WCAL Alt Rock for the Discerning

So my sister Jen sent me this Star-Trib article on the new format of WCAL, the radio station recently purchased by Minnesota Public Radio from St. Olaf College this fall.

The article caught my attention right away with it’s first paragraph:

“Adventurous music lovers whose tastes range from Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” to the current buzz band Arcade Fire will find a commercial-free haven next month on the former classical radio station WCAL.”

Awesome! No really, I am ecstatic about this. The quality and sensibilties of MPR programming married to a music format that I can relate to is something that could get me listening to music on the radio again. No offence intended Radio K.

I immediately began to wonder if there is any room in this format to explore faith-based musical expression, you know, the non-crossover type. So I decided to give the fine staff over at WCAL a shout via a neat little blog they setup for the purpose of sharing ongoing developments and getting future listener feedback.

Here’s what I had to say:

I just want to say kudos on the brave programming choice for WCAL, I have enjoyed MPR over the last couple of years for two main reasons; first I like to stay informed, and second, there just isn’t any music stations in the cities that I want to listen to. Looks like that is about to change. I look forward to MPR applying it’s sensibilities and intelligence to a music format other then classical.

One note, I would love to see a “Speaking of Faith” type program that explores God in music. As a Christian I listen to many excellent musicians that have a strong faith but that lack an ability to be played in the very narrow Christian radio market in town. I have followed Christian artists that have shown true genius musically that have fallen in the monstrous gap between being a “cross-over” band with secular appeal and the vanilla flavorings of contemporary Christian music.

Such bands as Pedro the Lion, Over the Rhine, The Violent Burning and Mike Pritzel, Michael Knott, Poor Old Lu and Aaron Sprinkle, The Choir … I could go on and on, these guy have great talent but minimal exposure. Over the Rhine has had some critical success but they are the only one that I know of.

There is a great spiritual appeal in music, and art in general, because it is so directly an act of the creative mind. I think it would be a great asset for your new station to explore the effects of spirituality in music and vise-versa.

Wouldn’t that be great? So many people I know have asked who the good Christian-worldview artists are. They have listened to the likes of KTIS and K LOVE and found the music lacking depth, and sometimes talent. I would really enjoy MPR-style programming shining some light on the talent in this segment of the music market.

3 thoughts on “WCAL Alt Rock for the Discerning

  1. “They have listened to the likes of KTIS and K LOVE and found the music lacking depth, and sometimes talent.”

    Sometimes talent???


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