City Pages
October 7, 1998


What's the point of going on?

By Peter S. Scholtes

As you must already know, a groundbreaking new radio station called "the Point" has finally made space on the airwaves for neglected acts like the Dave Matthews Band, Barenaked Ladies, and Sheryl Crow. Bucking the market trend toward smooth jazz, CBS Radio's KMJZ (104.1 FM) switched formats on September 24 at 4 p.m., when, after a moment of dead air, a zany new voice came on to inform listeners that those other stations just don't program enough alternative music these days. The station then kicked out a Wallflowers tune, and by morning the rioting in Hopkins and other outlying suburbs was so fierce the National Guard had to be called in to quell the unrest. "What is this new, wild music?" commented one freshly minted student collectivist. "I...I've been living a lie, my entire life, a lie!"

Okay, sorry about that stab at satire. But really, what is the goddamn Point? In math terms, the word denotes a dimensionless node with no properties except location, which aptly describes the station now. Readers looking for an alternative to alternative (or who are content to just go out and buy the five CDs the Point plays) could do worse than to tune in to 1280 AM, where, as of press time, Beat Radio still broadcasts dance music on Friday and Saturday nights.

After broadcasting nationally for seven months, Beat Radio threw two crowded September farewell parties at First Avenue in anticipation of the frequency's imminent sale to the Catholic Radio Network, which will take the old format off the air. Now the club has decided to continue the Friday broadcast bashes until the plug is pulled on Beat Radio in October. With the station's departure a foregone conclusion, my concern lies elsewhere along the AM dial. CBS Radio has also acquired Solid Gold Soul (950 AM) and one can only hope they allow this fine institution to continue, soul intact. (For current information on Beat Radio, call 391-BEAT or visit

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