The stated goal for HISD's K12 Radio is a local station powered by the students and teachers of the district dedicated to local music, but when Rocks Off tuned into the online stream earlier this week, that's not what we heard.
First up we got Shania Twain's "Forever and For Always." Twain is Canadian, by the way. Next up was Bryan Ferry's "I Put a Spell on You." Ferry is also not even from America, let alone Texas, let alone Houston.
By the time Stevie B.'s "In Your Eyes" rolled around, we had to admit that what we were listening to was an mainstream adult-contemporary station playing music aimed more at moms than at kids and the music they want to hear. Sure, Norah Jones is still pretty new and interesting - we certainly enjoyed hearing "Chasing Pirates," but it's not exactly the music of youthful energy and revolt.
On the other hand, the sheer amount of Journey T-shirts we see on teenagers these days may indicate that our fingers are very far from the pulse of the high-school crowd. But the playlist is definitely not local. Besides Jones, in the hour we perused K-12, nothing even remotely Texan appeared.
There is some incredible radio talent behind the project, like P.D. Cruze (Formerly of The Buzz and now manning the excellent Radio Free Cruze. Pat Fant and Laurie Kendrick of KLOL are also at the helm of the project, and hopefully we'll see it grow beyond background music into a true force for HISD.
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For now, the station does encourage local musicians to send in their music for consideration for play on the station.
"Like any self respecting DJs, we'll pick and chose from the music we receive. That's how this works. No whining. Just send us a CD of your music, along with your band's bio and contact info," said Fant in a press release.
Rocks Off would really like to see the station getting more connected with local talent. After all, many of the groups currently rocking the stages in Houston got their start while still in school, and it would be a shame to waste an opportunity like this for the current and the next generation of musicians to connect. Music can be sent to:
RFC Media, LLC
550 Post Oak Blvd. #450
Houston, TX 77027