When I first heard that KDGE was doing a new radio show, The Local Edge, I must confess my expectations were low. Don't get me wrong; it's not that I have anything against listening to local bands who want to be the next Creed or Staind. It's just that, uh, well... okay, so I do have a problem with bands trying to be the next Creed or Staind. I don't like either of those bands, so I definitely do not want to listen to local wannabes. In the past, the local shows tended to focus more on heavy alternative bands that were not to my liking.
When the current host, Mark, took over the show, I expected more of the same. I started noticing that bands I liked were mentioning that they were receiving airplay on the show. I wrote this off, expecting that he slipped in one or two quality songs into a show filled with mediocre bands. But week after week, bands I liked kept mentioning that their songs were being played on The Local Show: RTB2, Hendrick, Little Black Dress, and so forth. Curiosity set in one night, and I logged on to the EDGE's home page to do some research on the show. It turns out that Mark wasn't just selecting a few stray great songs; he was consistently building entire shows around excellent local music.
The list of artists and songs played on his show read like a roll call of GOBL favorites: Dove Hunter, Salim Nourallah, Jonathan Tyler & Northern Lights, Doug Burr, Trey Johnson, THe BAcksliders, and so many more. Yes, the show definitely spotlights many of the heavy hitters in the metroplex area. Mark, however, does not limit himself to just the known names, but also provides an opportunity for smaller, less known local acts to receive airplay. Western Giants, The Roomsounds, and Grassfight are just a few bands that may not be known to the average local music fan, but that may change if Mark has his way.
Mark is not only offering bands exposure through his radio show, but also through a series of Local Edge concerts at Trees. The shows, now being held every Thursday at Trees, offer music fans the opportunity to see local acts for absolutely no cover charge. Also, all the bands playing the series will be competing for the opportunity to perform onstage at next year's Edgefest.
Yes, typically corporate owned stations could care less about local acts and quality music. That's what makes The Local Edge so refreshing; playlists this good are usually only found on podcasts and college radio stations. The fact that KDGE is willing to take a chance on such a radio show is remarkable. Mark may not be George Gimarc, but I would dare say that he's the best thing to happen to the station since Mr. Gimarc. Mark at the least has definitely done more to promote local music on the station that anyone else has since Gimarc put out the Tales from the Edge CD compilations.
That's why you, Ghost of Blind Lemon reader, need to be listening to this show every Sunday night at 11 pm. This is the kind of radio show that Dallas is in desperate need of. Between The Local Edge radio show and the shows hosted by Mark at Trees, this is opportunity for bands to branch out and reach a wider audience. I recently the state of local music on the blog, and all that has been wrong. I believe that this radio show and its host could play a major part could play a vital part in breathing much needed life into the Dallas Music Movement.