Best Americana Radio Station, August 2010
With shows like Americana Matinee, Tangled Roots, and Bluegrass Etcetera, the weekend lineup on KCSN (88.5 FM) was for years the best place to hear Americana music on the radio. As of March, the station has gotten even better. The weekday format has switched from classical to triple A, playing rock, pop, alternative, and country—and not just the hits—a format that has struggled to find a home on commercial radio in our city. Classic Springsteen, Leonard Cohen, and Johnny Cash, followed by new Jakob Dylan and Norah Jones, without commercials? There’s nowhere else on the dial you’re going to hear that.
Best University-Sponsored Radio Station, March 2006
KCSN 88.5 FM bills itself as “Arts & Roots Radio.” In a city of superb college-affiliated radio stations—KUSC for classical music, KCRW for public affairs programming and world music, KPCC for local coverage—Cal State Northridge’s stands out. From its studio in the Valley, KCSN fills the weekday airwaves with symphonies and the evening and weekend with the sounds of America singing. On Sunday and Monday Ann the Raven mixes cuts from Billie Holiday with patter about her love life. On Tuesday Pat Baker hosts two hours of the Grateful Dead. Other roots jocks include Cowboy Mick, whose Twang show on Saturday favors hard-core country, and the Great Kahuna, whose Kahuna’s Green Room on Friday is where Dick Dale still reigns. Thanks to a new signal booster in West L.A., KCSN now comes in loud and clear from the mountains to the sea.