Archives for


Greetings from Seattle Part 1

What do college radio DJs do? We play music, yes. We help your lovely college organizations, yes. We entertain you with our lovely voices, possibly. But we always make time to get together and speak a very specific slang. It’s quite fun I assure you. This is one side of the life of a college radio DJ that you don’t want to miss.

Greetings from Seattle! Happy CBI Week. Happy VSU Homecoming 2014. Happy DJing. Yo. For those of y’all that have not caught on – Erin, Nick, Michael Taylor, and myself are indulging in what I like to call “Radio Nerdism.” Once a year, we all meet up to learn about radio from other college stations as well as tell others who awesome we are. No lie. Every station brags but, from what other SM’s have conveyed to me, every station also feels intimated by other college radio broadcasters. That’s just the nature of the music industry. And we need to celebrate our success with each other (be te dubs the official celebration will be at the awards ceremony Saturday).

SO! I am thus blogging while we travel. Take note that this was written Tuesday evening and posted Thursday morning around midnight. It was quite the adventure traveling to Seattle. We drove to Jacksonville (smoothest ride in the travel van for the first time ever), flew out to Chicago (Erin and Nick kept singing “Chicago”), fought over seats with other passengers (no stranger wants to sit next to a stranger), CHASED Michael to our connecting flight (Flight delays made us late AND oh my goodness our station advisor walks to freaking fast) and we managed to make it to our flight to Seattle. And now we are cramped in a plane heading to Seattle. Fun, yes? On Occasion. Poor Erin here right next to me looks uncomfortable sleeping in the middle seat. I grabbed a window seat. Nick is somewhere behind us. Probably sleeping. Or watching anime. Either one seems possible.

Oh. And this is Erin and Nick’s first time flying. And I am honored to take their plane innocence. As well as their Taxi cab innocence as well but that’s a different story.

Music of course was involved during the making of this trip. I finally pieced together my Fall Playlist. Every DJ has one. Here’s mine:

Amnesia – 5SOS (DON’T JUDGE ME)

Animals – Maroon 5

Break Up in a Small Town – Sam Hunt (For when I feel like crying over my current flame)

Bumpin’ the Night – Florida Georgia Line (Because I need a song for my friend group)

Burnin’ it Down – Jason Aldean

California – U2

Confession – Florida Georgia Line

Like You Ain’t Even Gone – Florida Georgia Line (It’s my farewell, I miss you song for my current flame).

Every DJ has a playlist to their life. If we could have it our way, each song would play out loud for every single moment of our lives.

 

College Radio Day 2014

10646661_734994339882167_515621800742544013_nIn today’s radio world, automation is king. Some stations use it. Some stations don’t. Many don’t like it because it takes away real aspects of DJing. At WVVS, we use automation for the simple reason that we don’t have enough DJs to fill 24 hours worth of on air time in 2 hour shifts. Why we chose two hour shifts is a different and irrelevant story. The point is that when we don’t use automation, which a little more than half the day, what happens on air is usually freaking awesome. Now imagine our freaking awesomeness occurring for 24 hours rather than just half the day. We did just that. For 24 hours, we were not on automation. On October 3, 2014, we celebrated College Radio Day with the rest of the country and other college radio stations by having a DJ manning the control board and music playlist for 24 hours. Some of us day 8 hour shifts, a few did 4 to 6. Some did the usual 2 hour shift. We organized the best of our DJs to come in on Friday, which is honestly, more common for newbies, and we played our most popular music, adlibbed (and script read) our most popular stuff, and all around had a blast. And to have a DJ on air every hour for 24 hours here at Blaze FM is not very common nowadays.

But anyways, College Radio Day was a success! CRD is our way of celebrating the art of college radio DJing, indie music, indie promoting, and showing our respect for other DJs out there that are not a part of the corporate market of the radio and music industry. We understand that sometimes it’s difficult to be a college radio DJ. We face critics that say that radio is dying. We face bigger organizations trying to buy us out. We face our own universities who might not understand the importance of student ran stations. We face the potential loss of listeners. We face the rules of the FCC. There’s a lot we have to deal with but at the end of the shift and when we sign off at the end of the hour, it’s all worth it. College radio DJs are a whole different breed students. For starters, we’re too chill to give a letter before G. We want the music. We want to play the music. We want you to listen to the music. And we want to talk about the music and bond with you over the music. That’s all we care about. That and football if you live in the south like WVVS.

