Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Oklahoma's Pure Rock Station?

For the past few years the CD player in my car has been broken and thus I've been listening to the radio while driving.  Often I listen to NPR on KGOU or I'll flip between the AM talk radio stations but when I'm not in the mood for talk (or more often the case yelling and mud slinging, at least on the AM stations) I flip between the six different rock 'n' roll related radio stations in the OKC area.  These include KOMA 92.5FM, 94.7 The Brew, 96.9 Bob FM, 99.7FM The True Oldies Channel (this one is actually syndicated), KATT 100.5FM, and KRXO 107.7FM (Note: I am excluding The Spy from this list since it is an online only station and, sadly, one that I cannot get in my car.).  Of these six stations, only one plays new rock music--the KATT--and the rest play classic rock and/or oldies.  The KATT likes to market itself as Oklahoma's "pure rock" station with tag lines on their bumpers like "Don't settle for half the rock, get it all from the KATT."  Well I hate to burst their bubble, but Rock 100.5 does not play all the rock.

Let's turn back the clock about 20 years to the year 1992.  Nirvana had broken into the mainstream, bringing Pearl Jam and a slew of other bands with them.  The KATT had always leaned towards the heavy metal and hard rock side of rock music and when Nirvana broke there was controversy at the KATT over whether or not they would add the Seattle band to the rotation.  Eventually the band got so big that the KATT couldn't not play them anymore and thus added Nirvana and Pearl Jam to regular rotation.  Throughout the '90s the KATT continued to play mainstream "alternative" bands like the Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails, Stone Temple Pilots, Green Day, Weezer, The Offspring, Collective Soul, Candlebox, and the Foo Fighters.  As the decade began to wane, mainstream rock tastes changed and the "alternative" movement of the early '90s was abandoned for nu metal.  The KATT moved with the tide and focused on these new breed of heavy metal acts.  Since that time a variety of different types of rock 'n' roll bands have gained mainstream success only to be completely ignored by the KATT.  This includes acts like Jimmy Eat World and Oklahoma's own The All-American Rejects.  My theory is that these acts were ignored because they don't appeal to the KATT's core audience, which is essentially metal heads and classic rockers.  Bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam were added to the rotation because the station simply couldn't ignore the shift in mainstream musical taste. 

Fast-forward to 2012.  The KATT is still primarily a heavy metal station.  The newer bands they push are acts like Five Finger Death Punch, Shinedown, Seether, Chevelle, and so on.  With the exception of an occasional appearance on the KATT's countdown show, the Pure Rock 20, the KATT has completely ignored the band Rise Against, despite their mainstream success.  The Gaslight Anthem's major label debut album has also been completely ignored by the KATT despite debuting at #4 on the Billboard chart and the band's many appearances on late night television (including an entire concert on Live on Letterman).  Both The Gaslight Anthem and Rise Against are two of the biggest bands in America; they play sold out shows all across the country and can appeal to a wide variety of rock fans (especially The Gaslight Anthem) so the fact that they have been totally overlooked by OKC's only rock station that isn't completely stuck in the past is completely ridiculous.  As it stands, Green Day, the Foo Fighters, The Black Keys, and The Offspring are the only non-metal bands whose new releases are added to the KATT's rotation.  

Now I'm not expecting the KATT to play band's like Hot Water Music, Two Cow Garage, or The Loved Ones since they are all on independent record labels (though they really should add the new HWM record to their rotation) but skipping over The Gaslight Anthem and Rise Against while claiming to be the "home of pure rock in Oklahoma" is a complete and total joke.  There is a plethora of great bands releasing excellent rock 'n' roll records (including a good number of bands from Oklahoma) that are getting utterly skipped over by the city’s only terrestrial rock station and that is a crying shame.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing.