When it comes to radio, I’m better at some things than others. Keeping my mouth shut, wearing flattering clothes to station events, and not eating while broadcasting would be in the “others” category. But one thing at which I really excel is picking songs that are NEVER gonna be big hits.
All these songs have one thing in common: I LOVE them. They’re kind of songs I keep on infinite repeat on my Ipod. This is not to say I don’t also love lots of songs that do become humongous hits—just about anything recorded by Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, George Strait and Little Big Town come to mind.
Songs I detest, however, usually end up as massive, award-winning, please-God-don’t-make-me-play-it-again hits. No really—if I have to play that song again I’m gonna THROW MYSELF INTO THE WILLAMETTE WITHOUT PROTECTIVE GEAR.
Below are links to a just a few tunes that never made it huge, but are on my infinite playlist. You can click on the link to hear 'em if you want to. And you WANT to, trust me.
Country Wide playing out at Buffalo Bill’s in Beavercreek
Carrie Cunningham and the Six Shooters are out at Bushwhackers in Tualatin
Couples Night at Duke’s on 146th & Division Friday night with Partner Dance Lessons starting at 8pm
Flexor T is out at the Midnight Roundup in Gresham
MuchMore Country are playing Jin’s Lounge in Oregon City Fri night
Ponderosa Lounge at Jubitz has the Rock & Roll Cowboys playing Friday night
Wranglers Western Bar & Grill in Canby has Last Call playing
Tiffany Kuenzi plays Wrangler's Western Bar & Grill
Silver Star Saloon in Vancouver has Get Rhythm-a Johnny Cash-style band playing
Flexor-T is at the Midnight Roundup in Gresham
MuchMore Country is at Jin's Lounge in Oreogn City
Country Dance lessons at the Silver Spur in Salem starting at 7:30pm
Panther Creek plays the Ponderosa Lounge at Jubitz
FOR THE WHOLE FAM...
Advanced Auto Parts MONSTER JAM – Rose Garden - Saturday 2pm & 7:30pm
Sunday @ 2pm - Tickets $20 Adults, $5 Kids http://www.monsterjam.com/Events/2013/02/09/Portland,_OR/ Pacific Northwest Sportsman’s Showis out at the Portland Expo all weekend long-Admission: $12 for adults, $5 for kids Yard, Garden and Patio Show hits the Oregon Convention Center Bluegrass Festival - The Alberta Rose Theater in NE Portland, Saturday and Sunday. Rick Meyers’ Old Time Music Show, 2:30pm – 3:30pm at the Hillsboro Main Library. Best for ages 5-12, Free The Northwest Family & Kids Festival will be held at the Washington County Fair Complex on Saturday and Sunday February 9th & 10th, 2013. Games, Shopping, Facepainting, Petting Zoo, Pony Rides, Inflatable Bounce Houses, Arts & Crafts, Mad Science, Lowe's Woodworking Shop, Fun activities for the kids, and SO MUCH MORE!
Chinese New Year is being celebrated this weekend – Uwijimaya in Beaverton will have Chinese Dance Troupes and performers on Saturday afternoon, and the Oregon Zoo will have free admission on Sunday to celebrate.
Hello—and welcome again to my continuing series on The Magic of Radio!
In my first post in this series, I offered to answer your burning questions about radio in future columns, and today, I’ll address a query posted by BWL (Beloved Wolf Listener) Greg Adams, who says: “I want to know how many hours you guys really work. On the air for four, but I think you’re there at least that many before.”
Well, Greg, that depends on your definition of the word “work”. If by “work” you mean hanging out in the production room listening to sound effects of various bodily functions, making happy hour plans with record company executives, seeing how loud you can play the new Big & Rich song before the sales manager comes screaming down the hallway, and looking up your old high school boyfriend on Facebook, then DJs are among the hardest working people on the planet.
However if by “work” you mean expressly performing functions related to our employment, well, then we rank right up there with Kim Kardashian in terms of productivity.
The sad thing is that if we radio people really did do all the stuff we’re supposed to do, it would result in our boss having a stroke. Since we like him, we rarely engage in the following tasks as a matter of his life and death:
--Listening to new music and deciding which songs are howl-worthy. Radio stations typically get anywhere from ten to twenty CDs of new music per week, many of which are now being used as coasters and Christmas ornaments.
--Scheduling music. Every song you hear on The Wolf—or any other music radio station—is scheduled hour by hour on computer software that makes sure we don’t play the same artist, song, or tempo back-to-back. The only exception to these rules is Taylor Swift, who now legally controls Nashville, radio, all computers, and will write a nasty song about us if we don’t play her all the time.
--Writing and recording commercials. This is actually a creative process that requires quite a bit of work and recreational drinking, so DJs usually fight over who gets to do this.
--Personal appearances. It is mandated that all Wolf DJs shower and put on clean clothes before we do any remotes or public events, which is why Savannah Jones does most of them.
--Doing show prep. This involves coming up with things to talk about, and putting together all the little music beds, sound effects, and edited phone calls you hear during a DJ’s radio show. It’s such a big job that Mike & Amy have their own producer—a nice guy named Dan Clark who they’ve duct-taped to chair in a studio all by himself, with only the voices of Tom Shane and George W. Bush for company.
--Coming up with contests and prizes. This is lots of work at The Wolf because we give away more stuff than any station anywhere. It is a FACT that our boss strictly limits the number of concert tickets and backstage passes the staff can have so that we give almost all of them away to listeners.
