Today I received an email from Tom Mara from my absolute and only radio station KEXP. If you are not familiar with the station and simply love music of any type, check them out. Also, read his thought provoking letter below.

For the past four years, Blackbird has offered current KEXP members a 10% discount on any full price items in the store. Donate today, become a member and receive this discount every time you shop at Blackbird (in-store only for now). You'd be silly not to.

This is something Blackbird is passionate about as it holds our community together and keeps our minds open to diversity and the arts. When I travel or interact with my friends from around the globe I am reminded of the negative effects of commercial radio. Give it a week and you'll see.

"Nearly two weeks after President Obama’s inaugural address, and I’m still buzzing about the historic moment we all witnessed as the first African American president was sworn into office. Regardless of your political persuasion, no one can deny that we are at a pivotal time in our nation’s history, filled with possibilities.

I was moved not only by the scene, but by the art that accompanied the ceremony. It’s artists’ ability to challenge audiences, delve into indescribable parts of human emotion and experience, and provide ideas for exploring the world, which has made their presence almost mandatory. Artists play an important role in our civic dialogue, whether we’re ushering in a new president or opening a new public library. Through music, artists share stories and create understanding. We would be lost without them.

But artists’ work must be available to us in order to enjoy it, and this includes popular music. Often, a sympathetic figure in the background bolsters an artist by taking a chance and presenting the artist's work to audiences. It’s in this position of the arts advocate that KEXP truly excels. We’ve all heard the story of how Sam Phillips of Sun Records took a chance and recorded an unknown artist named Elvis Presley, among many others. And, it was John Peel who discovered, loved, and championed The Fall, who inspire some of KEXP's favorite artists like The Smiths, Pavement, and LCD Soundsystem.

KEXP listeners regularly thank us for helping them discover new music. They tell us to keep "fighting the good fight." They recognize that there are few places remaining which champion music for the artistic power it has in our lives. The marketplace’s pressure to sell products has pushed out many emerging and established artists. Today, there are few remaining trustworthy resources for discovering new music. People like Sam Phillips and John Peel are fewer and farther between, which has silenced the voices of thousands of artists.

At KEXP we are bucking the trend. We strongly believe that All Good Music Deserves To Be Heard – it’s one of the organization’s core values. As public radio’s “performing arts center of the airwaves,” we offer a strong artistic program, providing broad access to audiences via many channels - on the air, in the community, and on the web.

But how can we be sure that we’re bringing you the very best in music and ideas? KEXP has rigorous filtering system, which uses open ears to unearth the music we believe our audience would like to hear. Each year, KEXP receives nearly 10,000 albums and we listen to each one. As Don Yates, KEXP’s Music Director, puts it "we want to give every album the time and attention it deserves." Plus, we receive and seek out even more music based on artist, listener, and DJ recommendations. Of the original 10,000 records, about 2,000 are selected for the KEXP music library.

By taking the pulse of local, national, and world-wide music scenes, everyday, KEXP is able to keep our service vibrant and meaningful to you. And, we are ensuring that musicians who would not get played on other stations (on the air or the web) have their music heard by hundreds of thousands of people. It makes for a more diverse arts experience for our listeners, and by extension, a whole community of music lovers.

I encourage you to share your thoughts about your KEXP experience -

Your feedback has made KEXP what it is today, and will help those of us in the KEXP community who work at the station chart the course for the future. You’ve set the bar high. You expect a certain quality when you experience the arts, and you’ve chosen us to be your place for discovery. We understand that we have a special responsibility to you and all our listeners. Your financial support powers our ability to take chances on artists. In essence, you power the KEXP soundtrack for your life. What a great honor it is to share this journey of exploration together."