Although not old enough to attend concerts during Detroit's musical heyday—from Motown's catchy R&B to the proto-punk of The Stooges—Kris Arnold's hometown still has left its mark on her music sensibilities. With long, spiky blond hair, Arnold strongly resembles '70s punk diva Debbie Harry, and she admits, she likes her music "Down and dirty gritty." Certainly her popular mid-day show often draws from bands that are as abundant in noise as in talent.
Arnold arrived on the west coast, working for Atlantic Records, before migrating to Oregon. With radio experience on a college station—and a down-to-the-DNA love for music—Arnold was soon volunteering on KPOV before being tapped by 92/9 for a full-time job.
In many ways, the radio dial in Bend is about as far from southern California's corporate-managed music industry that Arnold could get—and, for that matter, with 90 percent of the radio stations in America owned by large media corporations like Clear Channel, Bend is a holdout, with almost all the stations owned locally, including 92/9 with an independence that translates into a great deal of creative latitude and freedom for the deejays. Speaking about the owner of 92/9, Arnold exclaims, "He just lets us fly." The result is a style that is simultaneously laid-back, yet passionate—and clearly roundly liked by listeners. (PB)