New music station fires up in Dallas today

November 9, 2009

KXT-FM hits the airwaves at 7 a.m. Central Time, in Dallas today.  91.7 on the FM band.

KXT is a sister station to public broadcasting KERA-FM, 90.1.  In the past 20 years KERA’s outstanding music programming slowly gave way to talk and news — good talk and great news, but the music suffered.

In response to member requests, North Texas Public Broadcasting decided to launch a separate station for music.

KXT is a new radio station found at 91.7 FM in North Texas, and at kxt.org worldwide. It’s an incredible selection of acoustic, alt-country, indie rock, alternative and world music, hand-picked just for you – the real music fan.

KXT features between 9 and 11 hours of local programming each weekday, bringing you an eclectic variety of artists and genres, including a number of performers from North Texas and elsewhere in the Lone Star State.

Gini Mascorro will host the KXT Morning Show, Monday through Friday from 7 to 11 a.m. Joe Kozera will take listeners home weekdays with the KXT Afternoon Show from 3-6pm and the KXT Evening Show from 6-8pm.

90.1 at Night with host Paul Slavens, which appeared on KERA-FM for a number of years, has moved to KXT and is now known as The Paul Slavens Show.

National shows appearing regularly on KXT include Acoustic Café, American Routes, Mountain Stage, Putumayo Music Hour, Sound Opinions, The Thistle & Shamrock, UnderCurrents and World Café.

KXT should be a boon to Texas music, to live music, and to music generally.

You can listen to KXT live on the internet, or pick up podcasts.

Dallas still lacks serious rock and roll broadcasting, being mostly a city in the shadow of Clear Channel music censorship.   One step at a time.  KXT is a great big step.  Or maybe more accurately, KXT is a great, big step.

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20 years ago, the Berlin Wall fell – reverse domino effect

November 9, 2009

High school sophomores in Texas study world history, and juniors study U.S. history. At 16 and 17 years old, they have difficulty figuring out the fuss over the Berlin Wall. It’s just pictures in their textbook.

The Wall was already three or four years gone when they were born. They don’t remember living with the Soviet Union at all — it’s been Russia to them for their entire lives.

I have some hopes that the celebrations set for this week will aid their understanding, on the 20th anniversary of the breaching and destruction of the wall.

Dominoes set for celebration of the Berlin Wall's destruction.  AP photo by Herbert Knosowski, via Canadian Broadcast System

Caption from CBC: "Dominoes are placed where the Berlin Wall once stood in front of the Brandenburg Gate in the German capital. (Herbert Knosowski/Associated Press)"

An enormous line of giant dominoes is set up along the line where the old wall stood — to be toppled on November 9, the anniversary of the official breaching of the wall.

It’s the “domino theory” in reverse.

About 1,000 plastic foam dominoes will fall to the ground Monday along the route where the Berlin Wall once stood to mark the 20th anniversary of the crumbling of the Cold War barrier.

The 2.3-metre-high blocks, painted by schoolchildren, stretch for 1.5 kilometres in a path near the Brandenburg Gate and the German parliament.

Former Polish leader Lech Walesa, whose pro-democracy movement Solidarity played a key role in ending communism in Eastern Europe, will tip the first domino at 8 p.m. local time.

I made one visit to the wall, late on a night in 1988.  American Airlines explored the possibility of taking over the service authorized from Munich to Berlin.  Soviet and East German rules required passenger flights to stay at a very uncomfortable 10,000 feet.  Pan Am had the route, but Pan Am was in trouble.  We spent a day with Berlin airport authorities and real estate agents trying to figure out how to set up a reservations office and other ground facilities.  European airports tended to force foreign carriers to share gate facilities, which was a problem, and we devoted a lot of time to gathering data for computer lines.

But then, after a smashing dinner of sausage and German-style potatoes in a great, small Berlin pub, we talked our taxi driver into giving us a tour of the wall.  He drove a spot near the Brandenburg gate, and there on a chain link fence keeping westerners from the wall were eight fresh wreaths.  Eight people had died trying to cross from East Berlin to West Berlin in the previous six months.  One wreath for each death.

Just over a year later, the Berlin Wall itself would be gone.

West Berlin acted much like a normal, western European city.  But the wall was there as a constant reminder of the oppression on the other side, a dull fog to constantly dim even the sunniest day.

Old posts on the Berlin Wall here at the bathtub are suddenly popular — usually they get a lot of hits after March when U.S. schools get to the post-World War II era, the Cold War and the Berlin airlift.  I imagine the current popularity has something to do with the anniversary.

I hope somebody has some great video of the dominoes toppling.

Dominoes acerbicly note the irony:  While the U.S. feared nations would fall under communism in a “domino effect,” especially in Southeast Asia (Indochina), communism broke up in a domino effect, as one communist-dominated country after another found freedom near the end of the Cold War.  Why has no one done a serious essay on the domino effect of freedom?

More news and resources:

Famous sign warning visitors leaving West Berlin

A sign of old times, now unneeded

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