By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
"Obviously, the intensity of local music coverage has increased dramatically over the last few years," Wiley says. "But even with us doing our thing and Chris Ryan doing stuff at Rehab, it's still about the bands. We give them a weekend of promos that they could never afford; they get their name out there. The shows are early and free, so people can get out to see bands they may not have heard of before without any hassles. They may just find something they really like."
--Scott Kelton Jones
KNON 89.3 FM
Wednesdays 8-10 p.m.
Dave Choas is kind of an elfin guy, the host, the ringmaster--anything but the controller--of a two-hour slab of heavy (as in the black, bloody side of Ozzy and the Scorpions) metal known as "Twisted Kicks." From a single window above a funky neighborhood high in the dilapidated KNON mansion, Chaos and his copilot, Bridget Kicks, send out 120 minutes of headbanging delight that would appall students of commercial radio almost as much as it would Journey fans. Sometimes songs run into other songs, only to abruptly fade out. Seconds of dead air tick by between public service announcements and commercials, and local bands drop by to spin their demos, make fart noises, giggle, and tell tales from deep inside the metal underground.
If you like DJs who can accent their jokes about Congress with a wide range of boinnggg noises, or PSAs read by Sammy Hagar, "Twisted Kicks" will frighten and disturb you. If, however, you happen to like the mix of cartoon and cacophony that constitutes all of the hyphenated metals--death-metal, speed-metal, decaying-skull-with-flaming-eyeballs-metal, and all the rest--there's probably no purer or more delightful spot on the radio dial.
"Our motto is 'real people, real radio,'" Chaos says as he shuffles through a pile of CDs in the control room. "And real mistakes." Chaos, a first-generation punk who's been doing the show since "around" 1990, originally shared the two-hour spot with a metal man. There, he made a discovery: metal fans actually supported the music they loved. "Then I started listening more to the music," Chaos recalls. "Stuff like Rigor Mortis and Cannibal Corpse. The stuff I heard was way more outrageous than anything the punks were doing; gradually, I got into all the metal subgenres."
Although Chaos still devotes around a quarter of his total airtime to punk, "I play as much local stuff as I can get my hands on," he vows, as most of Pump'n Ethyl wanders into the studio. Frontman Turner Scott Van Blarcum tells a tale involving a bar in Irving, a shot glass, and a lacerated hand as Pat the Hat gives Bridget a much-needed backrub. Chaos cues up a song and pauses to take a call. "Which song?" Chaos asks the caller. "The one about 'in deed?' Ummmm..." When your playlist leans toward demonically distorted vocals, you sometimes have to help your callers ID a song, but this seeker is a bit off base. "The one after the Amy Grant song?" Everybody looks up--this isn't the first call like this; KNON's request line is apparently only one digit removed from a popular contemporary Christian radio station--as Chaos proceeds to sweet-talk the young lady seeking the "in deed" song.
"What you need to do is turn your dial a little further down, to 89.3, 'cause that's where I am. Come on down and hang out with me for a while, OK? 89.3, that's right. See ya." Chaos hangs up with a laugh, relishing the idea of winning another set of ears for metal.
Our own Bobby Patterson reportedly has a cut on the upcoming five-volume Rhino '60s soul compilation...A new band is born: The Drive-By Orchestra is local ubiquity Drew Phelps, Ezra Boggs (ex-Tabula Rasa), Ed McMahon (Ten Hands), and dual Petes, Drungle (Tin Man), and Young (Liquid 3). "You can tell everybody in the band has a music degree," Boggs admits, "but it's still really ear-friendly"...Corn Mo and Brutal Juice will both be on a compilation from Which Records titled Show and Tell that will feature beloved TV theme songs. Mo will cover the theme from Charles in Charge, although not with the more accurate lyrics Street Beat suggested ("Charles in charge/of your neighborhood/He's a force for evil/not for good") and is hoping to meet the mercurial Todd Bridges, who contributes the vocals to his own theme from Diff'rent Strokes...
Street Beat uses only the finest chunk white tuna at Matt_Weitz@dallasobserver.com.