So on behalf of WVVS, happy College Radio Day. We can’t wait for next year!

Here was the rundown:

12am: Claire goes on air, very excited and hyped up. The other DJs are outside chalking in front of the union. Funny how the station manager decides to stay inside where it’s warm… jk jk jk

12:30am: Claire starts to program in more CRD stingers and sets the simulcast to play at 1pm. She also organizes carefully selected songs for the official Blaze FM CRD playlist.

12:46am: Claire walks into the office and finds 2 DJs wrestling each other to see who can mark the other first with Claire’s very expensive permanent markers. The other DJs are watching for entertainment. Ahem…

2:00am: Top of the Hour. Most of the DJs have left. The lights go out and the string lights are left on, creating a very chill atmosphere. Have y’all ever turned on the blue studio string lights and put Nirvana on air. Just saying.

2:30am: Black Widow by Iggy Azalea remix holla!

4:00am: omg.

5:00am: Claire starts to get really tired. Misses her cue. Throws in another song. Goes on air immediately after that. Giggles profusely but manages to talk and fade into a Jason Aldean song.

7:00am: Claire goes outside for a quick bit of fresh air. There’s a chalked sign right outside the security door that says “Your Radio Big Loves You.” Yall… we just got all greeky up in here. Side note: Erin is somewhere in the building. Somewhere…

8:00am: Erin relieves Claire of the captain’s chair in the control room.

8:30am: Erin does this thing that would make her a good tv reality show host. Idk what it is exactly. But it’s easy imagine a crowd of people clapping for her as if she was walking out on a stage.

10:30am: Erin interviews a local artist on Jammin’ with Erin (insert Erin giggle here).

11:00am: Erin is still on air. To be honest, we’re not used to doing more than 2 hour shifts.

12:00pm: Arianna Pannel, a newbie, takes over. From a college veteran point of view, she’s learning pretty well and we’re impressed that she signed up despite the amount of pressure Claire was putting on DJs to make sure that the times and the songs that played were exactly right.

1:00pm: NATIONAL COLLEGE RADIO DAY SIMULCAST. AY AY AY AY AY. We’re on the official promo by the way.

2:00pm: Nick takes over. ‘nuff said.

4:00pm: Jessie J takes over. Hide the boys. Hide the fashion. And turn down the volume before it peaks. Just kidding. She did great. But for real. Hide the boys and hide the fashion. If there was a feminine aspect of Blaze FM, it’s Jessie J.

6pm: Nick takes over again. The transition between Nick and Jess is always hilarious. You would think that they hate each other but they really don’t. Oh. Adlibbing. That is all the Nick does.

8pm: Jordan Marshall, one of our returning DJs, shows up. I’m impressed. This is the perfect way for him to jump back in to Blaze FM. We thought we had lost him to school work, but the very smooth and insanely sincere DJ came back with his groove.

10pm: Tito Triple D on the mic. Oh dear.

10:30pm: Someone from CRD calls the station?! This is what happens when we sink twitter with our CRD tweets from the station. The station gets called all the way from New Jersey. Tito Triple D does her thing when she answers the phone. Meanwhile Claire is crying over Luke Bryan at the Luke Bryan concert in the middle of a muddy field in Tallahassee.

11pm: Where are the strobe lights.

11:30pm: Seriously. Where are the strobe lights.

12am: And that’s a wrap for CRD! We’re glad that Tito Triple D was the grand finale. She always knows how to throw a party in the station.

10649961_734994866548781_6066458183825388650_n

Seth Ennis Stops By the Station!

Seth EnnisCounty singer Seth Ennis stopped by the radio station today for an interview! His manager and a friend tagged along and to put it simply – it was great!

