Democracy on the radio

If I was really cool, I'd tell you that I only listen to NPR or KJHK while getting around in the morning. I'm not that cool.Usually, I flip around until I find something that matches my mood. The last few weeks, my mood has been set on 96.5, the "modern rock" station - I shant use the word "alternative" - out of Kansas City.Why? Well, their old morning show went out of business a couple of weeks ago. And instead of replacing the old DJs with new DJs, they replaced the old DJs with ... you.[Maybe Time Magazine was right after all.][1]The " [Mylist Mornings][2]" give listeners a chance to make a list of their 10 favorite songs - and the station puts those songs on the air, with the listener making the introductions.Why I love this:¢ There's more variety in the music. Instead of the umpteenth playing of My Chemical Romance and other progeny of the Green Day-begat-Blink 182-begat generation, there's a mix. In the last week, I've heard Lou Reed, Pixies, Radiohead and other bands that, while not exactly unpopular, don't have a natural home on today's commercial radio. ¢ There's less talk. No offense to morning DJs everywhere, but I'd rather listen to music than hear their juvenile practical jokes meant to fill time.Not everything is great. This morning, there was a guy a little too in love with Alice in Chains. But a little democracy has, on the whole, made morning radio better. [1]:,9171,1569514,00.html?aid=434&from=o&to=http%3A// [2]:


Althea Schnacke 15 years, 8 months ago

Maybe its just because I don't listen to the radio in the morning, but when they've done the "Mylist" weekends, I rarely listen to 96.5. The selection tends to the "Look at how cool I am for picking obscure songs and bands" regardless of how good they are. One of the advantages of the corporate playlist if that they tend to play music that all their typical listeners will like, not just the Alice in Chains fan. My other problem with the Mylist setup is that its very male heavy. I've never heard a woman's list get on, even though for an alt-rock station they're pretty female heavy. I don't expect many female singers/bands with the type of music, but that would be nice too.

Mackadoo 15 years, 8 months ago

Wow trainstop, you are truly passionate in your hatred toward "The Buzz"!

I will admit that I actually really enjoy listening to Lazlo on 96.5 in the afternoons now that he is back (broadcasting from Seattle, this time). I don't always agree with him, but being a person that doesn't easily verbally communicate my opinions so others may understand exactly what I'm saying, I love listening to how eloquently he speaks and how quickly he can get his point across.

And Joel, I listen to both NPR and KJHK in the mornings, but I am defnitely not cool. :)

Will Babbit 15 years, 8 months ago

Oh, what do you only listen to KJHK and whatever noise the "creative" DJ's have come up with that day?

What alternatives do you think there is on the air? 93.3? 105.9? Give me a break. I'm not saying they're perfect but they're certainly better than most...

What do you call having something like a Mylist? Sounds awfully cutting edge to me, I certainly have never heard it on another station out there. Did you even read the blog or just the first couple sentences?

And I didn't even notice the morning show went off the air, thank god, she was annoying as hell.

thetomdotdot 15 years, 8 months ago

Somebody needs a darker roast.

(Don't even say it, Mathis. I know, good lord of moving on I know).

Joel 15 years, 8 months ago

Trainstop - you certain express your opinion with ... urgency.

But I don't think we entirely disagree here. See my point above: I like less DJ intrusion, more music. If we disagree about music, well...

Dotdot: No need to move on. Clearly a darker roast is needed.

Mackadoo 15 years, 8 months ago

I also like Lazlo because he doesn't pretend to be cool or even pretend to be a popular radio personality, as you insinuated.

I like listening to people trying to affect change, and for once, making even just a few people in the Midwest think twice about their political, uh, convictions. There are a lot of "rednecks" that listen to 96.5.

Mackadoo 15 years, 8 months ago

Dang, trainstop, my intent wasn't to attack you. Just take a deep breath. Those DJs can't hurt you now.

You admitted you haven't listened to him in quite some time, so I thought maybe I could shed some light on the new show. Geez, that must have been me just bein' crazy.

Mackadoo 15 years, 8 months ago

And a buttmunch, apparently.

Sorry, Joel. My first attempt at being a daily-reader-turned-semi-regular-poster is not going well. :) I really do love the blog.

Joel 15 years, 8 months ago

trainstop: Yes, please restrain yourself just a little bit. It's fine to have strongly held opinions, but I like to keep it somewhat civil around here.

Jill Ensley 15 years, 8 months ago

Yeah, well you smell like poop!

(and just to throw my two cents in, I used to listen to The Buzz (as well as KJ and NPR), but then I realized that they're probably run by the same people who run KROQ in L.A. and for some reason....that was icky and unabashedly corporate to me. I like my manipulation subtle.)

OtherJoel 15 years, 8 months ago

I don't really listen to the radio much, but I have stumbled upon those mylist things, and found myself thinking, "What station is THIS? -- these songs shouldn't be on the radio!" And it might have hooked me, as I'm starting to actually tune in for reasons other than I'm sick of the same 6 CDs in my stereo that have been in there for a month that I'm too lazy to swap out.

