Bad Boogie at Austin’s KUT : ‘We Built This City’

Paul Ray, Texas Hall of Fame jazz musician and KUT radio host. Photo by Christina Murrey).

Changes abound at KUT

Programming changes at KUT have cut longtime hosts Paul Ray and Larry Monroe to one night a week each. “Paul Ray’s Jazz” and Larry Monroe’s “Phil Music Program” are being replaced on KUT (FM 90.5) by “Music with Matt Reilly,” hosted by KUT’s new assistant music director.

In another change, KUT will air “Undercurrents,” a three-hour national music show hosted by Gregg McVicar, at midnight Monday through Thursday to replace overnight programming hosted by Monroe and Ray.

In all, Ray will lose 14 hours of air time a week, with Monroe broadcasting 10 fewer hours a week…

Michael Corcoran / Austin American Statesman / July 3, 2009

We Built This City:
KUT Burns Paul Ray and Larry Monroe

By Cleve Hattersley / The Rag Blog / July 28, 2009

See ‘Time to break out the torches and pitchforks? Format change at KUT’ by John Conquest, Below.

When I first heard the old Starship song, “We Built This City,” I giggled. By the third time I heard it, I automatically guffawed. Don’t know why, but it always made me hysterical.

Today, I’m not laughing, and the damned song finally means something to me. I’m watching the denigration of two guys who literally built this city, Paul Ray and Larry Monroe. All but seven hours of their programming has been wiped from the face of the earth by KUT, much of it replaced by canned programming from California.

And they did help build this city as we know it, along with a generation of us who demanded a different lifestyle. We made Austin completely unique, unlike any other destination. Decades later, the city is still one-of-a-kind, and a virtual oasis of truth in the midst of the American desert. Because of folks like Larry and Paul, whose voices through the night have charmed and engaged us. And they have educated us about ourselves, our music, and our village.

This is why, when Lee Cooke, our last Republican mayor, and a good bloke, came to me with a group of fellow citizens and asked what I thought we should do to get Paul’s and Larry’s shows all back on the air, I told him we needed to bloody our hands. We need to do absolutely anything in our power to keep Austin and its public radio station in the hands of the community that pays for its existence. As I mentioned in my recent “manifesto,” that means anything right up to full boycott at fundraising time.

This is our public radio station — we pay for 85% of its budget, and we choose to, in the words of Darrell Royal, “dance with the ones who brung us.” The fact is, Paul and Larry are still building this city, platter by platter and segue by segue. And the city wants to keep them. Believe me, I know: virtually everyone in this town has emailed me this weekend.

We are calling for a Town Hall Meeting for August 5th, at 7:00 p.m. at Threadgills to discuss what actions we may need to take to restore Paul and Larry fully on our radio station. Please come help us return KUT to the public that owns it.

Meanwhile, please voice your displeasure to KUT General Manager Stewart Vanderwilt. This is his email: svanderwilt@kut.org. Next week, we’ll pass out board members’ emails.

[Cleve Hattersley founded Austin’s legendary band Greezy Wheels in 1971.]

KUT’s Larry Monroe. Photo by Bret Gerbe for the Austin American Statesman.

Time to break out the torches and pitchforks?
Format change at KUT

So how do a new arrival and a Californian DJ get to take over from two Austin institutions? Simple, they’re cheaper.

By John Conquest / The Rag Blog / July 28, 2009

You just know a headline like “Changes Abound at KUT” means bad news. Really bad news.

Michael Corcoran of the Austin American-Statesman only reported the basic facts, released, Palin-style, on the Friday before the 4th of July, that Larry Monroe’s Phil Music and Paul Ray’s Jazz are being replaced by Music with Matt Reilly, hosted by KUT’s new assistant music director, and Ray and Monroe’s overnight programming by a show called Undercurrents.