Seth is from Valdosta. He  went to Lowndes and grew up learning and playing instruments in the church. He also attended VSU as well (go blazers). He doesn’t have an album out yet but instead opted to take the single route, throwing singles on the music market for listeners to hear.

And yes ladies, to play on the pun, Seth is indeed single.

He has three singles out on iTunes: “Closer”, “Call You Baby”, and “She Got a Way”

We have “Closer” on our country rotation and I assure you, if you like Hunter Hayes, Seth is for you. The lyrics are sweet, catchy, and you definitely hear something along the lines of “Headed South on 75.” VALDOSTA. Hey-ooooo!

And let us briefly mention my personal favorite: “Cali Girls in Cowboy Boots.”

For all fun and dandy stuff, I’m a cali girl native. And I like wearing boots. Just saying. Okay I’m not from SoCal but NorCal girls can do this stuff too!

He risked it all too and made the leap from Valdosta and moved to Nashville, the country capital. And from what he told me, it’s a whole different level of music that is just AWESOME. And you kind of have to put yourself out there in Nashville, which I completely understand. Not everyone can be a country star.

Seth can. Seth can be a country star. And let us make note that quite a few country stars have stopped by Valdosta before they made it to the big leagues – Florida Georgia Line, they performed at Bluewater Bar. Luke Bryan and Philip Phillips are from Leesburg. And a nice hefty gaggle of other country stars are from below the Macon line.

But Bluewater Bar tho!

Seth will be performing there tonight (September 25) at 11pm. I’ll be there. Friends will be there. He’ll be there. Everyone will be there and I know for sure that it’s going to be a blast. Y’all better see him now. Because if it’s one thing I know, bands and artists that perform at Bluewater, tend to make it in the music world within the next few years.

Some links to check out:

http://sethennis.com

 

For the Record

10641135_722382777809990_6761731727197834191_nYo, we got over 26 boxes worth of vinyl. TWENTY-SIX. You know what that means for a DJ like me? Weight lifting. Yup. I didn’t have to go to the Rec Center for a few days. With the series of bad thunderstorms and the awkward calm before the midterm craze, DJs took the time to clean out the storage room and go through all the vinyl that has been collecting dust over the decade. Seriously. We got some stuff from the early 80′s…possibly older. It’s always nice looking through old WVVS history. As station manager and a DJ, I think it’s important for DJs today to look through the old music library (analog AND digital) in order to understand the times back then. And having a station in the deep south, some of the Jazz is VERY important to southern culture. Oh, and the boxes are still sitting in the office. I guess I’ll have to tidy those up eventually, even though it’s always fun watching some officers trip. But seriously. Go to your local record store and flip through some of the vinyl if you want to hear some very good quality music. Thank goodness for music storage rooms and technica record players!

10636313_718518898196378_155566855832701181_nWe’ve also been busy with revamping our production! So it’s late right? The mass media building is locked. The recording rooms are closed in the library. And your car just isn’t up for the job of sound booth. What do you do? We youtubed that stuff and came up with a portable sound booth! We took some of the sound foam and stuffed it gently against a box. And viola! Perfect for late night recording! Also fun to record in awkward places that have horrible walls. It’s really fun! But the only thing embarrassing is sticking your head in a box with “weird foam stuff” and talking to “yourself.” If you were a DJ, talking to yourself is normal. We always envision an audience in the station. Talking to yourself is fine. Not weird at all…

AND BECAUSE OF THE RAIN…

10653450_724127740968827_4786484777931530747_nErin and I like to bully each other up. When I can’t hamster outside and try to pretend I’m a great soccer player or something, Erin and I work out by chasing each other around the station. This is me attempting to get footage of her for our little film project. It’s the “slide and crunch”. Erin is hiding behind the trifold board. Hers is “dunk and crunch.” The other DJs aren’t too sure what to do with us. They’ve dubbed us parents of the station. Erin is the mom and not as strict. I’m the dad apparently. Because I get upset when someone turns the “master mic” a different way opposite of my directions. Yo. Mics are expensive.

