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Music and talk make for good 'Friendship'

Laguna's FM station features an array of guests on its special Saturday morning show.

July 18, 2013|By Michael Miller

KX 93.5, Laguna Beach's FM station, calls its Saturday morning broadcast "The Friendship Show." And like the best circles of friends, it doesn't have any particular rules about who's included.

OC Weekly founding editor Will Swaim. Folk musicians John Batdorf and James Lee Stanley. Social activists, artists, health experts and just about anyone else who makes a stimulating guest.

The show, which airs every Saturday at 9 a.m., has a nominal connection to the Friendship Shelter in Laguna Beach. Of the three hosts, Dawn Price serves as executive director of the shelter, while Mark Miller directs its programs and Scott Hays recently produced a benefit CD and documentary for the homeless.

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At times, "The Friendship Show" has addressed the homeless issue, but Miller has a looser definition of its overall theme.

"It's pretty fluid," he said. "I think we look at the people we would like to meet and the people we would like to talk to and say, 'Does it kind of fit the spirit of the show?' And the spirit of the show is interesting people doing interesting things to change the world."

Next interesting person in line: Hawaiian singer and guitarist Henry Kapono, who will visit the studio before a show at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano on Saturday. Hays, who said he used to listen to Kapono live at the Golden Bear in Huntington Beach decades ago, reached out when he heard the musician would be in town.

"The Friendship Show," which alternates interview segments with music, began shortly after the launch of KX 93.5 last fall. The station, which occupies a second-floor space overlooking Pacific Coast Highway, bills itself as "Laguna's Only FM" and reaches a roughly 10-square-mile area, according to founder Tyler Russell.

Even though KX 93.5 is less than a year old, its home already feels lived-in. The white walls around the front door sport an array of felt-pen signatures from guests, while a frame across the room features a snare drum skin autographed by members of Aerosmith (obtained at a silent auction rather than in person, but still eye-catching).

Inside the control room, microphones, tripods, chairs and people squeeze in next to a window featuring rows of fluorescently colored panels. A rack below the ceiling sports Christmas lights. Last Saturday, as Swaim spoke about the modern state of journalism, the show was recorded for a promotional film to be given to UC Irvine Extension for its digital journalism program.

With all those community connections, Hays hopes the show will help to spotlight the group that spurred its creation. Friendship Shelter, founded in 1987, has served more than 6,000 homeless adults since then, according to its website.

"The more we can reach out to different segments of society, the more we can expose what Friendship Shelter is doing for those people," Hays said.

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