Monday, April 6, 2015

stuff i did at WXCI

We didn't bother mentioning anything about this on here until now, but I told the e-board that I'm on hiatus from WXCI until further notice. Back in February, I mentioned to fellow DJs Tom Carpenter and Real_Trap_Rich that they could hold down that Monday night LNN shift if they felt compelled to do so.

And the on-air schedule at WXCI still lists Late Night Noise being aired on Monday nights, although I'm not sure if anyone's actually been doing it. (Tom?)

I somewhat regret doing that one show in January 2015 because the 2014 Mixtape would have been a really awesome final hurrah. And I suppose I still consider it as such.

I may return to WXCI at some point in the future. And when I find time, I'm considering podcasting and launching a web stream as well. In the meantime, I wanted to make a big list here.... I decided that I should self-indulge and commemorate my accomplishments at WXCI. Part of the reason why it feels ok for me to begin an extended hiatus is because I'm pretty sure I've accomplished everything I ever wanted to do on radio while I was there.

- I'm pretty sure the first song I ever selected to play on the air (during one of my first training shifts) was "Moth" by Failure.
- November 2002: First on-air interview with Luke from Hoveral. I pretended we were not in a band together and we discussed Hoveral's forthcoming shows.
- Took 2nd shift (of 3) during WXCI's Top 102 of 2002 on New Years Eve.

- January 2003: Accepted offer to become Music Director until May 2004. Co-MDs were John Bohanon (June-December 2003) and Jay Lapierre (2004).
(Artists WXCI broke during this era include TV On The Radio, Kanye West, The Darkness, Mclusky, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Phoenix, Animal Collective, Madvillian, Annie, The Killers, Junior Boys, The Postal Service, Coheed and Cambria, Hot Chip, Kings of Leon. First played "Hey Ya" by Outkast in August 2003, 3 months before it was added to any local station playlists and 5 months before it hit #1.)
- February 2003: Without a DJ name, the GM started calling me "Mike Lazer" which stuck temporarily. Ultimately my DJ name was chosen as Pac-Man The Movie, which was the title of a bit from the MTV series Sifl & Olly.
- May 2003: Graduated and voted as Life Member.
- June 2003: First specialty show was called Mixtape. Tuesday afternoons. Different theme every week. Every 5-6 weeks a different year from the '90s was featured. Artist features were prominent. Topic features were sporadic. This was the show where I would frequently be joined by Russ from Lowt Ide, who would frequently shout about current events on the air.
- July 2003: The first annual Ween-A-Palooza Festival. Four hours of Ween. This special ran annually (except for maybe 2004) throughout the 2000s.
- July 2003: We did our first of many experimental Lowt Ide radio specials influenced by the band Negativland. Basically, we made a lot of noise and tried to mix both turntables and CD players simultaneously. A similar special took place on the afternoon of Halloween 2003.
- Late-September/Early-October 2003: "1993 A to Z." Over 4 weeks, played over 150 songs from the year 1993 in alphabetical order.
- December 2003: "2003 Mixtape." Joined by Jay Wright and Dave Rohlfing.
- December 2003: Compiled WXCI's Top 103 of 2003. Broadcast on 12/31/03.

- Spring 2004: Mixtape continues. One on evening in April, the theme was "Short Songs" in which 103 songs were played in under 3 hours. I felt bad asking Dan Sterling to bring in his mom's vinyl copy of Tommy just so the 11-second song "Miracle Cure" could be included.
- Summer 2004: Top 100 Shows every Tuesday for 10 weeks, 1990 through 1999. The first week (1990) was probably the longest airshift I've ever held by myself, lasting from around 12PM until 10:15PM. (I overshot how long it would take to play all 100 the songs. The 9PM shift after mine gave me a free pass that one time, and I was finished by 9PM from that point forward.) The shortest shift was the 1995 special, from 2PM until 9PM. Years later, this series of shows was briefly and favorably noted in Piper Kerman's Orange Is The New Black.