AND OF COURSE, BECAUSE WE ALL LIKE TO GAME…

10686602_10152475160168022_4572832223233159608_nCourtesy of VSU and Blaze FM alum Rizal Buckingham, we have an old TV, video games, a PS2 and my Xbox 360. When all the work is “done” and the homework is put aside to procrastinate later over, AND WHEN IT IS STILL RAINING, we play video games. Thanks, Rizal! It won’t be here forever, but we might as well take advantage of the tv…yo. Bring the popcorn.

The Happening, Chubby’s Chicken, and IMF

10346112_718383574876577_4692327894486446135_n

Yo, The Happening 2014 was indeed happening. And it was hot, too! For those of you that missed out, you really missed out an some super sweet deals and free stuff. And for those of you who don’t understand the point of The Happening, The Happening is supposed to showcase all the organizations that VSU has to offer! From Freshmen who really want those free pens and buttons to upperclassmen looking for an extracurricular activity to do, The Happening is HAPPENING for everyone’s benefit. AND there were a lot of local Valdosta businesses as well getting to know VSU and it’s students.

Blaze FM had fun too! This was Production Director Nick Gillis’ first time running our tent at The Happening, and from my point of view, he did very well. Kept most of our free merch organized, recorded some students giggling over saying “GET BLAZED WITH BLAZE FM!” And he even managed to squeeze in some time to flirt with the ladies.

If you didn’t stop by our tent, then you missed out big time, man. We got them pens. Them water bottles. Them band stickers. Them homemade magnets (Asian Martha Stewart Style), and (if you were a cute girl), Nick passed out the last of our tshirts. We also had Blaze FM posters, some merch from local artists such as Oddly Known, AND YOU COULD HAVE BEEN ON AIR. But, and this is according to Nick, you had to go meet up with Bae.

Personally, I find that you were just nervous. It’s okay if you mess up now. But if Bae said to go get free food a few tents over, you gotta do what the Bae says.

BAE-rrito

BAE-nana

BAE-gle

BAE-guette

BAE-ed Spasanga

If you have multiple Bae’s, assigning a food to them would be smart, just in case you sent the wrong text to the wrong Bae. Just saying.

AND THEN THE #ALSICEBUCKETCHALLENGE HAPPENED! VSU’s The Spectator nominated us and OnTap magazine to do the challenge. WELL DID IT! HAH! And I, as Station Manager, had the lovely honor of dumping ice cold water on Nick Gillis’ and DJ personality Jess’ heads. It was quite refreshing for me after running around all day. AND A HUMONGOUS THANK YOU GOES OUT TO CHUBBY’S CHICKEN FOR BEING SO GENEROUS AND SUPPLYING US WITH COLD CLEAN WATER. We really appreciate it and it’s alway a pleasure eating dinner at 2AM at such a restaurant when Remerton shuts down. Seriously, y’all. The chicken is good. They’re located on Baytree Rd, just a walk away from campus.

10590573_718393838208884_8001679877569973546_n

And to tie in music!

IMF in Atlanta is taking place THIS WEEKEND! Your top EDM artists taking over a good chunk of the city to play for you the best electronic music to date! And we did a ticket giveaway with the IMF sponsor IRIS PRESENTS. VSU student Gabby Granda won TWO tickets to IMF. The girl deserves it. She lives and breathes summer music festivals. LEH GO!

As I am posting this, it is now funky Friday. Everyone, please enjoy and be safe this Labor Day weekend!

1972435_718383648209903_1324376383282486649_n

Music Artist Highlight: Geena Fontanella

YO! What do you get when you mix Katy Perry and her colorful hair and Zedd. And then add in summer 2014?

GEENA FONTANELLA.

Her pop vocals, some EDM influence, and a twist of dancing at a summer EDM music festival all adds up to one very happy college radio rotation this evening. At Blaze FM, we’ve been trying to form a dance genre for our listeners and Geena is perfect for such a cause. I decided to throw in three songs of Geena’s: Fight Again, Lose Control, and Dance Til We Die.

