There is only one truly effective cure for radio blandness -- listener supported radio is just that -- radio supported by its listeners. Unlike public radio, it is sponsored largely by listeners directly, benefit concerts, and a few local record stores -- not large corporations that do it to make people think they're giving back to the community. When informed listeners get to guide a station, the station turns into what the listeners want.

The station that brings this to mind: WBER, located in Rochester, New York. WBER (which can be heard via streaming audio at http://wber.monroe.edu/, or on the air at 90.5 FM) does play some of the things you hear all the time, such as Soggy Triscuit, Boy Stone, and others, but they play a lot of stuff that you don't hear that often. They're the ones that turned me onto The KLF's The Queen and I. They run test tracks often -- once an hour if I remember correctly. I have heard some incredibly cool bands there that I hadn't heard of anywhere else. I heard from Sixpence None The Richer as a test track there nearly a year before Kiss Me was such a big deal on the pop stations.

Unfortunately, I now live elsewhere, in a pit of unadulterated radio blandness.

KKUP, Cupertino -- supported solely by listener donations for 28 years. http://www.kkup.com/.

As a side note, in the United States, you can find a lot of non-profit radio stations under the 91.9 mark on your FM radio dial. (The FCC set aside 89.1 through 91.9 for non-profit, educational radio stations, throughout the USA.)

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