Kevin Kniestedt

Producer, Sound Effect

Kevin began his career at KNKX in 2003, where his first responsibility was to eradicate the KNKX Jazz Library from all Smooth Jazz CD’s. Since then there is not much at KNKX he hasn’t done. Kevin has worked as a full time jazz host, news host, and has hosted, at least once, almost every single program on KNKX. Kevin is currently one of the producers for KNKX’s weekly show Sound Effect. Kevin has interviewed several world class musicians, produced local features, and helped make the KNKX Grocery Tote famous.

Kevin's most memorable KNKX radio moment was his interview with Edgar Martinez right before his last home game. Kevin lives the seemingly never-ending bachelor life in Seattle, where you may find him hitting a tennis ball, catching an independent film or eating a massive plate of nachos.

Ways to Connect

United States Air Force photo by Senior Airman Alexandra Sandoval

This week on Sound Effect, we share stories of imperfect crimes. We start by talking to 88.5’s Nick Morrison, who was once hired to smuggle pot. We then meet a man who was a lifelong prankster, until one prank recalibrated his moral compass.

Hacker/Flickr

In the late 90s and early 2000s, a lot of people were still figuring out this whole internet business.

As is often the case, way out ahead of the learning curve were the cyber-criminals, and law enforcement had some catching up to do.

The FBI often relied on the knowledge of private security professionals. So in 2000, they contacted a Seattle expert named Ray Pompon, and recruited him to go undercover as part of a sting operation. Pompon shared his story with host Gabriel Spitzer.

Michael Pollack/Flickr

This week on Sound Effect, take a trip down a rabbit hole. It all started when contributor Warren Langford brought to our attention a man who was trying to track down a mystery disco musician on a cassette he found. That led us to Seattle’s first openly-operated gay disco bar in Seattle, Shelly’s Leg, and the story behind the owner Shelly Bauman. In researching Shelly’s Leg, we came across a rumor about a relative of our current President, which is quickly debunked.

Everybody loves a good mystery ... some of us more than others. So when Tom DesLongchamp discovered an unusual looking cassette tape in a bargain bin, and discovered a collection of unidentifiable disco songs on one side of it, his curiosity was aroused. That curiosity soon transformed into a fixation, or maybe even an obsession. 

By Howard Giske, CC BY-SA 3.0

The first openly-operated gay bar in Seattle was a nightclub called Shelly’s Leg. It was founded in Pioneer Square in 1973 by a woman named Shelly Bauman. It quickly became an important center of LGBT life in Seattle.

But it's the bar's origin story -- and the freak parade accident at the heart of it -- that caught our attention.

Sound Effect Producer Kevin Kniestedt sat down with Bruce Buls  a former Seattle disc jockey and good friend of Baumann’s back in the 70s, to learn more about Shelly’s Leg and its namesake. 

Credit Kevin Kniestedt

This week on Sound Effect, we share the stories that won national awards this year. Our first story, from Jennifer Wing, profiles a group of men that have been playing an elaborate game of tag for decades. Next, we’ll meet Sophie, a curly-haired six-year-old girl from Bellingham who was born a boy, and learn about new research from the University of Washington that suggests trans kids who are accepted by their parents tend to have positive mental health measures.

Robb D. Cohen / Invision/AP

This story originally aired on November 5, 2016.

So when we get emotional about something, we often have to weigh the risks and rewards of acting on those emotions. If someone upsets us, we need to decide if there is enough of a reward in confronting that person, while potentially facing the risks of upsetting that person as well.

I found myself in one of those situations at small-town bar in the middle of Washington, upset at a very, very famous young man, and wrote this essay.

Credit Gabriel Spitzer

Filmmakers in the Pacific Northwest produced a wide range of notable films this year, from short documentaries on immigrant communities to feature-length Claymation. Courtney Sheehan is the Executive Director of the Northwest Film Forum. She joined us to talk about four of her favorites: We Could Have Been Street KidsConstant Space*Float, and Lane 1974. 

*Correction: The audio version of this story referred to the director of Constant Space as Emmett Stanfield. The name of the director is Emmet Fifield. 

JAYEL AHERAM / FLICKR

 

This show originally aired on April 30, 2016.

This week on Sound Effect we present stories of war and peace.

Ground Zero

(Credit Anders Beer Wilse/Public Domain)

This story originally aired on April 30, 2016.

During World War II, in a frozen wilderness in southern Norway, on the edge of an icy cliff sat a hydroelectric plant called Vemork. This winter fortress was the center of some of the most important sabotage efforts of the war.

Kirt Edblom/Flickr

This weekend, many parents will read “The Night Before Christmas” to their children. Well, KNKX has something special for you: a reading of an abridged version of the almost 200 year old poem by many of the voices you hear on the air here at KNKX, and some you don’t normally get to hear on the air. Enjoy.

Trajaner/Creative Commons

This week on Sound Effect, our theme is "One of Many" ... the tension between standing out and fitting in.

WIkipedia Commons

To say that Washington State University Cougars have school spirit is a wild understatement, and if you have any in your life, you know they don't hesitate to remind you.

Now, Cameron McCoy and many other members of Coug nation have reached a significant milestone in letting their flags fly. 

Actual flags. 

AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton

Sound Effect producer Kevin Kniestedt shared this essay.   

My earliest memory of watching the Seahawks goes back to when I was probably three or four. I remember sitting in the basement with my dad, with the game on TV, and hearing the announcer saying “there is a penalty flag down.” Since I had no understanding of the game, I imagined that somewhere in that stadium, there was a person standing by a flag pole, lowering and raising a flag that said “penalty” on it every time a player did something bad.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Patrick S. Ciccarone/Released

This week on Sound Effect, our theme is "Blood Ties." Host Gabriel Spitzer heads to a class at the University of Washington where midwives learn how to deal with potential blood loss during pregnancy. Alex Ashley profiles a Jehovah Witness who had to find an alternative to a blood transfusion during a medical emergency.