And it’s definitely different from what we usually play – alternative rock, indie, hip hop and some country. Now we do have some pop and a hint of trap somewhere in our rotation, but Geena’s music is the first in our “DANCE” playlist and we hope that we get to receive many more submissions for our dance playlist.

This is perfect timing for us, too, as we just gave away two tickets to IMF in Atlanta! So thanks, Geena, for being the first artist in our dance category. We just played you bee tee dubs at our top of the hour!

Everyone check out her Facebook page. She’s the girl with the purple streak in her hair. Which explains her About section obviously which simply states “Painting a town in a different color.” Her music definitely added in a bright color to our station.

Oh and dude, check out those pugs on her Facebook page. Too adorable. This last statement has nothing to do with her music. I just like pugs, too.

Well, I hope everyone enjoyed their first day back to college! Freshmen, don’t go too crazy. The first thirsty thursday is coming up in a few days and we don’t need to mess up the first week of the semester now do we. Study hard and listen to Blaze FM! Request Geena Fontanella, too.

Much love, Claire

PS: https://www.facebook.com/GeenaFontanella

 

Fall Semester SAY WAH?!

Yo. FALL SEMESTER BEGINS THIS MONDAY! ohmagerd. Make sure to read the end of the blog post. It’s deep as getting a spoon stuck in a jar of peanut butter.
I realize that many students are excited. I, on the other hand, am tad bit sad. You see, I graduate in December, thus this past summer was my LAST summer as a student EVER because I don’t plan on pursuing a Masters. I, my friends, am going to jump into the big pond and get a big girl radio job. Hopefully. Any takers for me? I’m kinda cool, I promise.
Anyways, summer is over and school is going to be in session, which means only one good thing at least: RADIO. Our college radio DJs are back and they’re ready to give you a taste of college lingo that no parent wants to hear (but is still legal within FCC guidelines, thank you). We have a lovely staff, many of them rookie dis, which is always a good thing because they can grow together, learn from each other, and develop radio personality talents with each other. Just ask Erin and I. We started out as rookies together and developed very distinct personalities from one another. My wish is that one day, these DJs will become close with each other like the current officers and myself. I have great faith in this round of personality.

Speaking of officers! Meet the lineup for the Fall 2014 semester!

Claire Contevita (that’s me, yo): Station Manager
Erin Ellis: Urban Music Director, pretty much the unofficial VP if we had such a title
Morgan Matthews: Promotional Director, future CEO of something cool and businesslike
Frank Amoroso: Alternative Music Director, massive CD scouter. Quite Interesting.
Nick Gillis: Production Director, upcoming SM, G-ROQUE IN THE HOUSE.

I’m tempted to put up selfies of ourselves, but you can just check out our Facebook pages and creep on from there.

Every semester, college students want to start over. Do better. Reach more goals. Grow as adults. The radio station wants to do the same. We want to do better. Reach more goals. Grow as a station and adapt to the changing times of society in a technological and social age.

Oh…here’s a cool rant (and you may argue with me for the sake of a good conversation):

In a time of technological innovation and a wave of online social media super industry, one would think that we are connecting more than ever. Although we are “connecting” online more than we did ten years ago, we are by no means “social.” We sit behind a computer, tablet, phone, damn even a television now with “live” playing on game consoles. We are not socializing physically like humans used to do ten years ago. We’re always behind an object that makes the connection for us. Like radio personalities. We connect with our audiences. But by no means socialize. For many of you, we’ve met through the airwaves (or by email if you catch me in my business mode).
And this will be my goal for WVVS Blaze FM 90.9. We will strive to connect and socialize with our audiences outside of the radio station and not just behind a mic. We want to know our audiences and be friendly and all that peace, love, and happiness stuff. We have to. For Robin Williams, you know?

Welcome to class and happy blazing, yo.

-Claire

The Invisible World

Yo.

Ohmagerd. These guys. The Invisible World.

Guys, I’m seriously rabid-fan-girling right now. If you like Kings of Leon, you’ll love these guys, especially their song Better Man. OHMAGERD ALMIGHTY!