I was a little puzzled by Corcoran’s reticence as, in his shoes, I’d’ve been just a tad snarky, but maybe he knew the comments at the paper’s Austin360 website would do the heavy lifting for him, revealing the undercurrents concealed beneath those basic facts.

Let’s start with what KUT will now be airing from midnight to 3 a.m., Monday to Thursday. “Undercurrents” is a syndicated radio show that originates in — California. Of course, there’s no law that says you can’t promote Texas music unless you’re physically in Texas, but scanning through Gregg McVicar’s latest playlists, I didn’t spot a single Texas artist. However, there were plenty of people whom Austinites are crying out to hear because they just don’t get enough airplay — The Beatles, The Eagles, The Doors, The Rolling Stones, Jackson Browne, Beck and Sheryl Crow.

Which rather neatly brings us to, Who the fuck is Matt Reilly? Well, he came to KUT, via WXPN, Philadelphia, from KGSR (“all Sheryl Crow, all the time”). This is not, in itself, grounds for breaking out the torches and pitchforks, after all, Folkways host Kevin Connor spent many years at KGeezer without going over to the dark side, but, on the other hand, it sure is grounds for priming the torches and honing the pitchforks. So far, I haven’t caught Reilly’s show, about which the KUT website reveals absolutely nothing, which is pretty suspicious, but reliable sources tell me it’s just like listening to KGSR.

So how do a new arrival and a Californian DJ get to take over from two Austin institutions? Simple, they’re cheaper. Monroe has been with KUT for 28 years, Ray almost as long, putting them among the station’s highest paid non-management employees. By cutting them back to joke hours (Ray retains “Twine Time,” Monroe “Blue Monday”) and replacing them with a management level staffer and a syndicated show, KUT saves some money as Monroe and Ray can kiss their benefits goodbye.

However, though screwing two veteran and highly regarded DJs in unconscionable enough, you don’t have to be overly paranoid to suspect a deeper evil — format.

The top KUT managers came to Austin from Indiana (where GM Stewart Vanderwilt saddled WBST with massive debts — ironically, the station where Larry Monore started his radio career), Utah, Vermont and Alabama, and will doubtless depart when they get better offers elsewhere, the point being that they have no roots, hence no understanding of local tradition.

Careerists, whose priorities are ratings and fundraising, use standard industry strategies — if this worked in Seattle, it’ll work here — too bad if shows that have long been part of the fabric of Austin life become roadkill in the process.

The strategy that seems to be evolving at KUT is emulating KGSR’s AAA programming, with restrictive playlists, heavy to light rotation, so many new album tracks per hour, all the mechanical controls that make the station such horrible, repetitive shit. The fatal flaw in this, of course, is that there’s already one KGSR and it doesn’t hit you up for money every five minutes.

There are many eminently quotable comments in Michael Corcoran’s story, which, among other things, revealed a high level of disdain for John Aielli and Eklektikos (which has also been cut back), but I’ll go with 3CM subscriber Patrick Hurley’s, because it makes some cogent points, is in itself revealing, plus I can get his OK to use it.

“A most basic requirement of public radio in Texas is to promote things Texan — including its music, the best in the land. Who better to do this than the person who has done it most successfully for 28 years on KUT — Larry Monroe. The programs remained fresh, with a healthy mix of classic Texas music and the best of new and upcoming Texas artists. KUT seems to want to relegate Texas music to the trash can and replace it with some mix of ‘American’ music. They say the changes were made to better blend daytime and evening programs. There is no radio station that has increased its audience by blending daytime and evening music programs. Daytime programming is for a general audience while evening radio audiences are more discerning and eclectic. Larry Monroe understands this basic principle. It is a very sad day indeed when KUT loses the plot completely.”

Bear in mind that Patrick lives in Ireland. Unless they have Sirius XM, Austinites away from their computers have severely limited choices, I mean, KOOP (91.7) is preselected on the Dogmobile radio, but that’s only any use 9 a.m. to 11a.m. except Mondays, oh and 11am to noon Wednesdays; after that I’m out of luck if I don’t have any CDs with me. However, Patrick listens to KUT online, which means he’s chosen it from a gazillion alternatives because it’s different. If it stops being different, will he still listen? Hell, no.

