There's a lingering disdain in the air for the turbulent playlists of KXT 91.7-FM. Understandably so. For every decent song the station plays, there are two or three -- Train's "Drops of Jupiter," Stereo MCs' "Connected" -- that belong on corporate-run stations.
It wasn't always that way, though. The station's first year was strong, with only a few programming hiccups. A good mix of local and indie rock, plus a complete lack of commercials, easily made it the only station you needed to listen to all day. Then about a year ago, they started playing Matchbox 20 and other bands of the mainstream, saccharine ilk and called it an attempt to grow. The Twittersphere, however, called it #KXTFail.
Even still, my radio dial hovers pretty closely over the air space. In fact, I had it on this Saturday when my two-year-old son and I were driving around in the cold rain. That's when something strange happened.
A song came on that prompted me to turn it up. A xylophone rang out over melody reminiscent of the early '90s power pop of Sugar or Guided By Voices. But there was something new about it. I imagined the band was some fledgling national act I hadn't yet heard, breaking out with a pretty solid pop single. I can't remember the last time the radio did that to me: I had to find out who sang the song.
Turns out the song, "All You Do Is Crazy," belonged to Fort Worth's Fate Lions. I almost did a spit take. Before this moment, I can say I haven't been much of a Fate Lions fan. After seeing them live and hearing a handful of songs, I thought they were just OK. Had I been perusing a blog that offered a free Fate Lions mp3, chances are I probably would have just skipped over it. Probably why I've never heard the song since its 2009 release.
But KXT did something the Internet can't do. They pulled a fast one and got me hooked on a really good song and then revealed that it's not the big, national, blogosphere-saturated band I had built up in my mind. It was Fate Lions from down the street. And now I'm a fan.
In the aftermath of #KXTFail, I'd say they're succeeding -- even if I have to stomach the Dave Matthews Band's "What Would You Say" one more time.