The Sounds of State-Joe Shrin

On Saturday the 22nd of November, I got up early to catch the trolley to campus to interview Joe Shrin. I had seen Joe around staff meeting in the past and he was the one alumni of KCR that I had seen posting in the KCF Facebook page, but I had never spoken to him in person. It was beautiful outside despite being almost winter in San Diego as I made my way to the Communications building to the studio. Joe had contacted me some months ago when I started interviewing people that he would be happy to volunteer and I finally got around to him. Little did I know that this would be one of my most interesting interviews that I have done so far. It certainly was my longest, over fifteen minutes!

Joe let me in the studio at the tail end of his 9-10 bossa nova music hour. While we were talking, Rick Keyes, another KCR alumni came in to set up his show. Rick and Joe exchanged witty banter as well as swapped show ideas and notes. When it was Rick’s time to go on air, Joe finished packing his gear up in his silver suitcase and we headed over to the chairs in the hallways to talk. I’ll let the interview take over for now:

Cameron Satterlee: Hello, I am sitting down outside the KCR studio with Joe Shrin, who has been kind enough to be interviewed with me. Welcome Joe.

Joe Shrin: Well how are you doing Cameron? Good to see you today.

CS: I’m doing fine, it’s great to see you too.

So Joe, you are one of the KCR alumni, can you tell me please how long you have been with KCR?

JS: I’ve been with KCR for thirty eight years. I started in June of 1976. Which most people’s eyes get rather large when I say that (laughs).

CS: I feel mine expanding (laughs). I don’t know if I could do that that long.

So currently, what is your radio slot?

JS: My current radio slot is six until ten AM on Saturday morning, and I play, if you’d like to know, I play a mixture of oldies from six to nine. Which are from 1955 up until about 1975, and then I developed a show in around I believe 2009, I play one hour what I call Cocktails at Sunrise, which is a mixture of bossa nova and lounge music. Which I enjoy also. So it’s kind of a Jekyll and Hyde sort of time slot.

CS: That’s awesome. For your entire block do you have a name for your show? Or is it just the nine to ten?

JS: No, I just use my name. I call nine to ten the Cocktail Sunrise show but I just call the whole thing Joe Shrin. I don’t call the oldies show anything.

CS: Alright, so you play these oldies and the bossa nova, this Cocktail Sunrise mixture, how come you wanna play this music? Why do you like these two types of songs and want to play it on the radio?

JS: Back in the day there was only AM radio and there were only a select few stations to even listen to, and believe it or not I was at a bar one night and it was called Foggy’s Notion and they had a giant reel to reel machine and they were playing all of this great old stuff that I used to listen to, and I instantly said, number one I’ve got to go get a reel to reel, and number two I’ve got to get an extensive record collection. So I started collecting the 45’s that I used to listen to back in the day, and it just expanded and I was doing a standard KCR show and I asked the program director—Michael Burger—whether I could do a one hour oldies show, and he wanted to make sure I hard enough material. Then it gradually evolved into a four hour show of oldies.

CS: Yeah you’ve accrued the material overtime I guess.

JS: Oh yeah, oh yeah.

CS: Alright so this isn’t actually a question I wrote down, but I’m curious, are you the longest tenured member here at KCR?

JS: Yes.

CS: Alright, that’s awesome. I’m speaking to the elder statesman.

JS: (Laughs) well you could say that, yeah.

CS: So why do you keep doing it? Why do you keep re-upping with KCR every year?

JS: I just can’t tell you how much I love this hobby. I mean words can’t even describe it. I look forward to coming in here more every week. Sometimes it’s entertaining, probably to the listenership out there. Sometimes you’ll have a dud show. But you just brush yourself off and come on in next week and you’ve got something good again, you know? That’s what I try to tell people who work here. You know if you have a bad show, forget it. Move on, just come back in. But I just absolutely adore this place.

CS: That’s some great advice you’re giving to me. I’ve felt that on occasion, gotta dust myself off after a poor show. That’s fantastic Joe, that really is. I have to say.

So this is another question I’m sort of curious about. How has KCR changed since you’ve started? I mean I know we’re physically in a different location.

JS: Well the fact that we used to play vinyl all the time, and the younger folks, they don’t know what it’s like to cue up a record. You don’t know how much fun it was to actually cue up a record and then fire it off. Now even what I play which are CD’s, they’re much more convenient to play, but even that’s become antiquated. Then I thought I’ll really get up there with the iPod, and people don’t even use those anymore. It’s like I can’t seem to catch up. But I’ve made it a lot more convenient for myself with CD’s and at least I’m that far any way. But I’ve seen such an evolution in not only the technology, and I embrace it a lot because I think it’s really cool what’s available to everybody now. The management has evolved also and acclimated to the changes. It’s been great to see that. There’s always been energy; there may have been few select spots where the management fell down on the job but that’s rare that that’s happened. It’s only been a select few times.

CS: Well that’s good to know. I’ve only been here for about a year and some months at this point but even since I’ve joined it seems like we’ve had a sort of revitalizing attempt.

JS: Oh it’s been wonderful.

