When we lobbied Sportsradio 1310 The Ticket for a local music show a few months back, we didn't know quite what we would get. Being arguably one of the best music stations in town despite technically being a sports talk radio station, we knew the product would be top-notch, but we didn't know just what form it would take on when they announced it would be launching in mid-March.
DJ Mark Schectman is now three weeks into his new hosting gig, and while The Local Ticket is still very new to Dallas airwaves, it has already proven that it is as good as we hoped it would be. Put simply, DJ Mark, as he has unwittingly christened himself, is killing it.
The Local Ticket made its debut on March 22, backed up by extremely high hopes. Based on comments from listeners and the general reception of the idea, this show was a long time coming for fans of local music. The two-hour show, which airs on Sunday nights from 8 to 10 p.m., is a compelling showcase for artists that are trying to get their music out to a Dallas audience that is surprisingly supportive of local acts.
In just three shows, Schectman has clearly demonstrated that he's the perfect person for this job. This dude was born to be the host of a local music show, and The Ticket is its perfect home. His passion for the local scene, nerd-like level of music knowledge and inimitable ability to assemble a playlist are what will make The Local Ticket succeed, and the listeners agree. Based on a search of tweets with the hashtag #LocalTicket, we're not the only ones who think that Schectman is kicking ass.
— Remain (@RemainRocks) April 6, 2015
Why the hell isn't the #LocalTicket on during the week???!!
— [Official] P1Domo (@P1Domo) April 2, 2015
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This past Sunday, Schectman didn't even take a break for Easter. Schectman's playlist ranged from Larry g(EE) to Sudie to Doug Burr to Run the Jewels. The arrangement of these tracks is where Schectman really excels: It's like a well-curated mixtape or (in this new age of music) Spotify playlist that you hear at a party that's really too cool for your lame ass. Even better, Schectman posts the playlists on his Tumblr page in case you were flipping stations during commercials and missed a track intro.
Granted, the playlists haven't been exclusively local, which could be seen as a shortcoming. Hopefully as the show develops and builds an audience Schectman will feel comfortable paring down the non-local artists from the playlists, but in the meantime it helps give the show a good flow -- plus it's great to hear our best and brightest alongside the hottest national bands of the moment. After all, it's a show dedicated to the local artists who deserve to share the national spotlight.
When he's not playing music, Schectman conducts on-air interviews with local types who have good taste in tunes, like last week's guest James Faust, who serves as artistic director of the Dallas International Film Festival. In a particularly interesting segment, Faust shared his favorite songs from soundtracks -- including "Fortunate Son" by Creedence Clearwater Revival, featured on Forrest Gump -- and talked about the upcoming festival. If these are the kinds of guests that are going to be on the Local Ticket every week, the interview segments may soon become more compelling than the music. No small feat.
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The Local Ticket could eventually be an incredible springboard for acts on the verge, especially as the show grows its listenership. In that, Schectman has no small task -- getting anyone to tune into the radio on Sunday evening can be challenging, and local music doesn't always have mass appeal. It's a real shame that The Local Ticket is competing with The Paul Slavens Show on KXT, but thanks to technological wonders like podcasts, true fans will always be able to listen to both.
It's true that we had high hopes for The Local Ticket, and maybe were a little afraid that it wouldn't be able to live up to all the hype. As always, though, The Ticket and Schectman came through, and it's going to be a really exciting year as we watch this show continue to grow into the local music phenomenon that it will inevitably be.
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