KEXP started out humbly enough in 1972 as a 10-watt FM station broadcasting to the University of Washington campus. Over the years, the station (known as KCMU at the time) slowly picked up more wattage and exposure in the area. The station's big break came in 2001, when, thanks to a partnership with the Seattle-based Experience Music Project, the station doubled its power from 400 to 720 watts and moved into a brand-new, technologically advanced studio. The station, now dubbed KEXP (as in K-EXPerience Music Project), also expanded its eclectic music programming and upgraded its web presence. Thanks to its expansive music playlists, talented DJs and technologically advanced website, KEXP quickly became a national favorite, eventually becoming one of the top 10 internet streams in the country and winner of the 2004 "Webby Award" for best radio website.
Awarding KEXP a "Webby" for best radio site must have been a no-brainer. Besides boasting a very aesthetically-pleasing and user-friendly interface, KEXP.org is loaded with live streaming options, 2-weeks worth of archived programming, live in-studio sessions, real-time playlists and DJ profiles. There are also complete club and event listings covering the Seattle music scene.
Of course, all of the bells and whistles are worthless unless the programming is good. And yes, KEXP delivers with a great mix of music spun by live DJs 24/7. Night jock Cheryl Waters is a personal favorite of mine, but "Jon in the Morning" seems to be the overall KEXP fan favorite. Check out their profiles, view their archived playlists and sample some of the archived shows to find your favorite. The best feature of KEXP.org is that you never have to miss your favorite show(s) or DJs because everything is available whenever you want via the streaming archives...it's just like having TiVo for your radio!
KEXP has also expanded into promoting nationwide tours. They are currently sponsoring the North American tour of French electronic pop band M83, who will be playing the Empty Bottle on Sep 16th. The station has also set up local yahoo groups in cities across the country where fans can get together and geek out with fellow KEXP listeners in their community. You can join the Chicago contingent by clicking here: email@example.com
Go to www.kexp.org to find out what all of the hype is about. Or, if you happen to be in the Seattle area, tune to 90.3 or 91.7 FM.