Radio has become an antiquated music listening medium astonishingly fast. Once streaming services became embedded in our culture, radio stations were all but superfluous.

In Lafayette, however, radio remains a fixture. There’s still a wide base of radio consumers, which I suppose are largely older generations slow to adopt new forms of music listening.

While much of our local radio caters to boomers and the like, there are several forward-thinking radio stations with excellent intuition and tastes that have caught my attention.

I find it particularly rare to come across younger individuals like myself who still enjoy the radio. Although, I suspect millennials hold a decent bit of weight in the make-up of radio consumers, with radio stations like 106Three Radio Lafayette (KYMK-FM) seemingly targeting that market.

For most of my life, listening to the radio in the car with my parents or older brothers was essentially an everyday event. This changed with AUX cords and the emergence of streaming services (as well as a dwindling reliance on my family for transportation).

Before I knew it, I was rarely ever listening to the radio. Why would I? Streaming allows broader choices with seamless listening (i.e. no commercial breaks).

This lasted for a healthy four or five years and I didn’t particularly feel like I was missing out on anything. However, recent experiences have afforded me a broadening appreciation for Lafayette’s radio culture.

Of all things, my employment at Alesi Pizza House re-immersed me into the world of radio. I work with the owner of the restaurant in the front-of-house every Saturday morning, and when he’s there (which he always is) he’s listening to 99.9 KTDY.

Listening to “The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, and Today!” with a man four times my age is a whimsical experience, in which I am vicariously enjoying old tunes I normally wouldn’t listen to.

There’s something to be said about the combination of ease-of-listening and lack of a direct choice that radio provides. When I’m doing homework and just need background noise to fill the air, my hand-me-down stereo system playing FM stations functions perfectly as passive entertainment as well as an unexpected avenue to discover music.

I can thank Mr. Alesi for reinvigorating my drive to use and explore this “antiquated” medium, as well as recent opportunities I’ve had working with KRVS.

KRVS is truly a gem of our university. Housed in Burke-Hawthorne Hall, KRVS is a non-profit, non-commercial radio station emphasizing the distinct music culture of Louisiana. This entails a wealth of zydeco, blues, jazz, swamp rock, etc. coming from their radio waves, but they push for diversity beyond that as well. Their programming features Francophone pop, harp music, K-Pop, traditional Celtic music and more.

If it’s midnight and you have nothing better to do, I implore you to tune into 88.7 FM. You never know what you’ll discover through KRVS. Did you know Death Grips did a series of Bjork remixes in 2012? Me neither until I tuned into KRVS’s “Beat Current” program.

Lafayette’s vibrant radio scene is encouraging and enlightening. With the rapid decline of radio, I plan on taking advantage of this content while I can. The stigma of radio being “old-fashioned” won’t stop me from enjoying Huey Lewis and the News on Big 102.1 (KYBG). I believe everyone, especially younger people, should re-evaluate the advantages of radio.

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