KWSS Looks to Kickstart Fan Base With Billboard Fundraiser

After the hubbub surrounding X1039's alternative demise and the subsequent '80s takeover of what is now dubbed MY103.9, it left one alternative rock station on the dial: KWSS 106.7 FM.

Indie and local music fanatics -- New Times included -- speculated that the departure of X103.9 could lead to big things for the low-power FM station.

There are a few problems, of course. First, the station is completely nonprofit, which means the DJs are strictly volunteer. While music enthusiasts around the Valley have been singing the station's praises (especially local music fans), KWSS has a way to go before its really on its feet, and it's mainly because the people who discovered Mumford and Sons on mainstream stations like 103.9 aren't sure where to go for the next big thing.

Beef Vegan and crew think they have a solution. Rather than spreading the world via hype and word of mouth, they decided to ask their fans to put their money where their mouth is. That money will go directly to buying billboards to promote the station.

The Kickstart TMI Project, named after KWSS morning show The Morning Infidelity, has raised a mere $433 of their $4,000 goal on Kickstarter.com, with 30 backers. They will only get the money if they reach their goal. The good news is the drive still has nine days to go. (And, seriously, they're only asking for $1, though you can donate more.)

As of right now, if you're out in the East Valley (and we're talking as "east" as ASU) you're pretty much screwed unless you want to listen online. If you're not somewhere on the I-10 or I-17, odds are you won't catch a signal. After all, the morning show is broadcast from Beef Vegan's Glendale home. So will the range expand if you donate money? Well, no. This is a billboard-only fundraiser, but the billboards will raise awareness, which will create more listeners. More listeners will give them more clout with the Federal Communications Commission. If the FCC okays a wavelength increase, all KWSS will need is a new antenna, which will cost more money.

It's best to take this one step at a time now, though. First listeners, then range.

Here's to hoping for more KWSS fundraisers in the future.

(Full disclosure: I donated money to this Kickstarter project.)

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