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Illustration By Nathan Jensen


BOB's Yer Uncle

Austin can now hear the future of radio, or at least one possible future, at 103.5, or BOB-FM. BOB, which retains Oldies 103's KEYI call letters, signed on Aug. 20 with no DJs and a promise to play "anything." Whether it reminds people of their iPods or the golden age of AM radio, BOB's nonformat is strangely addictive. It's certainly nothing you haven't heard before, 1,000 times at that, but flipping the dial isn't an option because you have to hear whatever might be coming up next. In an era defined by niche marketing and hyper-specific narrowcasting, the station's broad-based m.o. is both wholly corporate and completely different. Besides, BOB's parent company, Emmis Broadcasting – which also controls KLBJ, KGSR, Hot 93.3, and 101X – is bound to water it down or fuck it up eventually, so enjoy it while it lasts. In that vein, here's three suggestions to make BOB even cooler:

Tex it up a little bit.

Nothing drastic, but throwing in stuff like Charlie Sexton's "Beat's So Lonely" or even Lucinda Williams' "Passionate Kisses" a couple of times an hour would go a long way toward making BOB feel like a real Austin venture.

Get weirder as the day goes on.

What other commercial station has the potential to start out with the Carpenters and Maroon 5 for the morning then graduate to the Ramones, Sugarcubes, and Modest Mouse in the wee hours?

Keep it real.

Listeners and local celebrities could shell out to program blocks of airtime, with the proceeds going to charity. "TCB," for one, would love to have a crack at it.

BOBcasting

A sampling of 6:30-7pm Monday, Aug. 30.

FLEETWOOD MAC, "Don't Stop"

FINE YOUNG CANNIBALS, "Good Thing"

J. GEILS BAND, "Centerfold"

HOOBASTANK, "The Reason"

THIN LIZZY, "The Boys Are Back in Town"

GARY NUMAN, "Cars"

THE ROMANTICS, "What I Like About You"

ARETHA FRANKLIN, "Respect"

SCANDAL, "Goodbye to You"

DISHWALLA, "Counting Blue Cars"

BOB FM's listener line is 908-4900.

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    Party on Red River or in Kansas, with Attack Formation if need be, but you must submit to the all-consuming power of BOB

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Christopher Gray, June 29, 2007

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Christopher Gray, June 22, 2007

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