By: Nicole Hassinger
I’m usually the only girl that gets into the mosh pits when I attend local shows.
People aren’t used to seeing a girl jump into a crowd and throw down. It’s unfortunate.
Recently I caught up with another show-going Wonder Woman, “Local X” host Kris Kelly.
Local X airs on local radio station 103.9 FM, The Bear, on Sunday nights.
Kelly is cooler than me because she also plays in local bands. When I reached out to her through email, Kelly wrote back about her experience with the local music scene. I wanted to share her insight into why the local music scene is so important.
Kelly took over the “Local X” broadcast just after Reverend Ryno, the nighttime disc jockey, passed away.
When she began, the show went through a transition period and the local rock community was in mourning.
“We were planning on having him train me on it and then passing the torch over to me before he passed, but he passed away before we could do any of that,” Kelly wrote of Ryno.
Originally, it had been called “Homegrown with Reverend Ryno.” Since then, the show has gone from primarily local music to including regional music.
She told me about her work with some local musicians and their involvement beyond interviews on her show.
“Many bands that come to the station from outside our immediate area—like from Chicago for example—tell me it is great to have an FM station that supports local music like we do. Apparently not too many stations are doing that,” Kelly wrote.
She also explained that after her initial interviews with bands they often contact her again later to help find shows to play. Because she is involved in the local music scene as a musician too, she is a good contact for artists looking to play. Kelly also admitted that social media helps her show and the bands gain followers.
Kelly also urged her listeners to support each other. Respecting other musicians and venues keep the community strong.
“We really are all in this together,” she wrote. “Making it all about your band only divides the scene. Go out to local shows you aren’t playing and support those bands. The added bonus of that is you get a chance to do some networking with other bands, and you can help each other get more shows.”