by Josh Vanek
Any show that starts off this way has my complete attention, and it deserves yours. That's Gang of Fun's theme music (Wowee by the Bran Flakes), for y'all late-sleepers on Sunday mornings between 8:00 and 10:00 AM... on KBGA 89.9 FM. You're missing out! Gang of Fun is fun. It's a hell of alot of fun, in fact, and while it's oriented to keep younger listeners listening, if you're into hearing all things weird and awesome, from bizarre kitsch and novelty children's music, to some genuinely, timelessly classic stuff, like African folk tales, Smithsonian Folkways kids songs, Shonen Knife, Toots and the Maytals, Hasil Adkins this is your jam. Oh, and my all time favorite band that I just learned about from Gang Of Fun, Bent Bolt and the Nuts, holy shit. They're on there too.
What I like about Gang of Fun is the theme that Julie and Jasmine dream up each week, and trying to figure it out before they come on and explain what it is. Sometimes it's food, other times it's grooviness, other times, hey, I don't remember all the themes. But each week's got one. And there's always either a rad story, or more recently some great plays. Gang of Fun is super successful at being a show aimed at kids that doesn't strictly play kid music. It's also got the awesome innocence of good fun childhood musical exploration, and wonder. That ain't easy stuff to capture, friend, and it's here in spades.
Julie's half of a music collecting/appreciating juggernaut, and it translates to a pretty excellently curated crop of stuff each week. I mean, Jasmine's no slouch either, but I know less about whether her living room might collapse under the weight of its records. GANG OF FUN! It's gonna mean that a generation of Missoula kids grow up knowing who Donovan, the Kinks and Small Faces are, and I for one, am in favor of that.
It's worth noting that this past Saturday, February 9th during H Rap's show began KBGA's annual fundraising drive, Radiothon, dig deep. 406-243-KBGA to donate, or through the website. The premiums are primo, the programmin's priceless. The DJ pizza, welll.... Let's leave at that.
This is part three in my spotlight on the shows of KBGA, a radio station you can stream from kbga.org, and listen to in Missoula at 89.9 FM.