Some years ago, KNON hired a GM who decided to compete with Dallas’ commercial hip hop and rap stations. He was fired a few months later when the next pledge drive raised like 65¢. I think you can see where I’m going here — next pledge drive, I urge you to punish KUT’s management, whose salaries, by the way, eat up most all of the first million raised, by withholding your donations unless and until you see tangible proof — reinstating Phil Music would be a good signifier — that they realize they fucked up. We can get syndicated shit anywhere.

[John Conquest is the publisher and editor of 3rd Coast Music.]

Also see Hello from Larry Monroe by Michael Corcoran / Austin 360 / July 16, 2009

And ‘Undercurrents’ host McVicar responds by Michael Corcoran / Austin 360 / July 15, 2009

The Rag Blog

This entry was posted in Rag Bloggers and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Bad Boogie at Austin’s KUT : ‘We Built This City’

  1. Anonymous says:

    The UnderCurrents guy, McVicker or whatever his name is, asks on Austin360, “Does it really matter exactly how we do our work as long as it has integrity and forms a deep connection with the listener?”

    Well, yes, dumbass. It does matter, in Austin. But then you don’t know Austin, do you? You’re elsewhere. We like our DJs live and personal. We don’t like the phoniness of your recorded format. There is no integrity if you are a thousand miles away and pretending to be in Austin. And no, you CAN’T possibly connect when you’re not really here. It’s all pretend. And if you like pretending so much, why don’t we arrange with KUT to just pretend to pay you for your work. I hear there’s a lot of “integrity” in pretending to pay rent and buy food. Well, pretend integrity, anyway.

    Your argument for remote outsourcing is a mockery of a sham of a farce. There is no there there. You don’t even suck, because YOU’RE NOT REALLY HERE! YOU HAVE TO ACTUALLY BE SOMEWHERE TO ACTUALLY SUCK. YOU DON’T EXIST TO US. YOU ARE MECHANICAL. YOUR MOLECULES ARE LOST FOREVER WHEN YOU TRY TO BEAM ABOARD KUT. YOU’RE A GHOST. YOU’RE DEAD TO US! YOU’RE DEAD AIR! DEAD MAN TALKING THOUGH NOT REALLY! YOU’RE ONES AND ZEROES. YET YOU DON’T ADD UP.

    And in desperately trying to show your with-it Austin-ness credentials, you hilariously pander to us in your commentary by extolling the virtues of anti-union & yuppie-priced Whole Foods, Apple Computer for some reason, and lovable Lance Armstrong. Sure, Lance is cool, but he doesn’t exactly live here either.

    But you don’t know that, do you? BECAUSE YOU DON’T LIVE HERE. It’s probably good you don’t, because phonies don’t really fit in very well in Austin.

    I predict you’ll be CANNED within one year, like your whole show is canned. Congrats on the business model and your success, but you don’t really belong EVERYWHERE. And quit pretending your show is something that it’s not. It’s just elevator music to us, and not the good 13th Floor ones (do you even know what that reference is about without googling it?).

    – Larry Listener (but not to you)

  2. Anonymous says:

    My other question for you is this, Undercurrents ghost DJ guy:

    What do you prefer, phone sex or physical sex?

    Case closed. Now excuse me, I have to take a call.

    – Larry Listener

  3. Anonymous says:

    It looks like they are trying to take Austin from the VERY Weird and uber Cool place that it is and (gasp!) force it into the mainstream! That would be a terrible waste! And a Texas Tragedy!

    Keep Austin Weird!!