Which come to think of it, makes that stroke I mentioned before not such a bad idea.
According to a recent report in the Archives of Internal Medicine, women who drink 5 to 30 grams of alcohol a day are less likely to get fat. OK, so the Archives of Internal Medicine didnât use the word âfatâ, but you get my drift.
Donât carry a handy gram counter with you wherever you go? No app for that yet? Not to worry: basically this means you can have a half glass of wine, a can of beer, or a shot of Jack, depending upon whoâs buying.
My drink of choice is Captain Morgan & Coke. If my friend Adella orders them for me, itâs a Captain and Diet Coke (which she calls a âSkinny Pirateâ and I call âCaptain & Blech!â) This is beside the point, however; what I take exception to is the idea that all drinks are created equal when it comes to weight control.
My own personal research has resulted in a far different conclusion: One drink a day only works if youâre single and that drink is wine. How do I know this? Because I drink as often as I can (weekends and when the boss is out of town) and nobody would accuse me of getting any skinnier. But every unattached woman I know who drinks wine is able to zip her jeans without lying down on the bed.
Take for example my girlfriends: Girlfriend A (GFA) is a beautiful platinum blonde DJ with a derriere to die for (itâsSavannah Jones, so you can stop guessing). Girlfriend B (GFB) is another gorgeous blonde whose body is sheer perfection (Robin, this is you.) Needless to say, I secretly detest both GFA and GFB and avoid them whenever possible because by comparison, I am a sweaty female version of Shrek. Also in the party are Girlfriend C (GFC), a zaftig redhead with the face of a angel (love ya, Heather) and Adella (who defies description and a three-letter acronym).
Both GFA and GFB drink wine, almost exclusively. Me, GFC and Adella drink everything else. Of course, GFA and GFB are also both singleâ¦while the rest of us are married. Which proves my other point: Having a husband makes it necessary to drink something stronger than wine, and definitely more than one shot. In fact, my research has determined that for every hour you spend in the company of your spouse, a minimum of two shots is required to maintain something resembling sanity. I say âminimumâ because there are occasions when only full-on intoxication will keep you from ending up on the evening news for âaccidentallyâ putting a pillow over his head in his sleep.
So hereâs the bottom line: If you want your bottom line to stay thin, drink wine whenever you canâ¦and if you want to have an awesome getaway with your alcoholic girlfriends, go here and enter to win a free weekend at the gorgeous Allison Inn & Spa. Wanna touch up your toenails or fit in a facial before you goâ¦for free? Drop by the Northwest Chevy Dealer close to you and test drive a new Chevy, and theyâll hook you up with a $40 Spafinder.com gift card--just make sure youâre sober at the time or the dealâs off. :-)
When you work on the radio, it’s impossible to go to dinner parties or barbeques or baby showers without getting asked a bunch of questions about the business. I imagine it’s a lot like being a doctor or a lawyer, with people wanting free help with the weird pain in their posterior or how to rid themselves of that pain once they discover it’s their spouse. The difference is that doctors and lawyers can actually help by virtue of the fact that they’re educated and occasionally sober—two things that set them apart from the average radio disc jockey.*
Therefore, as a public service to you, our Beloved Wolf Listener (BWL), I will embark on a series of posts explaining how radio works and answering your questions about the business—giving you a peek behind the curtain, so to speak. And I will be honest. This will likely result in my eventual termination, but since I’m just two firings away from earning my Unemployment Badge (yay!) it’ll put me one step closer to my dream career in residential dog-poop removal.
Along with answering your questions, I’ll also post helpful visual aids in the form of pictures and videos to clarify the subject matter and embarrass my co-workers. For this first post, I thought I’d take you on a quick tour of the “control room” where the “magic”actually happens, and where DJs do the important work of napping, lining up dates on the request lines, and surfing CraigsList:
I hope you, BWL, find this series educational and informative. Please feel free to comment and ask questions below. You can also e-mail me directly or via Facebook….then look for your question next time on The Magic of Radio!
*Amy Faust excepted, because she is not only educated, but rarely drinks to excess unless there’s a staff meeting.
So I'm a big woman--no surprise if you've checked out my Facebook page or seen me at station events.
Of course, that leads well-meaning people to call me or e-mail me with the latest diets and fitness plans. For many years, sales people at radio stations targeted me for endorsements from places like Jenny Craig or 24 Hour Fitness or whatever. And I always said yes--as long as the diet/exercise plan involved absolutely no sweating and allowed me unlimited Pizza Schmizza and M&Ms. Strangely, I never heard from them after that.
'Cause here's the thing: I don't wanna go all Oprah on you, but the fact is that if you're a compulsive overeater like me, you gotta fix what's going on in your head before any lifestyle change will ever work long term. Sure, you can change what you eat, how much you eat, and work out like a crazy person, even have surgery--but until you fix the problem in your head, you're eventually gonna revert to Gabriel Iglesias's Sixth Level of Fatness:
So I opt not to diet. At all. Ever again. I eat lots of fruits, vegetables, carbs, snack cakes, lean meat, crispy bagged snacks full of hydrogenated fats and artificial colors, and I walk a minimum of 2 miles a day with my dog, drink to excess once and a while, hike when I can, and dance 'til I drop with my girlfriends as often as possible.
And I accept the fact that I'm never going to make money modeling jeans. I accept the fact that people will hear me on the radio and then be disappointed that I don't look like Savannah (hell, aren't we all disappointed that we don't look like Savannah??) And I accept the fact that my life will likely be shorter. But man, will it be fun.