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