Music an escape for KDNK DJ |

Music an escape for KDNK DJ

Sometimes, as a late-night KDNK DJ, I feel like the only person on the planet. And if the amount that the studio phone rings during my show is any indication, that might just as well be true.

Actually, it doesn’t ring. A light flashes instead, which could fool me into thinking I’ve just had a bright idea, though after playing records on the air at the wrong speed that notion of brilliance is easily dispelled.

So it’s true that there is still a place at KDNK for the old LP. And there’s something indescribably satisfying about dragging the hardest substance on earth across a slab of vinyl and having something other than plastic shreds be the result. Of course, depending on your musical taste, shredding might be exactly what you get.

But for those who think digital is groovier, KDNK has three CD players and something called DAD, which I think stands for “down and dirty.” DAD is a computer containing thousands of songs that can be played on-air by clicking and dragging. That makes me wonder if “DJ” doesn’t stand for “drag jockey,” though that sounds more like a short guy in a dress riding racehorses.

There’s also a spot to plug in an iPod. Back when I started 14 years ago, the only thing iPod would have designated would have been the group of whales preceding jPod. Somehow playing songs on the air from an iPod seems like eating a sandwich without taking it out of the bag, as if being afraid to make contact with what you intend to consume.

And there is a fair amount of consumption at KDNK. Not the kind that brought down Doc Holliday, thankfully, but there’s always lots of food around during membership drives. One of the instructions during membership drives is to answer the phone, “KDNK. May I take your pledge?” as if we can’t wait to dust people’s furniture.

While we’re rarely called upon to perform household chores, DJs are required to volunteer a certain number of hours each year. It’s a small price to pay to have a couple of hours a week dedicated to sharing music with others. Or, in my case, a couple of hours to realize that nobody else is listening.

Charlie’s radio show, Descent into the Maelstrom, was named after a song named after a story, by a band named after a misheard lyric written by a guy whose stage name was the antithesis of his music.

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