Roger Cornett recently wrote that he was "feeling dissed." I wish Roger had spoken to me before he applied his band The Rockwells to the "Yawn on the Lawn" roster. I would have told him it was useless!
Eight or nine years ago, I encountered the same resistance. At the time, Edgeville Exit was not only the most popular band in Homer but the whole Peninsula, including ambassador trips to Cordova, Valdez, Seward, etc. I was their lead guitarist. On the road we were welcome as kings. Cool!
When we applied to the Concert on the Lawn (put on as a fund-raiser for KBBI), we were denied with no reason. If they had a reason, they didn't tell us what it was. When we said (the same as Roger implied) "This is our chance to support public radio," they said, "You can volunteer to stand by" (i.e., sit on the fence in case a band they chose didn't show up). For a man who has spent his whole life at refining his musical craft, this was not a very pleasant alternative.
Roger is not a crackpot, off-the-wall exception. He represents the sentiment of the majority of successful Homer musicians.
The problem is that KBBI doesn't support local rock 'n' roll musicians, especially the successful ones. Yes, we have overly introspective folk singers and anything ethnic. Yes, the African, Indian, Andean or even Pakistani will feel at home here. If ever we see one, at least someone in Homer will imitate them. What about American-made, good ol' fashioned, you gotta dance rock 'n' roll?
Again, Roger isn't alone. When they say Homer is an art town, I guess they aren't including musicians.