If you'd like to take an opportunity to hear what your music blogger sounds like, I'm on the University of Kansas' student-run radio station right now until noon. You can tune in either online at KJHK's website, or via the radio waves floating through the ether at 90.7FM.
For those of you like myself (a habitual early riser prone to crawling into bed before the news is over), or my wife (who's got to work at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow), the idea of going out tonight is pretty much unfair. I love to party, but the point of a New Year's party is staying 'til midnight. If you're leaving early, you might as well just stay in.
Then again, there's a plethora of options available to those of us staying on the couch tonight. Despite the fact that most of us are wont to pick up the remote and tune into watch the ball drop in Times Square, do not take the obvious entertainment route this evening.
Nay -- I suggest you switch your radio to 106.9FM. Better known as Topeka's Country Legends, 106.9FM will be airing a New Year's Eve countdown of the greatest classic country songs of all time.
Well, the first half, at least. That's tonight from 6:00 p.m. to midnight, and the countdown continues tomorrow from noon to 6:00 p.m. Those of you too deep in the metro area can check it out streaming online.
Looking to soundtrack the holidays, but don't care for what we did with our Corrupted Christmas Mix? Local public radio has you covered. You've got your choice of either The Fish Fry's four-hour extravaganza, or the slightly less epic two Retro Cocktail Hour holiday special.
Both programs aired Saturday night, and I took advantage of the amazing radio to kick back on the couch in my pajamas with a glass of Iwig egg nog (the best nog around) and some reading material.
You'll be treated to music from Les Baxter, Elvis Presley, Wilson Pickett, Ed "Kookie" Burns, Esquivel, Miles Davis, and more. Expect all the classics, but presented in ways the usual holiday radio stations don't usually give us.
Over at KCUR's website, they've got the top ten lists from Cyprus Avenue's Bill Shapiro and The Fish Fry's Chuck Haddix. There's some overlap in the lists (both Shapiro and Haddock picked Allen Toussaint's Bright Mississippi and the Dave Alvin & the Guilty Women record), but the two lists provide a refreshing reminder that there's music out there other than Animal Collective and assorted other indie folks whole might've put put good records this year.
We've also got the exhaustive "100 Best Recordings of 2009" from Mark Manning, host of KKFI's Wednesday MidDay Medley. As Manning explained in his press release:
These are our picks for the Best Recordings of 2009, as previously played on the Wednesday MidDay Medley and based on our playlists. This year we have played hundreds of new musical releases from local musicians and recordings of Indie Rock, Jazz, Folk, Electronic, Gospel, Hip Hop, Dance, Soul, Blues, Country and World Music.
After the jump, check out the list.
Oh no he did NOT.
It's been a long time a song has made us say that. And damn does it feel good.
Striking somewhere between Jay-Z's coolly brutal "Threat" and unhinged Albert Finney from Network, the latest single from James Christos is a magazine full of teflon-tipped lyrical bullets aimed at one thing and one thing only: Kansas City radio station KPRS Hot 103 Jamz.
Beginning with a (virtual) called-in bomb threat to Carter Broadcasting, the song launches into a catchy, bangin' tirade against the urban station that has many locals up in arms for not playing homegrown music.
Sparing allies like Kenny Diamondz and JT Quick and taking aim at the station's leaders, Christos piles on verse after hilarious verse, skewering commercial radio culture along the way:
With the jocks, I'm cool, but the execs are spineless
Catch 'em at a live remote, Cricket Wireless
JT, I'ma need them keys to the van
I hate to see you caught up in the crossfire, fam
Smashin' down 71, bumpin' my song
In the back of the van is a large car bomb
Sean Tyler duct-tapped on the passenger side
'Cause light-skinned dude make better hostages, right?
The bangin' production and catchy-ass chorus are just gravy -- for that verses like the one above, I'm declaring "K.T.R.S." song of the year.
Don't waste any more time with this preamble. Download the song for free below. And then call the Jamzline and request it: (816) 576-7103.
Because we like to keep ourselves informed, we at Wayward Blog like to keep our ear tuned to the radio. You can't rock all the time, and Anti-Flag songs are ten times funnier when you're actually aware of the political situation in which the world finds itself. Plus, being as how journalism is a fantastic way to make mad scrilla, we're always looking for ways to diversify our portfolio.
Hence, we were listening to American Public Media's Marketplace program on KCUR last night, and were pleasantly surprised to witness the converge of indie rock and finance when Death Cab For Cutie's Chris Walla was on to talk about the nature of being both a producer and a member of a seriously successful band.
Walla talked about how he got into being a producer, as well as Death Cab's inclusion on the New Moon soundtrack. You can read the transcript or listen to all of last night's program.
In a forum post yesterday on HipHopKC.com, Mac Lethal announced that he's looking for local songs to spin on his Sunday night KRBZ 96.5 the Buzz show, Black Clover Radio. Except for two songs, Lethal wrote, his entire playlist this past Sunday was local.
