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Archive for Saturday, August 15, 1998

S MUSICAL TASTES

August 15, 1998

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Lawrence radio stations are designing their programming to fit their audiences.

With the diverse programming offered by radio stations KJHK, KANU and KLZR, your CD or record collection may take a back seat to your tuner this fall.

  • KJHK-FM 90.7, known as The Hawk, is a student-run station that sits on the Kansas University campus and features mostly college and underground music during its regular programming.

The station is staffed by volunteer student personnel, and because of its non-commercial status, it is more adventurous with its shows than any other station in town.

``We don't play pop music,'' station manager Trevor Ruder said. ``You'll never hear The Spice Girls on our station, unless it's as a joke.''

Programs dedicated to polka (``The Jukebox Polka Show''), ska (``The Heavy Heavy Munster Sound'') and female recording artists (``Concorde Flair'') demonstrate the diversity of the staff and, in turn, meet the needs of a very diverse student body.

All positions, from station manager to disc jockey, have to be filled by KU students before each semester of broadcasting begins. Everyone is trained to follow FCC guidelines and must commit to one or two shifts per week.

According to Ruder, the rewards lie in the experience gained, the excitement of being on air live and giving bands exposure that they otherwise couldn't get elsewhere.

``We try to play bands that aren't being heard anywhere,'' Ruder said. ``All those big, rock star bands that have sold a million records, they don't need our help. Let's give others a chance and hopefully help them get big.''

``Plow the Fields,'' ``Hip Hop Hype,'' ``The Punk Show,'' ``Jazz in the Morning'' and ``The Dinner Hour Playback'' are a few of the regular programs featured on the KJHK broadcasting schedule.

  • KANU-FM 91.5, Kansas University's public radio station, is a nonprofit, noncommercial radio station also on the campus. It is funded by sponsors, listeners and the National Public Radio broadcasting corporation. The station is run by paid staff.

KANU shies away from rock music and focuses primarily on jazz, classical and folk. Although the median age of the station's audience is about 40, KU students will find much to attract their ear.

Nationally syndicated programs such as ``Car Talk,'' a car care comedy show, ``Fresh Air,'' featuring in-depth interviews with newsworthy people by Terry Gross, and ``The Retro Cocktail Hour,'' billed as ``space-age bachelor pad music served shaken, not stirred'' combined with the NPR news programs ``Morning Edition'' and ``All Things Considered'' provide a variety of special interest programs to delight the intellect of both students and their parents.

  • KLZR-FM 105.9, known as The Lazer, is a commercial station in Lawrence geared specifically toward students. Its regular programming consists of modern rock, new alternative rock and local music.

Specialty programs include ``Nocturnal Transmissions,'' with DJ Ray Velasquez, ``The Lazer's Local Music Show,'' with Jeff Peterson, and ``Modern Rock Live,'' a Los Angeles-based nationally syndicated interview show where listeners can call in to talk to their favorite musicians.

The Lazer also carries live coverage of all KU football and basketball games.

Roger the Dodger, programming director, says he loves his job and being involved with cutting-edge music.

``This is what a station in the year 2000 should sound like,'' he said. ``The disc jockeys aren't totally ramping over songs or anything like that. They actually treat the music with respect.''

``Future Mass Hysteria,'' which features up-and-coming bands, ``The Lazer Flashback Show,'' which puts you back in the `80s, and ``Revolution,'' dance music broadcast live from The Granada, 1020 Mass., with DJ Roland, are some other programs The Lazer has to offer.

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