“Drown out the noise” is the motto of Static Radio, Albuquerque's newest, free-form, counter-cultural radio station. Previously M88 (in reference to its spot on ABQ dials at 88.3), Static Radio is a Christian alternative station attached to the main campus of Calvary Chapel of Albuquerque. Static, which is not governed by the church, replaces what it sees as “typical” Christian radio content with quirky shows, alternative music ranging from pop to heavy metal, and a yearly alternative prom.
In 2006, former Alibi writer Jim Scarantino wrote an article titled “Tattooed Christians,” detailing what was then M88's accelerated growth and the force of Christian radio's impact in New Mexico.
The changes coming along with KLYT's switch from M88—where I used to volunteer—to Static include a more intense focus on local artists, an hour devoted entirely to old school tunes, and a general movement away from “canned” Christian music. I recently made a stop at the studio just in time to hear midday DJ Adrianna Duran-Leon announce on the air, “Here's something cool we found, we don't know who made it, but we hope you like it.”
Four times a day, Static will play a new segment titled “Culture Shock” that plays songs from secular artists conveying positive, encouraging and even spiritual themes. Included in the list are U2 and Mumford & Sons. Static Radio states on their website that the segment “sets out to engage the culture around us with songs that convey a Biblical principle, and provoke thought and discussion.”
Steve Jeter, co-host of the (hilarious) morning show “The Old Man and the Steve” told me that the station even plans on playing a Prince song titled “The Cross” during one of their Culture Shock segments. The song opens with the lines:
“Black day, stormy night/ No love, no hope in sight/ Don't cry, He is coming/ Don't die without knowing the cross.”
Static Radio broadcasts throughout New Mexico and into Southern Colorado. They also stream online to reach a global community. Check out their website to find out more about the station and their vision, or to learn how to contribute to the cause as a Static “cling-on.”