CS: Yeah.

JS: With Skot Norton’s help, I mean he got us this facility, we would not have a KCR if it was not for Skot Norton. He acquired the facility, he ordered the equipment, he had some help along the way with some of the students, but it was mainly his passion for the station which kept us alive and that’s why the studio is dedicated to him. Boy you can’t give him enough appreciation.

CS: Wow I had no idea and I work with the guy.

JS: Oh him and I get along quite well, and we actually remodeled the current studio. I built the console the speakers and I helped Skot bring in the equipment and hook everything up. But it was mainly Skot that did everything.

CS: I had no idea, I mean I’ve seen his plaque there which I find amusing. But I didn’t know the whole story.

JS: He doesn’t toot his own horn. He just does it because he loves the place. It’s a passion.

CS: I’ll have to bring it up the next time I see him.

JS: He probably won’t talk about it though.

CS: Alright.

JS: He’s not one to talk about himself, let’s put it that way.

CS: Yeah I’ve noticed.

So I guess, sort of shifting back to your own show, come playing this music is important to you? Cause it seems, since you’ve been playing it so long, that it’s ingrained in yourself.

JS: Well it’s not only fun to do a show but it’s fun to try out different things even this long. Even after thirty eight years. To just get the right segue between the music, maybe do a talk-over just perfect, I’ve got a lot of schmaltzy bits that I throw in there and they’re purposely bad on occasion, just for the groan factor. It’s like “oh he didn’t say that, really?” or “he didn’t really throw in that bit there”. During my show if you hear something really bad it’s probably on purpose. But I intersperse one liners in between announcing the records, I’ve also developed my own jingles which you can hear in between the records about every ten minutes or so. I edited old jingle packages from other radio stations, “more music KCR” that’s three different things put together. I sliced it on a reel to reel.

CS: Oh wow.

JS: And then it evolved from there to a bunch of jingles; “the most interesting man in the world”, I put that in there. It’s been fun. I love to be challenged on stuff.

CS: That’s fantastic. Especially since you’re trying new things. That sort of segues to my next question. So you’ve been listening to this music and developing your show after all these years but are you still bringing in new content? Is there any band or artist that recently wanted to incorporate into your show that you’re obsessing over?

JS: Not in the oldies genre because—trust me when I tell you this—I’ve got every oldie that I’ve ever wanted. Thanks to iTunes, credit iTunes for that because any piece of the puzzle that I was missing, they’ve been able to find it. The Cocktails at Sunrise part, I’m constantly on iTunes looking for bossa nova remakes of songs, even current things that I might hear. I go “jeeze that sounds familiar” but it’s in a bossa nova beat or a Latin lounge beat or whatever. So I’m always on iTunes looking for something new to incorporate in the show.

CS: Yeah I mean when I came in you were playing The Sultans of Swing which I really like, that’s a great song and it was a different take on it.

Alright so this might be a self-serving question, because you’ve been doing it so long and it’s so important to you I want to know what you would tell a current or incoming member of KCR how doing this can change you?

JS: Well if I had a piece of advice and it’s kind of what you’re asking me. There are so many outlets for music now, I mean back when I was young, and I hate to word it that way, but back when I was young like I said there was only AM radio. Now you’ve got AM, FM, you’ve got iPods, you’ve got satellite radio, internet radio, and so if you’re going to do a show, you better have something unique. That they can’t find anywhere else, or maybe a scattered few are doing your type of show. Because if you’re not unique, if you’re playing what everybody else can pick up on the FM band or doing funny bits like what you can hear already, it’s so much trouble to listen to KCR, you know to tune it in, at least it used to be, now with the internet I guess it’s a lot easier. But you should have a unique approach so that people go “hey I remember that guy, he was on last week. I’ll see what he’s up to this week”.

CS: Alright, that’s great.

JS: I hope that answers your question.

CS: Yeah. I mean that might be a better answer than the question I asked I think.

JS: Well I hope I answered it anyway.

CS: No that was fantastic.

So this will be the last question, I always ask this as a last question as a fun way to finish things, and you will probably have a very interesting answer I think. What would be your ideal show? What’s an ideal show for Joe Shrin?

JS: Mistake free. I will tell you, and this does sound self-serving in a way, I’ll tell you I have almost like a radio family that calls me up and wants to talk with me. I’ll get the occasional nice compliment where they’ll go “god I loved the show this morning” or they’ll even email me “love your show”. I don’t get pumped up over it, I don’t get a big head. I just go “god I must be doing something okay”. It makes me feel good inside. I can’t tell you how when I make a mistake it just pierces me. If I get a bad talk-over, if the CD skips for some reason, I torture myself over that because I really do strive for perfection.

CS: So when you get a perfect show it must be that much better.

JS: Yeah. Because I grade my show every week, for instance this week would probably be an A minus or a B plus because there was a couple of screw ups.

CS: Hey at San Diego State, that’s what a lot of people are looking for.

JS: Yeah.

CS: Well maybe not the perfectionist.

