Special Sections » Music Issue

Rockin' the cradle

Why WRAS-FM shows locals love

by

3 comments

As the general manager for Georgia State University's WRAS-FM, Cassie Smith wields plenty of power -- 100,000 watts to be exact. That makes 88.5 the largest student-run radio station in the nation. The playlist is strictly indie by design, and Cassie follows suit as host of the Georgia Music Show (Thursdays, 6-8 p.m.). Being inundated with CDs from unsigned bands certainly has its perks -- she's broken several hometown acts, including Deerhunter, during her yearlong tenure -- but it can also be a painful process. So before Cassie hands over the reins to her successor this month, she has some bankable advice to share with bands seeking airplay. Take notes.

College stations in general are really committed to playing indie music because, for the most part, all college stations are noncommercial so we have much more freedom to play stuff. Granted, it has to be good. And generally, the really good stuff is the independent stuff. With WRAS being 100,000 watts, we are a very big voice for independent artists. When we play something local that's good, it's a huge opportunity – not only to be heard by people around Georgia, but when you make it on our charts people are going to find out around the country that WRAS is playing your stuff.

I'll get CDs and I just have to sit down and listen to them. Whether it makes it to the playlist or not is based on if I really like it and also it's about what the station is currently playing and how it compares. If it sounds like something I hear on 99X or DAVE-FM, I'm not going to play it, and I get that a lot. It happens a lot with rock bands. I get so much heavy rock stuff, but it's not indie. ... Sometimes people just send me stuff and I'm like, 'Do you even listen to our station? Because you would know that we would not play your band.' That just blows me away sometimes.

I get really turned off when people are really pushy and their excuse is 'That's how you have to be in this business.' I have this one dude who IMs me on Sundays. I work six days a week and he IMs me on Sundays to ask me when I'm going to [play his CD]. It's really frustrating when people are incredibly pushy, but I can understand to some extent.

The people that I really like, they send me an album, they send me a track list and they send me a bio and they follow up and just keep it really simple. I say let your music do the talking.


Music Issue 2007


Bradford Cox of Deerhunter: The gift and the curse
Music Issue
Singer takes a stand
BY RODNEY CARMICHAEL
'You say you wanna revolution'
Music Issue
7-inch vinyl revival puts new spin on ATL rock scene
BY RODNEY CARMICHAEL
Shy D and Tony MF Rock: Original ATLiens
Music Issue
MC Shy D sowed hip-hop seeds into Georgia red clay
BY RONI SARIG
Fabo: Ode to a Bankhead hardhead
Music Issue
Rapper dances around critics
BY MAURICE G. GARLAND AND RODNEY CARMICHAEL
Juju B. Solomon: Labor of love
Music Issue
Juju B. Solomon brings folk home
BY CHAD RADFORD
Rock around the clock
Music Issue
Working-class musicians toil their way to the top
Janelle Monae: Dreamgirl
Music Issue
Singer goes back to the future
BY MOSI REEVES
Zac Brown: Two thumbs up (a critic's ass)
Music Issue
Singer/guitarist flies under the critical radar — and straight to fans
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
Hear and now
Music Issue
CL critics pick the cream of Atlanta's current crop

Georgia Music Directory 2007


Setting the stage
Music Issue
Sweetwood invites rising talent to Masquerade
BY MOSI REEVES
Can't knock the hustle
Music Issue
Unsigned artist masters self-promotion
BY RODNEY CARMICHAEL
Rockin' the cradle
Music Issue
Why WRAS-FM shows locals love
BY RODNEY CARMICHAEL
Breaking the band
Music Issue
Band manager gets acts together
BY MOSI REEVES
Music Issue
Search for Georgia bands, DJs, musicians and more; or register your own group or service – it's free!

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment
 

Add a comment