He does, however, have some stipulations:
Don't send me songs about hustling drugs in the K-town. I got a few of those submitted, and while I'm not upset at them sonically, I can't co-sign them because they are too similar to top 40 rap. I would rather you artists that sent me those songs resend some songs about something of more substance. Political issues/ emotional issues/ relationship issues/ financial trouble/ creative story telling etc.
IF you gotta send me a song about drugs, at least make it sound like "Mr. Big" by Eightball and MJG, or some old UGK shit or something with musical innovation. I don't mind the violence, or the graphic lyrics. But make it creative. I wanna play it, knowing cats are listening like, "Wow, this is REALLY cool, and refreshing, and new." But keep that Hot 103 shit away from my email address.
I don't want any crunk shit (leave that style for Memphis and Atlanta and them cats.) The stuttering snares, and 808s, and synthy beats, with auto-tuned choruses. No dice. Don't send me club records. Records about being in the club etc.
Underground rappers. Get your stuff sounding top notch before you send it. Don't send busted ass mixes. It needs to sound at least quality enough for radio play. I think what I mean by that has gotten lost on cats, but oh well, the submissions will still be interesting.
Keep the submissions coming, but look. If we are gonna blow this scene up, and feel energized and full of life, I need y'all to step your lyric game, beat game, vocal game, creativity game, recording game, musical game and overall package game UP.
Stik Figa, Greg Enemy, Ces Cru, Deep Thinkers etc. You need to strive to be pushing the boundaries they are pushing.
P.S. If you drop an exclusive mixtape freestyle, or wanna rant about some KC music scene shit. Record it, flip the curses backwards, and send it over. I'll give it some play. We need more artists voicing their opinions unconstrained by text.
Stik Figa and Greg Enemy for example. Send me a 3 minute long rant, over a smooth jazzy instrumental, try not to curse. And TALK SHIT on what needs to be fixed in the town.
It don't have to be songs. IF you got 3 minutes of some audio that pertains to KC hip-hop. SEND IT THE FUCK OVER.
So, to recap: no crunk, no Auto-tune ... substance, yes. Illegal substances, no. Rants welcome.
Mr. Lethal neglected to include his e-mail address with the post, so here it is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Everyone who's been demanding of late to have their voices heard on local radio should get on this. It's not urban radio, per se, but it's a start. Kudos, Mac.
Tune in to 90.1 FM tonight from 8 to 10 p.m. for on-air hijinks and a rich panoply of Kansas City-area music selected by me and my good friends, the Buckle Bunny Crystal Wiebe and clubs editor Berry Anderson. Pitch restaurant columnist and Anything Goes host-with-the-most will be leading the parade, which is being billed as "a mix of acoustical music and spoken word." Add ear-pillaging distortion and butt-shaking grooves to that, and you've got our m.o. for the night.
So today, we'll be diving into a fat ol' stack of local CDs and MP3s to vet choice songs for those seven little words you can't say on the radio. If you'd like us to play your radio-friendly song, e-mail it in MP3 format or via downloadable link to email@example.com, and we'll try to get it on. No promises.
But please, do listen.
Our friend and rapper extraordinaire James Christos was kind enough to call the Wayward HQ and give us the skinny on a public forum of sorts that went down last night between representatives from Hot 103 Jamz and a bevy of Kansas City rappers and DJs.
The focus: Why the area's leading urban station plays almost no local hip-hop. It's not a new question by any means, but it's something that continually frustrates and inspires local artists to act.
Summary: KPRS continually takes heat for maintaining a format that the station feels works -- a format that has no room for up-and-coming KC artists. In short, the station doesn't play local artists because local artists aren't big enough. Artists, in turn, complain that they (and by extension, Kansas City's reputation nationwide) can't get big without local radio support. It would have the makings of a stalemate -- except that many in the hip-hop community aren't interested in backing down.
According to Christos, the impromptu summit was held at Jaz Brewer's 64111 Studios on 17th and Summit St. and that, in fact, it came about because of a Twitter campaign launched by Brewer. Read back over the past few days of tweets @Jaz64111studio to catch up.
Christos says some 40 people participated in a public conference call that included several KPRS DJs. Kenny Diamondz, host of the station's only local music program, Underground Heat, was present in person, as were about 20 livid locals ("Everybody who's anybody in rap in Kansas City," was how Christos put it). According to Christos, the Hennessey flowed and so did the honesty.
And in the end, he says, no accord was reached between the station and the artists.
Now we want to hear from you: Were you there? What happened? What should happen next?
We want to hear from both sides of the debate. And, please, include your name with your comment.
I listen to the radio when I drive around town, and I flip between Hot 103.3 Jamz and 95.7 The Vibe because they both play "urban" music (though The Vibe has always been more on the lighter side of things -- Lady Gaga and Black Eyed Peas -- than, say, KPRS's Lil Wayne and Drake).
But yesterday, The Vibe played a Rob Thomas song. And then, "Use Somebody" by Kings of Leon. Obviously, something's up.
the company that calculates Kansas City's radio station ratings, is
switching from using listener-reported surveys (called "diarys") to a
system called PPM -- the Portable People Meter.
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