Today my show at KZSU was a suprise. The first hour went as usual, slow while I played a bunch of noisy/experimental stuff most of which worked. Eventually I move into the complicated prog of Uplison Acrux and the groovy 70's jams of Fuzzy Duck. I expected people to be tune out or at least maybe there was one weirdo listening.
Sure enough the moment I switched from "Pretty Much Metal" (Pelican) to REALLY FUCKIN' METAL (Dekapitator) everything changed. OK, I was also giving away tickets to see Megadeth at the Warfield but work with me here. Last week I tried to give away tickets to the same show and no one called. WTF? Last week I made it super easy, no trivia question or lame contest, just "be my second caller". I didn't even get a first caller.
Today the exact opposite happened. Right as I had the Dekapitator ready to go they were calling. I suppose if you make a recognizable "call to "battle" like "Alright you heshers and thrashers...now, yes NOW is the time (phone rings on air) ok...not right now! So...if you wanna go see Megadeth at the Warfield be my first caller...here's Dekapi-tA-TOOOOR!"
I actually made it even easier and gave 'em away to the first caller. There were 4 callers after him. I was flashing back to the intensity of 20 calls an hour of KSJS' "Brain Pain" (circa: 1992-93). I halfway expected the dudes (yeah they were all dudes) who rang up after the winner to call me "dudeplaySlayer". I've been referred to as such, I hold that in high esteem. Among the metalheads that called I got requests for Gwar, Soilwork, Light This City and Graf Orlock, which we didn't have, only one DJ seems to have that. Me thinks I should get off my ass and actually go see them play & nab their CD. I threw in Overkill, and a bunch of new stuff from an (un)holy Swedish trinity: Entombed, Candlemass and Marduk.
If that weren't enough - my friend & fellow Kevin Sullivan afficionado, Soy Ricardo called me to tell me a number of things he liked. Señor Ricardo does a really awesome show on Thursday mornings from 6-9am. His show is like what college/non-commercial radio should be: unpredictable, ever changing, weird and downright fun. There's nothing like hearing Totalitar at 7:15am while you're shaving.
I've made an attempt to give out the number for the station more often and try to improve my skills as a DJ. Even though it's been 10 years at KZSU (and 4 in the early 90's at KSJS) I'm still not a perfectionist. Some people in college/non-commercial really care, often too much about arcane facts like how many people are streaming the station. I pay a little attention to these things. However, it's more about that one guy or girl that calls and tells me they like what I do whether it's one of my good friends or a complete stranger. This is what's important and this is what's real.
"I don't care if we play in front of two people or two thousand people if someone likes us that's great" - Steve Albini, Big Black sometime in the 1980's