Category Archives: News

Live Blog: “Not Quite College Radio”

iprI don’t think I have previously mentioned on this blog that, in addition to my college radio work, I am also the assistant producer of a music program on Iowa Public Radio.

[View the story “Not Quite College Radio” on Storify]

This week, I thought it would be fun to do a little live blog to show you what my job entails.

  • 11:00 AM — Piano is delivered to the coffee shop venue we record in every week
  • 11:30 AM — I arrive, move around chairs, clear the stage, and attach the station’s banner to the wall
  • 12:00 PM — Band arrives
  • 12:30 PM — Load in Iowa Public Radio equipment while the university TV station loads in their equipment
  • 12:45 PM — Park van in university lot & return to the venue
  • 1:00 PM — Set up mics and stands for the band, which, in this week’s case, involved some minor dismantling of the piano
  • 1:30 PM — Sound check with band, host arrives
  • 1:45 PM — Host goes over the show format with the band members while I buy them coffee and distribute fliers to the audience
  • 2:00 PM — Record live promo spots, complete with audience participation! (This week it took two tries to get the 30 second spot just right.)
  • 2:05 PM — After a brief intro, this week’s band, the Eddie Piccard Jazz Quartet, starts off by performing “In A Mellow Tone” by Duke Ellington. This song amuses me, as my uncle’s (somewhat legendary) high school band was called The Mellow Tones, a name which was inspired by this composition.
  • 2:10 PM — The host takes a few minutes to interview the band. They play each weekend at The Light House in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
  • 2:30 PM — Halfway point in the show
  • 3:00 PM — Show concludes
  • 3:30 PM — Pack up, load out
  • 4:00 PM — Return to station, put away equipment, extract audio to the computer syustem, mail CDs to artists of past shows, and go home.

Sounds like fun, right? Though my job does require a lot of heavy lifting (and I am a complete weakling), I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Last week we had a folk singer, this week we had a jazz act, and next week a gypsy music group. The variety of acts always keeps me on my toes.

Are you a listener or supporter of public radio? What are your favorite shows?


“College Radio – Off the Dial” New York Times Piece

Hello there! I hope you are having a wonderful Wednesday. I just wanted to drop in to share with you this great article, “College Radio – Off the Dial,” that I read this morning.

“Music is what brings people to the radio,” he retorted. “Personalities are what keep them coming back.” Mr. Neves said later, “It’s an ongoing debate between certain people — what drives people to come and why iPods and Pandora are different.”

Happy reading, and enjoy your day!

Guest Post on Then Heather Said

Want to learn about some recommended musical artists to perk up this Thanksgiving?

Head over to Then Heather Said to see my guest playlist, called “Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice: A Mix for Giving Thanks.” She even made a spiffy YouTube video playlist so you can listen and read about the artists at the same time.

Heather runs the coolest healthy living blog around, and even guest lectured to one of my classes this semester. What a sweet lady! Thanks, Heather!

Poison Control Center (Redux)

Did I mention that the Poison Control Center crew is just the nicest? pcc

They were kind enough to feature my last post on their website. Because I can never have too much PCC in my life, check out some more of our coverage:

So, This Happened: They Might Be Giants (Redux)

Signed They Might Be Giants Poster

The assistant production manager of the theater I work at surprised me with a signed poster from They Might Be Giants this morning. (She must have noticed me having a dance party in the front row during their show.) Needless to say, I was completely overjoyed! How is your Monday going?

Video of the Week:

Check out this adorable Sesame Street video of The Martians discovering a radio. I love it! (The only way this video could have been further improved would be by the presence of Elmo, my favorite Sesame Street character. Who’s yours?)

International Communication & College Radio

World Map

Logical Next Step: College Radio Stations Communicating...Internationally

College radio stations exist all around the world.

While October’s College Radio Day was a wild success in the United States and the recent CMJ awards honored a lot of American college radio stations, I think college radio stations need to start collaborating and sharing their experiences on a more global level.

With so many stations developing their Internet presences these days, why aren’t American stations reaching out to organizations in places like Australia, Canada, & other countries? This seems like a logical next step. Though college radio stations are all governed by different broadcast regulations of their home countries, they are all playing a lot of the same music. And I’m sure we could learn a lot from each other in terms of station organization.

What are your thoughts on international communication in the college radio sphere? Did you ever catch a great college radio show when you were abroad?