Friday was a day of wrestling with knobs, dials, mikes, chords, outlets, DI’s, performers, sound checks, a cup of this mornings coffee, 4 CD players, computer keyboards, unknown CD’s, PSA’s, Preservation Hall ticket giveaways, …. you get the picture. All work and no play,….or pay!
I was called to fill in on The Blend on WDIY on a Friday afternoon. A step outside my radio comfort range, and now I know why.
I’m used to a looser style of, I guess, Gonzo Folk Radio. The essence being creating the show on the fly, with a full set of musical ideas and active (real time) creative choices.
Welcome to modern radio. And I’m learning on the job for a volunteer position. Why not? It’s music.
Here’s the stuff that made it hard, but made me step out side my comfort zone and adapt…. and learn.
Core Box: I had to play 6 cuts every hour from a box of ~ 80 artists, most of whom I didn’t know or recognize (I’ve been out of the loop…). I had to make artistic choices on the fly fairly often. I picked some good stuff that pricked up my ears. Grade: B
Ticket Giveaway: Good. Open up the lines to respond to this damn phone blinking on 4 lines, and not sure why I’m not pushing the right button to anybody out there. Pick a song that’s long enough for you to deal with taking down email addresses, are you a member…. and hopefully I didn’t ask for the 10th caller. D+
Computer Logging: This is the bitch…. damn computer. Log in Artist, Song, Album, Length, Label, ……… I didn’t do this in the first few minutes of the show, and got whipped into the system quickly, and with gentle hands, and away we go with the show. Welcome to pilot school.
I got to play some of my ‘unfolk’ stuff, plus some heavy folk stuff, too.
Today is the 94th Birthday of Pete Seeger. Amen. I did a nice set for him. but I also got to play Spirit, the Doors, Dread Zeppelin, Bruce Cockburn, Waylon tribute, Danny Gatton, and many more of my musical heritage that lies beyond folk. Great players making great music.
All in all, it was a good experience, with many lessons learned with new strictures and new technology. Intense, and yet relatively artistic.