Party Favors

KPTY finds room for novelty in the Top 40 format

I watch him take the mike and navigate the potentially torturous segue from Cypress Hill to Savage Garden: "I'm Dead Air Dave, your cordial master of ceremonies, and action figure. But, keep in mind, some moving parts might be a choking hazard. So, play it safe on Party Radio 103.9."

Obviously, KPTY is not the savior for a terribly malnourished Valley radio scene, where we have 53 stations but so little that's worth hearing. But the station is valuable because at least it doesn't segregate along the usual racial/genre lines and because it's willing to take obnoxiousness to the next level. The latter factor might be what ultimately lifts the station out of its Arbitron gutter.

"I've worked for so many radio stations where they say, 'We're not personality driven,' but the sad truth is that if you strip that imaging away from the radio station, what you've got left is a pissing match," says Dead Air Dave.

"People think we're doing things as publicity stunts, causing problems and rabble-rousing. Well, we are. We're three months old. We're still pooping in our drawers. We're babies. If we're not the center of attention, we're going to kick and scream and fuss."

Money for Nothing: In an interesting footnote to the Beastie Boys' wild September 7 show at America West Arena, the band's keyboardist Money Mark found time for a post-gig recording session in Tempe. Money Mark showed up at 1 a.m. at Mind's Eye studio with local hero DJ Radar to work up a special remix for Matador Records band Cornelius. Mind's Eye honcho Larry Elyea says Money Mark was laid-back and affable, and when asked about the band's sold-out arena show earlier that night, he said he enjoyed club gigs more.

Who's in town: This week offers the Edge's annual mammoth throwdown, That Damn Show. Any 10-band alt-rock festival is going to be a long, sometimes tedious event, but good moments would seem guaranteed from locals the Phunk Junkeez as well as Seattle popsters Harvey Danger, whose hit "Flagpole Sitta" neatly pegs alt-rock's current malaise: "The agony and the irony/They're killing me." That Damn Show is set for Saturday, September 19, at Peoria Sports Complex.

The Rhythm Room celebrates its seventh anniversary on Thursday, September 17, with another in its series of special live recording sessions, in this case by blues harmonica master Mojo Buford. Special guests include Bob Margolin, Chico Chism, Johnny Rapp, and Paul Thomas.

--Gilbert Garcia

Contact Gilbert Garcia at his online address: ggarcia@newtimes.com

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