Minding The Beats And Q's

Competition in the burgeoning St. Louis rap-radio market? Bring it on, says one station manager.

On adding local hip-hop acts to the rotation: "We'll have an extremely open-door policy. And you gotta give props to The Beat for doing it. I'm a big advocate -- I'm a DJ by trade. I started a mix show in college, and I'm a programmer who has more of a DJ frame of mind. I've done remixes for record companies, so I'm really big on helping local artists, as long as the artists have a buzz within their own city, as long as they show that they're also committed to their product from the standpoint of doing very well at mom-and-pop record stores and things like that." The station is also searching locally for on-air mix DJs.

But neither revelation is earthshaking. The Beat has long supported local rap -- though we wish they'd do more. Nelly and the St. Lunatics owe much of their breakout success to the fact that The Beat added Lunatics singles to the regular rotation when they were nobodies, and the station's support of local on-air DJs is well documented.

The end result is that the listener wins. Every time a soft, predictable R&B ballad comes on one station, all you gotta do is hit the button, and chances are the other station will be banging the beat. "It's good for the consumer," says Atkins. "If you're only listening to one station, or reading one paper, and then you get a choice, now you get to see how good that one really is. My job is to have the most compelling product and the No. 1 radio station. When the smoke clears, I will be in that position -- ain't no doubt."

The Beat's Chuck Atkins: "You don't know how good you are until you have somebody right in your face doing it. It makes you listen to your radio station more; it gets me in to work earlier; I stay later; it charges up the staff."
Ryan Hudson
The Beat's Chuck Atkins: "You don't know how good you are until you have somebody right in your face doing it. It makes you listen to your radio station more; it gets me in to work earlier; I stay later; it charges up the staff."

It's gonna be an interesting summer on the radio.

LOT OF LOVE: Metropolis has long supported the local music scene; whenever they hold some sort of function, you can rest assured that a decent -- or at least popular -- local band will be performing, and the result has been the sort of cooperation that leads to true grassroots rejuvenation on a number of levels. Metropolis' biggest and best contribution to local music, though, has come in the form of the admirable series of outdoor concerts known as The Lot. This season's installment, the sixth, is the biggest and most impressive yet, featuring two days of music by some of the most interesting acts out there. It takes place Friday and Saturday, July 14 and 15, at the empty lot at 16th and Locust streets. Friday's performances, which begin at 5 p.m. and run through 1 a.m., feature music by John Thomas and Friends, Languid, the Patsies, the Outsiders, Blues DeVille, the Tripdaddys and Simple Mary's Diary. Saturday's party starts at noon and features music by three gospel choirs, the Julia Sets, Jerkwater Junction, Voodoo Mouse, DJs K9 and Jumpstart, Five Block Shot, Mahogany, the Honkeys, the Patrick Clark Band, the Imposters, Javier Mendoza and Sexicolor.

Send local tapes, tips, discs and detritus to "Radar Station," c/o The Riverfront Times, 6358 Delmar Blvd., Suite 200, St. Louis, MO 63130; or radarstation@riverfronttimes.com.

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