Although the video might have killed the radio star, the easy, free and ubiquitous access to digital music has desecrated its corpse. Our minds narrow in on what we want to hear, we immediately access it through pirating or streaming services, consume it and then we are on to the next. However, the experience of tuning into the other realities of radio is still available to those looking to turn their dial a little to the left.
Austin has a plenum of different radio stations broadcasting from the liminal side of reality. Whether you are looking to get down with some Christian rap, soothe your woes and sanity away with some relaxation music or catch up with what conspiracies are currently running the world, Austin’s left-of-the-dial radio stations can turn any prosaic day of errands in your car into an altered reality of information.
91.3 Simply Beautiful
Do finals, the end of the world or the looming heat death of summer in Austin have you stressed? No problem, just tune into Simply Beautiful. The station specializes in relaxation music, the kind you might hear after getting a lobotomy or sitting around at an old folks home drinking a nice glass of warm milk. Regardless of whether you are relaxing in a straight jacket at the Austin State Hospital or in your car, this station will no doubt turn anything awful into something that is simply beautiful.
91.5 Liberty Radio
No matter what historical or political narrative you subscribe to, ingesting a little conspiracy is always good for one’s intellectual diet; if not, it’s still fun to hear the fulminations of the great orator, Alex Jones. With an inexhaustible amount of energy, Jones vehemently preaches from his conspiratorial pulpit regarding the upcoming race war, the secrets behind 9/11 and how feminism was a ploy by the CIA to destroy American families. Ignorance is bliss, apparently.
88.7 The Voice of Austin
If you haven’t heard, Austin is all about community radio. While most might be familiar with student-run radio KVRX and KOOP Austin, a couple of shimmys to the left of the dial is KAZI, The Voice of Austin. Oriented towards the African-American community in Austin, KAZI lays down some of the best ’70s funk, ’90s pop R&B, gospel and informative public affairs programming. The Voice is a refreshing shade to an otherwise colorblind side of the dial.
88.1 Candle 88
Regardless of whether you are zealot or a card-carrying member of the Atheist Longhorns, the Candle can be enjoyed by all. While you might not get down with the testifying that the DJs often break down into, hip-hop fans will no doubt be interested in investigating the realm of Christian rap. Orienting entire flows and rhymes around the concept of Christ and being a good person is a feat worth hearing. Forget Kanye and Jay-Z; these MCs are watching the real throne.
Coast to Coast AM
Not really a station in itself, but still no doubt worth mentioning, Coast to Coast AM is a six-hour talk block of everything fringe. Hosted by the ever-stoic George Norey, Coast offers a bevy of paranormal, conspiratorial and fringe science material that is both informative and entertaining. The show has played host to a number of strange individuals who have claimed to have been involved with government time travel, made a trip to mars with Obama when he was a teen astronaut or have the skinny on cattle mutilation. In addition to its guest format, the show often moves to an open line format in which anyone, even you, can call in with their Men in Black experience, spirit possession or insight on 2012, letting you indulge your inner Mulder or Scully.
Coast to Coast is broadcasted on 590 KLBJ AM from 10 PM until 4 AM.
William M. Bass