Some people (ChristopherMcKenzie) don't get along with KDVS. This is a place for them to carry on their conversation outside of the KDVS page because it is really a discussion between Chris and the KDVS volunteers.

What about the fact that the station is run like a fraternity of closely knit like-minded people that practice a ridiculous level of elitist exclusivity? (is that a word?) I know of over half a dozen people (one of which is a successful commercial DJ who has played in Europe, Japan and all across the US) who have had extreamely bad experiences with KDVS and have left in utter disgust (much like myself in 2001). —ChristopherMcKenzie

  • Hi! I created a login for myself almost exclusively to reply to C. McKenzie's comment. A lot has changed at the radio station since 2001. Many folks have left, and a ton of new faces are volunteering. Since becoming Music Director in 2003, I (and many others) sought to lessen that feeling of 'exclusivity' without sacrificing the diversity (and obscurity) of what is going out over the airwaves. I'd like to personally invite you back down to the station. I'm sure you'll find it to be a much more open and friendly place. —JeremyNewton
  • As an additional answer to CMac's comment, it is important to note that "freeform" as a radio format is not for everybody. The purpose of the format is ensure variety and play music that isn't exposed elsewhere in the media. That a successful commercial DJ left here in disgust four years ago likely speaks more to him being a poor fit than us being a buncha like-minded nepotists. It never ceases to amaze me when people call us "closed-minded" when we're the only radio station here playing everything from traditional Middle Eastern folk music to black metal and as yet unclassified styles of music. Less than 1% of music is exposed through mainstream media, so isn't the mainstream media "elitist"? I am sorry you left here in "utter disgust," though. —RickEle
    • "it is important to note that "freeform" as a radio format is not for everybody."-Rick

      Although KDVS claims "[We have tried to] lessen that feeling of 'exclusivity'"-Jeremy

      While on the other hand it seems that for some,"him[a DJ] being a poor fit"-Rick

      However, KDVS insists it is an "open and friendly place."-Jeremy

      For most. Although they have their own definitions of friendly "isn't the mainstream media "elitist"?"-Rick

      This is my last quarter here, and I don't have the scripts for the radio dramas I wanted to put on anymore anyway nor are the other people that wanted to do it still at this school (most of them). Plus, I think that there are still quite a few people down there that I really dislike. But thanks anyway! —ChristopherMckenzie

      • Well, you seem to have a knack for recontextualizing other people's's a shame you didn't stick it out down here. When I said "freeform isn't for everybody," I meant o say that most listeners of radio cannot handle the unpredictability and high degree of variety. Most people also cling to the familiar rather than openly embrace the unfamiliar. There are many DJ's that also cannot get behind our goal of providing the community true variety and feature primarily under-exposed music. We have occasionally had DJ's that do not ascribe to this philosophy, and I would call these a "poor fit." —RickEle
        • I've volunteered at a few stations in the past, like KCRW in Santa Monica and KPFK in Studio City. I would hate to say it, but KDVS left me underimpressed. —ChristopherMckenzie
          • You WOULD hate to say it, but actually LIKE to say it because you are joyless and negative about everything.
          • Again, another example of how freeform is "not for everyone." KCRW and KPFA are not freeform radio stations. They are formatted and permeated by an absolute air of professionalism (and they are staffed by well-compensated professionals as well). The constraints of their formatting makes them predictable. KDVS's lack of programming constraints allows our DJ's the freedom to be as courageous as they wanna be. Many listeners who greatly enjoy programming that is more rigidly formatted cannot bring themselves to enjoy freeform, and often even the DJ's/hosts who thrive in an environment constrained by formatting and programming rules have a difficult time adjusting to so much freedom at a freeform station. At what point do we call a friendly truce to this? —RickEle
            • Yes, KCRW and Pacifica are staffed by people that know what they are doing and know how to run a radio station. It's not "Um, dead air, um". And when I volunteered there, most of the people were volunteers or people that had worked in radio for decades but came to pacifica or a station like that of their own volition. And I don't know about the constraints of their formatting, I mean, you play stuff from NPR and Pacifica on KDVS, you must like them somewhat. And you have a schedule don't you? Or are you saying that they only play very limited amount of stuff? That is completely false also. KPFK has spanish programming for instance, hours of it. Their schedule changes all the time. They have a morning music show that is hosted by 5 different people every week. Their is thie guy, Roy Tucker who plays everyone from Gary Null to Alan Watts to Studs Turkle to you name it. It's very diverse. Your talking about freedom almost makes you sound like some patriotic republican with a bush sticker on the back of your car. KDVS is just like almost every other college radio station out there, like KXLU - it's the same attitude, it's the same amateurish crap, and the same "we are holier than thou" stuff. —ChristopherMckenzie
              • I think you could make this argument without bringing national politics into it. Tempted to extend Godwin's Law. —ct