- Fall 2004: Without a specialty show, I tried a few trial broadcasts of '90s Mixtape during my rotation shift.
- December 2004: "2004 Mixtape." Phone interview with Jeff "The Drunk" Curro from the Howard Stern show (and a few other interviews that I can't remember). This year kicked off a tradition of the "best of the year" countdown mixtape airing during the first Monday of finals week, because the studio was usually empty all day due to student DJs being too busy with finals. For 7 years (until 2010), this ended up being the case.

- January 2005: Dave Rohlfing interviewed Fucked Up live in the studio and they played a few songs. (I actually wasn't present for this but I wanted to mention it anyway as one of the best on-air moments of this era.)
- January 2005: I interviewed Mark Borchardt from American Movie.
- February 2005: This was the peak of my "interview" era. During this month, I had a phone interview with Mark M from SickAnimation.Com, interviews and on-air performances from The Screwdrivers and Little Yellow Box, and Rutgers' professor John Bryk who called in about the grease trucks controversy.
- March 2005: Stella interview. Probably one of my 2 personal on-air highlights.
- May 2005: WXCI held that amazing show at Monkey Bar with like 25 bands. Lowt Ide and Smooth Hands crashed the side-stage earlier in the day. Also featuring sets from Myna, Apse, Kiss Kiss, Schwervon, Arms & Legs, and We Die Only Once among many others.
- Summer 2005: Rotation shift over the summer combining music and live on-air Howard Stern influenced bits along with news and current events commentary with 2 co-hosts. This was probably the peak for me. I don't think my rotation daytime show ever got better than during this summer.
- July 2005: Ween-A-Palooza 2005 was two weeks this year. Our prank caller friend had "Hal" the computer call us during this broadcast.
- August 2005: The prank caller told us he had a girl tied up in his basement.
- Fall 2005: Tried to maintain the momentum of that previous summer's shows without co-hosts. Took many live calls during this era including the infamous "Double Meat" reporters and a frequent prank caller named "Willie." A handful of listeners would always call in and ask me about Howard Stern related things.
- Fall 2005: There was a 5- or 6-week-long specialty show devoted to Ween (30 minutes every Monday) called "The 8 O'Clock Brown-out."
- December 2005: '90 Mixtape officially launches for the first time as a weekly specialty show airing over 100 shows before its first hiatus in January 2008. Throughout '06 and '07, one frequent feature was a set of songs pulled from a movie soundtrack.

- January 2006: The Smooth Hands live in the studio.
- January 2006: Co-hosts from Summer 2005 briefly returned during winter session. We started a weekly call-in bit titled "The 17-Year-Old Girlfriend Update," which was about a 20-something who always felt awkward around an attractive 17 year old who he worked with who was frequently making passes at him.
- May 2006: WXCI grants me access to maintain the automation computer, a position that I consistently held until 2014.
- Summer 2006: A few trial broadcasts of Late Night Noise. It was initially called "Late Night Listen," but it didn't stick around very long.
- July-September 2006: For 5 or 6 weeks, there's a "top 20 songs of the week" show that I hosted with Tom Carpenter and John Selwyn. It didn't last though.
- October 2006: High Pitch Erik from the Howard Stern show unexpectedly arrived at the studio with his manager and requested an on-air interview. One of my favorite live on-air moments.
- November 2006: Michael Showalter interview. He told me he loved me.
- November/December 2006: Attempted to launch a concert series around Danbury and ultimately no one cared. This was one of my failures as a staff member, but at least I tried. The series was called "The WXCI Gangbang."

- April 2007: The 3rd and 4th attempts for the Gangbang series.
- May 2007: Made an effort to get TV On The Radio and Spoon to play the WXCI-curated spring concert, but instead they ultimately chose Lupe Fiasco, OK Go and Earl Greyhound. The show was poorly attended.
- August 2007: Not related to WXCI, but this was when the WCSU Music department attempted to steal my drum set and sell it on eBay because it was left overnight over the summer in one of their empty practice rooms.
- October 2007: By this point I was getting bored with '90s Mixtape, and started doing more "special" themes. One night was all songs from MTV Unplugged. There was a 2-part special paying tribute to Peel Sessions. And also a "Top 50" special where I tallied up every song ever played on the show since Dec '05, played the Top 50, and then retired all 50 songs from the show permanently (although the show only lasted 2 more months).
- December 2007: I'm pretty sure I compiled this:

