Thursday, January 13, 2005

WHFS - the end of an era

If you have spent any time in DC or Baltimore, you probably heard of, or heard 99.1 WHFS. As of yesterday, HFS is defunct, being taken over by Spanish "El Sol" which will play "a mixture of Salsa, Merengue and Bachata" music.
I remember listening to HFS when it was on 102.3, broadcasting from downtown Bethesda (right near the Sunshine House surf shop.) When I was in high school and college, I really enjoyed HFS. They had DJs with personality, played really cool up and coming college and alt rock music and were sooo not the establishment.
Later on when they moved to 99.1, they became the modern alternative music powerhouse, ultimately hosting the HFStival, a huge summer weekend music festival. As you can rightly imagine, HFStival gave lots of good excuses for good Christian youth workers to be against WHFS and rail against the evils of pop culture, music that was too loud, and all day music festivals surrounded by scantily-clad girls.
HFS was definitely a cultural icon around our area. In many ways, I'm sad to see it go, for it was significant in my own teenage years and really big for a lot of the students in our area. Music is the language of youth, and they captured and capitalized on that fact very well.
At the same time, I know there were much better things kids could be doing with their time. All of this to say, there will always be cultural icons, good or bad, in our student's lives. The question is how well we engage those icons. Culture is a constant and we better engage.
Read more here and here about HFS at DCist.

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