dj ian mccolm (r) playing with his band, nagual, in studio b.
when i met ian as a freshman in dascomb, i was immediately impressed with his breadth of musical knowledge and passion. three years later, ian’s show infinity iii: supreme peak is among my favorite shows at wobc. tune in tuesday nights @ 11pm for an eclectic mix of mindblowingly lush transcendental jams.
-arielle, program director
Hi Ian! Tell me about your show. What kind of music do you play? Are there any salient themes?
My show is centered around music that I consider transcendental or of a spiritual nature. Not necessarily religious music, but music defined by its ability to inspire ecstatic states. A large portion of this is, what some would call, world music (Indian Classical music, African ceremonial music i.e. Gnawa healing music and East African “witchcraft” music). However, there are American and European performers that figure heavily into this definition for me; many of whom would be considered ambient or “drone” music. Terry Riley, Pelt, LaMonte Young, Charlemagne Palestine, and some of Brian Eno’s work all come to mind. The rest of the music for the show is comprised of pieces by musicians I’ve met on my travels who have evoked that same ecstatic state in their performances. In this category, I would include Sun God and Thousand Foot Whale Claw from Austin, TX and Diamond Terrifier from Brooklyn. Also, I primarily try to rely on my collection of analog recordings (cassettes & LPs) for material in order to assure myself that the majority of the music I play is new to the listening audience.
What’s one song or album you’re super into right now?
I have been listening to a lot of different music recently but I’ve only been stuck on a few records recently. My buddy Dan turned me onto a record called Don’t Forget to Boogie by the Japanese guitarist Tetuzi Akiyama which is really amazing. Akiyama is primarily known for his acoustic material and on this record he goes electric. The album is all fuzzed-out solo guitar with the exception of one acoustic track. The majority of material on the record is Akiyama alternating between pentatonic blues shredding and heavy boogie riffs. The first track “It’s a Boogie Thing,” is introduced by licks that sound like B.B. King on speed. The track eventually settles in a blues shuffle vibe on one chord that never changes for the rest of the song. I really love this record because the riffs take on new meaning when repeated for these extended lengths of time. The listener starts hearing all the upper harmonics that are being expressed due to the fuzz and the rhythm of the riffs takes on a hypnotic quality that really appeals to me.
What’s your favorite show on WOBC?
It’s pretty hard for me to name a favorite show. I really love Chuck Ryals show, “Chameleon Radio.” He’s such a great person with amazing taste is music that I love to tune in and hear new stuff. I have to give a shout-out to “The Real Nitty Gritty” with Tania and Thomas. Those guys have had the show before me two semesters in a row. They always have a killer playlist and they spin off of wax 100% of the time.
How do you see yourself/your show fitting into the broader context of community and independent radio and its importance?
Honestly, I try not to think about how much show fits into the broader context of community radio. I’d rather relate to that on an individual level. In my own life, the radio has always served the purpose of broadening my musical horizons and surprising me with quality music when I least expected it from the rest of society. Fundamentally, the most I can hope for, in terms of my relationship with the community & community radio, is that my show brightens someones day, makes them think differently about music and/or life, or transports them to another mental plane. In the simplest possible terms, if I communicate with one person through the airwaves, I have given back what radio has given me.
Do you have a favorite WOBC memory?
I have some great memories at WOBC. However, I have to say that one sticks out as my personal favorite. I had just started doing my first show freshman year and was looking through the vault for some British punk that I hadn’t heard yet. The station manager, Jesse Montgomery, came up to me and asked what I was looking for specifically. I told him and he took me through the whole compilation section of the CD room pulling out stuff that fit my description. That was when I realized how welcoming the environment at the station was and how serious everyone was about music. I think this was a seriously formative experience for me. It was good to see that there was a community in the college that was so musically invested but didn’t have all the academic baggage and jargon that the conservatory has. It was loving music for the sake of music. I don’t know why I react to that memory the way I do, but that’s a reason that I have tried to stay a member of WOBC since then.
Do you have anything else you want to add? Are you working on any interesting projects?
