What’s your favorite thing about radio? Is it the 3-7 song-advertisement ratio or the loquacious morning show team’s asinine banter blasting through your alarm clock at 7 a.m.? Perhaps you mostly enjoy the various explosion sound effects preceding your station-of-choice’s four-letter call sign or the vigor with which that nameless male’s baritone voice articulates them.
Hearing the same over-processed pop tune five times in a single afternoon of cubicle-ridden data entry might do it for you, but the masses typically agree: Corporate-controlled, commercial radio has become as much a disaster as corporate-controlled cable television, sans the tragic visuals (e.g. Jersey Shore, Sarah McLachlan speaking on behalf of dying puppies). Those who feel otherwise—does this breed still exist?—are of the despondent few who haven’t woken up to the evils of advertising and the entertainment industry.
But alas, there’s a smidgen of promise for those stuck listening to the radio at work or the kind with a bankroll too slim to install an auxiliary-ready CD player in the ‘94 Civic (life happens). The final threads of broadcasting decency lie in public radio, and Lafayette’s award-winning affiliate is right here on campus.
KRVS 88.7’s listener-supported programming realm has spanned genres and generations since hitting the airwaves in 1963 with 10 watts of power that covered only six city blocks. Almost half a century later, the station airs more than 50 programs from Burke-Hawthorne Hall’s Cypress Lake Studio, with its 100,000-watt broadcast reaching 651,000 residents across 12 parishes. If you haven’t yet discovered the phenomenal programming KRVS has to offer, there’s no excuse. It’s time to convert.
All the nuisances that come with commercial radio—the advertisements, the annoying soundboard, the repetitive playlists—KRVS is pure of such atrocities, as its only advertisements are in-house spots showcasing the station’s many offerings. The obnoxious sound effects are nonexistent, and each program emblazons the listener with a completely different genre of music than the one before. There’s something for everyone, and a good portion of it’s locally produced.
So check out local musicians Adam Trouard and Jake Hebert Friday nights on the “Sound Club Radio Programme,” and listen to rhythm enthusiast Andre Broussard’s new soul/funk/R&B show that premieres April 11 at 1 p.m. Make it a ritual to hear John Greene and D’Jalma Garnier for jazz night every Tuesday evening, and tune in any given day to meet with KRVS music director Cecil Doyle—AKA Daddy Cecil—who hosts five shows that span across reggae, eclectic, classical, worldly and unusual sounds (i.e. Monday night’s “Sounds Unusual,” an episode of which featured the audio to an Arnold Schwarzenegger workout tape). Support UL Lafayette students Kyle Monceaux and Diego Martin-Perez, who both host late-night shows honoring their respective Cajun and Latin heritages. And don’t forget the broadcast journalism students who compile news stories for “Louisiana Focus” every Monday.
Sounds like a cool breath of fresh air after having Wiz Khalifa stuck in your head for the last six months, right? Don’t pull your hair out or physically abuse your radio the next time your tuner veers toward the dark side. Just change the station, and don’t look back.