What musical experience most set you on the path to a career in radio?
I’ve wanted to be a radio DJ since I was a little kid. The lack of a good AAA station in the Dallas area led to hours of listening to the commercial alternative rock station wondering how they could be listening to the same albums I was, but neglecting the best songs; at the time, I didn’t know about the bounds of singles or that those DJs weren’t choosing the music. So I made my own mix CDs from the hundred or so albums I had at the time. I ended up with a series that I think ran about 30 mixes deep. Some were just “currently listening” mixes, but I realize now that many were used to work through and communicate my own confused emotions. A mix for each layer of that sticky, bitter teen angst onion.
What’s your favorite Austin music experience so far?
Oh, man. Here’s one of the most unique experiences. My friends and I have spent the last two or three NYE’s wherever Mother Sip Connection is playing; that’s Mother Falcon + Sip Sip playing half covers and half Sip originals. Picture: Austin, Texas 2017, just after midnight. There are at least 300 people, and the concentrated intoxication of the crowd is ripe. Out come four or five dudes dressed like 90’s boy band members and perform the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want it That Way.” You would have thought the women in the crowd were actually seeing the Backstreet Boys, myself included. I have literally never experienced anything like that collective wave of lust from youth’s past.
Also, seeing Bob Weir and visiting my first Shakedown Street with my Deadhead confidant, Jay Trachtenberg. After the Bob Weir set, Jay suggested we try to get down to the floor for the Dead set. We did, and I saw a the full Deadhead come out in Jay and all those around me. Truly an experience sweeter than a pound of sugar magnolias.
Why public rather than commercial radio?
I get to choose my own music, talk charismatically and conversationally, and I don’t have to pretend to care about Ed Sheeran or Katy Perry. There’s also an added sense of sincerity that comes with public radio, closer to the grass and farther from the corporate ladder. There’s also an added intimacy to public radio and a more balanced give-and-take with public, promoting a warmer, more grassroots connection to the city and its incredible music scene and music lovers.
How do you spend your time when you’re not spinning records on the air?
Short answer: reading, learning, karaoke, Pinballz.
Obvious answer out of the way: I love live music and all the magic and great stories that come from those experiences. Lady Literature, however, is my first love, and I’ve been a voracious reader since I learned how; Dorothy Parker, Flannery O’Connor, Margaret Atwood, Bill Willingham, William S. Burroughs, Hunter S. Thompson, and J.K. Rowling are notable favorites. Closely tied to reading is my very real hobby of learning– I am on a lifelong mission to learn everything about the things I’m interested in. I’m currently listening to a Washington Post podcast profiling each president after realizing how little I know about them (and how many I may not have ever heard of!). For more extroverted fun, I’m a regular at karaoke bars and Pinballz is literally my favorite place in town to spend money.
Finish the sentence: “Austin Music Is ….”
…full of love, support, and solidarity, but needs to extend those pillars of community to its hip-hop scene.