JS: Well it’s good to strive for perfection but not beat yourself up if you don’t achieve it. You know and that’s why a lot of the guys they give up, they go “god I’m just not good at it” or whatever the case may be. You’ve got to pump them up, again just brush yourself off and come in next week and try it again. I can’t imagine a baseball player, when they strike out, that they’re gonna go up to the plate the next time be depressed about it. I mean if I could use a sports analogy.

CS: Hey I’m in sports for KCR so I appreciate it.

JS: Yeah I mean if you have a bad show you struck out that time. But people have very short memories, they’ll tune back in if they like you. So that’s pretty much about it.

CS: Yeah and I guess there’s no better person to hear those words coming from than the guy who’s been coming up and dusting himself off for all these years.

JS: Well it’s a passion, it’s my hobby, and I love it more today than yesterday.

CS: That’s fantastic. Joe Shrin, thank you.

JS: Thank you Cameron.

After we concluded the interview Joe and I talked for another fifteen minutes. Mostly we talked about KCR; Joe has extensive knowledge of the history of the station. He told stories of meeting other radio DJ’s and how he keeps in touch with many of the alumni and what they are up to now. If you couldn’t tell I was very interested in talking to Joe. The man is one of KCR’s proudest sons and he was very generous with his time which I am very thankful for. Joe and I walked together and talked some more as I made my way to the trolley station and he to his car. We parted ways there but I left inspired about my own radio career. We talked briefly but Joe’s enthusiasm for KCR after all these years made quite an impression on me. I hope all the other DJ’s reading this take Joe’s advice. I could go on and on about the guy, but he appears to be a humble guy and probably wouldn’t want me to, it’s not his style.

Thanks for reading, everybody. I hope you all had happy Thanksgivings.

The Sounds of State-Andrew DeLeon

On Thursday I showed up to the Farmer’s Market Turn Up to meet Andrew DeLeon. With him were some familiar faces, Joey Bautista who I did my first interview (he also is in charge of the KCR Secret Sessions), and former programming director Brendan Price. Andrew was eager to be interviewed, he had reached out to me on more than one occasion to volunteer. Reciprocating his enthusiasm, we went into the Communications building and sat down to have our chat. Andrew is so far the only interviewee I’ve had who I’ve know beforehand. Last year my 5-6 National Sports talk show on Wednesday was preceded by Andrew’s show The Grand Illusion. He was a great DJ to interview, giving all of my questions thoughtful responses and his full attention. In fact, this is the longest interview I’ve done so far, at almost 13 minutes. With that said, I don’t want to use any more of your time that takes away from the interview, so let’s jump right in!

Cameron Satterlee: Okay I am sitting here with Andrew, welcome.

Andrew DeLeon: Thank you.

CS: So, what is your radio slot for KCR?

AD: This semester I’m doing Tuesdays from one to two. I just figure it works with the class schedule I had, and work schedule, trolley schedule. I pretty much just take what I can get as long as there’s time for classes in there.

CS: Uh huh. You’re pretty flexible with what time you get?

AD: Yeah you know as long as it’s not too late cause [the] trolley. And then early because I did a show at 8 am one semester and that didn’t turn out too well. We were still in transition and there was a bunch of tech problems so I would try to call them and no one would answer. We didn’t quite have Alex yet.

CS: Oh man yeah I don’t think I’d do an 8 am slot to be honest. I mean that’s good for you, you stepped up and took the bullet pretty much.

AD: I had to, that was all they could give me. I was willing to try, I adjusted though, it worked.

CS: Yeah. So how long have you been with KCR?

AD: This is my sixth semester. Interesting story on how I joined–

CS: Wow I’d like to hear it.

AD: Yeah I’m sure they would too. I was in psychedelic rock class. This was my freshman year, I was just taking this for credits. I didn’t care about the whole upper division, you have to take it at a certain time thing. I’m like “you know what? I’m gonna take psychedelic rock class, this will be fun.” And the guy I sat next to, really tall guy, kinda looked like Kurt Cobain, he asked “what do you want to do?” And I mentioned you know sports broadcasting or radio or tv, something like that. Even if it’s just some behind the scenes work, I’m good with that. And he said “oh why don’t you join the radio station, KCR?” I said “oh I didn’t know that there was one on campus.” And he told me I think the semester before they were still trying to transition–get it going–but the semester I joined what when it really started taking off. John was there, Lincoln was there and it was really the rebuilding years when I joined and now I’m happy to be here when it’s a big part of the campus now.

CS: Yeah I mean that’s sort of the eternal struggle for KCR is getting people actually on our own campus to know about us.

AD: Well look at it now. We have a what hundred members or something?

CS: Yeah we’re doing very well for ourselves. I mean guys like you who show up and become dedicated to your show is what really sets us off I think.

AD: Right, and I know I don’t volunteer as much as I should but I’ve tried to do my best here and at least wear my shirt whenever I do the show so that way people will know “KCR listen in.”

CS: Yeah yeah totally. So but you wanted to go into the radio, the field, before you joined.