Courtesy Simone Alicea

Meet a mother and a daughter working through how blood and language have shaped their relationship.

Simone Alicea is a reporter and editor here at KNKX. Her mom Veronica Alicea-Galvan is a King County Superior Court judge. They came together in a Storycorps booth in Chicago to talk about something specific: the bilingual court that Judge Alicea-Galvan used to run in Des Moines, Washington.

But the conversation strayed pretty quickly into this intimate space, where both women learned things about the other they hadn’t known before.

 

Tony Webster/Flickr

This week on Sound Effect, our theme is "In Traffic." Host Gabriel Spitzer checks out the winning entry for the “Sorriest Bus Stop in America,” which happens to be in Seattle. We talk to a bus driver who finds inspiration for his art from his riders. Meet a quadriplegic with a seriously tricked-out wheelchair.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

If your primary mode of transportation is riding the bus, it's likely you've seen some nice bus stops, some OK ones, probably a couple of bad ones. The website Streetsblog USA holds an annual contest where readers from around the country nominate terrible bus stops, and then vote on them. The bus stop with the most votes gets crowned The Sorriest Bus Stop In America. 

And congratulations, Seattle: The 2017 title is yours. 

Credit Parker Miles Blohm

This week on Sound Effect, it’s our annual tradition of sharing our favorite music stories from the past year.  We open the show by sitting down with the Lewis family, and look back on how each generation has influenced the next to get behind a drum set. We then hear how tragedy and music intersect as the result of a shooting on the campus of Seattle Pacific University.

Credit Alex Gao

This story originally aired on February 11, 2017.

Marcus Haney has caught several big named musicians on camera, including the likes of Coldplay and Elton John.

In 2014, he was asked to produce a music video for the British band Bear's Den. He came up with the idea of coming to Seattle to film his younger brother, Turner Haney, and Turner's friends, who all attended Seattle Pacific University, capturing youth on the brink of adulthood. 

Courtesy Seattle Choruses

This segment originally aired March 4, 2017.  

Last April, composer, arranger and conductor Paul Caldwell was weeks away from leaving Chicago for a new life and new job as the artistic director for the Seattle Men’s Chorus and Seattle Women’s Chorus. But after leaving his best friend’s place, he became the victim of a terrible hit and run accident.

Caldwell was struck by a car, severely fracturing several bones in his body, including his legs and right arm. His head landed on a bag filled with sheet music, rather than the hard street, saving his life.

Meet Seattle's 'Queen Of Gospel'

Nov 25, 2017
Courtesy of Eula Scott Bynoe

This story originally aired on February 4, 2017.

Pastor Pat Wright can't read music, but she made a hit single as a solo R&B singer, performed for three U.S. presidents including Barack Obama, and sang at Jimi Hendrix's funeral.  

Wright began and continues to direct Seattle's renowned Total Experience Choir. Founded in 1973, the choir has performed for presidents, and toured in 28 countries and 33 states.

She attributes its success to the type of music they perform.

Wikipedia Commons

This week on Sound Effect, our theme is "Can’t Let Go." KNKX newsies Ariel Van Cleave and Ed Ronco reminisce about their obscure instruments. Then we talk to Jillian Venters, who gives advice to people of the gothic subculture, including those who are aging within it.

Credit Gabriel Spitzer

All Things Considered host Ed Ronco and Morning Edition producer Ariel Van Cleave came to learn their respective instruments after things didn't work out with their first choice.

Ed started with the trumpet, but the combination of the smaller mouthpiece and a mouth full of braced turned out to be a painful experience. So he moved to the baritone horn, which had a larger mouthpiece, and never looked back.

Ariel, on the other hand, just had a distaste for her assigned instrument, the trombone, and at the encouragement of her father, she switched to euphonium. 

Credit Kevin Kniestedt

There are still certain parts of our youth that we identify with and often don’t want to let go of. And the number of subcultures out there that people have come to identify with is expansive. For Jillian Venters, there is little question in her mind as to the subculture she identifies with.

“I’m kind of a romantic goth with Victorian goth tinges. I get more Victorian goth as the weather gets cooler. It is really hard to wear velvet frock coats and top hats during high summer.”

Credit Allie Ferguson

This show originally aired on May 27, 2017.

This week on Sound Effect, our theme is "Up in the Air."

Allie Ferguson / KNKX

This story originally aired on May 27, 2017.

B.J. Listman is one of the elevator operators at the Space Needle. The Space Needle and the Smith Tower, according to B.J, are the only places left in Seattle where there are actually elevator operators. This iconic Seattle landmark has enchanted B.J. since he was a child.

This week on Sound Effect, our theme is "What Are the Odds?" We'll meet the grandson of Holocaust survivors who calculated the very low probability that he would even be born. Then a typo may have saved Bob Hofferber's life, by keeping him off of a military plane bound for Tacoma in 1952. In another story of the twists of fate, group of nuns walking along a Washington beach are overtaken by a rogue wave, changing their lives and their relationship with God forever.

Credit Gabriel Spitzer

The population of Concrete, Washington in 1938 was about 1,000 people. But one October evening that year, while a famous radio broadcast was frightening a good portion of the population across the country, things in Concrete got even stranger.

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

There was a lot of news this week about Washington State University and its massive annual operating deficit, in large part due to the costs associated with remodeling their football stadium.

The football program also saw issues on the field last week. Cougar head coach Mike Leach removed starting quarterback Luke Falk, who is poised to break multiple Pac-12 all-time passing records, from the game twice Saturday. KNKX sports commentator Art Thiel talked about football on and off the field in Pullman.

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