I think what people probably are the most upset about is they confuse KDVS's "freeform" designation with freedom. DJs at KDVS are free to play what they want, as long as they don't play anything mainstream. That's not full freedom, and I think it is that small lack of freedom that irks some people. I think Rick is right that it isn't for everyone, but I think if KDVS wanted to avoid more frustration over that, it might be easier if they do acknowledge a little more freely that they DJs aren't free, they are simply not free to play anything that could be construed as mainstream. That's fine (in fact I think it's good), it just needs to be more clear to people. —EricKlein

  • "Freeform" merely means the DJ has full creative control over content. It is by and large synonymous with "freedom." In the 60's and 70's, most large metropolitan media markets had one or more commercial freeform stations which were part of the mainstream. The radio station depicted in "WKRP in Cincinnati" would seem to have been a commercial freeform station. That KDVS generally avoids and subverts mainstream music is a matter of DJ's using the freedom of freeform to be courageous and explore music outside the mainstream. Occasionally, DJ's unwilling to expand their own musical horizons have volunteered at KDVS and exercised their freedom to be duplicative of other radio stations. Invariably, they've been encouraged to explore, and when they have ignored that advice, their days on the air have been brief. Duplication of mainstream media adds no educational value for the listening community, and KDVS is licensed "non-commercial/educational," so KDVS does not embrace duplication of mainstream media. —RickEle
    • Rick, I see what you're saying, and I agree with your goals. I think it is good that KDVS doesn't play mainstream things, since there are so many other ways for people to hear that. I just wanted to say that I think it is important to note that the DJs at KDVS aren't completely free as a result of that choice. If a DJ plays something mainstream (even if it is a rare event... something that is topical, and part of a theme), then they are going to get into some kind of trouble over it (maybe nothing big, but certainly, they are going to hear about it). I don't see any need to change this, but I do think it is helpful to be as upfront with potential DJs about it as possible (as well as the reasons for it). If all that new DJs hear about is their freedom, then they are bound to be disappointed when they find out about this particular lack of freedom. For example, if a DJ wants to do a show on gender discrimination, and they find a great song by a moderately well known band about it, they'll need to skip that song or risk the consequences (even if the song itself is obscure). I think that is where the tension arrises. —EricKlein
      • Eric, DJs hear about these restrictions, there is a class that prospective DJs attend before they're given the opportunity to do a show. In this class we disclose the KDVS mission statement, if people don't like that they can't play Green Day on KDVS, then maybe they aren't a good fit. Hey, I've played the Talking Heads on my show, in context and most everyone's cool with that. Everyone has their own opinion. Sometimes, certain DJs get pissed at someone for playing something that's "too mainstream," while other DJs think it's fine. The degree of prejudice directed at KDVS by people like Chris is rather confounded considering he's never met over half of the current core staff. —AndyPastalaniec
        • You take a poll? Do I have to be friends with the core staff in order to gauge the culture of the station? I took a gander at the current staff and granted, I have only spoken with about 4 or 5 of them on multiple occassions, I don't make it a habit to greet new core staff whenever it changes. To me, Kappa Sigma will always be known as the Death Frat, no matter who is in charge and Theta Xi will always be considered Theta Bi, from the stories I have heard, no matter who is in charge. Well I shouldn't say "no matter what". It's just that the culture of the station is a systematic thing. I have gone to fund raising events, listened to the station, and have visited it numerous times with friends like (this is the first time I will mention a name in this entire discourse) Stephanie, who fits the stereotype but was awesome (is she still around?). From my experience, which has granted, been more limited than someone who spends 40 or so hours a week there, I have seen a very consistent story. Much like the Davis College Republicans, there are meek and mild people in the station. However, it seems to often be run by extremists (happy this time) or fanatics. I am not saying this is bad, even though fanatic is a negative word. What I am saying is that it may be disingenuous with the image that the station wishes to publicly convey since extremists and fanatics can often be very opinionated on what is ok and what is not ok. Anyway, it's more of a rant. And I said I was done a while back, but since you were new to thd debate, I thought I'd respond to you. —ChristopherMckenzie
          • To keep making these blanket statements about us, you must not be as familiar with this station as you say you are...either as a listener or friend of a friend. To call KDVS meek and mild is way off base. There is some serious courage here, and everyday, there are chances being taken on the airwaves. Who told Fanny McGee it was a good idea to read children's stories, and intersperse them with almost unbearably cute music? Do you think she could go to any other radio station in this market and pitch that to the program director? That would get ridiculed to no end, but it's embraced here, and from I can gather from talking to people in the community in Davis, Sacramento, and the internet is that a lot of people actually *cherish* Fanny McGee's show. I use that show as an example. Most college-based radio stations staffed by volunteer DJ's stick to a steady diet of indie rock hits from the chart in College Music Journal (CMJ). KDVS is not beholden to that. Most DJ's here turn over stones with aplomb trying to find bands before they've been heard on the radio anywhere. Several staff and DJ's here are very much involved in organizing and promoting live music activity in Davis and Sacramento, as well as releasing new music on their own DIY record labels. It's turned Davis into one of the brightest regional scenes of any small city in America, in an echelon with the likes of Olympia, Missoula, and Denton, TX. If we were any ordinary "college radio" station full of stereotypical two-sizes-too-small-horizontally-striped-shirt-wearin' Guided By Voices addicts incessantly quoting phrases from "High Fidelity" all day, Davis and Sacramento would be more like Turlock and Fresno when it comes to the regional music community. S-S Records, Weird Forest Records, Plastic Idol Records, Out of Order Records, Clairecords, Samplistic Records...These are some of the labels run by our DJ's releasing local and even international music. I could get specific about the shows I've booked, the shows Lisa Deadly's booked, the shows Jeremy Newton has made happen, but I don't wanna timeout. Maybe later. This should convince you that we're not the least bit lazy about finding out about music precisely as it happens, or even before it happens. That's a stark contrast to the average college radio station where people are rolling themselves into little joints and smoking each other in celebration of "helping" Modest Mouse graduate to multi-platinum success. Be listening for my "What REALLY should be on Bush's iPod" won't be meek or mild by any stretch of the imagination. —RickEle
            • Well no offense, but you just, in a superb manner, displayed the exact attitude and mentality that I was talking about. Extensive research is not necessary when the evidence just falls in your lap.(Although I am not saying that I haven't done extensive research. Truly, I've been paying attention to the activities of the station for almost 5 years - but I am not this outspoken in person most of the time.) You can refer to my other posts to see how it matches up. —ChristopherMckenzie
              • Which attitude and mentality? KDVS as elitist or exclusionary? Moptop hair and over-arm bag? I don't have the bag, but I certainly am guilty of the hair right now. Being meek and mild? Please tell me. I wanna know exactly what I'm guilty of. —RickEle

I have always wondered why so many of the KDVS people are indy rock kids with badges on their grey over-arm bag(sash maybe) going around on a skateboard with dark hair that goes everywhere. I know what you mean about freeform - but they just look like a bunch of emo indy rockers to me that need to take some antidepressants. It's like their idea of obscure music is Surrealistic Pillow by Jefferson Airplane or Insecticide by Nirvana. Then you have the attitude that they should play it, not because it is a fine piece of craftsmanship, but just because it's a neat idea (like "dub side of the moon" - it's not that good, ok!) or just because it has obscureness. I just don't like how that is done I guess. —ChristopherMckenzie

  • I'm downright insulted by the "indy rocker" comments. As the volunteer coordinator, I can attest that less than 10% of DJs and volunteers have black hair, 'sashes' and a skateboard simultaneously at KDVS. The more the merrier, I think. I'm always down to show people around. But as stated, our FCC licensing prevents us from partaking that of mainstream media aka, stuff considered to be "commercial." —JenndelaVega
    • What's the test for "mainstream?" Quote the license. Gives us a good baseline for discussion. —ct
    • So could you have played Moby in 1998 but not in 2000? Or Groove Armada in 1999 but not in 2000? What about Beck? Maybe there was a time in the mid-90's when your FCC license forbade you from playing him. But now that he is back on the underground it's ok right? —ChristopherMckenzie
      • Why are you so bitter that KDVS is trying to put something new on the airwaves? It gives listeners more accessibility to music you can't find splattered across MTV or VH1. Think about it, if KDVS just played pop music it wouldn't be any different than the million other radio stations out there, other than that the DJs would be more amateurish. ALSO.. Not everything played is indy rock: I know there's hip-hop, jazz, music from other countries, etc. Finally, your argument is counter-productive: if KDVS aired bands before they became famous/commercial, it would only be a testiment to how well KDVS has worked towards popularizing music that may not been heard of. —GiladGurantz
        • Stop with the ad hominem. —ct
        • I am not bitter that KDVS is trying to put something new on the airwaves. I am bitter that they don't seem to be trying to put something good on the airwaves. You seem to be implying that there is a KDVS vs Clear Channel/Infinity binary. This is so not the case. I know that there is stuff other then indy rock played, but the non-indy rockers don't seem to stay there very long. I was speaking more of a culture then just a genre over the airwaves. My argument being counter-productive? Quite possibly true. But that is only because the mentality is systematic and this indubious battle is a worthless scrap against something that won't change. And your idea that there is a cutting edge nature about KDVS. I would buy it if you said that KCRW popularizes stuff. But KDVS? There is the DJ Shadow from Woodland (?) as their claim to fame and that is all. I mean, look at how they whored themselves out at the nine inch nails concert. Real underground, non mainstream there. What about when MTV came to tape at the Sorority. In other cities, the local radio stations had flash mobs and gave out t-shirts that said MTV sucks and stuff. KDVS did jack. It's all talk, just like this is. But I'm hoping this will change that. —ChristopherMckenzie
        • Christopher, would you care to talk about this on the air sometime? Any gripe you've got will be fair game. I'd like to host it. Does Monday at midnight fit into your schedule at all? —RickEle
          • If you would like to talk in person, that is ok. I don't know if this topic is worthy of airtime. Or, if it is, I would need at least a few weeks to prepare and rehearse something. Perhaps you could give me possible questions ahead of time (to which I would, respectively, give you possible responses), and we could do it in a prepared, organized, manner. I don't believe in stumbling into a studio and stammering into a microphone. —ChristopherMckenzie

Ummm, isn't there a place better suited to pissing contests than the Wiki?SummerSong

  • Indeed. KDVS has its fundraiser next week. Maybe they could reach an agreement with ChristopherMckenzie to hold a match (duel, pissing, shouting, whatever seems most popular) between him and the KDVS staff active on the wiki. Each side gets 50% of pledges raised just for the match, and the looser agrees to lay off the argument afterwards. The judging panel could be comprised of non-KDVS affiliated Wiki-folk. —EricKlein
    • No quarter. This shouldn't end until one side comes to agree with the other. Where's your sense of truth? —ct
    • I am not a violent person, or an extremist. You are not going to get a Joe Sherman out of me. Nor am I going to try to financially exploit this disagreement. That is ridiculous. I really would stop if I didn't feel that I was on very solid ground here. But eh, I'm getting bored of it already - and I know that nobody is going to budge. If you are still affiliated with the station, than you probably agree with how it is being run. That however, no way implies that it is structured in a sane way. —ChristopherMckenzie
      • You must not be a 'speller' either —AndyPastalaniec
      • "I am not a violent person" - CM