    Texas Concerned Citizen!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Please don’t let the King of Commas and run-on sentences, the two-faced John Conquest, get involved in this mess. We all remember how John dissed the River City when he moved to San Assholio all those years ago, only to come slinking back to Austin with his tail between his legs when his endeavor down there crashed and burned.
    This is a big mess, don’t mess it up further by letting Conquest throw in his two bits.

  5. Thanks for the warm welcome anonymous guys…

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3026666663113592701

    😉

    gm

    p.s. I grew up on the 13th floor! You didn’t realize.

  6. So much misinformation in so few words. Really sorry you can’t parse a complex sentence, but that really isn’t my fault. Hiding behind Anonymous tells us everything we need to know about you, though I’m amazed you know how to spell it.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Wow. If this is Old Austin, good riddance.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Well Gainesville FL is worse off.

    ALL music (save some recorded NPR subscriptions on Sunday late afternoon) is off the air.
    ALL music, classical and jazz and world.
    ALL music off the air.

    WUFT RIP in GNV.

    (not counting HD classical for a select few)

  9. Anonymous says:

    Did yall see Gregg McVicar’s response? It’s a clip from the Blues Brothers. You know, the scene at the country bar where the crowd gets angry and pulls the plug on the music. To him, Austin is just a bunch of angry rednecks throwing beer bottles at Gregg’s good music. “What are those freak peckerheads playin?” It honestly is a good comeback. Mr. McVicar 1, Angry Anonymous 0.

    Angry anonymous, I am with you on supporting local DJs but don’t make it personal.

    Recommendations for civilized public discussions:

    1.Avoiding tendentious irrelevance
    Examples: Personal attacks, claims of opponents’ motivation, explaining reasons for an argument.

    2.Avoiding tendentious reciting
    Reproductions should be neutral regarding the subject of the debate.

    3.Avoiding tendentious ambiguity
    Ambiguous arguments may be easily adopted to suit criticism.

    4.Avoiding tendentious use of straw men
    Assigning views to the opponent that he or she does not hold.

    5.Avoiding tendentious original research
    Information put forward should never be untrue or incomplete, and one should not withhold any relevant information.

    6.Avoiding tendentious tone of voice
    Examples: irony, sarcasm, pejoratives, exaggeration, subtle (or open) threats.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I moved to the Austin area in 1991 and have been a member off and on as we could afford it. I first started listening to KUT on Sunday morning listening to Sound Site, which I loved listening to. It led me to listen to Blue Monday and Jazz excreta, Phil music and eklektikos. We have found ourselves more and more just turning off KUT and streaming music off of the internet on the weekends. I find On the Media to be self referential and annoying and sure to have me turn it off and when the radio is turned off it usually doesn’t get turn back on for the day. The times that we have left the Austin area I have never found a station like KUT. What has made KUT special has been these local home grown programs, not playing syndicated programs from the east coast. Had we know that these programs where in danger we would have contributed to them specifically. I have spent many Thursday evenings listening to Phil music while I worked on some project.

  11. Yoo-Steen says:

    On the one hand I was so relieved to find Cleve Hattersley’s July 28th post about the changes at KUT. I just sent an impassioned email to the station last night which I’ll link to below. I got a generic response. Until I found this thread I was feeling alone in my sentiments. I wish I had known about the meeting last night at Threadgills. When I composed this, I had no idea they were LITERALLY turning the station into WXPN (with Matt Reilly) and KCRW (with the piped-in California show). Yikes, guys, this is much more serious than I thought. I woke up this morning feeling I had gone overboard with my email, and now I’m realizing it’s probably too little too late and management isn’t even going to read it.

    The thing is, that for the 12 years I lived away from Austin and was streaming KUT for many of those years, it was specifically for listening to Paul Ray and Larry Monroe. I have been talking about how good these guys are forever, to anyone who will listen to me. Yesterday was the first time I heard the on-air announcement about the changes, and without even having to look, I instinctively knew what they were going to be cutting back.

