Dennis Alexander: Filling Tahoe’s stages with music

From Left: Sean Lennon, Dennis Alexander, Kandy Xander and Les Claypool | Courtesy Dennis Alexander

Kings Beach resident Dennis Alexander, a DJ for KTKE 101.5 FM for the past 20 years, has created a career out of his passion for music. It all started with a wild idea, his pitch and a chocolate chip cookie.

“Lindsay with an A [Romack], was station manager at the time. I asked her, ‘Can I pitch you a show?’ I heard a rumor that she likes chocolate chip cookies. So, I got her one of those oversized chocolate chip cookies and met with her. I told her that I wanted to do a show called ‘Deep Traxx,’” says Alexander, who wanted to concentrate music that was on the “C’ and “D” sides of an album, delving into the deep tracks of an album.

Alexander leans heavily into rock and heavy metal on his show, but his taste in music is eclectic. Romack loved the pitch and offered Alexander his own show.

“I still concentrate on hard rock and heavy metal. But I’m not afraid to host a funk show featuring George Clinton or Bootsy Collins. I love all music. I love it all,” says the enthusiastic Alexander.

When me and my girlfriend go out to see a band, one of our rules is we always go to see the opening act. They’re there for a reason. Either somebody in the main act likes them or they’re up and coming.
–Dennis Alexander

His show Deep Traxx with Mr. D is sponsored by Tahoe Central Market in Kings Beach and airs live on Wednesday nights from 9 to 10 p.m. with an encore show Saturday night.

His love of music and being on air led to Alexander’s other passions: booking musicians to perform at area venues likes Alibi Ale Works and offering his DJ services at special events including. When he initially met with co-owner Kevin Drake, Drake said he wanted Alibi to be unique music venues. Alexander acknowledges that bluegrass is saturated in Tahoe and Drake didn’t want Alibi Ale Works to be pigeonholed as a just a bluegrass venue. He wanted to include all genres of music and entertainment. After the meeting, Alexander partnered with Alibi Ale Works and he books an array of musical genres and talent, including comedy and improv.

Music also bleeds into Alexander’s personal life. His girlfriend Kandy Xander of Metal Echo and The Nomads is a part of Honey Vixen with Nicole Gaich of Burning Nylon. The duo can often be found performing at Alibi Ale Works.

Deep Traxx with Mr. D
Wednesdays | 9-10 p.m. | KTKE 101.5 FM

The talent that Alexander books is diverse, from the unique Treebillies, an acoustic duo, to the bar-ballad rock band, the Inappropriators, who are well, somewhat inappropriate, to the band Knuf, that performs a mix of psychedelic rock, funk and Southern rock.

“At the [Alibi Ale Works] Incline location, we call the venue the Alibi amphitheater. It’s like a little ‘Red Rocks,’” says Alexander. The venue is naturally shaped like an amphitheater and is manicured and perfect for live music performances.

According to Alexander, the most gratifying part his job is the love and feedback he gets about the bands he books

“During the show or after the show or even days after a show, I love when people come up to me and tell me what a great time they had. Or ask when that band is coming back? That’s pretty satisfying,” he says.

Alexander is always on the hunt for new talent. He seeks out up-and-coming bands he thinks are gems. They are the bands he books.

“When me and my girlfriend go out to see a band, one of our rules is we always go to see the opening act. They’re there for a reason. Either somebody in the main act likes them, or they’re up and coming,” he says. |