AD: Right because in high school I really started getting into baseball. I had already been a fan but I was thinking “you know what someone’s got to take Ted Leitner’s job eventually.” Make sure that no one calls anyone else a moron again (laughs). That was hilarious, I give Ted credit for that. That was funny. Gotta love him.

CS: Gosh I feel you with the baseball thing. Well so, I guess I’m gonna take this in a different direction but so you currently have a music show and you’ve had one for a while.

AD: Right.

CS: It’s actually funny, so I guess I’ll say this for the benefit of the listeners, but Andrew, last semester, preceded my show. My sports hour. So we knew each other before then. So I kind of know the answer this question, but for the audience, what is the music you like to play?

AD: Good stuff. Good stuff.

CS: Good stuff?

AD:And by that I mean classic rock. A lot of the shows on campus now they do Indie and folk and rap and hip hop, there’s a little much of that. Some stuff is okay, others…I mean play what you want to play I got nothing against that. But I thought “you know what? I’ll play my music” cause in high school–here’s the sad thing I graduated from Ridgemont High people didn’t know who The Beatles were at that school anymore. I would literally walk through Clairemont High School and people would say “who are The Beatles?” so I thought “you know what with this show I gotta do something about this.” So I took the classics, mix in with a little new things, and pretty much revive the genre and it’s surprising how many people like you and Jackson always come in and say “oh yeah these songs are awesome” and so many people I’ve met through this station they’re like “oh wow that’s awesome that you do that. That you play all these things.” Hell Alex and Brendan always sit in on my show, I always catch them dancing or singing. Everytime I play Huey Lewis, Brendan always shouts “HUEY” or I’ll dedicate a song to him and be like “this is for him, this is Phil Collins” and he’ll be like “ah you’re playing Phil Collins again,” yup that’s correct. And Alex just dances in the background, so awesome.

CS: You seem very passionate about your work. Rock music, I mean it’s its own genre and I guess at this point in rock music’s history you could say classic rock is its own separate sphere than what’s going on now.

AD: Yeah.

CS: Is there anything a bit more specific than classic rock you play? Like any real genre music?

AD: I suppose it’s not genres it’s more themes. What I do is try and set a theme each week and then I’ll take, sometimes I’ll take disco, sometimes I’ll take some country and do that just to mix it up, but then I take the rock songs and I’ll say you know “okay there’s soft rock so I’ll do soft rock this week”. Or there’s a bunch of metal songs so I’ll do some full metal jacket this week. Or sometimes I’ll incorporate sports, I’ll play songs that would be played at baseball games. You were there when the dancing friars came in.

CS: Yeah that was interesting. Yeah I remember those themes now that you bring it up.

AD: Yeah, so it’s not so much as a genre thing as it’s more of a thematic [show], but it’s more based on the rock genre I guess.

CS: Yeah and so each show is different. You’re not just sorta playing off the same playlist every week, you’re mixing it up.

AD: Right. Yeah I even make a point to do that. I say “okay I already played that song this semester, I’m not going to play that again” or at least make an attempt not to. So that way I don’t have repeats. Sometimes I listen to the stations and it’s the same set of songs every couple of days. Or I’ll drive to work, I’ll have on Easy and I’ll hear–for some reason they play In The Air Tonight on the Easy station–so I’ll hear that and then I’ll drive to work like two days later. I just heard this at the same time. So I try to mix it up a little bit. Make it interesting.

CS: Yeah yeah. So yeah I think that’s a great way to do things, it keeps things very interesting and different so that’s a cool thing you do. So I’m curious why classic rock? Why is it important to you? I mean you like it but why do you like it? Why is it important to you?

AD: Because the stuff that people produce now has no instruments and there’s almost no thought to a lot of it. There is thought, I do give people like Taylor Swift and you know some of the country people credit but a lot of the pop stuff now–I mean like that song Turn Down For What by Lil John, what is that? I mean he just says what so much he’s like “I’ll write a song with the word what in it.” It doesn’t make sense anymore.

CS: Well that’s interesting. I mean that’s kind of a negative perspective to look at it. You listen to classic rock because music now isn’t that interesting to you.

AD: Right. I mean I’m not saying all of it is, I’m just saying there’s certain parts of where it just seems that the creativity isn’t what it used to be anymore.

CS: Well I mean that could be a whole different discussion that leaves us here for twenty minutes.

AD: Exactly.

CS: Well but I’m curious if there’s sort of a more–cause you probably looked at in the sense that “oh I like this classic rock music, so this music doesn’t look so good to me.” Which I understand, I’m a classic rock guy, I’m trying to you know contemporize myself but it can be difficult, I’ll admit. But what made you like the rock music in the first place? That’s what I’m trying to get to.

AD: Right. I guess it’s because when I was little my mom played a lot of the stuff. She played some newer stuff too so I kind of evolved around that. But then, a lot of the stuff–like when I was in elementary school or middle school I would just hear this–some of this stuff and I thought “eh, new stuff doesn’t really appeal to me.” And I’d listen to the older stuff and like “okay this is good. I like this.” So I just rolled with it.