And I smell purty like a rose, Jill.


alm77 15 years, 8 months ago

train, pack up your manners, and don't use them here. This bunch is way more civilized than that.

Joel, I listen to KJHK in the mornings and I'm not cool either. It does help to feel young and hip first thing in the morning though. NPR is my major source of evening news.

Jill Ensley 15 years, 8 months ago

hey, alm77, speak for yourself, ya peehole.

Jill Ensley 15 years, 8 months ago

OtherJoel, you smell like an aging goth?


trainstop9, I know, I know. Someday the stars will align and we will be together. But, then I'll probably muck it up by confessing that I liked Richard Marx when I was 10 and our love will be torn asunder. OH woe! WOE!

Joel 15 years, 8 months ago

Jill: I already KNOW I smell like poop.

And while 96.5 is undoubtedly corporate, the reason I like Mylist Mornings is because it's real people making their real music choices. Yeah, some of it's "look at my great taste!" choices, but still.

If you want to avoid the influence of corporations, though, it's best to give up recorded music entirely, build a violin and play it around the fire. Otherwise, it's all a slippery slope.

Jill Ensley 15 years, 8 months ago

Joelcifer, I wasn't coming down on you for listening to The Buzz, just giving my reasons. Besides, what the hell is KJHK but a bunch of know-it-all ninnies trying to impress the rest of us with their musical tastes. And I know a lot of music is corporate (though I think less of it is than you do perhaps)...I just said they should hide it better.

And Trainstump99, wow...I couldn't even make up a response like that. What, is that your role-playing name? Are there copyright issues? Is there a trainstop8 or 7 you'd rather not be associated with. TELL MEEEE! Oh, dammit, he left.

Jill Ensley 15 years, 8 months ago

p.s. I was one of those ninnies, so I feel I can say that with clarity and love.

emawkc 15 years, 8 months ago

Radio? Hmmm. I seem to recall something like that back before 2004. But I thought everyone quit listening to radio when podcasts started coming out. My fav shows include The Next Big Thing (, Coverville ( and Accident Hash (

Jill Ensley 15 years, 8 months ago

Yeah....well, it's too bad you misspelled "knives".

lazz 15 years, 8 months ago

Oh how I love I love I love my XM ...

MyName 15 years, 8 months ago

Such a sad story. Nine grown men and not a single one of them was smart enough to figure out what a silly name "Trainstop" is. I think if I was named "Trainstop", I'd be burdened with a tragic case of ennui until the end of my days, or until the papers came through with the name change.

Speaking of ennui, I think most corporate radio is designed to break down the soul of the average teenage until they have no choice but to buy manufactured pop radio poo. Of course, once in awhile something that doesn't suck actually makes it through the industry. "Mylist Mornings" have as good a chance as anything else of promoting something that doesn't suck. Certainly better than college radio in that respect.

thetomdotdot 15 years, 8 months ago

Wait a minute. I thought trainspot6 was Bolivian. Or was he the spawn of an Ecuadorian servant serving in Bolivia? And surely he wasn't in an Ecuadorian prison for growing cocoa, which - I have on good authority - grows wild throughout South America. Ecuadorians don't spell knifes cuchillos?

Anyway, trainspot9, nice story.

I heard something similar from Ron & Ron in Tampa bout 18 years ago.

lazz 15 years, 8 months ago

somebody get Quinno to chime in. He laid out the vy interesting history of the 96.5 format -- it's something of a famous story in the radio biz. I'll send up a smoke signal, see if I can get his attention ...

Jill Ensley 15 years, 8 months ago

Sometimes, thetom, I swear you're from the moon.

Chris Tackett 15 years, 8 months ago

geezus. what's happened in here?!

trainstopniner, welcome. and

joel, thanks for the post. i wake up to a kj or a cd and then it's pandora or xm from then on, but i'll have to check out the MyList show. I like the idea.

feeble 15 years, 8 months ago

eh, back (sort of) to the original topic, while the Mylist thing is somewhat keen, the end result is having to endure the dross that gets approved by the corp. radio crew just to here a few pearls.

I started switching radio dials after NPR started giving me suicidal tendancies this past August, but have gone back to the FUD of public radio as the limited play lists on 96.5 and it's ilk were annoying in the extreme.

Besides, my commute home gives me a chance to listen to Kai Ryssdal do the numbers on Marketplace.

feeble 15 years, 8 months ago

hear* a few pearls.

so much for my mangling of a melliferous metaphor.

bloozman 15 years, 8 months ago

You can call me bloozman, or you can call me oozman, or just about anything you want. Just don't call me inanestop-whine.

