Jul 16, 2007

Good news: Albany now has a REAL radio station

Every once in a while you get lucky. The Capital Region just got collectively lucky.

Radio station WEXT has just launched its new broadcast / webcast operation -- 97.7 on the FM dial. Its format is an eclectic one, echoing the wide range of GREAT music from MANY fantastic artists that ARE out there in the world today. Unlike all of the conglomerate-owned stations in this market, WEXT is actually playing them! It now joins WEQX up in Manchester as the local rays of hope in that department -- along with some pretty good college stations we have around here.

What's unique about WEXT -- and therefore what makes us the aforementioned lucky ones -- is that it is part of the WMHT family. Now, it's fairly common for a so-called public broadcasting organization to be owning and operating an FM radio stations. But what is odd (in a good kind of way) here is that this particular station is in the middle of the FM dial (as opposed to the left hand side) and that it is playing a non-classical format.

But no canned formats here, folks. So far, the people involved are playing--well, whatever they want to play! Within the past hour, I have heard a varied playlist that included Cat Empire, Graham Parker, John Prine, LCD Soundsystem, Spoon and Wilco. Not their "best known hits' mind you--but they are diving deep into the albums and pulling out all sorts of gems.

Doubly good is the fact that the station is supporting the hometown music community by playing them through its Local 518 initiative! I've heard our friends The Kamikaze Hearts, Super 400 and even Lonesome Val--now she brings back some memories!

This station has the potential to revive the local live-music scene, taking a role similar to that of WQBK-FM back in the 80's.

Give them a listen, and do what you can to support them. TechValleyTimes will.

No comments: