Back on November 28th of last year, I penned this little ditty regarding the changes at KJCK-FM, 105.1 Jack FM here in Kansas City. Imagine my surprise when, about three weeks ago, a morning show was resurrected on Jack FM. Welcome to the era of “Jenn and the Tall Guy”. I tuned in for all of about two minutes of their segment time, and it’s two minutes of my life I can’t get back. The “Tall Guy” (real name, Dan Persieghl) sounds like he works too hard to sound like an overproduced Ryan Seacrest, and his personality is completely overpowered by his co-host, Jenn Ryan. In terms of the show’s power balance, she clearly has his balls in a jar on her side of the studio. They sit there, subjected to mundane Hollywood gossip talk and the like. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt that they discuss more than this, but I couldn’t tune out quickly enough.
Truta – I’m sorry you’re gone, but I’m glad you’re not a part of this trainwreck to the ears.
Let’s rewind back to the end of November, after the changeup at Jack. For lack of a better term, I was a radio station orphan. Having walked away from the only station I regularly tuned in to for years, I was a free agent. I seeked to find a new home. Ultimately, I found my home and my new on-air family with alt-rock station KRBZ, 96.5 The Buzz.
I’d been a fan of the station for a while, back when The Church of Lazlo was originally on air locally (he uprooted to Seattle for a two-year stint, along with his wife Afentra – we’ll get to her in just a moment). At this time, that was the only regular show on The Buzz I caught, as I worked evenings. During the Seattle years, their morning show was hosted by a guy named Dick Dale, who did nothing for me as a listener. I couldn’t get into it.
Bring it back to current day. Their morning show, “Afentra’s Big Fat Morning Buzz”, is my Monday-Friday ritual from 6am to 10am. Afentra is a sarcastic hardass Greek, yet a sweetheart, and a Red Wings hockey fan, which makes for some fun banter between the two of us. Her partner-in-crime, Danny Boi, is the suburban hip-hop white kid with a knack for writing and recording parodies. Their producer, Mark, is the quiet unsuspecting one of the bunch, although gets his weekly highlight hosting “Fifty Shades of Mark”.
Middays are hosted by Jeriney, who has two very strong suits – her ties and connections to local music, and being very in-touch with the music that defines her daily “90s At Noon” segment. For those reasons, especially the latter, she’s in my wheelhouse.
The afternoon is cemented with The Church of Lazlo, hosted by Lazlo. Sarcastic. Jaded. Detroit native. Pulls no punches. Tells it like it is. Four out of those five put him and I in related company. His co-host, Slimfast, is a gamer and internet/tech aficionado. Their producer, Meredith, is that dirty little hippie girl that you always wondered about. Collectively, they’re the on-air material that I can’t ever get enough of, but cannot have on the radio while my daughter is in the car. Can’t win ’em all, I suppose.
These personalities have welcomed me with open arms, and I interact with them regularly through both twitter and the station’s text line. Uniting worlds, a twitter conversation with Afentra and Lazlo last night ended up dragging Truta into the mix (he was happy to join). The crew from The Buzz are a blast to listen to and talk with, and with them come a great group of listeners – a number of whom I also talk with regularly on twitter. This is my on-air radio family, as dysfunctional as it is.