As many long-time listeners are aware, “It’s Too Damn Early” has had quite a colorful history in regards to shows preceeding and following its various time slots. Some shows were more of a natural fit than others; it is often surprising to find out what unexpected theme will provide a natural segue in or out of my experimental offerings. I couldn’t now imagine not finishing my broadcast without wondering how my last track might be received by Kids Kamp’s much-younger audience!
But things change rather suddenly in the world of volunteer radio; I’ve seen more than a few well-meaning folks step up to the 2-4 a.m. slot only to rebuffed by exhaustion, ennui, and the nagging feeling that nobody is listening. I won’t lie– it’s a difficult showtime.
But damn, doesn’t anyone want it?
For now, the 2-4 a.m. slot early Saturday morning is vacant, and has been vacant since the end of January. I had hoped that some interesting person might have stepped up to claim it, but it seems I severely overestimated the enthusiasm of potential volunteers. I’ve decided to step up the promotion of this opening, to see if I can find someone willing to fill it.
Some things to know:
1) You gotta love music. Be passionate, be excited, and be ready to share your enthusiasm with your listeners.
2) Ditch your iPod, and your mixtapes– go ahead and bring in a load of CDs, vinyl, tapes, whatever! Make a mess in the studio, and worry about getting everything back into its slipcase later. My hint: always bring three times as much as you’ll need.
3) To hell with “eclectic” shows! Be eclectic on your own time. If you can’t commit to a total theme, at least be thematic on a weekly basis. Nothing is worse than a DJ who tries to hide lazy music selections behind an “eclectic” tag. Focus can be your friend– take the time to really go deep; and bring something listeners can’t get at LastFM, Pandora, or iTunes.
4) If you do it right, it’s fairly hard work. You’re not going to learn everything from glancing at Pitchfork. Write to labels, talk to musicians, go to shows, read blogs and ‘zines! If you’re one of the twelve people listeners could spend their day with, earning that privilege will take more effort than just buying CDs at Amazon.
Here’s what you don’t need:
1) Hipster bullshit. DJing is about sharing, not using music trivia to be better than others. There are worlds of music out there, and its foolish to think (or act) like you know it all. “The love you take is equal to the love you make.”
2) Technical know-how. Some of our best DJs are electronically illiterate. Seriously, I wouldn’t trust a few of them to check e-mail unaided, but they can run one hell of a show. Don’t let a bunch of buttons and faders discourage you from trying this out!
3) A radio voice. Half the time, I sound like a drunken Southern mobster impersonating a gameshow host. The rest of the time, I’m inventing new ways to mangle foreign language titles and getting shocked by the microphone. But I have fun, and I get my point across. I’ve always bet that listeners would rather have good music than a pretty voice, and they’ve yet to prove me wrong.
4) Good looks, fancy clothes, or a shave. I don’t think I’ll much appreciate you sitting in the DJ chair in your birthday suit (in fact, I’ll make you buy us a new chair) but your listeners won’t know the difference. Wanna wear slippers and pajama pants? Your secret is safe with me!
Sound good? Call our station manager, Brian, at 618-529-5900 for the application details. Don’t make me wait!