Right now I’m involved in a multitude of projects. I have 3 or 4 cassette releases coming out this Spring/Summer on my tape label, Pidgin Records. One of my bands, Nagual, is recording a full-length LP over Spring Break. I am completing an extended work for solo percussion and electronics which I toured on selections of over January. My friend Ross and I will be performing freely improvised accompaniment to silent films at Mahall’s in Lakewood on Saturday. After graduation, we will be doing a short tour of that material. In addition to all of this, I have to make sure I graduate and pass my classes.
Brian Becker, station manager: LARRY HEARD PRESENTS MR. WHITE The Sun Can’t Compare
Arielle Edelman, program director: TETA LANDO Muato Wa N’gingila
Ryan Caruso, engineer: SEIGE Conform
Aaron Braun, treasurer: THE RAINCOATS Fairytale in the Supermarket
Nick Plett, assistant engineer: THE BEETS You Don’t Want the Kids to Be Dead
Harlee Ludwig, pop: VANITY 6 Nasty Girl
Emily Schkolnick, vinyl: RICHARD AND MIMI FARINA Mainline Prosperity Blues
Mark Mortiz-Rabson, metal: INTER ARMA The Survival Fires
Madeline Meyer, punk: THE SPITS All I Want
Jack Lazar, hip hop: OG DUTCH MASTER Raw Dope
Cole Evelev, traffic director: JASON HOGANS Warmfuzzy
Emily Weber, promotions: EKOPLEKZ Dead Escalator Suite
Eve Peyser-Sappol, promotions: THE TEMPTATIONS Fiddler on the Roof Medley
Amanda Mummery, outreach: AL STEWART In Brooklyn
Alex Tell, webmaster: ELIZABETH COTTEN Shake Sugaree
Sophie Kazis, news: X-RAY SPEX Germ Free Adolescents
stay tuned for more staff playlists to come.
Come check out The ‘Sco TONIGHT, Tuesday March 12, for two killer acts:
>>CULT OF YOUTH<<
2k13 neo-folk post-punk rockers from Brooklyn, NY. Record on Sacred Bones alongside The Men, Amen Dunes, Psychic Ills, and Zola Jesus. These guys have a new take on folk-punk in the 21st century, incorporating a sinister darkness with catchy, melancholy folk riffs. Vox like Calvin Johnson or Swan's Michael Gira. These guys are on the rise so don't miss out!
a special performance from
Local hardcore favorites return to The 'Sco for the first show of their new incarnation. No longer the BLK OUT of yesteryear, the group is now a tightened up four-piece featuring WOBC Engineer Ryan Caruso, TIMARA sophomore Noah Chevan, Jazz drummer extraordinaire Parker Hall, and vocal thrasher/art historian Eli Wright. These guys are sure to set the stage for the night and to rip up said stage at the same time. Don’t miss ‘em!
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.
Hello Oberlin! This semester WOBC’s outreach coordinators are hosting a weekly radio program, Within Reach, every Saturday from 5-6 pm. This hour is dedicated to the voices, stories and opinions of members of our immediate and greater community. We hope to provide a platform for creative and empowering self-expression and an opportunity for those with or without previous radio experience to get onto the airwaves.
Our community radio station is a valuable and powerful resource and we aim to make involvement with WOBC as open and accessible as possible. We are also interested in hearing your ideas about how WOBC can further serve and enrich our community. If you have a story to tell, music to play or an issue/idea to discuss we’d love to hear from you! We would also love to show you around the station and chat about all things radio and beyond. Participants of all ages and abilities are encouraged, from 0 – 100 +, just contact us at email@example.com.
“Rooted in the tropical underground of Los Angeles nightlife, WILDNESS is a documentary portrait of the Silver Platter, a historic bar in the MacArthur Park area that has been home for Latin/LBGT immigrant communities since 1963. With a magical-realist flourish, the bar itself becomes a character, narrating what happens when a group of young artists create a weekly performance art/dance party (organized by director Wu Tsang and DJs NGUZUNGUZU & Total Freedom) called Wildness, which explodes into creativity and conflict. What does “safe space” mean, and who needs it? And how does it differ among us? At the Silver Platter, the search for answers to these questions creates coalitions across generations.”
Among other things this is a film about the idea of “safe spaces”, gentrification, and what happens when two worlds overlap and collide. In light of everything that has been happening in our community this year, hopefully this film will add some perspective.
1 NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS Push The Sky Away
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