Best Radio Station 

KFJC, 89.7 FM

Straight outta Foothill Junior College, KFJC, the station that started in a plumbing closet in 1959, continues to exemplify the best aspects of college radio -- its inventiveness, fearlessness, and total disregard for whatever is going on in the mainstream music industry. The music? Call it eclectic or obscure or occasionally freakish, but it's always a fantastic education in sounds you're unlikely to hear anywhere else. Where else would you find Jean-Jacques Perrey, Fred Frith, and Flossie and the Unicorns sharing the same channel? Better yet, KFJC vows that 35 percent of the music broadcast on each show was acquired by the station in the last two months. This keep-it-fresh technique can be appreciated by anyone who's gritted their teeth through a college radio broadcast in which an uninspired DJ spins the station's ancient collection of Cure albums. If you're unfortunately out of range of the KFJC's 500-watt signal, the second best thing is its Web page, which streams the music direct to your computer and features weekly DJ playlists and a music database called the Edge of Obscurity, which contains thousands of album reviews penned by station staff. "If you're decked out in plaid looking for the latest Vedder scoop or in search of the Whitney's 'True Voice' masters then I raise a bloodied finger aloft and indicate the land called 'EXIT' behind you," reads the introduction, which might as well be the motto for the whole station. Rock on.

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