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Locals Only: : Hot Licks

Live concert series, Live City Licks, provides an undiluted outlet for local musicians

By Alex Hall · December 10th, 2003 · Locals Only
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Venomous Valdez
Venomous Valdez



Commercial radio: Let's face it; it sucks. It seems like it isn't for the listeners anymore, but instead for the advertisers and record companies that want to flood the airwaves with whatever kind of crap that they're trying to sell. Is there any escape? The answer is "Yes."

When you think of community radio you might think of inexperienced disc jockeys who just can't seem to properly operate the faders, or yet another National Public Radio franchise. What you probably don't think of is quality programming that serves the community. This, however, is exactly what you get with WAIF (88.3 FM). From controversial talk radio to religious music and beyond, any taste can be appeased via WAIF. This is especially the case with the local music gurus on the weekly "Live City Licks" show.

Live City Licks (LCL) is yet another voice helping the music community flourish. There are too many nameless and faceless acts out there that should be far beyond where they are in this city. LCL proves it by broadcasting shows on location in some of the best local venues, as well as by bringing the musicians themselves into their studio for rare performances and live interviews. LCL gives back to the bands, allowing them to further themselves, and for no other reason than their genuine love for the art and the scene. With his in mind, tune in! Show support for the people who are desperately trying to get their art to the masses. They won't bite.

To investigate the intentions of the crew that makes LCL happen, I spoke with co-host Venomous Valdez.

CityBeat: How did LCL come to be, and for how long have you been on the air?

Venomous Valdez: As a whole, we've been corrupting the airwaves for seven years -- Live City Licks for the last three and a half. I have been behind the board for the last four years.

CB: There are many local music shows on radio, both locally and nationwide. But a lot of them are short lived. To what can you attribute this, and how has LCL overcome it?

VV: WAIF's commitment to our community is to bring to the table what you won't hear on other stations. It's the oldest station in the country with this kind of format. I think LCL has survived because of the amazing musicians in this town. Some people won't believe this, but there is an audience for Cincinnati music.

CB: What is the significance of your on air alias, and how did it originate?

VV: I'm a coffee junkie and I wish I was married to Juan Valdez. A girl can dream right?

CB: What is it about music in general that drives LCL to persevere this tradition of helping to promote those within Cincinnati's musical community?

VV: One day it's gonna get me laid instead of laughed at! Just kidding. It astonishes me the talent we have hidden in this city. People everywhere should know who Jason Ludwig, Greg Mahan, Mallory, etc. are. They're our treasures, and it's a beautiful thing to spread the Cincy love.

CB: Is there anything that you ask all the musicians who come on your show?

VV: I usually play 20 questions, and those can be found on

Venomous Valdez
Venomous Valdez



Commercial radio: Let's face it; it sucks. It seems like it isn't for the listeners anymore, but instead for the advertisers and record companies that want to flood the airwaves with whatever kind of crap that they're trying to sell. Is there any escape? The answer is "Yes."

When you think of community radio you might think of inexperienced disc jockeys who just can't seem to properly operate the faders, or yet another National Public Radio franchise. What you probably don't think of is quality programming that serves the community. This, however, is exactly what you get with WAIF (88.3 FM). From controversial talk radio to religious music and beyond, any taste can be appeased via WAIF. This is especially the case with the local music gurus on the weekly "Live City Licks" show.

Live City Licks (LCL) is yet another voice helping the music community flourish. There are too many nameless and faceless acts out there that should be far beyond where they are in this city. LCL proves it by broadcasting shows on location in some of the best local venues, as well as by bringing the musicians themselves into their studio for rare performances and live interviews. LCL gives back to the bands, allowing them to further themselves, and for no other reason than their genuine love for the art and the scene. With his in mind, tune in! Show support for the people who are desperately trying to get their art to the masses. They won't bite.

To investigate the intentions of the crew that makes LCL happen, I spoke with co-host Venomous Valdez.

CityBeat: How did LCL come to be, and for how long have you been on the air?

Venomous Valdez: As a whole, we've been corrupting the airwaves for seven years -- Live City Licks for the last three and a half. I have been behind the board for the last four years.

CB: There are many local music shows on radio, both locally and nationwide. But a lot of them are short lived. To what can you attribute this, and how has LCL overcome it?

VV: WAIF's commitment to our community is to bring to the table what you won't hear on other stations. It's the oldest station in the country with this kind of format. I think LCL has survived because of the amazing musicians in this town. Some people won't believe this, but there is an audience for Cincinnati music.

CB: What is the significance of your on air alias, and how did it originate?

VV: I'm a coffee junkie and I wish I was married to Juan Valdez. A girl can dream right?

CB: What is it about music in general that drives LCL to persevere this tradition of helping to promote those within Cincinnati's musical community?

VV: One day it's gonna get me laid instead of laughed at! Just kidding. It astonishes me the talent we have hidden in this city. People everywhere should know who Jason Ludwig, Greg Mahan, Mallory, etc. are. They're our treasures, and it's a beautiful thing to spread the Cincy love.

CB: Is there anything that you ask all the musicians who come on your show?

VV: I usually play 20 questions, and those can be found on cincymusic.com.

CB: How does WAIF provide refreshment to those sick of commercial radio?

VV: It all goes back to being able to play what the DJ wants to spin. Not what's on the 'approved' playlist. It's variety. Whatever your taste is, WAIF can cater to it.

CB: Finally, what is your opinion about Cincinnati's music scene and what is your place within it?

VV: It's amazing to be able to offer artists another outlet to express themselves to a wider range of audience via radio and Internet. It always makes me feel satisfied when someone will tell me, "Hey, that band you had on last week was awesome! Where can I see them or where can I buy their CD?" That's when I know I've done my job.



LIVE CITY LICKS airs every Saturday at Midnight on WAIF (88.3 FM; waif883.org).
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
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