Most of you folks should count yourselves fortunate to have the number of choices you do in am-fm radio. Including the choice not to turn it on. Joel (nice beard, by the way, despite any juvenile dispersions cast to the contrary) can attest, having lived a place or two with far fewer and less viable options.

thetomdotdot 15 years, 8 months ago

Hey Godjilla,

Its thetomDOTDOT

Or thetom.. for short.

Will Babbit 15 years, 8 months ago

and I quote -

"With that I bid you a fond farewell, post a comment world. My presence is apparently a pest to all in this civilized discussion. Sleep well and may you all smile today."

....still waiting...

Althea Schnacke 15 years, 8 months ago

Well, then we'd be back to calling each other poopyheads. Although it would be nearly accurate.

Joel 15 years, 8 months ago

Well. This has certainly been a day of jackassery, eh?

I may indeed be poorly bearded -- though I thank bloozman for his comments -- but truth is, I'd look worse without. With mild, meek chin ... well, it's not a pretty sight.

brfts 15 years, 8 months ago

I miss the days of the Old 105.9 "The Lazer". Anybody remember when it was voted the Top 10 Stations that don't suck by Rolling Stone?

Althea Schnacke 15 years, 8 months ago

Spacin' Jason in the mornings on 105.9 when it didn't suck. I used to listen to that on the way to school (when it would come in, they didn't have the best tower at the time). All he did was introduce the songs and sound hungover.

Althea Schnacke 15 years, 8 months ago

And does anyone else listen to KPR on Saturday evenings? I love the Retro Cocktail Hour. Makes me feel like a 1960's housewife. It probably helps that I'm usually making dinner, and Saturday dinners tend to be something out of the '60s.

MyName 15 years, 8 months ago

Well that hurts my feelings.

Poor guy! But wbabbit did have a point: how can we miss you when you never leave?

What I love about Sat. at KPR is how not too long after Retro Cocktail is Prairie Home Companion. You don't get that kind of variety on 105.9, that's for sure!

Mackadoo 15 years, 8 months ago

Oh how I loved Spacin Jason with traffic guy Scott Parks. In high school I wrote Jason an email one time to tell him how lovely he was. His lengthy response contained the sentence fragment, "Your humor reminds me of my friends." I was In. Love.

Sunflower_Jen 15 years, 8 months ago

So, reading through all of the posts, it seems like my choices are:

96.5 Mylist - a bunch of "see how obscure I can be" lists

105.9/93.3 - corporate rock

NPR or KJHK - noise & suicidal tendencies

sigh I guess I'll just stick with the Christmas songs on 102.1 and talking on my cell phone while driving.

brfts 15 years, 8 months ago

Last I heard Spacin' Jason moved to Chicago according to one of his ex co-workers.

Althea Schnacke 15 years, 8 months ago

Well, there's always classic rock, country, hip hop. When I lived in Texas, I ended up listening to Christian pop, just in Spanish.

Joel 15 years, 8 months ago

I don't know: Are Pixies, Lou Reed and Radiohead that obscure?

Because if they are, I'm waaaaay hipper than I thought.

I have fond memories of listening to the old 105.9 at night when I was living in Parsons -- the station wouldn't come in during the day at that distance, and barely came in at night. This is what bloozman is referring to.

feeble 15 years, 8 months ago

I should clarify, It would be rare to hear the band Suicidal Tendencies, but rather, a large portion of the news from the world at large is not very uplifting (War, corporate malfeasance, American Politics, etc).

timebomb66 15 years, 8 months ago

Trainwreck... I have a 45 min. commute daily and my CD player is on vacation. I flip between 96.5, KJHK, NPR, and KKFI. The 96.5 is a station I would have killed for in the 80's. Its ok now. I do enjoy the my list mornings. We are fairly fortunate to have this many decent stations in our area...head toward Salina and check your dial.

bthom37 15 years, 8 months ago

105.9 was a terrible 'alternative' station, I'm afraid. They had a far more limited playlist than the buzz does. It seemed like 105.9 played Bush 1/hr, while the buzz tends to play them 1/ 3 hours, which is a gargantuan improvement. Of course, Bush is just an example, but a telling one, as they were a terrible band that never deserved any airplay.

Interestingly, I wonder if 'alternative' is going back to a 70s feel, as the Muse seem to be heading. 'Knights of Sedonia' is a great 70s song; Led Zeppelin meets REO Speedwagon. Sadly, it's a crappy modern song, which makes me laugh whenever I hear it, but I wonder if that's the next wave once this emo garbage is gone?

brfts 15 years, 8 months ago

105.9 was not a corporate station like 96.5 The Buzz is. The Lazer played alot of obscure local bands and regional acts, something that The Buzz didn't seem to do as much. Obviously, The Lazer had a big following because when it went corporate most of the town protested and tried desperately to keep it from changing to Top 40. But the big boys always win.

Jill Ensley 15 years, 8 months ago


Apparently people who try and be cool by telling other people they're not cool (or wrong) are just dumb.


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