Friday, July 06, 2007

Fan Mail

I received two appreciative e mails for my 4th of July WFMU show, one for a segue & the other a general pat on the back. I don't come across as a DJ seeking listener interaction, so there isn't much, I've just had to accept that over the years. I'm terrible at handling phone calls during shows; it takes most of my concentration to cue up music & push buttons in the correct sequences. I admire multi-tasking DJs who set up mp3 playbacks on the computer while talking on the phone, researching artists on the internet, & selecting the next cut.

I tend to broadly organize sets by genre now. I'm not proud of it. I consider it only borderline free form. But it's easier, & my excuse is that I have to build each show from scratch. I'm not carrying large amounts of new music from week to week, music I've already heard in whole or part that I can reach for spontaneously. Doing a weekly program pushed me toward improvisation, & that often brought a strong emotional component into the mix (even subconsciously). With archived radio programs, there's no need for any WFMU DJ to keep a large personal music library in annual rotation. Everything gets added to the station's internet jukebox. I often relied on familiar music to build sets. I'd have a few favorite songs picked out, & my goal was to fit those songs into a sets during a show. I'd arrive at the station before the show with no idea of how that was going to happen. When the show began, I might have some vague ideas, "concepts" maybe based on what I found in the new bin or came across on the shelves. Like many WFMU DJs, I loosely divided the show into 30 minutes segments, & more earnestly tried to finish whatever I was into at the top of the hour - still do, although sometimes it just doesn't happen. Everybody has their routines. Some music strongly resists being put next to anything else unless I'm in a mood for a non sequitur segue; the challenge there is to find something that sounds completely different but really isn't. I did one of those Wednesday & won't say what it was. I never do. I opened with a 45 minute set of mostly rock music, uncommon for me. But I had a stack of the stuff & I wanted to use it & get it out of my system up front.

Wednesday's disappointment: I had hoped to leave the studio back door open & talk about fireworks with the booming finale of the Statue of Liberty display in the background. Alas,the noise had ended by the time I got on mic.


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