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Why KAFM Matters

By David Goe

KAFM Community Radio is currently in Fund Drive mode, raising cash to keep the station operational. Culminating with Radio Soul Train at the Mesa Theater this Friday, the Fund Drive is a great introduction to the station and what they stand for. I've been a supporter of the station for quite sometime and still believe it is relevant to the Grand Valley. It's truly the only station where local bands can get airtime (see the current Battle of the Bands contest) and the only station where YOU can meaningfully shape the sound.  

Last October I wrote this article about the KAFM Fall Fund Drive.  While the Fund Drive dates have changed the message still remains pertinent. 

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“Rock ain’t about doing things perfect,” says Jack Black in the movie “School of Rock.” “Do you wanna rock? You gotta break the rules. You gotta get mad at the man and right now I’m the man… Who’s got the guts to tell me off?”

KAFM Community Radio does. It’ll stick it to the man all right. KAFM and its tireless volunteers are up for the task.

On Friday, Oct. 5, KAFM starts its Fall Fund Drive. “Whoopity doo” you’re probably saying. Well guess what? If you dig music, and I mean live and die and sweat and cry over music, really dig it, then it’s time to tune in.

“Left on the dial, right on the music,” as my man and fellow volunteer DJ Allen likes to say. KAFM is one of the last true and real music resources left, not only in Grand Junction, but in the country.

One of less than 200 community radio stations in the United States, KAFM is free from the shackles of corporate run, for-profit radio. The man has no power over KAFM. The man has no sway over volunteer DJs, your co-workers and neighbors and friends, playing and sharing music from their hearts. It’s your station. You determine its fate.

I’ve been involved with the station for over six years, sharing new music during my shows on Friday and Saturday nights. When I first started I selfishly thought I would bring change to Grand Junction. I would be the enlightened one, perched in front of the mic on top of Mount KAFM, spreading the new gospel of rock ‘n’ roll to the masses, sticking it to the man in my own way.

After meeting station volunteers I quickly realized I was not alone on my quest. There are more people than I could have ever imagined who passionately love and breath music. Though we differ in taste, our convictions are the same.

The one comment I regularly receive from readers of this column is this: “Dave, I love your writing, but I have never heard of any of these bands you are talking about.”

Fair observation, as I too love my writing. Ego massaging aside, I concede that most music I write about is not necessarily mainstream in Grand Junction. It rarely gets spins on corporate radio, and it’s under-represented by concert tour stops.

That is why KAFM is so necessary. I am of the opinion that if you don’t like something, it’s up to you to make it better. Less complaining and more action.

I’ve always disliked the music scene in Grand Junction as it has never lived up to potential. That’s precisely why I write this column and why I volunteer at KAFM. I want Grand Junction to be better. It can be better.

If you haven’t heard of Kishi Bashi or the Lumineers, that’s OK. Grand Junction doesn’t make it easy to discover new music. Are you unfamiliar with the likes of Metric and Delta Spirit? Again, it’s OK. That’s why you’ve got me and other KAFM volunteers around.

KAFM is not perfect. Our DJs are not slick professionals working off a soulless playlist. We are an unpredictable group, breaking from the masses and delivering swift justice to the high desert plains. Upset with the lack of diversity, honesty and authenticity of corporate radio, we’ve taken to the air to bring you real radio. We are a life force for Grand Junction.

I will not dare tell you what to do with your money and ask you to donate. I will challenge your determination though.

Do you have the guts to tell the man off? Do you have the guts to stand with KAFM? 

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