1. When did you get involved with 88.1 FM KVSC? Officially: Spring of 2012. Unofficially, when I was about 12 years old and Jo McMullen recruited my brother and me to record a promo about creamed corn.
2. Why are you involved with independent community radio at KVSC? One, I have listened to KVSC for as long as I can remember having ears. Two, they have a music library that reflects my esoteric tastes. Three, I have wanted to be a DJ forever and always avoided doing it because I thought I did not have them spare time, and then came to a point in my life where I had nothing but spare time, and have not regretted the decision ever since.
3. What show(s) do you currently host and what programs have you hosted in the past? I currently host the Thursday Late Night Progressive Rock Show (where I get to preview all the new releases for free and legally) and the Saturday Granite City Rock Café pt. 2 (where rock comes in many forms and I cannot cover all of them…but I will try), both being shifts where I can play the loudest, ugliest, heaviest music that is best saved for way after the kids are put to bed. Every once in a while I will host a morning show or Neighborhoods Of The World and get to show and play stuff that won’t make my ears ring.
4. Please list some of the artists you consider to be a must play on your show(s). Not necessarily must plays on every show, but a revolving group of reoccurring artists of which probably at least one on the list will show up in every show I play: Melvins, David Bowie, T. Rex, Roxy Music, Built to Spill, Butthole Surfers, the Jesus Lizard, Dinosaur Jr, Tom Waits, and Bruce Springsteen (yes, really).
5. What is in your CD or MP3 player right now? (Be honest)Whatever underground metal albums have received the best reviews this month, the Melvins discography, 10,000 Maniacs, Modest Mouse’s “The Lonesome Crowded West,” Queen II, the Stone Roses, the Ramones, and various new releases that may or may not survive the next six months of listening.
6. Please disclose your most embarrassing (perhaps even shameful) music moment, concert you’ve attended, or album you’ve bought. I used to think I could play the blues. I sounded like a white Eric Clapton.
7. If you had to reduce your album collection to just 5, what 5 albums would you choose and why? Geez, off the top of my head? Answering this question honestly without changing my mind in a day is next to impossible. But, let’s give it a shot.
1. Modest Mouse “The Lonesome Crowded West”: I have been listening to this album for 15 years not and still don’t get tired of it. And the lyrics mean more to me and have more relevance now than they did when I first heard it. I still find something I missed before on this album.
2. Roxy Music “Stranded”: Hard to pick a favorite album from my all-time favorite band, but it would probably be this one. This was the first Roxy Music album recorded without Brian Eno, which allowed Bryan Ferry to come even more to the forefront. It was also the transition in which it started to become clearer that the Bryan Ferry persona was more than just an ironic pose; “Mother of Pearl” is the track that is basically Ferry’s philosophical treatise.
3. Queen “A Night at the Opera”: Really, Queen’s ‘70s discography (and most of the rest, to a slightly lesser degree) is worth celebrating in its entirety. Most ‘70s Queen albums were schizophrenic mish-mashes of every genre they could think of, done with their own flair for the theatrical and of course the greatest rock frontman of all time Freddie Mercury. “Opera” would be the one to pick, I suppose, because it is the best one to sing along to.
4. Husker Du “Zen Arcade”: A double album featuring local legend Bob Mould, making melody painful since 1979. Again, most Husker Du albums could go in this space, but “Zen Arcade” makes it into the list because it is twice as long.
5. 10,000 Maniacs “Our Time in Eden”: No, I am not being ironic here. Not a punk rock choice, unless being punk these days means embracing something totally uncool, like this Adult Alternative classic. But, if one is going to have one album from such a maligned genre, better this one than Phil Collins. Actually a very beautiful mélange of folk and jangle pop with skillfully written lyrics that could stand up alongside any penned by Paul Simon. I am fascinated with Natalie Merchant’s voice, and if I wear noise-cancelling headphones turned up loud enough to drown out any outside sounds, I swear I sound just like her when I sing along.
8. What are your hobbies and interests? Other than the obvious music-related ones, reading non-fiction, drawing even though I suck at it, playing guitar even though I suck at it, singing karaoke even though I suck at it, wandering through nature with the dogs and singing very loud because no one can hear how badly I suck at singing, biking long distances, creative writing in various genres, making tacky arts and crafts projects, creating deliberately unlistenable music on my laptop, and filling out “about me” profile questions in ways that make me seem more interesting than I actually am.
9. If you could be an animal what animal would you be and why? A cat. They do whatever they want wherever they want while giving back minimal affection or interest in their owners, and yet still get all their meals for free.
10. When you are not at KVSC, where can you most likely be found? On my bike, outside doing five different yardwork or crafts projects at once, drinking coffee with one person or another or myself, or if it is too cold outside I will be in front of my laptop downloading music and researching to make playlists for an upcoming show.
11. If it were the end of the world and you could only take five things with you what would they be and why? (Be honest) If it were the end of the world but somehow I would still be alive to take things with me, I can only assume this is the scenario in which I am Arthur Dent from the Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy and the Vogons have just vaporized the Earth. In which case, there is only one correct answer and only two (not five) things can be listed.
12. What is the most interesting listener request or inquiry you have received while hosting? I am on so late I barely get any calls. It is nice, though, when I play something I love and have someone call and ask “Who WAS that?” Nice to know someone out there is hearing T. Rex or Roxy Music for the first time and liking it.
13. What is your favorite KVSC memory? So far, I suppose it would be the period of time during which new releases by Bob Mould, Dinosaur Jr, and Ty Segall were all in rotation at the same time and I was able to play them really loud while playing air guitar. My own private concert, one could say.
14. What do you think is the future of radio? Predicting the future is a highly questionable activity. We still don’t have flying cars or sexy androids. Radio will adapt. Or it will stay the same and people will still listen to it just the same.
15. Please list any additional comments about your involvement at KVSC or other interests. I work at KVSC for free, and it’s the best job I’ve ever had!