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KMXN's 'Go Loco' Gets Local With Unsigned Bands

April 13, 2002|RANDY LEWIS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The grass-roots music scene gets a long-absent boost in the form of a weekly radio program focusing on unsigned bands when "Go Loco" premieres Sunday night at 8 on Anaheim-based Super Cool KMXN-FM (94.3).

"There's just so much great music in Orange County," said the station's new program director, Rand DeWitt. "Every time you turn on the radio you hear Lit, No Doubt, the Offspring, Social Distortion--the list goes on."

Although DeWitt's list encompassed the punk and alternative-rock bands that have been the county's biggest success stories in recent years, he said that "Go Loco" will have "no boundaries." That means roots-rock, blues, country and other genre groups will have a shot at airplay on the four-hour segment, which will be hosted by deejay Sean Thumb.

Local music shows have appeared on Southland radio stations, but they've mostly been on college or public stations, which makes the move by commercial KMXN all the more unusual.

Along with Thumb, local radio veteran Tazy Phyllipz will have a featured segment each week, DeWitt said.

"It's going to be very music intensive," said Phyllipz, "without a lot of talk." Phyllipz said the definition of "local" music that will be covered will coincide roughly with the station's signal coverage area, which means primarily Orange County, along with Long Beach, some parts of Los Angeles and bits of the Inland Empire.

The show was spawned by the success that KMXN's sister station in San Diego, KSFD-FM (92.1), has had with a Sunday night local music program in a market dominated by Clear Channel Entertainment-owned 91X-FM (91.1).

"It's woken 91X up a bit," said DeWitt, who was assistant program director at KSFD before coming to KMXN in February. "Now they're in kind of a battle, and more local music is being played, which is great for everybody.

"It's going to be mostly the unsigned acts," he said. "But if [No Doubt singer] Gwen Stefani wants to show up and bring us something one week, we're not going to say, 'Sorry, come back Monday.'

"What I think it's going to do is turn people back onto radio....," he said. "The whole radio scene has been so homogenized for so long, a lot of people have been turned off by it."

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