For more than two years,
The 51-year-old station's current format has attracted such local radio legends as
"A lot of people consider the left end of the dial to be the weirdo zone: 'Don't go down there, you're going to get all this crazy politics and wacky music,' " said KCSN General Manager and Program Director
"But what we've done is say you should come down here if you're not really satisfied with the commercial radio experience," he added. The towering, energetic 61-year-old has also worked in the executive suites at Universal and
KCSN broadcasts and streams from three state-of-the-art studios, funded largely by industry veteran, former lieutenant governor and CSUN alum
As that list, and the exponentially larger one of artists KCSN plays, indicates, there's a wide range of styles to be heard, with the station dedicating a whopping 57 minutes of every hour to tunes.
The station aims to provide "melody and message," Daniels said. "That speaks to the fact that we like melodic (as opposed to beat-driven) songs, and we like songs with good lyrical content."
Though Adult Album Alternative -- Triple A -- is growing in popularity, it was absent from such major metro areas as
"It's a great format," said
Trust locates Triple A somewhere between hard-core Alternative, Adult Contemporary and Classic Rock. But with weekend shows dedicated to Americana, bluegrass, new L.A. bands, blues, The Beatles and
"At KCRW, I could do whatever I wanted in (my) three hours," said former "Morning Becomes Eclectic" DJ Harcourt, a
"So there's a thread that runs through the programming ... Then I do the Nic thing around that."
Daniels said 30 percent of the playlists are dedicated to new local bands, citing Dawes, The Neighborhood and Haim as some of the acts KCSN has helped break. And compared with the tight, often computerized rotations heard on corporate-controlled stations, KCSN offers endless mutations of free expression.
Though the ad-free, nonprofit channel does not subscribe to
As the station grows, Daniels -- who also serves as weekday afternoon drive-time DJ -- has every confidence the music will grow along with it, dismissing talk that good old rock is being snuffed out by today's urban, country, teen-idol and reality-TV pop sounds.
"It's ludicrous," he said. "It's driven by a tendency among certain bloggers and media writers to reject the past and represent only 'the next step' in the evolution of music. I can tell you right now, based on the variety of music I receive independently, locally and nationally, I am blown away by the amount of great music that comes out that you can associate with the rock idiom ... That doesn't sound like a dying business to me."
Harcourt agreed. "If you've been brought up on 'American Idol' and that's your only understanding of what pop music is, if you come to this station with your ears open, it's going to blow your f---in' mind.
"All of a sudden, you're going to hear real, thoughtful music and lyrics that come from a place of having to express one's creativity and art, rather than a place of 'How can we fit a chorus, a bridge and three words together that will catch people's attention and be put on a Cadillac commercial?' I mean, that's the difference."
For his part, Daniels exults in the daily "four-song commute" from his home in
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