Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The future of rock and roll

This morning, I, like many others, awoke to discover that the long revered WOXY.com had been shut down. This is a massive blow to independent music and media, both of which we at KWUR hold dearly - but beyond that, we've also lost an outlet for great music, which I have turned to time after time for the very best tunes, new and old. Needless to say, I'm bummed out about the whole thing. As Matt Shiverdecker, WOXY's music director and a good friend, said, "It is, to be perfectly honest, quite a kick in the dick."

I had the great fortune to discover WOXY back in 2007, when I was writing an article for my high school newspaper about interesting places in Cincinnati. On a whim, a friend and I decided to head down to Longworth Hall, where the station was located at the time. Shiv, Mike and Joe were incredibly welcoming and kind, and answered all of our questions and let us hang out for an Lounge Act performance they hosted that day with David Vandervelde. I was blown away by the place and the experience - it was the coolest place I had ever seen, run by the coolest people I had ever met - and on my way out, I asked if they needed any help around the station. One thing led to another, and soon after, I was at the station once or twice a week, reviewing CDs and editing old Lounge Acts.

Meanwhile, I was listening whenever I could, damaging my hearing with all sorts of incredible new music. Shiv and everyone else there became the hip older brothers I never had. After I graduated and moved to St. Louis for college, I immediately located the radio station on campus and since then I've spent as much time here as I possibly could. As I became more involved, I constantly looked back to my experience at WOXY, and the station itself, as a guide. Stack Sessions, which we kicked off over the summer, is based largely on the Lounge Acts I used to watch and still listen to. Music has been an extremely important part of my life, and probably always will be, and I owe much of that to the folks at WOXY.

So, what does all of this rambling add up to? I know that lot of people are saddened and frustrated by Future Sounds' decision to take WOXY off the air; I count myself among that group. And while I cannot see a bright side to this situation - I don't think there is one - I want Shiv, Mike, Joe, Bryan Jay and everyone else that worked there to know that you have been a huge inspiration to me and many, many others. I hope with my entire being that WOXY finds its way back on the air - it's happened before! it can happen again! - but even so, the hard work you all put in over so many years has had an immeasurable impact on so many lives, mine included. Thank you, viva la WOXY, and viva la musica.




At 3:41 PM, Anonymous Jeff Macklin said...

What a great piece. Thanks for spreading the word on WOXY. This the third time they have dropped from the "airwaves" and i trust they will be back in some form. Great people, Great music.

At 3:47 PM, Anonymous Chris MacDonald - IndieFeed said...

Well said brother. After coming off the high of an incredible SXSW this year, this is a bitter way to see the news wrap up from Austin. Here's to their speedy resurrection.

At 4:21 PM, Blogger Sara Leah said...

Great post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences of WOXY.

At 10:14 AM, Anonymous Nick Speiser said...

Well said, Kenny. I find the whole situation frustrating and depressing. WOXY may have been the "Future Sound of Rock and Roll," but to me they seemed more like the future of radio. Where will radio go from here?

At 2:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to mention that Future Sounds moved the entire WOXY operation to Austin about 6 months ago. Terrible for the DJs who left Cincinnati to stay with the station. WOXY was still broadcasting terrestrially on a HD station in Cincy, now it's switching to adult contemporary. Eugh, kill me now.


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