the balls that they can’t play an entire new song? Rhetorical question.
I can’t fault KDKB, they’re doing the same thing they’ve been doing since I started listening 17 years ago. At least they’re consistent. Funny thing is, KDKB was one of the trailblazers of free form rock radio back in the 70’s. I’ve heard from a few old timers that it used to be a great progressive station.