Big Brain 2013 Finalist: Dust Circuit Radio, Online

Categories: Big Brains

You submitted nominations for awards given to the Valley's emerging creatives and the results are in. Introducing our Big Brain 2013 Finalists.

Leading up to the Big Brain Award awards announcement and celebration on April 27, Chow Bella and Jackalope Ranch will introduce the finalists.

Up today: Dust Circuit Radio

Dust Circuit Radio
Ziggy Kennedy has a hard time defining the focus on his Internet radio program Dust Circuit Radio, but he's certainly enthusiastic about trying to pin it down anyway.

"I guess we focus on Americana and roots," the jovial 41-year-old laughs. "I sometimes say, 'If it has a banjo in it, I'll probably play it.'"

But Dust Circuit Radio is hardly strict about its roots format, just as likely devoting time to thrashing rock 'n' roll or spiraling shoegaze. It's an anything goes format, but instead of alienating listeners, it's quickly attracted them. The 24-hour stream consists of pre-recorded segments, live shows, and an archive of "DCR-approved songs." Kennedy features a cast of hosts in the DCR HQ (his house), including shows hosted by his wife, Kerry Kennedy, Mills End frontman Jeff Bump, Shain Mayer, and World Class Thugs player Jim Bachmann (Kennedy calls Bachmann's show, "Ripsnort Radio Hour," DCR's "finest program").

Kennedy launched the site ( with local musician Jason McGraw in October 2012. McGraw since has departed, but Kennedy's kept up, surviving strictly on donations, mostly from the very bands that Dust Circuit Radio plays and the kindness of musicians like Carol Pacey. ("Dust Circuit wouldn't exit without Carol," he laughs.)

"People do beautiful stuff if you just give them a chance," he says, his voice still betraying his Oklahoman ancestry. There's a trademark twang present when he discusses his time operating HAM radios in his hometown, Ava, Oklahama. (The same place that gave the world Blake Shelton," he sneers.) He's been in Arizona for 11 years, playing in local bands and impressing himself in Phoenix culture, and while Dust Circuit Radio plays a lot of Phoenix bands, there's music from all around the world featured on the station.

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