UPDATE: After a brief intro from KERA President and CEO Mary Anne Alhadeff, KXT launched into the morning program, leading with a Carlos Santana cover of "She's Not There," the classic Zombies track. Good pick, KXT...we'll be back for the afternoon drive.
The anticipation for the launch of KXT 91.7, KERA's new sister station with the an all-music format, has built itself into a studio and a Monday launch date. Starting at 7 a.m., commuters can tune in and expect -- not just hope -- to hear music from bands in the station's coverage area.
Novel idea, we know, but it's something that's been missing around here in the capacity that a dedicated public station can provide. News of KERA's purchase and plans for the new station has generated a discussion about the efficiency of DFW's music scene as a whole, articulated well by KERA-cum-KXT host Paul Slavens this summer, and a general indictment of the slim options that have existed on our airwaves, most recently delivered by one Pete Freedman of the Dallas Observer. The new station will showcase local music alongside nationally known artists under the umbrella of "adult album alternative" -- read: no Chris Brown, but the occasional Beatles tune.
As we wait for Monday, there's little we can do but download Sound Opinions podcasts (one of the better imported shows the station will feature) and read about the local folks who'll make the decisions. Morning host and music coordinator Gini Mascorro will be the first personality you'll hear on the station. Her qualifications include an early education via Creem and a batch of "musical pilgrimmages" in the UK, which, for us, weigh almost as much as her experience hosting All Things Considered. (Pegasus News' Sarah Crisman chatted with Mascorro regarding like matters this week.) You'll hear Mascorro on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 7 to 11 a.m. and Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 7 a.m. until noon.
We're not as familiar with how much Joe Kozera, the afternoon and evening host, actually appreciates music, except that he's a composer himself and worked and a mom-and-pop country station.
The first week of in-studio performances scheduled on KXT 91.7 looks less like a mix CD from a Texas-based music snob than an accurate representation of the supremely good and the slightly cheesy among our bountiful crop of worthy perfomers: songwriter and repeat NPR darling Sarah Jaffe, string-band style duo The O's, relentless showman Andrew Tinker, and The Ticket's Danny Balis.
We haven't been this excited to turn on the radio since Frank Hejl hosted Frequency Down on 88.1 KNTU, a Sunday night indie show that was the only block each week on that station to plug DFW's indie-rock talent. Almost every week, we taped the show on our clunky CD/cassette stereo, hoping to save the excitement we felt as Hejl's playlist was revealed.
The sounds have changed since the show went off the air three years ago, but the need for our musicians to be heard is the same. Cheers to KXT as it begins to address that need with a far reach and some good faith.
Follow KXT on Twitter: @kxtradio