University of California Irvine's radio station, KUCI 88.9FM, is in the midst of its annual fund drive (it runs through May 10). This student/volunteer-run, listener-supported source of unconventionally excellent music and commentary won the Weekly's Best Radio Station last year. Here's what we said about it:
KUCI… really has no competition on OC airwaves. For its diversity of programming, desire to broadcast music that doesn’t even get considered by 99.7 percent of its competitors, and, uh, let’s say idiosyncratic on-air personalities, KUCI towers over its rivals. The station’s DJs may not have the smoothest, most well-modulated deliveries nor always stay on message, and they occasionally allow some DEAD AIR, but they’re certainly passionate about the music they’re playing or the issues they’re discussing, and it makes a helluva difference if you’ve had it up to hear with cookie-cutter corporate radio.
Eclecticism and obscurity are most college radio stations’ lifeblood, and this applies to KUCI. A scan through the schedule reveals shows devoted to left-field global music, jazz, reggae, blues, hip-hop, girl bands, Latin, various underground beat-centric styles, electronic music, local punk rock, underground metal, witty unconventional news commentary, progressive public affairs, tons of rock in its myriad styles, and much more. You may not like everything KUCI airs, but if you possess an open mind and a three-digit IQ, you’ll enjoy a lot of it. If nothing else, you have to admire the sheer unpredictability of the whole enterprise in a medium dominated by companies where the bean counters declared decisive victory decades ago.
To make a tax-deductible donation, you can call 949.824.5824 or go to KUCI's site. Premiums are available for contributions $35 and up.