CS: Yeah I feel that’s how a lot of people in our generation got to like classic rock. I mean you brought it up earlier that there may not be so many of us in proportion to the actual population. How it used to be where rock was the big thing, the big genre. But there still are a good number of people who know what it is. But I think that you’re right that it comes from our parents you know, and just absorbing the music through other media.

AD: Yeah and you go to rock concerts now and there’s still a good turn up of teenagers. I went to The Monkees concert over at Humphrey’s, I think it was last year, yeah it was last year, and there was a kid probably about sixteen-seventeen dressed up looking exactly like Mike Nesmith.

CS: (laughs) That’s awesome.

AD: Yeah so you know that there’s people that are really influenced by this. I mean The Scorpions concert I went to, there was a lot of little kids there.

CS: Yeah. Alright so this is gonna be interesting because a lot of the people I interview, since they listen to contemporary music, the new music that gets released is what they’re obsessing over. But classic rock, unless they are artists who are still releasing music that sounds similar. I mean like Pink Floyd just dropped a new album.

AD: And it’s already up to number one.

CS: And that’s a whole different thing. But I’m curious since the classic rock music has already been released, by definition, but is there anything that you’re still just discovering? Any new bands where you’re just like “oh hey I should have listened to these guys before, this is great.” Like a recent obsession. It could be a band or a song or an album.

AD: I’ve been listening to some country, I think it’s cause I went to the Vince Gill concert. So I’ve been listening to some of that. Oh I listened to The Eagles a lot earlier in this semester cause they were coming here and cause I was watching History of The Eagles. It really depends who’s coming in concert. The only one I think I really didn’t listen to a lot before or after the concert was Chris Isaak cause I’m not a huge fan of his. He’s alright you know I respect him. I like what he’s doing, just haven’t been given a chance to listen to a lot of his music. And the one song I heard, Dancin, I was thinking “yeah it’s okay,” not totally my cup of tea.

CS: Alright yeah great, I’ll be sure to put up links to those songs for the blog. So here’s a fun last question. So what would be your ideal show? How would it go?

AD: It would probably either be the dancing friars show that I had last semester or the one I just had on Tuesday where I played the whole Sgt. Pepper album.

CS: Oh wow that’s awesome. That’s really interesting cause I mean I’m a sports DJ but I’ve kinda wanted to do a music show, it’s just hard to you know get two slots. But I was thinking I’d want to play whole albums. That’s great that you’re doing it.

AD: I had this theme all set. I was thinking “well I’ll do 50’s music.” I was gonna do that and then I thought, “well, there’s one more I gotta do before the Christmas themes. Why don’t I move that back and and I thought, ooh Sgt. Pepper, I haven’t done a whole Beatles show.” So in honor of George Harrison and John Lennon’s deaths since those are coming up, the anniversaries, I figured might as well play some Beatles songs. In addition to the Sgt. Peppers so I just had a whole Beatles show. I even mentioned the Manson story, about him getting married. That was kinda weird. But it made for a good story.

CS: Yeah, if nothing else (laughs). Yeah wow, so this has been a great interview by the way, I mean few people totally go all out on the easy questions I ask but you’ve been you know very open about your whole idea with your shows. I think it’s great. You’re a flag bearer the classic rock movement here at KCR, and so thanks for sitting down with me, it’s been great.

AD: Yeah no problem, and Ted Leitner you’re doing good but I want your job so be on the lookout. I’m coming. I want to work with Bob Scanlan.

CS: (Laughs) Alright thanks.

AD: You’re welcome.

So there you have it, we got some KCR history to go along with our music discussion. Andrew and I hung out a while longer before we had to split up. I had to enjoy the Farmer’s Market after all and score some Pad Thai. Remember to listen to Andrew from 1-2 on Tuesdays and KCR anytime online. Thanks for reading!

The Sounds of State-Jacey Darrah and Kevin Le

Two Thursdays ago, I sat down with Jacey Darrah and Kevin Le at the Student Union outside of Starbucks. It was a warm early November evening and the sun had already set, but it was comfortable outside. Jacey was one of the first responders when I had asked for DJ’s to sit down and be interviewed for the KCR Blog, so I was excited to sit down with her. She brought along her cohost Kevin, and it became immediately apparent that we knew each other. We realized that their show followed up my noon to one slot on Fridays. In the hustle to move in and out of the studio we always had spoken and exchanged greetings, but we never got to know each other well. It’s a bit difficult to get to know somebody in those short minutes, when I’m trying to wrap up my show and they are moving into begin theirs. We laughed it off and got down to the real interview where we finally got to properly learn about each other.

I found them to be a very agreeable duo, not just because they echoed each others statements with a complimentary “yeah.” They both appear to enjoy being on air a great deal and they have a great laid back take on sports, which can be rather high energy for many DJ’s. You’ll learn more about them from the interview, so let’s get to it!

Cameron Satterlee: Okay I am sitting here with Jacey and Kevin.

Kevin Le: Yes.

CS: Yes. Okay so could you please tell me your show and when it’s on?

Jacey Darrah: Okay, it’s called Out of Bounds with Jacey D and Kevin Le and it’s on Fridays from one to two.

CS: Alright alright. So, how long have the two of you been with KCR?

JD: This is our first year.

KL: First year.

JD: Yeah.

CS: Welcome.

KL: (Laughs)

CS: So your first semester?

KL: Yeah first semester.

CS: Alright. So you’ve only had about seven or eight shows. So what kind of show is it? What do you talk about or play?

JD: Well we do sports but we try and focus on mostly football and basketball and then the really little sports that no one would usually talk about, like rugby or lacrosse or something like that.

KL: Yeah like club sports, you know what I mean?

JD: Yeah.

KL: Swimming—not as popular as the other sports—but we try to cover everything SDSU related, so there’s that.

JD: Yeah.

CS: Yeah I was about to ask if you do pro or college. I mean when you get into those smaller sports I guess you can kind of cover a lot of ground huh?

KL: We do, but as we said earlier, we like to keep things Aztec related, you know what I mean? So we focus mainly on our teams most of the time on the show so yeah.

CS: Well that’s great because, so we learned that my show goes directly into yours. I’m twelve to one on Fridays and we do (supposedly) Aztec sports but we dive in a lot to pro sports so it’s good to know that you guys are doing it.

KL: Yeah I’ve seen you guys do pro and stuff.

CS: Yeah yeah cause we lead in with Aztec sports but we end NBA and all that kind of thing. So you’re not in the sports block—the noon to one—but you’re still doing Aztec sports mostly. What made you want to do Aztec sports?

JD: I just wanted to do sports and that’s kind of what he told me, so I don’t know, school spirit.

KL: She kind of wants to be a broadcaster.

JD: Yeah.

KL: Like for ESPN. So we would feel that talking about sports would definitely help fit that resume you know? And both of us are really, how would I say it, not athletic, but we love sports in general.

JD: Yeah.

KL: And we could talk about it for days. So that’s why we chose sports.

CS: Yeah you’re fans, I mean we’re all fans at the KCR Sports Department. I want to follow up with that, that you want to do broadcasting, what made you want to do that?

JD: I’m really good at public speaking in front of an audience, and I really like to do it. So, speaking for ESPN maybe, I’m not sure yet. But I’d definitely like to maybe be a broadcast journalist definitely.

CS: Well that’s a great goal to pursue at any rate. And public speaking, to know you’re good at it, that’s a great talent, it’s an asset. And what about you Kevin? You’re just doing it to do it?

KL: I’m more here to support her. I like sports and again just mainly to support her. I’m not as good at public speaking as her, per se, but she asked me to do it so I was like “sure why not, it sounds fun.”

JD: He’s a good friend.

KL: So here we are, in that afternoon block, which is awesome.

CS: You could say you’re being a good sport about it.

JD and KL: (weak laughter)

CS: I’m sorry, I had the opportunity. So could you please describe to me how and ideal show would go?

JD: We start off with football, and we talk about the last game and the next game coming up. And then we go into—usually soccer—right after, men’s and women’s. And then we go to either swimming or lacrosse or baseball or anything like that and all the club sports. And we always end with basketball cause basketball is both of our favorites.

CS: Yeah and the basketball season is starting pretty soon, are you going to be at the game tomorrow?

JD: Yes.

KL: Did you get your ticket? I had class.

JD: I had to buy it.

KL: You had to buy your ticket?

JD: Yeah they were all sold out.

KL: I had class when they were distributing the Point Loma and Northridge (tickets).

CS: Oh no.

KL: I was kind of pissed, because I woke up late and then I was late to my first class any ways. And so people were trying to sell it to me for like thirty or fifty and I’m like “nah dude, I’m good. Watch out.”

CS: It’s an exhibition game, you probably don’t need to pay that much.

KL: I’m looking forward, towards UNLV and New Mexico. I can’t wait for those games, they’re gonna be awesome man.

CS: You’ll have to set your alarm for those.

KL: (Laughs)

CS: I have to say, I mean—what year are you?

KL: We’re both freshmen.

CS: Alright yeah I’ve had to get up at like six in the morning for Arizona and UNLV yeah.

KL: Seriously? Why? Ah [edited].

CS: I think they’re changing how they’re doing that. Don’t quote me on that, it might not be true.

KL: What we read is that you can only line up an hour before.

JD: Before ten. But there were people when I went there at nine-thirty.

KL: Wow.

CS: Yeah they still show up. You gotta get there early man, I tell ya. Well this is pretty interesting, so I was actually caught kind of off guard since I didn’t know you from sports. I’ve got all these music questions I’m not going to ask.

JD: Well we play a lot of music actually. About twenty minutes of music.

CS: Oh awesome! So you’ve got some kind of hybrid going on.

JD: Yeah we mostly like to do sports warm up songs and rap.

KL: Hype songs.

JD: Yeah we like to get you hyper.

CS: That’s great. It sounds like you two have a pretty solid vision for your show.

KL: Yeah.

JD: Yeah.

KL: I’d say we have a pretty good blueprint going. We just don’t want to bore the listeners with too much talking so I think a good balance of both music and sports talking seems like the right equation for success.

JD: Yeah.

CS: That’s great. How would you describe your chemistry as cohosts?

KL: I think, at first since this is our first semester, our first show was a little shaky.

JD: Yeah.

CS: We’ve all been there.

KL: Making sure we filled those fifty-eight minutes, you know, fluidly. But I think now at this point we’re pretty good. I mean first show we needed a script to understand what we should be saying, but now I feel like we don’t need it. We can freestyle, if I may.

JD: Yeah mostly I do the main thing and he always backs me up. He’s really good at backing me up.

KL: So chemistry-wise I think we’re pretty good now.

JD: Yeah.

KL: We make the whole circle work, if I could use that as an example.

JD: (Laughs)

CS: That’s awesome. Thanks for sitting down to talk with me, it was great interviewing you two.

KL: Alright, no problem.

I snapped a picture of them for the blog and we parted ways. I look forward to seeing Jacey and Kevin at future sports meetings. It’s great to see the newer students getting in and throwing themselves into KCR. Many of the people I’ve interviewed have been older students like myself, so it’s encouraging knowing that KCR will be passed on to these dedicated DJ’s sometime down the road.

The Sounds of State-Amor Castro and Frida Ocadiz-Ortega

It was a beautiful November morning in San Diego when I hopped on the trolly to meet Amor Castro and her cohost Frida Ocadiz-Ortega. She told me we could meet in the Communications building so I sat in one of the chairs outside of KCR’s studio waiting for the pair. I unknowingly and embarrassingly stayed in my seat as I saw Frida walk in and sit down. I had only corresponded with Amor so I didn’t know who Frida was or what she looked like. When Amor walked in I also wasn’t sure if it was her until she mentioned that she was looking for me. Such is the extent of online conversation I suppose.

With that mix up resolved, we went to leave and find a quiet space where we could record our interview without bothering anybody’s studies. We walked outside and settled on the area behind the Comm building and sat down. I could already tell that Frida and Amor would give me a good interview. Once we began, it was immediately apparent how friendly the two were and how well they played off each other when speaking. Frida suggested that I get that speech recognition software, which I agreed would clearly help with my transcription process. Ironically, because the pair are so close and comfortable with each other, I think they would have given the software trouble because they kept talking right after each other. Even going so far as to finish each others sentences at some points. It was clear that they certainly had good cohost chemistry.

I’ll let them do the talking for now, so without further ado, here’s our interview:

Cameron: Okay we are recording. I’m with Frida and Amor, and so let’s start off with an easy question. What is your radio slot with KCR?

Amor: It’s entertainment.

Frida: Mondays at nine.

CS: Mondays at nine?

FO: To ten.

CS: Nine to ten? Alright.

FO: Yes.

CS: And I heard you two have your DJ names, what are those?

FO: Mine’s MC Fridalicious.

AC: And I’m DJcito.

CS: Alright cool, so how long have the two of you been with KCR?

AC: Well this is my second semester.

FO: And this is my first semester.

CS: Welcome, welcome to KCR.

FO: Thank you.

CS: It’s good to have you here. And so another easy question, what is the type of music that the two of you normally play?

AC: Hip hop.

FO: Yeah, and top 40 music.

AC: Yeah.

CS: The hot 40? Alright. Do you play hip hop cause normally that’s what you like, or are there any other genres that the two of you, you know, like to play?

AC: We like to play upbeat music. Stuff that kinda gets you moving.

FO: Yeah. We also like Latin music. And we’re thinking about incorporating some of that sometimes.

AC: Yeah. Last show we did two songs that were in Spanish but they’re those party Spanish-

FO: Yeah, like Reggaeton songs.

AC: Yeah, or some Bachata.

CS: Alright cool, well so how come this music is important to you? Why do you like to play hip hop and this other Latin music? Do you have a personal kinda connection to it?

AC: Yes I do. Growing up I was the youngest girl, and I have two older brothers and they always listened to hip hop. So I kinda grew up with this mixture of, I dunno, Tupac, Biggie, Jay Z, Common Sense, Nas, you know all the old school hip hop songs out there. And then also some reggae and then the Spanish of course cause I’m Hispanic so, so that’s kind of like how I grew up, with all that music, so that’s what I like to play. We play throw backs too, so it’s kinda like the feel good music. So sometimes when you’re out and you hear a song and you’re like “oh my god, this reminds me of high school” or “this reminds me of this one time when I turned seventeen” or something you know?

FO: And we’re students so we understand that students are not just students but they have families and friends, personal lives, and work and so our show really is meant to be upbeat and just relaxed. Something that somebody can just listen to while doing homework or on their car ride home. Something relaxing and fun, and so that’s why we like to play upbeat music.

CS: That’s awesome. You’ve got a theme behind it.

FO: Yeah.

AC: Yeah and we do mention some school stuff, but it’s mainly kinda like, you know, after school and you kinda wanna tune out a little bit and not think about so much about school and all that. We do mention like “oh my god midterms are coming” or “finals are coming” but we also say “let’s enjoy some music and just kinda chill for a little bit.”

CS: That’s awesome, you got a whole idea behind your DJ block, that’s sweet. So how did the two of you become cohosts? How did you partner up?

FO: Well we’re actually soulmates—just kidding.

AC: (Laughs)

FO: But we’re both Communications majors and we met in a class. 300?

AC: Yeah Comm 300 or something.

FO: Yeah or 350, and we’re like “oh my gosh” and we just hit it off. We became friends fast.

AC: And then, I don’t know how, I think you have a friend that was in KCR and I was like “what’s that?” and you were like “there’s a radio show here.”

FO: Oh yeah.

AC: And I got really interested and we got information from there. And I actually got the chance to DJ last semester so I told her about it and she-

FO: Yeah I blew her off. I was like “yeah” but I didn’t pursue it and she ended up just doing it by herself. But now I’m doing it with her and I’m like “man I should’ve done this last semester, it’s so much fun.”

AC: It’s so much fun.

FO: So much fun.

CS: That’s funny how things work out.

FO: That’s why I think our radio name should be the Comm Comms, but DJcita still is kind of-

AC: Iffy about it.

FO: Iffy about it.

AC: But it’s a good one.

FO: Like you know the can can and then pom poms, I dunno.

AC: (Laughs)

CS: Yeah (laughs) that’s funny. So as cohosts would you say that you two have good chemistry on air?

FO: Definitely.

AC: Yeah. Cause we talk how we would talk off air.

FO: Yeah, and off air we have good—we just flow naturally, play off each other’s emotions and what we say, and it’s just positive vibes.

CS: That’s awesome. So is there anything—this is sort of another bit out there question—is there anything that the two of you have been listening to lately or just obsessing about, just a great song or great artist?

(FO and AC pause and laugh)

CS: You don’t need to be shy about it.

AC: I’m trying to think.

FO: I dunno. My favorite songs right now on the radio are 2 On by Tina Shay—Tinay Shay-

AC: Tinashe!

FO: Tinashe! Her name is so-

AC: Different.

FO: Yeah different.

AC: Okay I love that song. I’m obsessed with that.

FO: Yeah and then Don’t Tell Them and then the-

AC: The “about a week ago

FO: I don’t know, that’s you, that’s you.

AC: Oh (laughs) sorry.

FO: But I also like that song, that “put your knees to your elbows” song.

AC: Oh yeah.

FO: What is that called?

AC: I think Knees Touch Your Elbows or something—

FO: Yeah the one that’s like Turn Down For What, that artist I think, yeah.

AC: Sorry.

FO: I’m not that obsessed with that song.

AC: You like to dance to it.

FO: But Don’t Tell Them and 2 On yeah.

AC: Tinashe.

FO: I like to shake my butt to music so-

AC: She does it in the studio!

FO: Yeah.

AC: And sometimes we put it on Instagram and then we tell people go on her Instagram or she records me dancing.

FO: Yeah! And my Instagram is _Freeduhh.

AC: (Laughs) and mine’s Loveyaswagga.

CS: Alright, I’ll be sure to link that up.

AC: Okay.

FO: Yeah.

CS: Alright so, this has been a great interview so far thanks. You’ve been great. One last question and here’s a fun one, so could you please describe your perfect show on air? Like how would it go?

AC: Yesterday was pretty fun.

FO: Yeah yesterday we had two callers, which is really good.

AC: Or on Monday, sorry.

FO: Yeah, oh yeah on Monday. And so I think my perfect show would be to play the songs that I want, that I like, and for people to call in and, at least five callers to call in.

AC: (Laughs)

FO: And just talk to them about whatever topic we’re talking about that day and just good feedback from callers.

AC: Okay one of my favorite shows was when someone called me from a classroom and said that the whole class was listening to me, and then one of them played the ukulele and they got it on air.

FO: Awww.

AC: And it was really fun and everyone was like “yeah we always listen to you.”

FO: Last semester?

AC: I think so. And they were all happy and I was happy and that’s a perfect show, if everyone’s happy then that’s great.

FO: Yeah.

CS: That’s awesome. I really gotta say that’s really cool to have that kind of feedback.

AC: Yeah it was really cool.

CS: Alright I think we’re gonna wrap it up there. Thanks for being on.

AC: Thank you.

FO: Thanks Cameron.

Alright I lied about linking the Instagrams because I don’t have one so I couldn’t find them, but I’m sure you readers can do it if you’re curious. Also beware, the songs that I linked are rather explicit for the sensitive listener.

I couldn’t stick around and talk to Amor and Frida afterwards because I had to go to work, so we went our own ways after we had a few words. I left the interview feeling good about the state of KCR Radio. I’ve only done this for 3 weeks but I’ve already met some fantastic DJ’s who all are very dedicated to their work. I know what they meant when they said how much fin they had being on air, although personally I’m a bit jealous of the number of callers they get. I’m sure if they were writing this interview, Frida and Amor would tell you and I to remember to relax and have fun every once in a while in our hectic lives here at San Diego State.

That’s does it for this week on Sounds of State. Check in next week for my first interview with a pair of DJ’s from our very own Sports Department!

Thanks for reading.