    I posted a copy of the email I sent to KUT on my blog

  12. Anonymous says:

    Amazing how passionate the audience is about keeping music shows local… yet you all have no problems with airing syndicated News programming that takes up your prime time hours with Morning Edition, All Things considered, Fresh Air, The World and even BBC News! How does airing BBC news fit the ethic described by one commenter who said “A most basic requirement of public radio in Texas is to promote things Texan — including its music…”. He’s upset about Undercurrents, but has no problem with hours upon hours of NPR and BBC? I’m very much FOR local radio. The reason Public Broadcasters air NPR News is because producing local News is too expensive… and Membership would certainly decrease if your station took away the precious, syndicated, heard in every city NPR programming service. So I’m confused. You embrace and love syndicated News airing 10 hours a day during prime listening hours, but want to “bring out the pitch-forks” to rebel against a syndicated show that will air at midnight. Why not truly ask the station to support local programming by putting the displaced local music shows back on the air in place of Car Talk and Prairie Home Companion? Ask that they start producing a local morning show so you can stop airing the evil syndicated NPR? Good luck.

  13. Yoo-Steen says:

    Quality local or regionally produced programming in place of Car Talk or Prairie Home Companion? Sir, you are putting words in my mouth by insinuating that I DON’T want this. But it’s unrealistic, and I’m willing to compromise to a very large extent. Where exactly are you coming from anyway, Mr Anonymous? You seem to have an undisclosed agenda.

  14. Anonymous says:

    To “confused” Anonymous – here’s a short explanation.

    There are taped shows that have a value to the listner, and there are taped shows that add no value. Taped shows that add a value include news that informs or entertainment shows that make us laugh. The UnderCurrents shows does not offer interviews or journalism or anything of extra value. It’s just a tape of a DJ playing songs. It’s the same quality of a CD changer or iPod on shuffle.

  15. > The UnderCurrents shows does not offer interviews or journalism or anything of extra value.

    It’s a music show, pure and simple, and the music speaks for itself.

    > It’s just a tape of a DJ playing songs.

    We make it look easy? I’ll take that as a compliment.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Here’s a video of Lee Cook, former Austin Mayor and former CEO of Chamber of Commerce, talking at a recent KUT Town Hall meeting. They say Lee was the last Republican mayor in Austin, but I looked for his horns and tail and didn’t see any, so I don’t know if he’s a real Republican. Kidding aside, he’s a great guy and well spoken. See the video on youtube here:

  17. John B says:

    News of the controversy there in Austin concerning KUT’s addition of Gregg McVicar’s music show, Undercurrents, to the overnight lineup, has made its way to some us who are fans in other parts of the country – along with the impression that this controversy derives mostly from the notion that a program produced outside of Austin is not in keeping with the mission of a community themed public

  18. John B says:

    More than any other music program in all of radio, Gregg's show, Undercurrents, airs for little or no cost on America's poorest non-commercial radio stations. In places where you often couldn't find a DJ to do the overnight if you tried. Let alone find the money to pay them. Places where the only other nighttime choice is probably Muzak-grade commercial country, a religious station

  19. John B says:

    I live in a college town with not just one, but two, powerful FM NPR stations, neither of which carries Undercurrents – or is likely to – because no one wants change. No one wants change. I am grateful, however, that I can pick it up in my car as a faint signal from a Community Radio station broadcasting from an Indian Reservation 80 miles away. I am grateful to KUT, and the listeners of Austin

  20. Anonymous says:

    John B, that is some good spin work, but it's not going to fly.

    There have been a few yahoos being rude about UnderCurrents, but for the most part we've been polite to Gregg and focused on KUT management. If you wanna spin keeping UnderCurrents as a charitable thing we'll have to pick it apart too.

