Think Houston Radio Sucks? Try KACC's Lost Fidelity

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Photos by Craig Hlavaty

Last week, we railed on the big boys over at the Eagle and the Arrow for perpetrating hours and hours of Billy Joel and the Eagles on the ears of Houston. It seemed to us that between those two fighting for the same audience, it was in fact the listener who was losing.

But we didn't take into account the excellent work that is going on down Highway 35 every Friday afternoon on KACC (89.7 FM), Alvin Community College's radio station also known as "The Gulf Coast Rocker." During Houston's bustling afternoon rush-hour, Brad Denison and David Rangel unravel "Lost Fidelity," a three-hour garage and indie-rock powerhouse chock full of nerdy music talk that has featured interviews with artists as disparate as Matt & Kim and onetime Beatles drummer Pete Best.

Now armed with a stronger antenna (replacing the one destroyed by Hurricane Ike), KACC can now be heard past north of the Beltway and all places in between. The show is also available live on streaming audio on the station's Web site.

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Since late 2007, radio veterans Denison and Rangel have been interrupting the station's usual local-roots and classic-rock playlist for three hours. During the early days, their show was stuck in the dreaded Saturday morning timeslot, meaning Lost Fidelity's core listeners were various hung-over folk and record geeks with a working alarm clock. In late May, the show moved to its current slot; it now starts Fridays at 2:30 p.m.

The move has increased Lost Fidelity's rep and garnered it a dedicated following of listeners called "The Found." The show has been visited recently by the bruiser gals from the Southside Roller Derby, who answered questions and even gave out tickets to their monthly throwdowns at Pearwood Skate Center in Pearland.

Listening to Rangel parcel out tidbits of his rock knowledge like eavesdropping on the nerdiest record-store conversation you will ever hear, with a backlog of facts and stats that's humbling to most. Any week one can tune in and get schooling on artists like Terry Reid or Rangel's musical man-crush, Brendan Benson. (A collection of Rangel's audio essays can be heard on his MySpace profile.)

Denison is the decidedly the more metallic of the duo, dishing out cuts from stoner-rock pioneers Clutch and Kyuss in between the newest indie flavors. When we visited last week, the two were gushing about Phoenix's new album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, and played at least two songs from it.

On July 10, Rocks Off will book down the highway for a show featuring artists nominated for our Houston Press Music Awards show. Lost Fidelity already interviewed Best Folk nominees Come See My Dead Person last month.


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