        I seem to remember you throwing a chair at me when you stormed out of one of the Pirate Ship parties on Mulberry. - ArlenAbraham

        • Heh, did you catch it? No really, to the best of my recollection, I don't recall such act. However, if you do feel patently offended one way or another, I could make up by throwing a chair at you at a scheduled time and place and we can then call it even. Or you could try to get a band of witnesses together, present convincing evidence and show everyone that this happened. Because that is a perfect system where no innocent people are _ever_ indicted, right? Don't consider this as fuel, because its way off-topic. This entire thread is getting off topic. :-\ —ChristopherMckenzie
    • Um. I was joking. Really. Nobody is seriously proposing a competition here. —EricKlein
  • No way. This is the best possible place, because it's archived, public, and searchable. The competing sides can marshal their arguments in a non-realtime manner, and disinterested parties can watch the discussion and point out inaccuracies. —ct

Opposing sides don't always come to an agreement on matters of personal opinion, and besides, I don't think an arguement about an issue that few people actually care about is worth archiving on a public space. I don't give a shit and neither does anyone else I know. As I understand it, the Wiki is intended to provide information about Davis, not to provide a place for people to argue about insignificant little dramas.SummerSong

  • That's nice. If all you have to contribute to this discussion is "I don't care," then get out and edit something useful. One of the joys of this medium is that we can have our arguments, you can have yours, and we can get it all out of the way WITHOUT EVER INTERFERING WITH EACH OTHER. —ct
  • What is enough people? Claiming the validity of this page is dependent on the interest of some un-numbered amount of people is a pretty far stretch. Should only the most popular things be on the internet? And I personally don't care what you or your friends think about this ... the whims of your colleagues are quite arbitrary when assessing the validity of my arguments. Perhaps you should be the sole gatekeeper and editor of what gets put on and what doesn't? That would be a regular webpage. Why do you want to censure this page just because it doesn't interest you? Sorry, I just don't understand. —ChristopherMckenzie
  • Actually, the "KDVS is elitest" argument comes up a lot (at least I've heard it a lot) so I can see this as being valuable (if restructured..)
  • "Surrealistic Pillow" is more like our idea of an over-exposed record that overshadowed thousands of bands and artists of the psychedelic era which you are more likely to hear on Tim Matranga's show on Sunday night. I also haven't heard "Incesticide" played since 1998, I think. Your idea about our ideas seems to suggest you hardly ever listened to KDVS for more than a few minutes at a time on rare occasions. —RickEle
    • Some of my comments have been less than serious. In fact, I'm glad you misread that. The intention was a lot less civilized. Just a gibe at the amateurish idea of playing the B side of some album whose A side had chart topping singles or to throw a record on that was insanely played out in its day but just hasn't made its way into the oldies rotation yet. (And I am not implying that KDVS does this) That is something I have often wondered about. Why the oldies rotation is the way it is? It fluctuates much more slowly then pop stations but is warp speed when compared to those "Soft rock from the 80's and 90's and the best of today". However, the oldies arsenal lacks a lot of very popular artists. Some seem to be snubbed out of anywhere, like Herbie Hancock or Curtis Mayfield. Anyway, yeah, the rotations of commercial radio are interesting. But I got off on a tangent. —ChristopherMckenzie
      • Now we're about to agree on a topic! Repetition is the key to building familiarity, and familiarity is what makes mainstream radio feel like home for mainstream consumers who willingly settle for less. A reliable source close to Cool 101 Oldies told me that Cool 101 got rid of their entire record and CD collection, and now they have a hard-drive with about 250 songs on it. They touch a wand to the screen like a Woodstock's counter-worker enters your pizza order and tallies the price. When a listener calls in to request "I Had the Time of My Life" and dedicate it to their spouse, the DJ/Operator just touches "SONGS" and then "I" and then "I Had the Time of My Life," and cues and plays instantly; the caller reacts like it's some sorta magic. With such a limited selection, it's no wonder that Hancock and Mayfield fell off oldies radio. Now that Lionel Richie's "Can't Slow Down" is a bonafide 20 years old, it's an "oldie," and more people like that crap that Herbie Hancock and even Curtis Mayfield. What a shame! I know that KDVS has recently played both artists, definitely in the last couple of weeks. —RickEle