- January 2008: '90s Mixtape goes on hiatus for the first time. Reel To Reel launches, which is a show that focuses on '60s and '70s music. The first 8 weeks feature one year each week from 1964 through 1971. It lasts until May 2008 and attracts many older listeners. ("The Sick Set" is introduced here, featuring 7 noteworthy songs from a specific year every week.)
- June 2008: '90s Mixtape returns. The first song played is "'93 Til Infinity" by Souls of Mischief. Throughout the summer, "The Sick Set" is incorporated, featuring two years every week for 7 weeks - 1988 through 2001.
- September 2008: Already bored with '90s Mixtape. In mid-September, we began a 6 week series playing sets from each of Pitchfork's Top 100 Albums of the 1990s.

- February 2009: My job hours got changed forcing '90s Mixtape to fizzle out of existence aside from some "Best of '90s Mixtape" pre-recorded broadcasts. (The "best of" specials featured many bits recorded during 2003-2006.) By March, the show was on hiatus again.
- March 2009: Out of work at 11PM every Monday seemed like a good opportunity to give Late Night Noise another try. The show launches in March 2009 and airs somewhat consistently until January 2015.
- May 2009: Dave Rohlfing joins Late Night Noise as co-host, enabling the show's longevity.
- Summer 2009: Reel to Reel returns as a pre-recorded show on Sunday afternoons over the span of 12 weeks appearing after Third Stone from The Sun, intended as a companion summer mini-series. (No songs are repeated throughout those 12 weeks.)
- August 2009: The final episode of Reel To Reel was a 40th anniversary Woodstock tribute featuring sets that did not appear in the movie in the same order they were performed at the original festival, plus a few sets from 1994 and some stuff from Rage's 1999 set.
- December 2009: The "Late Night Noise Christmas Special" airs. So far, it's been re-aired every December ever since.

- Spring 2010: Late Night Noise picks up some steam. We started doing a feature titled "The Exceptionally Amazing Song of the Week" which was usually a recent song that we considered compellingly terrible.
- Spring 2010: Rotation shifts during the Spring include 5 sets per week from Pitchfork's Top 100 Albums of the 1980s (counted down from 100 to 1) over the span of 15 weeks.
- March 2010: Andrew WK interview.
- April 2010: Tom Perkins and Brian Conner co-host with Dave and myself.
- June-July 2010: Dave and I co-hosted a country show called Country Caravan which lasted 4 or 5 weeks.
- August 2010: Dave leaves as co-host of Late Night Noise.

- January 2011: The exceptional song of the week thing is replaced by "Mandatory Sisqo," a feature which surprisingly lasts well into August 2012.
- October 2011: '90s Mixtape makes a brief return during the last few months of this year.

- April 2012: Empty Womb live in the studio. Hidden Temple Tapes guest DJ special.
- September 2012: Grass Is Green and Ricer live in the studio.

- Summer 2013: Tom Carpenter and Real_Trap_Rich take over for Late Night Noise and launch a new feature titled Mandatory BasedGod which continues until the end of the year. I returned to the show in August.
- November 2013: The first and only episode of Full House Cash Cab. We had been talking about doing this since 2009 and it finally happened.
- December 2013: The year closes with what I assumed would be my last broadcast for a very long time. For the "2013 Mixtape" I was joined by special guests including The Smooth Hands, Jamie Found Out, Roomrunner, Jeff Peck and Real_Trap_Rich with live performances from Speedy Ortiz, Ovlov and Palehound. (This was the last show until the following summer.)

- Fall 2014: Perhaps in an attempt to make up for lost time, my return to the station eventually included pre-recorded and intensely well-produced versions of "'90s Mixtape" and "Late Night Noise" along with a "Weekly Top 10" show. It only lasted this one semester though, and proved too time consuming.
- October 2014: Early on a Tuesday morning between 12AM and 6AM, Lil B's '05 Fuck 'Em Mixtape - all 6 hours - is aired in its entirety.
- December 2014: "2014 Mixtape" with Dave and Rich.