Support the kind of radio that supports the underground

About a thousand years ago, when I was a young teen, I began what has been a persistent and incredibly rewarding relationship with community radio. Our local station, CKWR, aired a regular metal show and I remember calling in one time with a request for Judas Priest. The guys didn’t have any Priest with them that day, but they sang me a chorus or two. It meant a lot.

Through that community-based metal show I learned to love the sounds of so many bands that weren’t yet on my radar, including Danzig and Suicidal Tendencies. And just a few years later I was spinning metal tracks on the local university station. I’m still doing it – at a different campus now and with a different (kick ass) co-host – but the metal keeps flowing.

My reason for sharing this story is this: I want all of you folks out there to know that metal still thrives on campus and community radio. If you’re not taking advantage of this resource, you should be!

Your local campus/community station likely has its own metal show. But it has a lot more too – music you likely won’t hear elsewhere without making it happen yourself and all kinds of non-music programming, coming from voices and representing perspectives that get little if any air time anywhere else. This is volunteer-created not-for-profit programming that owes its existence to a lot of different people’s commitment and passion. And funding for these stations is never certain. Campus radio in Ontario is particularly at risk going forward. [read more]

The McMaster University station, CFMU 93.3 FM, is celebrating campus/community radio this week with our annual Raise Your Voice campaign. If you’re already listening to CFMU, show your support: spread the word and, if you can, donate. If you’re not tuned in then check us out, or check out what’s on the campus/community station that’s closest to you. And if you like what you hear, show your support, in whatever way you can.

I would like to compile a list of cool metal shows on campus and community stations. If there’s one you listen to that you want to give props to, or if you host a show of your own, link to it in the comments.

Laura is associate editor of and co-host of weekly metal show Kill Eat Exploit the Weak on CFMU 93.3 FM. She loves doom, prog, cats and basketball, believes in equity and social justice and is not cool with any form of discrimination, marginalization, harassment or oppression.