        • It's much more than that. There are computer programs that give reports on the success, longevity, target audience etc, of a piece of music with the proper input. People use this as a guide to determine how to market and whether to use the music. My friend actually has the program and has showed it to me - it's amazing. He has a scam to formulate music catering to the program, but that is another story. As far as those stations you are talking about, a lot is even less interactive. Most of the systems can just run on autopilot with an occasional update from the headquarters (think Texas). Now all you need is a personality to be behind the microphone. It is an intelligent and fantastic way to run a business. It's effecient and profitable. If you think that we should jack back the airwaves on home grown pirate radio and tell the FCC to go fuck itself, well - there are a lot of guerilla and streets radio projects out there - and a lot of internet radio stations. I'm all for guerilla radio and to smash out the signal from some pop station in sacramento with some anarchist political speech. It would be awesome in spirit. But also, kinda stupid and ineffective in practice. It may be better to snag the stream over the internet, then relay it at the frequency and then fuck with it from there. Anyway, there are lots of things that people *could* be doing. But eh, oh well.
  • I just wanted to come out in favour of arguing — I think opposing sides can lodge their respective arguments against eachother here in a constructive manner that makes progress and is valuable to third party observors. In particular this specific argument I think has been unusually respectful, intellectual, and free from logical fallacies, and moreover IS an issue which has been frequently raised. And on that note, I think titling this page "Chris... v KDVS" characterizes the debate as Chris as an individual crackpot who hates KDVS rather than an actual debate about the merits of the argument. -KrisFricke
  • Well put, Kris. I think this page has merits to it, and should become a permanent KDVS subpage. re: the indy rock thing, I've seen people from KDVS that fit the hipster description, but I also know plenty that in no way fit it (e.g., renaissance fair people). Chris, could you be describing as the average "look" the one that stands out the most? As a glance at their programming guide suggests, they are a very diverse group. While I'm writing, I find it interesting that no one else is supporting Chris's viewpoints, especially if they were legitimate a couple of years ago. Does the Wiki community largely consist of people who are also part of the KDVS community? —CraigBrozinsky
    • I almost feel as if those are formulated so I shouldn't respond. I hope nobody sees me as an actual crackpot - only because "crackpot" is negative - not because I may not be one. Anyway, my point has been stated and people have heard it. I'm done - unless there are any new developments.
      • I didn't mean to say that you were a crackpot; rather, that by titling the page as "[anyone specific] v KDVS" it implies someone has a personal problem with KDVS rather than that it is a meritious argument. -KrisFricke
        • Oh but I think it's marvelous. I could go up against petroleum, 9/11 stuff, the Davis City Council, the flaws and apathies of the college liberal, programming style ... just about anything. People consider me an outspoken weirdo extraordinaire.
    • Okay. I certainly don't see you as a "crackpot." In fact, I was just wondering why more people weren't agreeing with you— justified or not, radio elitism is a complaint at every school I've been to. I'm just surprised that more people weren't backing you up, and was curious whether it had to do with the demographics of the Wiki community.

What's an indie-rocker? — AndyPastalaniec

Google Images for "indie rocker"ChristopherMcKenzie

Chris, your research may be faulty. One result of Google Images for "indie rocker". — RyanPrendiville

This may or may not be an ambiguation page. Someone, somewhere, hoped you might feel more or less ambiguated.