Featured Show: Cheap Thrills with DJ Emmylou


This blog post spotlights Cheap Thrills with DJ Emmylou, which is currently in its third installment.

How would you describe the overall sound and vibe of your show?

DJE: I have my limbs straddling about a dozen musical thresholds when I plan a show. I am enamored by so many different types of music–psychedelic rock, old folk standards, shoegaze, 90s grunge, proto-punk… the list goes on. So I have never felt comfortable devoting a show to one single genre or sound. Instead of taking that programming route, my shows, to be unintentionally vague, are based around a centering “vibe.” When I plan Cheap Thrills every week, I work off of viscera that music can make almost tangible. That might sounds pretentious or like a cop-out, but that’s truly the case. My shows have coherence, but not necessarily stylistic coherence.

What do you like best about having a weekly radio show and about radio in general?

DJE: Having a radio show has been a great creative and emotional outlet for me. Planning and putting on a show have always proved cathartic activities, and I like the idea of creating a product with the audience (listener) in mind. Working with WOBC has been a highlight of my time at Oberlin. Being involved with the station has given me an appreciation for radio–as a medium of expression, resistance, information–that I never could have imagined prior.

What is your wildest dream?

DJE: Recently I’ve been fantasizing a lot about the Sistine Chapel (I’ve never been). I’ve been fantasizing about Jimi Hendrix for a long time now. So I guess a crazy dream of mine would be to live in the Sistine Chapel as Jimi’s wife. We would take over The Vatican and replace Catholicism with some sort of magical/witchy religion vaguely resembling Wicca, with Hecate as its primary deity. Our daughter would be named Lillith, and Axis: Bold as Love our mantra.

Why should people tune in to Cheap Thrills and what experience do you hope to give your listeners?

DJE: Cheap Thrills is diverse and fun. Sometimes it’s even melancholy, if I’m feeling melancholy, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I think I do a nice job of creating a show that features both big and esoteric names, which is important in terms of accessibility and exposure.

In your opinion, why is independent and community radio important?

DJE: Community Radio resists capitalism. Community Radio ruptures the status quo, and educates listeners in doing so. Community Radio is a place for cool people to express their bizarre tastes and opinions and proclivities. Community Radio is friggin’ weird, and couldn’t imagine itself any other way. That being said, I am also embroiled in a complicated love affair with Commercial Radio. I have gotten into the habit of flipping on Magic 105 (a Cleveland oldies station) every morning while I am getting dressed or milling about. There is definitely something to be said about hearing “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” every other day (strictly the hits!). I could do without the “fathers demanding that their daughters dress more conservatively”-type advertisements, though.

Have any WOBC related anecdotes or fond moments/memories to share?

DJE: The Block Party in 2011 was a great time. Lorain County’s own Sugar Ray Ballard performed, and I got to watch my friends getting funky to his music on a video that was posted on the blog a few days later (I had to leave early). But on a more serious note, I am profoundly impressed by the way that WOBC covered recent community events, and their underlying structural basis, on Monday. I am so proud of the station, and the memory of being in there on that day is going to stick in my mind for a long time.

Who are your musical gods and goddesses, your all-time favorite artists and what have you been listening to recently?

DJE: I love female vocalists with crazy vibrato–Stevie Nicks, Sandy Denny, and Grace Slick to name a few. These days I am obsessed with the collaborative work of Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger, and The Trinity. My favorite way to listen to music is obsessively.

A sample playlist:

Blondie – Hanging on the Telephone

Ex Cops – Broken Chinese Chairs

Beachwood Sparks – Singing Butterfly

Mimi Farina and Tom Jans -Great White Horse

Jenny Lewis – The Next Messiah

Elmer Gantry’s Velvet Opera – Mary Jane

Psychic TV – Milk Baba

Julie Driscoll and Brian Auger – Season of the Witch

Richard Robbins ft. Kiri Te Kanawa – O Mio Babbino Caro

Bleached – Electric Chair

The Fugs – Namesless Voices Crying for Kindness

John Lennon – Watching the Wheels

Sixousie and the Banshees – Tearing Apart

Elvis Costello – (What’s so funny) ‘Bout peace, Love and Understanding

Fleetwood Mac – Sisters of the Moon

You can catch Cheap Thrills on WOBC every Wednesday from 1-2pm EST.

– Amanda Mummery

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