March 24, 2010

And just like that….it’s gone.

Yesterday saw the airwaves of the mighty WOXY internet radio station fall silent. A simple message left on the website stated that due to financial difficulties the station could no longer afford to broadcast. It was good to see that an army of music fans voiced their dissatisfaction immediately. Band’s who were grateful for WOXY’s support like The Antlers, Cymbals Eat Guitars and Frightened Rabbit all expressed their shock at the turn of events as did many more on the WOXY message boards.

So what was it about this radio station that made people care so much and why is it a massive loss to music fans all over the world? Put simply, WOXY was the best radio station in the world to hear new and upcoming music. The DJs, Mike, Shiv and Joe, had no playlist to adhere too and no over bearing sponsors to satisfy. Put in perspective against BBC 6Music (which we also need to save), their day time DJs get one ‘free play’ an hour. The rest of the time they have to stick to the playlist. At WOXY we were at the mercy of the DJs and their moods. This could have been disastrous but fortunately we had three music fans steering us through some brand new band followed by a classic followed by an incredible session. I always had WOXY on and always found something new to love. It’s fair to say that no where else has ever come since in terms of promoting new bands so consistently and at such length.

My own personal relationship with WOXY started nearly 2 1/2 years ago. I was at the Camden Crawl and got to spend some time with Mike Taylor (station director of WOXY). I was just talking about music and he asked me what I had really loved recently. I told him that the Twilight Sad had been permanently on my stereo for months. He replied that they were his band of the year. I knew instantly that this was a serious music fan who spent hours finding and checking out new things. I was a little tipsy now and insisted he come see a band from Leeds with me. I had been going nuts for Sky Larkin for a while before and he instantly understood the band and it wasn’t long before their early singles were being played on WOXY. I loved the simplicity of it. DJ hears of new band, listens to said band, enjoys it, plays it. There was never any “show me the big picture” or “where does this fit into the current scene” that happens at most stations (and I include 6 Music in this).

Music is brilliant and music should never be hard work. WOXY made it easy to hear brilliant new music every day of the week and should this be the end, we will all be worse off without them.

I’ve uploaded a couple of my favourite WOXY sessions to download here:
1. The Antlers
2. Pomegranates.
(If the links are dead just let me know)

Yours in hope


Erase/Erase links you to some free downloads:
1. Primary 1
2. James Yuill
Both great. PROMISE.


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