    A lot of what you say show Gregg is a nice guy, but that doesn&#

  21. Thank you John B. for the gracious (and unsolicited) comments. If I may jump in with a few fact-checks and questions for Anonymous:

    Generic National Standard: Quite to the contrary, UnderCurrents strives to represent the breath, diversity and innovation of American Music and connected cultures around the world. Yes, there are occasional sing-along songs with mass appeal, but “Paperback Writer” still meets the standard of artistic merit. Another threshold of acceptance is, has the artist released a CD with at least one great song on it? But having recorded and gained some little bit of national attention does not imply “generic” or for that matter, lowest common denominator. How is playing performance artist That One Guy, Navajo punk band Blackfire or Mali’s Issa Bagayogo ‘stamping out local cultures and asking them to conform to a generic national standard?’

    DJ Killer: People all around the country go to see touring Austin bands and buy their music — yet that doesn’t diminish opportunities for local music in the communities where they appear IMHO. Nor does Austin City Limits kill local culture around the USA.

    Earthsongs: KUT was an early-adopter of Earthsongs. It has been airing for several years on KUT and continues to this day — but at 4am.

    Native Songs: UnderCurrents spins two tribally-affiliated artists per hour, every hour. At the moment I’m working on UC show #1445. At 5 hours daily, that’s almost 15 thousand spins so far. That’s 32 Native spins/wk on KUT alone. By any measure, this is a substantial boost to an otherwise overlooked slice of the music scene. Broadcasting this music in Austin brings pride to local Native listeners and more broadly serves Native peoples by improving their visibility in the mainstream. This is not charity, this is central to public radio’s mission. Plus, it makes for great radio.

    Gregg McVicar
    Host/Producer
    UnderCurrents

  22. Anonymous says:

    I feel uncomfortable getting in a back and forth like this with Gregg directly, but maybe it’s best to get it hashed out. Gregg’s worked hard and accomplished a lot and deserves credit for it. John B wrote several paragraphs on some criticisms other people made and how Gregg is a nice guy and how Gregg makes great radio. I don’t disagree with any of that. But that service is not needed in Austin, we can do it on our own.

    Over 4 or 5 paragraphs, John B says that “much of what the decision to carry Undercurrents on KUT” is that it helps these small communities receive good radio. If Austin is going to give up local DJs and local programming for a good cause, is helping provide UnderCurrents to small communities really the most worthy cause for the Austin community to pursue? Or the most efficient use of radio time?

    Gregg, let me clarify the “generic national standard”. Perhaps generic is not the right word. Whatever you pick to play, no matter how diverse or creative, becomes a “one size fits all” national standard. Whatever New York has to hear, Alabama and Alaska also have to hear. Our example in Austin is there’s not a local DJ promoting local bands and shows while UnderCurrents is on. And it goes back to why? Why should Austin have a national standard forced on us, when we do plenty of great DJ programming on our own (see locally produced shows I mentioned above). And when I say the non-native tracks are standard fare, I guess that is by Austin standards. While it may be eclectic in some places, it is par for the course here.

    With the touring band analogy, if an Austin band went to San Diego and played in one club UnderCurrents style 5 to 7 nights a week, every week of the year, that would absolutely take away opportunities for locals. As for Public TV, it would hurt if Austin City Limits aired 35 hours each week like UnderCurrents does (or even the 16 hours Austin has).
    We both can keep explaining our thoughts, but no one can deny we have a real world case of our local programming and local DJs being replaced by UnderCurrents. Austin may the only place it’s happened, but that doesn’t make it ok.

    And I won’t disagree that how you place songs makes good radio. But 2 Native songs an hour are only about 15% of your overall time. I would disagree that spending just 15% of airtime on a public radio mission makes it ok to take a community connection away from Austin. It’s great that people have pride in being heard in Austin, but it’s not really anything we had a say in. 2 or 3 men made the UnderCurrents decision behind closed doors with no input from the community.

    Austin’s reaction is also making Austin look bad to those who don’t understand us. Some people probably think Austinites are blindly against anything not local and close minded. We are more than open minded and welcoming to every single touring band that comes to visit regardless of culture or genre (as long as they aren’t here to take over and promote their own national agenda). Many non Texas and non US bands say one of their favorite crowds to play for is here in Austin.

