Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The End of WOXY? Say It Ain't So...

WOXY staffers celebrating their move to Austin just a few short months ago

I was saddened to receive the tweets this morning that WOXY, the wonderful "modern rock" Internet station, would halt broadcasting immediately. No warning, no chance to celebrate their long legacy. I live in Austin, but many years ago in the early '90s, I lived in Dayton, OH. I used to listen to 97X (what it was called when it was on the dial, an Oxford, OH station) with a special antenna in my house and with static in my car. It was superior to any other station, and it is solely responsible for the musical taste I now have. I was first exposed to all the "alternative" music of the of that era, like Matthew Sweet, The Lemonheads, Juliana Hatfield, Wilco, The Replacements, Radiohead, Barenaked Ladies. My CD collection is a list of WOXY artists over the years, things like Jellyfish and Soup Dragons and Too Much Joy and CaveDogs and Charlatans and Stone Roses and Mazzy Star and Kitchens of Distinction and Smithereens and Hole and Liz Phair and Veruca Salt... Eventually I moved to Austin, and sadly left WOXY behind. When I heard they had an Internet stream, I was thrilled. When I heard they were moving to Austin, I was ecstatic. They were just what Austin needed, hip radio with taste and a conscience. The iPhone app was perfect. I thought I was in heaven.

Today's news is heart-breaking. I have been through this before with them. I gave money several years ago to register my support and to help keep them afloat. The eleventh hour saves were miraculous. But this does demonstrate the passion that people feel for the station. That has to be something upon which a business model can be based. It has to be! We need WOXY. I need WOXY!

Thanks to Shiv, Joe, Mike, Paige and Bryan Jay for bringing their passion and enthusiasm for music to Austin. At least, for a short time, it was a beautiful thing.

I'm not giving up yet. I remain hopeful that another 11th hour save is just around the corner. I can dream...right? Regardless, there will always be a special place for WOXY in my heart.

Update 3/26: Future Sounds, the owner of WOXY made this post regarding the tough decision and a potential future.

I sent a message to the general Future Sounds info email and received a nice reply back from Larry Little, thanking me for my support. That he took the time to listen and respond says a lot to me. Apparently, they had been receiving a lot of hate email. My impression is that they are sincerely looking for a solution and feel terrible about this decision. I remain hopeful...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Saturday - SXSW 2010 Comes to a Close

The big SXSW Festival came to a close with more day parties and special showcases. I started the day off with some friends playing at Drungo, Brent Adair and Flat Stanley. Then I made my way to Stubbs for the Rachael Ray party, which featured Jakob Dylan (with Neko Case) and She and Him (Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward). Later it was more friends in Summer Wardrobe and finally, the Alex Chilton Tribute at Antone's. This was supposed to be the big reunion of Big Star, the influential pop-group. But, lead singer Alex Chilton passed away earlier in the week, leaving the music community at a loss. Many of the SXSW stars paid tribute to Chilton during the time slot that was supposed to host the reunion. It was a touching and appropriate celebration of an important life.

Jakob Dylan at Stubbs, that's Neko Case with the red hair

Rachael Ray, it's her party!

Zooey Deschanel of She and Him

And that's M. Ward

Flat Stanley at Drungo

Summer Wardrobe

The Postelles came on right before the Chilton Tribute. They are a Strokes-like band from NYC.

The Big Star tribute to the late Alex Chilton was so special. Many stars came out to show their support and appreciation for this amazing talent.

Curt Kirkwood of the Meat Puppets

Chris Stamey

M. Ward

Big Star's Ken Stringfellow

Mike Mills of REM

John Doe

Sondre Lerche

Chuck Prophet

Evan Dando

Amy Speace - Evan Dando is on the right

Rousing final rendition of September Gurls with Susan Cowsill and the Watson Twins

Drummer Jody Stephens adds some final words and his thanks at the end of an amazing evening.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Friday - SXSW 2010 - The Courtney Love Edition

This was an exciting day. Hole and Courtney Love were amazing at Stubbs. It was my first time seeing her live, so powerful! I wasn't in as good a spot for pictures for the showcase at Dirty Dog, so most of the pics are from the day show at Stubbs. Lots of great music all day long.

We Were Promised Jetpacks

More Nicole Atkins and Future Clouds and Radar - at Club DeVille this time

Hole at Spin Party - Stubbs

Cheap Trick- Auditorium Shores

Hole - showcase at Dirty Dog

Foxy Shazam - absolutely insane

Patrick Stump

The legendary Smokey Robinson!

Some random scenes from the streets of Austin