October 17, 2007


Shreveport has exactly one radio station that is worth listening to. It’s sad, I know. It’s sad because, even if you are reading this from New York, we have exactly one more worthwhile radio station than you do. There is currently no viable outlet in which new or noteworthy music is aired. You don’t have to listen to “indie” rock to realize this. Whatever you are into that isn’t Top 40 swill, there is slightly higher than zero percent chance that you first heard it on the radio.

What is more likely, is that one person in your group of friends always has the word on cool new music. Yes, that statement clearly precludes me from this role amongst my friends, but you know who they are. This person invariably turns you on to artists that, after listening to, you wonder how it is that you hadn’t heard them before. For my wife and me this person is indisputably Adam Moore. His recommendations are responsible for much joy in our lives: Arcade Fire, Bishop Allen, The Decemberists, and Belle & Sebastian to name a few. Unfortunately, relying on only one person illustrates how futile the endeavor of musical discovery can be…what doesn’t Adam know?

I’m not familiar enough with the music industry to understand why this problem exists. I realize that it is a financial issue, but Indie movies have been big for years now; they are a badge of honor for A-list actors looking for credibility. And upstart writers get noticed every day, just look at the proliferation of blogs out there. The audience for blogging is large enough that a few have risen to become the de facto voice of digital print media. Reference the article “Everybody Sucks,” about the über blog Gawker, in this week’s issue of New York Magazine. Even Television has outlets for original, non-commercial content. How many of you are devoted to shows like The Shield, Rescue Me, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, or The Wire? All shows that couldn’t come anywhere near airing on the major networks. These artists/outlets are on the cutting edge of their respective media, and they influence everyone else, so where is this influence in radio?

If you are fortunate enough to have a radio station in your town that plays something other than Pink or Chris Daughtry, it is probably broadcast from a local college. And at last we arrive at the inspiration for this post. The only radio station that is ever on in my family’s two cars is KSCL 91.3. I have yet to drive somewhere in Shreveport (nothing is far away here by the way) and not hear something interesting. Sure, some of it is downright unlistenable, but that is the beauty of it. Someone out there is really into Japanese, all-girl, punk bands, and they actually have a place to discover them.

For my wife and I the undisputed king of KSCL is Schleuss. He airs from 6-8 on Tuesday nights, but you can here the addictive bumper that advertises his show all day long. The ad contains the first few lines of a sublime folk track playing underneath Schleuss selling his wares. If you listen to the station you will here it over and over again and the song hooks you every time; a brilliant choice, but who is the artist?

Enter Conan O’Brien. His show often airs under the radar musical guests whose music I love, like Phantom Planet or And You Will Know Us By the Trail Of Dead. On the October 15th episode, Fionn Regan performed “Hunters Map” from his album The End of History. The music was understated and composed, and contained the kind of subtlety that I enjoy…a quiet two beat rap of knuckles on a guitar, the artful use of brushes by the drummer.

I went to the computer to here more as soon as the performance was over, and lo and behold, there were those echoing words from Schleuss' radio spot…I apologize/seem to have arrived/on what items in my bag from your house. Like the inventor of Velcro, I was stunned by the accidental discovery, and downloaded the entire album immediately. It has been playing in the house ever since. The joy on my wife’s face hearing it as she came through the door last night was beautiful. I am lucky to have witnessed it. Thank you Schleuss.


Blogger Darrell said...

Two letters for you: XM

October 22, 2007 at 2:52 PM  

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