The Blaze - The Best Station For Local Music?

An Open Letter To The Blaze

(Add / View Comments) (0)Monday, March 15, 2010 - 06:34:03 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Rants)
Okay, this has been a long time coming...

I'm into local music. That shouldn't come as any shock to anyone that has spent more than 5 minutes looking at my website. And as such, I have an interest in The Blaze, Arizona State University's college radio station. Why? For the local music content of course. The station has been named Best Station for Local Music two years in a row. Mind you, I've been tuning in for local music long before they got that recognition from the New Times.

So, what's the problem? The increasingly 'halfed assness' of the station has gotten to an all time high for me, a listener who wants to listen, but has to jump through hoops to listen. It didn't seem to be a problem years ago. But these days, finding out about something cool on The Blaze is like pulling teeth.

The latest frustration to me is guest DJ week. That's right, it's March again. And guest DJ week is something I've been tuning in for since 2006, there is generally at least one really cool guest on. The problem is that, much like last year, there is absolutely no information on it. It's happening next week, and I only happened to be reminded of the fact by accidentally stumbling across a tweet from Jay Bennett (of the Phoenix New Times) mentioning that he's guest DJ'ing on the 25th of March. There is absolutely no information of guest DJ week on The Blaze's poorly updated website, nor on any of the many (unmaintained) Blaze social networking pages. If this year is anything like last year, then it might get posted on the website the day of the start of guest DJ week (if we're lucky, I suppose). Other than the sed tweet, the only other reference anywhere I can find about it is in this Up On The Sun post from last week's Phoenix New Times. Of course, the link therein links simply links to an Up On The Sun post from last year, not surprisingly posted by Martin Cizmar who DJ'ed last year.

So? Well this is on top of the having starred at the same out of date schedule on the website for the last year. The one that is up is from the spring 2009 semester (if not earlier, actually) and is completely out of date. At least one program on that schedule has not existed for an entire year.

Now, I know it's college radio, but come on! I'm not asking for big budget changes here. Just update your website! Honestly, it would take 5 minutes at the start of the semester to get the updated schedule put up. And if no one at The Blaze can do it, I find it hard to believe that there isn't a geek at from the Comp. Sci. department that could do it. You are a University after all. Admittedly I'm not well versed in college radio, but KJ has assured me that my expectations aren't exceeding what is reasonable for college radio. And since she worked at a high school station, which was run more professionally than The Blaze is at the moment, I feel pretty confident in my complaints. Plus, The Blaze just wasn't this bad years ago.

Ironically, this comes a day after tuning in for a local music show to be greeted by dead air. Given that was the first Sunday of spring break, the radio show not being on was not a surprise (that's usual), but dead air?

So to The Blaze - lift your game. There is little point in having a radio station if no-one can get information on when to tune in. Especially when there are listeners who want to tune in. And when you're advertised as "The Best Station For Local Music" (and ironically have not had any issues updating the website to announce that) you have more a responsibility to have your shit together. Knowing when to tune in shouldn't be comparable to pulling teeth.
Now Playing: Jim Bachmann - My Guardian Angel

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