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, 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.

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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