CD101 - The Alternative Station? Or just a town with no other alternatives?
Some thoughtless comments being passed on the topic:
"Solution: Move back to Seattle. Sorry dude but CD101 has to pay it's employees, it's not some glorified college station that's bankrolled by NPR. Oh, and you come across as real ass."
That comment was delightful and well thought out.
This comment had some actual thought and knowledge within it on the topic.
CD101 has to play the ratings game (and consequently, the "hits") because their management has opted to live life as a fully-blown commercial radio station operating in a major market. Aside from being independently owned, which is true, they operate in a way not too dissimilar from any corporate station, hence, "has to pay its employees". It's another way of saying 'we wanna play with the big boys & we gotta make some dough to pay for this stuff'.
WOXY was a true mom-and-pop operation that operated on the fringe of the Cincinnati/Dayton markets and chose not to go head-to-head with better funded stations because they couldn't: weak signal, niche format. They kept operating costs low & as a result, they had the leeway to be a lot more left of center. CD101 enjoys no such luxury, by choice.
Don't be fooled by KEXP. They are awash in funds from the University of Washington, Paul Allen (Microsoft) & his Experience Music Project, in addition to having numerous pledge drives & fundraisers. They also have the benefit existing in a left-leaning metro like Seattle where like-minded listeners (and donors) are a lot easier to come by than if they tried to do the same thing in Ohio.
WOXY exists online as WOXY.com & is still operating as an independent operation. Sorry to say that they are hurting for money & may not exist much longer but give them this: they've never sold out & have remained true to the spirit of independent radio.
"Gotta pay their employees" is a fucking copout, btw.
Here is the original post...in all it's glory.
I was in Columbus this past weekend, and am really starting to have some issues with a radio station, namely CD101, which I really enjoyed compared to other local offerings including "The Big Wazzu" and "The Blitz." There is a weekly program called "The Invisible Hits Hour," which is supposedly award-winning and exists to play the best indie and sprinkle in some local flair. I have some real issues with a station that will bring on an EFFING Roadie from a local band that has kind of made it...but is past its prime. That's right. CD101 was not bringing on the band Watershed, but was bringing on one of its roadies named "EJ" or "JC" or whatever, who is now playing some music with a guitar that he found behind a tour bus during Watershed's latest White Castle Parking Lot World Tour. Disclaimer: I like Watershed...they have a few catchy tunes, but if they are the face of Columbus music to outside world then Columbus has no music scene at all. Bands like Fenster and Embassy have come and gone or just left the town, because they know that the music scene in Columbus is like a graveyard.
This is not a rant in snobbery, I have access to one of the best independent radio stations in the world, KEXP Seattle. I listen religiously and basically hear all sorts of music on station that is "listener sponsored." Now, all you Columbus radioheads are out there stating "Well, we dont have anything like that in Columbus." I'm calling "Shenanigans!" CD101 has the ability to be every bit as good as KEXP in Seattle or even WOXY in FREAKIN' Oxford, Ohio of all places, but they are just falling into the same routine as every other radio station in the Columbus area. I am still hearing the Clash every 2 hours on this station. I like "The Clash," and while it was very hip to play them in the 90', there is other music out there that needs to be heard....which isnt being pushed by record execs. For some reason, CD101 is talking a big game of being "independently-owned." Well, that doesnt mean jack shit if you are not doing anything about it. What makes CD101 so special? Is it the fact that they have the "Andyman?" I sure hope not....he is still pretty much playing the same crap he has been playing for years with a few new tracks that every other Alternative Rock DJ across this grand country has been playing for 2-3 months before him. With the amount of Columbus-credibility that Andyman possesses, he should be able to play a local band, not named Watershed, every couple of hours. He should be able to play songs off of albums that are not in normal rotation in every other freakin' city in America (Sorry to single you out Andy, but with the local fame comes the heightened scrutiny..and you are the face/voice of the radio station). Andyman does provide a great philanthropic service to the community with Christmas-time "Andy-manathon," but outside of that he an his offerings to the local or even Ohio music community have been freakin' terrible.
The Andyman: "You're with me, Watershed"
Case in Point:
A band by the name of the Heartless Bastards from the Dayton/Cincy-area were slated to play early on Sunday afternoon a one of the lesser stages on the festival. A modest crowd of about 100-200 people showed up to watch this trio. Not a single soul from the CD101 crew came over to see them play and provide some support (either that or they were incognito) even though the Heartless Bastards were considered an up and coming band by the festival publications. The fact that CD101 was pimping themselves as a radio station that supports the local music, yet not being seen the entire festival says a lot.
The Heartless Bastards are a good band, which deserves exposure and gets it in Cincy and Dayton...but not C-Bus. Why? Because CD101 wont play anything that isnt deemed popular by some source like Rolling Stone or Spin...or some source really cool that we've never heard of before.
So what does CD101 really stand for? Over-exploiting an almost monopolized niche market in the Columbus-area, which doesnt possess another alternative (I mean the Blitz is all about playing AC/DC, Staind, and Nickelback every 30 minutes, while the Big Godsmack...err...Wazu isnt mch better). A radio station that was, at one time, very original in its content delivery to the market, but now is, basically, ClearChannel Jr. with Watershed, The Violent Femmes, and The Clash (again...not "the only band that ever mattered"...just the only band that ever mattered to CD101).
The sad part about all of this is that if one of the big conglomerates, like ClearChannel, ever decided to start an Aternative Station, similar to 89X in Windsor/Detroit, it would decimate CD101 in less than a year. Be thankful CD101, you will be able to continue playing The Clash and The Violent Femmes until all of their members are wormfood, because nobody sees Columbus as a viable market for another radio station.
Until CD101 is playing bands (more than one song every other day) such as the following (these are examples...and there are many more that could fall into this category)....people should consider logging onto KEXP or even WOXY to listen to some music that isnt part of a regular rotation.
- The Shins (if it wasnt for Garden State...James Mercer would never be heard in Columbus.)
- Band of Horses
- Optimus Rhyme
- Grandaddy (They are broken up now...but wouldnt it be cool to hear something besides the Big Room rendition of "Now It's On")
- Los Lonely Boys
- The Decemberists
- Sufjan Stevens
- Iron and Wine
- The Secret Machines
- My Morning Jacket (something off an album besides Z)
- Drive-by Truckers
- Jurassic 5 (Good Hip Hop...that you will never hear in Columbus)
- DJ Shadow (Still waiting to hear something off of Private Press)
- Boards of Canada
- and many many more.