    How did Austin get to have a music scene that gets buzz internationally? By doing it our way and refusing to accept national standards. Every other music scene in the US died out once it made changes to conform to a national standard. That’s the way culture works. We are constantly fighting to keep Austin a special place. We constantly get developers and businessmen from all over the country trying to cash in on Austin and pull their schemes and alterior motives on us. Hopefully that at least gives insight into why we do what we do.

  23. Anonymous says:

    well at least this is like some free market research

  24. John B says:

    Anonymous, your decision not to have a name is disconcerting to me too. A friend of mine was mugged by a guy they called “Anonymous” once. I used a portion of mine, because my feelings are heartfelt, not spin. And then some.

    When I have some free time, I may offer a few additional thoughts on some of opinions. There is one, however, that I wanted to address now. And that is the statement that Earthsongs would have been a better choice for KUT, and that Undercurrents does not serve Native audiences. Earthsongs is different since Gregg has moved on to Undercurrents. At an hour a week, it wasn’t long enough to be considered a service to Native audiences; at least not on a daily basis. Though it seemed to be universally carried and liked on Native radio stations. Undercurrents, on the other hand, does serve a Native audience; and was chosen for funding because many stations that relied on the syndicated public radio network AIROS for the majority of their programming, received regular complaints from Native Americans that an all-Native format was not what they wanted. No more than Paul Ray’s listeners would want a show that aired only white musicians.

    Undercurrents has a good balance, considering the depth of the recorded Native American music catalog, and is very well received as a program service by Native Americans in Indian Country. And it’s so good, that it is well received in a lot of other places too. Quite honestly, it’s a minor miracle that Indian Country is lucky enough to receive a program service as good, and as diverse, as Undercurrents. Which is engaging anywhere, and just so happens to be carried on a lot of Native American radio stations. It’s a unique high quality music show that is like none other, and stands on its own merits.

    Raising of the drinking age has changed the music scene in most college towns, yet the notion that local music scenes have died in other parts of the country is ridiculous. Live music aside – new technology is making it such that folks can get whatever music they want, whenever they want, now anyhow. Something the newest generation of musicians and music fans is especially adept at. You note that: “Many non Texas and non US bands say one of their favorite crowds to play for is here in Austin.” Well, Undercurrents gives Austin exposure to just such bands…

  25. Anonymous says:

    True, I don’t have a dorky google account or whatever it takes to put a name on comments here. With 300 million people in the US, using the name John isn’t any more distinguishing than anonymous. At least you know I live in Austin.

    It is true UnderCurrents does a great job of serving Native American audiences in what you call Indian Country. But what does that have to do with Austin? It’s not reaching any of them here.

    If someone wants to say that UnderCurrents should stay in Austin for it’s noble playing of 2 native songs an hour in Austin, I will disagree. It’s taking over 16 hours of Austin programming and the native american exposure is only 2 songs an hour. If the reason to take away Austin’s local programming is to fufill a public radio mission, there’s many other programs that could completely fill those 16 hours with public endeavors.

    UnderCurrents is good and does have a good balance, but we already make balanced good radio here. UnderCurrents does stand on it’s own, but so does our local programming in both quality and diversity. One example is that Austin has plenty of immigrants from mexico & central american native cultures. They speak a mix of their traditional language and spanish and our KUT show Horizontes plays anything and everything from latin america.

    And we don’t need UnderCurrents to expose us to any bands. We have our own DJs to do that. Our town has created it’s own way to get
    new bands to come directly to us. Each year around 2000 bands from across the globe come here for SXSW. They play on the radio, on tv, at night, at day, most bands playing 3 or 4 times giving people a chance to hear them. Now there is less Austin airtime for SXSW bands because of UnderCurrents.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.