#KXTFail? Not So Fast.

kxt917.png
Haters gonna hate
There's a lingering disdain in the air for the turbulent playlists of KXT 91.7-FM. Understandably so. For every decent song the station plays, there are two or three -- Train's "Drops of Jupiter," Stereo MCs' "Connected" -- that belong on corporate-run stations.

It wasn't always that way, though. The station's first year was strong, with only a few programming hiccups. A good mix of local and indie rock, plus a complete lack of commercials, easily made it the only station you needed to listen to all day. Then about a year ago, they started playing Matchbox 20 and other bands of the mainstream, saccharine ilk and called it an attempt to grow. The Twittersphere, however, called it #KXTFail.

Even still, my radio dial hovers pretty closely over the air space. In fact, I had it on this Saturday when my two-year-old son and I were driving around in the cold rain. That's when something strange happened.

A song came on that prompted me to turn it up. A xylophone rang out over melody reminiscent of the early '90s power pop of Sugar or Guided By Voices. But there was something new about it. I imagined the band was some fledgling national act I hadn't yet heard, breaking out with a pretty solid pop single. I can't remember the last time the radio did that to me: I had to find out who sang the song.


Turns out the song, "All You Do Is Crazy," belonged to Fort Worth's Fate Lions. I almost did a spit take. Before this moment, I can say I haven't been much of a Fate Lions fan. After seeing them live and hearing a handful of songs, I thought they were just OK. Had I been perusing a blog that offered a free Fate Lions mp3, chances are I probably would have just skipped over it. Probably why I've never heard the song since its 2009 release.
fatelions.jpg
Fate Lions

But KXT did something the Internet can't do. They pulled a fast one and got me hooked on a really good song and then revealed that it's not the big, national, blogosphere-saturated band I had built up in my mind. It was Fate Lions from down the street. And now I'm a fan.

In the aftermath of  #KXTFail, I'd say they're succeeding -- even if I have to stomach the Dave Matthews Band's "What Would You Say" one more time.   

My Voice Nation Help
65 comments
Ruthie
Ruthie

Thank God You Said something. Yeah I like to hear local bands but not the same handful of bands over and over and over and over again and at your triple Play shows............I was so grateful to when KXT came along but truthfully I went back to KNON 89.3. 

MattL1
MattL1

I've been listening to KXT since it first went on the air (a few minutes late, if memory serves).  Admittedly, I don't get to listen as much now as I used to, but I live in a place that gets both Dallas and Austin stations, and KXT blows just about all the others out of the water.  Are there songs I wish they'd stop playing?  Absolutely (Don Henley).  And I think the listening public needs to continue to help them to refine their playlist scope.  

Judging from the number of comments here, people obviously care, which is a good thing.

Ultimaterollo
Ultimaterollo

The Gini Mascorro in the morning always plays solid music. She has a great mix, and seems to take care with the order of the songs in a way that doesn't exist in the radio world. She does a great job of blending each block of music with old and new. Excellent job. Favorite DJ on KXT. 

InModWeTrust
InModWeTrust

What about the Classic Rock???  Don't forget that.  How can you play a great local band like Seryn, the latest from a national indie act and then follow it up with Jethro Tull???!  It's not JUST that they are playing the modern rock and the classic rock.  It's the fact that they are ignoring DJ 101 and playing them all together with little to no flow.  Those songs are my cue to flip back over to The Range.

InModWeTrust
InModWeTrust

sure you can find a hidden gem, but when every fourth song is by a washed up and irrelevant mid-90's "modern rock" act, you might as well listen to the Edge. Until further notice, KXT does suck.

gabbahey
gabbahey

I've been a sustaining member for a couple of years now, and for a while, I was tuning out more than I tune in. I've recently gone back to KXT off and on (when there's NOTHING on Sirius), and have noticed a significant change from the last time I tuned in regularly. What I notice is a lack of the same commercial crap that was known to inundate the daily rotation. I am pleasantly surprised, and am happy for them, seems as though they have found their sweet spot, they just need to exploit it.

Fin
Fin

I used to contribute and even work the pledge drives. they have a 1/16th ratio of playing something interesting and/or local. i'm a normal dude, not an overly sensitive music snob and it just upsets me!

it's about the popular hits for me. Freakin Sting, Green Day, Train, Dave Matthews...ugh. And if you're going to play U2, Tom Petty, popular classic rock artists, at least go with some tracks that are not their A#1 hits.

Still, to me, playing popular, commercial radio hits does not equate to independent radio.

youtalkin'tome?
youtalkin'tome?

Play me some Seals and Crofts...and off to heaven my ears and soul float. :)

Benmoorecore
Benmoorecore

KXT is the Josh "Second" Hamilton of local radio. They look all tatted up and cool, but they are usually just boring and lackluster. But every now and again they sure know how to have a good time.

Poodle
Poodle

Falling in love with a song, scrambling to find out what the band is -- and discovering they're from DFW. It's happened to me TWICE this week. And I love it.

Jessica Hoover
Jessica Hoover

I took that pic of Fate Lions while we were at KXT, ha.

Chuck G.
Chuck G.

It's actually 105.3 The FAIL

Marvin
Marvin

This is kind of off topic, but I think I remember a few years back that some public stations would be broadcasting in digital.  Not satellite, maybe digital FM?  What ever happened with that?  Why no local digital HD radio?

