[Since we’re about to talk radio, let me first start by plugging Erin’s Hands On radio segment which happens Saturday afternoon, most likely around 3pm CST – link on her website, erincovert.com]

One of the parts of traveling I really enjoy is getting a taste of the day-to-day culture of the place. Trying to experience sights and sounds of regular residents as much as possible. Surfing radio stations of a particular region has always been an easy way to get a quick taste. Music is such a powerful emotional connector. For instance, it’s hard for me to separate my memory of driving the Great Ocean Road outside of Torquay, Australia, without thinking about the radio broadcast counting down “top 25 hits from Australian bands of all time.” (I’m kind of a sucker for the lists anyway).

Same thing with that Jay Chou song, haunting me repeatedly on radio stations from Beijing to Hong Kong, where I finally heard it playing in a record store and identified him.

My radio experience traveling around the US is anything but unique. Seems more and more radio stations play the same scripted formats, from sea to shining sea. It’s boring, expected and generic. (Admittedly, maybe it’s the same way abroad and I’m not as in-tune.) There are only a couple radio stations here in Texas that I’d recommend to someone trying to get a feel for the vibe in this part of the country.

I’m partial to the first one: 93.7 KLBJ Rock of Austin. That’s where I got my start in promotions, driving the monster truck as a college intern, going to concerts, handing out free T-shirts to adoring fans (of the station, of course) and getting to know the city’s famous local music landscape from the experts that play it.

And I’m happy to to say we have a new sound here in Dallas. 92.5 Lone Star. All week I’ve been glued, and I feel obliged to spread the word in support for the corporate man, ClearChannel, trying something different. Kudos. This station plays a very eclectic yet southern, down-home mix of outlaw country and alt rock: My first pass went from SRV to Wilco to Waylon, Willie and the boys. The DJ’s actually seem to be into the music. Even the commercials are different. Check it out, and it’ll be a good taste of Texas for you virtual visitors.

Yee-hah and happy listening.

More info on this press release: