Sounds of State-Ava Anderson and Caleb Minnick

Friday the 20th I met up with Ava Anderson and her cohost Caleb Minnick for the second interview of the semester. It was late Friday morning and the weather was perfect, we met at the KCR studio and proceeded to an unoccupied classroom to have what turned out to be the longest interview I’ve conducted so far. Ava and Caleb were both very outgoing and talkative, probably why the interview went on so long. You can tell how they come across on air, try to cram as much information about their interest and love for music as possible in between song breaks. In full disclosure, the audio was rather difficult to transcribe because they kept talking over each other in their eagerness to answer my questions. On a couple of occasions they indeed finished each others sentences in an attempt to steer the conversation their way. It made for a very fun interview, but for the sake of legibility I edited this interview a bit more than usual. I did try to keep as much of the banter in tact as possible. With that being said, on to the interview:

Cameron Satterlee: Hello, we are sitting here today for the next radio interview. I am with Ava and Caleb. So what is your radio time in our new semester?

Caleb Minnick: We do it on Mondays from 3 to 5. I just actually had to think about that cause we’ve only done one show so far (laughs). But yes that is correct.

Ava Anderson: Yeah Funday Monday. I guess that’s our new day. We were on Taco Tuesday last semester so we had to make a name for Monday.

CM: Or Manic Monday (laughs)

AA: Manic Monday! I like Manic Monday.

CM: Who does that song?

AA: The Bangels.

CM: Aha. Well anyway.

AA: Yeah let’s get back to the interview.

CS: I can tell this is gonna be fun already. So the two of you have DJ names correct?

CM: Yes. I am DJ Trust Fund.

AA: And I’m the Avacado.

CS: DJ Trust Fund and the Avacado?

CM: Basically I had that name to mock the people that go to these huge EDM concerts to see these DJs that they don’t know anything about. So this DJ name would mock them for their statuses as people on trust funds going to college. Very complicated (laughs)

CS: Well hey it’s part of your radio identity now. It’s good that you have a whole story I think.

AA: My name was my nickname in high school. Out of the many names I had in high school that was really the only one that I actually liked.

CM: Did you have other sinister nicknames or what?

AA: Well people would call me Flava or Ava Ave yeah, or Eva from Wall-E, it got really old. But Avacado, that one I just thought was funny. It was acceptable.

CS: (Laughs) alright well how long have the two of you been with KCR?

CM: Just since the semester before this one.

CS: Oh alright.

AA: Yeah we’re newbies.

CS: Well you’ve had a whole semester though which is nice. So you have an idea about the kind of music you play since you are a music show.

AA (sarcastically): Rap. Just lots and lots of rap.

CM: Yeah I don’t think I’ve played any rap so far. I mostly play indie rock, electronica, just random things I find on the internet. That’s what I go for. And I don’t mean indie like Mumford and Sons, but bands that are actually doing things differently than what you’d normally hear. And Ava, she’s got her own genre.

AA: Well alternative is so generic now. Literally you could have reggae to rock to Mumford and Sons but it’s all under alternative. But really I play alternative, indie, 80’s and 90’s, some 70’s or 60’s depending on if I really like it. So really I just stay away from country I stay away from rap. But most of the time we make our own separate playlists and I would say that they really complement each other on the show.

CM: Ava’s really into soundtracks. Every time she’s got a song it’s from a soundtrack.

AA: I’m a film major what do you expect? I just love film soundtracks, I dunno it’s just different from what you’d hear on a regular cd. It’s kinda hard to explain.

CS: Oh I know what you’re talking about.

AA: It just stirs a different emotion.

CS: Alright so this is a pretty relevant follow up question, so why do you like the kind of music you listen to? Is there any kind of story behind it all for you?

CM: I’d say with me, I’m a huge cynic, so basically when I hear a song on the radio and I think “hmm yeah this sounds pretty good”, but then I question it and go “do I like it or do I like it because some marketing people thought that people in my demographic want to hear this song at this time”. So I don’t want to feel like I’m being manipulated in liking music like that. So that’s why I pretty much don’t listen to any music like that or MTV or radio, I just try to find the music myself. And that’s why I’m into the music that I’m into cause it’s more interesting to me. I mean I’ve listened to a crazy amount of 94x, 94.9 and I’m just totally bored of it by now. So that’s why I have to branch out and find this other stuff yeah.

AA: And then with me, probably around middle school is when I got into alternative and rock and when I started to pursue wanting to be a film maker. Whenever I watched movies I always thought about the music and how it effects what you get out of a film. I’m not just talking about scores, I’m talking about actual–like if you’re listening to Breakfast Club, Perks of Being a Wallflower, Donnie Darko, or 500 Days of Summer, those are really good soundtracks and you want to think about what that does when you’re watching something. What else am I trying to say? Well whenever I listen to a song that I really like, I think about what I’m imagining or what is something that I could create that could go along with this song and I did that a lot in high school. I remember I was in a video productions class and we’d have to do these journalistic type pieces and I never followed the format, I always just filmed random sports clips and edited them to Angels and Airwaves or something. I like to edit to music and whenever I think about films I think about what music I can use.

CM: When did they start putting in songs like popular music, into movies?

AA: Well The Graduate…

CM: The Graduate that’s what I was gonna say.

AA: Yeah The Graduate is one of my favorite movies.

CM: That’s the earliest I can think of, cause you never hear that in films from the 50’s. Just when a song starts playing.

AA: If I could tell people to watch a movie for the soundtrack aspect I’d say watch The Graduate.

CM: Yeah that was the first one that incorporated popular music into the soundtrack. I think, I dunno, there’s probably other examples.

AA: We’re rambling a lot.

CM: Yeah we do that on the show.

CS: No it’s good.

AA: Yeah we just talk like this.

CM: We waste forever just talking about random stuff.

CS: You’re music DJs but you can’t stop talking.

CM: Well we tie it in to what we’re playing.

AA: We don’t bore.

CM: You know what I hate on these terrestrial stations is the morning guy they go on yahoo news and see a funny story and blah blah blah blah and who cares?

AA: I dunno, a lot of our show is improved to be honest.

CM: No I know but what I’m saying is (what they’re saying) has nothing to do with music or anything. And me I’m really into politics and if they wanted to have a discussion of Middle East politics but they’re not, they’re discussing a cat that got stuck in a tree and a guy fell and it’s worse than a waste of time.

AA: Well what I like to do too is that I’ve been to a bunch of concerts and talking about my experiences with the music that I play or something interesting about that band that people might not know. He knows about it.

CM: Yeah I like to brag about all the concerts I’ve been to, you know it makes me feel big (laughs).

AA: Yeah and then you get to go to all the ones I can’t.

CM: Yeah cause she’s not even 21 so she can’t go to them, and those are the best venues. Can you even go to Viejas?

AA: Yeah I can go to Viejas, I’ve seen some good concerts.

CM: What about Rimac? You can go there right? That’s at UCSD.

AA: Yeah I can go to that. I think. I don’t know, I’ve never gone there.

CS: Alright well so what would you say is the latest and greatest for the two of you? What’s the new song or the new band or album that you’ve been listening to?

AA: Don’t look at me.

CM: Well I’ve been going first this whole time I was gonna give you a chance.

AA: Ok well I’m thinking. I dunno. One band that I really recently just started to like was Arcade Fire. I saw them in concert in August. I had a few of their songs and their cd but after that concert I got everything. So I guess that’s my recent new favorite. Really I can only think of Arcade Fire.

CM: Well here I’ll talk about mine. There’s this one band, I just played it one the radio this week, there’s this band called Mr. Twin Sister. Where are they from? I’m not sure where they’re from. But it’s dream pop, that’s sort of what it’s called cause there are these real chill soundscapes to it. It’s really awesome stuff. You said it was a good track when I played it, and the track is called Sensitive, which is the good one from them right now. That album just came out at the end of last year so it’s pretty new. Something that actually just came out is this guy called Venture X, he makes I guess you’d call it house music. It’s French house like Daft Punk, well not the last Daft Punk album, but the other Daft Punk stuff. He just put out an album in January. Discotheque, which is really good, he’s from Chicago, which is a pretty big house music scene. That’s the stuff I’ve been listening to right now that I think is on the cutting edge. As they say.

AA: Well ok so are you talking about new artists that are up and coming?

CS: Oh just what you’ve been listening to lately.

AA: Ok that makes it a lot easier.

CS: So Arcade Fire is fine if you just wanted to go with that.

AA: Well just what I always listen to is Arcade Fire, Angels & Airwaves, M83, The Killers, and 30 Seconds to Mars. That’s my top 5. I think it’s my top 5.

CM: Tenative top 5.

AA: So those are the 5 I listen to the most, and I’m always looking for new music too. Not the stuff that they overly blast on the radio. If I hear something that is always blasted on the radio I’ll check out their album. So Kongos, they don’t just sing Come With Me Now, they have other songs. So I use the radio like Wikipedia, like a starting point, and then I move on from there.

CS: We’ve all been there. Alright so this is not a music related question, but it is related to KCR stuff. It’s a two parter, so how did the two of you become cohosts and do you think you have good chemistry on the radio?

CM: (Laughs) no it’s terrible.

AA: Nah it’s awesome.

CM: No we met just at the KCR meeting that they do at the beginning of the semester, last semester. And we had to find a buddy, so to say, they wanted everybody to have a cohost.

AA: And I was thinking “oh my god I need to go out of my way to ask people”.

CM: Yeah I know and I hate that the most in classes, finding a group or a partner. Everybody’s in their own little cliques and I’m just thinking “oh my god I’ve been left in the dust again”. But anyway yeah so that’s what happened, we were deer in the headlights. I talked to a bunch of people and somehow I found her.

AA: Well I know I asked you what music do you like and I thought “okay” cause everyone else was just “no””no””no”.

CM: Yeah there were people who were like “yeah I want to do an EDM show”.

AA: Yeah and I’m like “no EDM for me”.

CM: Or and all classic rock show which I think is totally boring. Or a country show, whatever, and I’m just like “ehh”.

AA: Top 40, nope.

CM: And so we decided yeah we could go together pretty well. We were talking about The Smiths or something, we found a bunch of bands that we really liked so we figured we’d team up, you know, a dynamic duo on the airwaves. As far as our chemistry…sure. Of course I’m biased for myself, but we have good chemistry, good banter.

AA: Yeah we do banter a lot, but it’s not aggressive, ugly banter.

CM: We’re not just complimenting each other either, we do disagree on a lot of stuff. So we make our arguments.

AA: Yeah we’re both very big mouthed people but it works.

CM: As you can tell we’re taking like ten times too long to answer these questions. This is what we tend to do on the radio too.

CS: Hey we’ll it’s your style and it’ll show through in the interview. So I’ve got a last question, I always want to finish with this cause I think it’s fun, so how would your perfect show go?

CM: I dunno, I think pretty much the way we do it now is pretty much the way I want it. Actually it’s something she mentioned, but we could make promos.

AA: Yeah throughout our show. Cause I could edit stuff for it.

CM: Yeah she’s a film editor, so you know how to edit films or whatever.

AA: So that’s one revolutionary idea we’re thinking of for our show.

CM: But looking big we could have guests.

AA: Yeah bands coming in.

CM: Yeah let’s have Brandon Flowers on the show. Bob Dylan (laughs).

AA: Bob Dylan?

CM: If we’re just shooting for the star here yeah. So yeah a show where we can play awesome music. You know what would be really great is if we could get the station on terrestrial radio.

AA: Yeah on real radio that would be really ideal. But then again I think it is cool that we just have a radio station.

CM: Yeah I like it.

AA: When I tell my friends that I DJ for a radio station they’re like “WHAT no way”.

CM: I put it on an internship application and they were like “wow you’re a DJ”.

AA: I just really like what we’re doing right now. Like I said, one day if we’re on actual radio and it would be super cool if we had guests that would be pretty awesome.

CM: Yeah and if I got lots of sponsorships. I could totally sell out and get rich (laughs).

CS: Boy this has been a real interesting interview. Well thanks for joining me, it’s been a good fun time.

CM: No problem.

On that note we concluded the interview and walked back to the studio where I snapped a picture of the duo at the controls. We chatted a bit about music and film, the Oscars were still coming up and Ava was pulling for The Grand Budapest Hotel. I had to get going to class so I bid them farewell. If you want to hear more of Ava and Caleb’s music check out the links I posted and definitely try to catch them Mondady from 3-5 on KCR Radio, The Sound of State.

Ava wanted me to link a couple more songs from bands she didn’t mention.

U2-Zooropa

Garbage-Control

The Killers-Mr. Brightside (Jasques Lu Cont’s T.W. Duke Remix)

Jane’s Addiction-Twisted Tales

The Temper Trap-Sweet Disposition

Metric-Help I’m Alive

Caleb also sent me another song when messaging me about Jethro Tull. See if you can figure out why.

JEFF the Brotherhood-Black Cherry Pie

A State Of Rave: What We’re All About

The Scene:

Welcome fellow ravers and music lovers of all types! A State of Rave is a radio show that we have created specifically for the newest EDM of today. EDM, or electronic dance music, is often criticized and misunderstood in society, which has earned it a bad reputation in the public eye. It is often put down because of false accusations of ‘talentless’ DJs getting famous from just a computer and for its connection to a drug scene.

We are here to prove these misconceptions wrong and reveal to the world why it still continues to grow and prosper. We want to show the positive ideals and experiences that come from this music and encourage others to make these amazing memories as well. Our one-hour show (Mondays at 9pm) will consist of all types of EDM from trance, dance and house to trap, techno and hardstyle. We find our music by surfing various music blogs and websites such as Soundcloud.com and our love for the scene keeps us in the loop.

Your Hosts:

DJ Walsh: A Journalism and Media Studies major and Marketing minor hoping to incorporate her passion for music and writing into a career in the music or media industry.

DJ Shayna: A second year Journalism major with a huge passion for music, entertainment gossip, and sports. Attending concerts and music festivals (especially with her co-host DJ Walsh) are her favorite activities. She hopes to find a career that includes all of her interests, hopefully in the entertainment field.

Our Experience:

We have attended a wide variety of music festivals from resting on the Indio fields as we listen to the subtle beats of the Sahara tent at Coachella to raging until 4am at OMFG NYE in San Diego. We take pride in the music scene and urge to share it with as many people that will listen. We believe there is a certain magic and wonder to these events that just begs to be heard and felt. We want to constantly radiate the passion and positivity that accompanies this scene. We seek to forever be in a State of Rave.

Here’s a mix to start off, by one of our newest obsessions Gorgon City.

Don’t stop dancing! – xoxo DJ Walsh

 

 

The Sounds of State-Jini Shim

On Wednesday I caught the trolley, a bit delirious from typing essays the night before, but eager to see my latest DJ to interview. Jini Shim is KCR’s resident K-pop DJ, that’s Korean pop music, to the uninitiated. We decided to schedule the interview about half an hour before her radio slot at 11 am. It gave us plenty of time to chat and give you all a great interview. Check it out.

Cameron Satterlee: Alright, I am sitting down in the KCR studio with Jini. And thank you for joining me with this interview.

Jini Shim: Yeah, thanks Cameron for doing this.

CS: Hey, no problem. It’s what I do now. So you’ve been with KCR for how long exactly?

JS: Well this is my first semester, yes.

CS: Alright! Well, welcome to KCR.

JS: Thank you.

CS: So what is your radio slot?

JS: It’s on Wednesdays from eleven to twelve pm and I do an hour of Korean music—K-pop songs.

CS: Alright well that was my question so that works. So how come you play K-pop?

JS: I am Korean. I have a lot of interest in the Korean culture so I guess that makes me listen to Korean music and keep up with it, even if I don’t like it sometimes. So then I just want to promote it to other people in case they are interested and I think K-pop is rather more known now compared to maybe five years ago. So I also play for those who like K-pop out there.

CS: Yeah that’s awesome. Yeah it’s definitely gotten a lot more exposure in the last few years. I mean you said about five years ago, yeah five years ago I probably never heard about it, but now you know I know about it and there are a lot of people who are aware of it so that’s cool that you’re promoting it as part of your heritage. That’s awesome actually.

JS: Thanks, it’s fun.

CS: Yeah I don’t do anything like that.

JS: (Laughs)

CS: K-pop, is it like other genres of music? I mean, it’s pop music so you’ve said there’s some good and some bad, is it similar to other stuff we have circulating around the globe?

JS: Right. So a lot of the mainstream K-pop that you hear, if you were to maybe Google K-pop and the few videos or music that would come up, if you listen to it you would probably think it’s really similar to Euro-pop. A lot of people also refer to Euro-pop when they compare it. So yeah I could compare it to that, but then some people, they say whatever song—music that comes from Korea—would be considered K-pop. But those that know more about what K-pop is like would disagree, because there are fans of Korean hip hop that would say “no, do not associate Korean hip hop with K-pop,” and there’s all the different genre lovers and they wanna claim their type of music.

CS: Yeah, I mean that would be saying that there’s just an American music or a French music style.

JS: Right, exactly.

CS: I know what you’re sayin’. Yeah I mean there’s always a rock band out there that doesn’t want to be labeled pop music.

JS: Exactly.

CS: Yeah. So are there any other genres you like to play sometimes or is it pretty much just K-pop?

JS: Right, right, so I do promote the newest and the hottest K-pop songs, but from time to time I would even do throwbacks. So let’s go back into the nineties and see what K-pop sounded like back then. Or some indie bands that are coming out from Korea, so some acoustic guitar, singer-songwriter type music that I would play sometimes. Sometimes even some really old-style Trot, I don’t know if you know that genre, I would play those. So an eclectic mix.

CS: Alright, cool. Yeah I mean I think at KCR you’ve got the market cornered so you can do whatever you want if it’s from Korea. So you kind of already answered this question because it’s part of your heritage but I just wonder if you want to go a little bit deeper into that so why is this music important to you?

JS: K-pop is important to me because I was born in Korea, I lived there for a few years before moving to California. It brings me back to my roots just to keep up with the music. I think if I weren’t doing this show I myself wouldn’t be listening to a lot of K-pop actually. I wouldn’t take the time to go into it I guess it’s by an artist that I really really like. I do it for myself I guess, for my own good, for me to keep up with it. And I like spreading multicultural, international music through this great station on campus. So I might as well use this opportunity to promote diversity and bring in different flavors to KCR and SDSU.

CS: That’s awesome. I know what you mean, definitely having a sports show is what keeps me up to date with sports when otherwise I’d be way too busy to follow it. And I mean sports isn’t as important as your cultural heritage because that seems really important to you so that’s great. Alright so hit me with some artists or an album or a song, what’s the hottest in K-pop right now? I’ll put a link up or two to the blog.

JS: Alright, there are a lot of girl bands, I would rather say groups because it’s not really a band, they don’t play instruments. They just sing, look pretty, and dance well (laughs).

CS: Yeah like a boy band pretty much.

JS: Yeah. So I can name a few girl groups because there have been a lot of them that have been doing really well and a lot of new groups. A few of my friends made song requests today so one of them I’m going to play today is by a group called AOA and also Girl’s Day, so those two groups I can mention. For some boy bands: Super Junior is a group name that I play often on the station, they have about TEN members in the group, so it’s a big group, and they are very famous, especially in Europe. Yeah so those are a few names.

CS: Alright cool. Well I’ll link those up to the blog. So I always like to finish with this question, how would a perfect show go for you? An ideal show.

JS: Ah a perfect show. I would say I would play, like I say I do, the show is about playing latest and the hottest Korean music. So playing a few of those, and being able to play really the latest, so I have the latest scoop and update for the listeners. And then having a few of the oldies, playing a few independent label songs and also maybe having a guest. A friend or another fellow Aztec who likes K-pop, and I would invite him or her share a few of their favorites of K-pop and maybe talk a little bit about why they like it. And of course if I get a ton of requests which means I have a ton of listeners right? So I guess that would be an ideal one hour.

CS: Alright cool. Well thanks for sitting down with me, it’s been a great interview.

JS: Yeah thank you, this was great because it also makes me think back to why do I want to do this and what do I learn from it, so great questions.

CS: Hey, well thanks.

I’m not sure I’ve ever been complimented on my questioning ability so that was nice. I still need to work on my transition game, but practice makes perfect. Jini and I sat and talked until her show went to air. We were actually joined in the studio by Joey Bautista, KCR’s secret sessions man, who was also half of my first interview. Once Jini got to work on her show I left so she could do her thing. I really enjoyed interviewing Jini, she was my first DJ I’ve sat down with who plays music that isn’t native to the United States culturally. I perhaps didn’t articulate it well during my responses but I think that it’s fantastic that she is spreading the culture she loves to SDSU while at the same time helping to preserve it for herself. Dedicated DJ’s like her are what keep KCR going strong. Be sure to check out her Wednesday show next week, it’s the last week of broadcasting for the semester!

Thanks for reading!

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.