Judaspriest
Judaspriest

Maybe a radio insider who has access to Arbitron can post the full numbers, but a public search of D/FW ratings shows that KXT has generallybeen at a 1.0 share or higher since last summer, and the audience has been hovering around 250k during that same timeframe, which is damn good for a public music station.  That's double where they were a year ago.  And in their defense, their playlists don't show any Matchbox 20 or Train at all over the past few months (you can Google it).  KXT isn't perfect, but I have to admit I find myself listening more often these days.

Scott Otto Riegel
Scott Otto Riegel

I still love KXT in spite of their inexplicable crush on Foster the People and Lana Del Ray. Anyone who gives St. Vincent airplay right next to lesser-known Elvis Costello and local acts is awesome in my book, so I don't mind having to sit through the obligatory faux-indie bleh-ness or John Cougar Mellencamp.

Jakesnake
Jakesnake

Getting tired of hearing those uber racist "The Orbans" over and over and over and over and over...

mandy
mandy

I LOVE the station! I can turn it on and hear Kate Bush,David Bowie to Crowded House all they way to new indie stuff. They ROCK:) Im a happy camper:)

Rangers100
Rangers100

Key detail here: Saturday.

KXT tries on weekends and during overnight hours.  

Weekday peak hours?  So much Train and classic rock fail.

phe_75034
phe_75034

I think the station has got a lot better here recently. I don't remember the first year being all that great. In fact, I remember thinking sadly about the wasted opportunity.

But here relatively recently, I've noticed more local music from a wider assortement of bands - for a while there, it was Orbans, Sarah Jaffe, and Old 97s, period - and more stuff you don't hear anywhere else.

The only job more thankless than publicly-supported-radio-station programmer is probably editor of local alternative weekly music blog. I don't want either job. But I'm glad someone is out there doing both!

Heidi094
Heidi094

I heard they were going to play some ben kweller's new stuff - I've yet to hear it but keep listening in to see if they hold up!

Heartchasers
Heartchasers

Sorry being subjected to Train in any amount is not worth the occasional good song. It was great the first year.

Pamitha42
Pamitha42

I would also enjoy if they would play something besidees the same two songs by local artists, some deeper cuts. I like the Old 97s but get REALLY tired of hearing Friday Night.

Eastdallasgirl
Eastdallasgirl

I really like the mix on KXT - and the weekends def feature more indy.It would be nice to have more inhouse interviews with these up and coming bands.

Why not get sponsorship from their favorite pubs? I like open mike at Opening Bell, LaGrange and at Crown and Harp...why not have KXT events live?

Eastdallasgirl
Eastdallasgirl

Yeah, how about 'old school hour', and then 'new kids on the block' ?

ono
ono

seryn? you must be fucking joking...

ono
ono

ghey..

ono
ono

that douche has zero concept of just what an embarrassment he is..  HEY EVERYONE, I HAVE PROBLEMS WITH DRINKING!!! somebody call becky oliver...

ono
ono

whoopee.........

ono
ono

that is because you're a pretentious ass..

ono
ono

eh, they'll peter out. they suck, they know it, and they don't have staying power. at all.

ono
ono

of course you are...

T. Erickson
T. Erickson

Yep - KXT on the weekends is kind of unique. Usually can hit the present and leave it there. Morning and evening drive, not so much. But I get that. Bigger audiences need more variety.

ono
ono

load O'shite..

Rangers100
Rangers100

Agreed.  I do think it has gotten better lately.

I've been very critical of KXT, but I am a member and will continue to be.  Flawed as it is, it's the best we've got in DFW for now.  

Those of us that like real/indie music are up against a dominant, stridently anti-intellectual culture that likes really, really awful music.

ono
ono

sucker..

rebecki
rebecki

 I've heard one of his songs on the station the other day!

Rangers100
Rangers100

I listen to KEXP all day via TuneIn... dreaming of a day when Dallas might be able to sustain a true indie station.  

Sarita
Sarita

 Great idea, and they do. Tripleshots at the Kessler feature 3 local bands who might not have the pull to bring in a crowd individually, and they do nights at the Belmont hotel as well. And they're starting to sponsor shows out at Lola's, as well. I think they're on the right path.  Need to go pledge, actually...

Sarita
Sarita

 seriously, there are drugs for this problem, bizzy.

Jakesnake
Jakesnake

There was a recent festival where they stayed up all night drunkenly yell/singing about hanging people from trees. Didn't like em much before...hated them ever since.

JLR
JLR

agreed... the only thing the station needs to do is to up the ante a bit.  There is a reason that KCRW and KROQ became known nationwide as the stations to listen to for new music.  KXT has the potential to be just as big and as influential.  Problem is, they don't know it.

ono
ono

yep, they do know it, but.. y'know, this is dallas and everything...

rebecki
rebecki

I think they do know it. It's easy to forget that like any other new business, they are a start up and are working to find a model that works for this community.  Sure they've got the support of KERA (and listeners), but they've got to work through kinks and try new things just like every other new endeavor. 

I'm a supporter and definitely want to help it reach it's full potential, and I'm excited that we get to be in at the ground floor and watch it find its footing! 

JLR
JLR

What to choose?  hhhmmm... Nickelback, or Creed? That's just the tip of the iceberg 

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...