The alternative vibe they got going on, their location (Kansas City), the guitar. AND THOSE LEAD VOCALS.

OHMAGERD.

The Invisible World used to be known as A Dead Giveaway and they’ve been around for over ten years. And what? WVVS Blaze FM is NOW just getting one of their albums in our submissions mail? These guys will definitely be on our rotation tonight. Their music definitely reminds me of this past summer. Love, fun, work, relaxing. That one person that always chills with you at the house when you’re too broke to go to the bars.

The current EP that the station has is Welcome to the Invisible World. It’s a five track EP that has got me all up in my feels. I’m listening to it on replay right now. Listen to the lyrics as well. Reminds me of growing up, falling in love, and…those vocals really got me loving life right now. And not many vocals and lyrics can make me jump up and dance around – slow or fast dancing, doesn’t matter. The Invisible World is definitely on my “Station Manager’s Shuffle.”

For more information about this band, check out their page:

https://www.facebook.com/theinvisibleworld

Shayne Leighton’s “Invincible”

Shayne Leighton. AND SHE’S A BEST SELLING AUTHOR?!!?? She sings cool rock music AND she writes vampire novels.

Yo, Claire here. To begin with, I’m queen at multitasking. I’m training our new Alternative Music Director, blogging, facebooking, AND eating. Go me. I mean there’s not much I can do outside. It’s hot. And it’s raining outside. It’s somewhat gloomy because of the rain as well. But at the same time, the dark clouds outside and the distant thunder goes very well with Shayne Leighton’s song “Invincible.” The heavy guitar and very clear lyrics that tell you to go out and stand up for yourself against all odds makes me want to run through the rain and be victorious should I not get insanely wet.

OR…we can just get straight to the point and say that her music is tastefully associated with her vampire novels.

“We cannot fight to be innocent. Stand up and face the enemy. It’s a do or die situation. We will be invincible”

I’m going to be playing “Invincible” in my head while I read her work.

But, putting all funnies aside, it’s a good song. Shayne has that female voice that would make anyone want to go out and do something great. Be a hero, you know? And her voice is very soothing yet well rounded.

“We got the right to be angry. What are we running for?”

And now I am putting the book down and associate her music with other subjects. To be honest, and this is coming from my knowledge of the women and genders studies program here at Valdosta State University, this song would be perfect for the Vagina Monologues that take place here every Spring semester on campus. That or it would be perfect for the events that focus on physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and the goal to spread the awareness of those problems in our society.

All in all, it’s a very good song to lift your spirits and stand up for yourself. Now excuse me while I go run in the rain or find a cute vampire lover. Go check out Shayne Leighton! The song is to be released on August 12, 2014.

https://www.facebook.com/shayneleightonfans

 

 

IMAGINE MUSIC FESTIVAL

Yo.

Hang on. Whenever anything starts with “yo,” just know it’s probably me talking/typing. Me equals Claire.

Okay.

Yo. So EDM, also known as Electronic Dance Music if you want to be difficult, has been surging up up and up in popularity amongst pop culture and music. You got SXSW, EDC, ULTRA, LOLLAPALOOZA, DAYGLOW etc etc. Just google it and there’s probably a festival near YOU.

A summer full of festivals for you and your friends to get crazy at.

And of course you need a festival to be the grand finale to end summer yes? How about…

IMAGINE MUSIC FESTIVAL in Atlanta. It’s on August 30-31st. TWO WHOLE DAYS OF EDM! And its in Atlanta too and word on the social media street is that ATL has been pretty cool for raves and rages and all that stuff. I myself really want to go. It looks like my kinda party. But WVVS Blaze FM wants you to go, too! That’s why, thanks to Iris Presents, we have TWO tickets to giveaway for IMAGINE MUSIC FESTIVAL! EEEEK!

Just go to Facebook.com/WVVSValdosta, send us a message telling us WHY you deserve two tickets to IMF and what it means to get blazed with Blaze FM. We don’t want a novel but hey, the funnier the better.

Here are some links to check out for more information (say that with a french accent) about IMF and ze lineup!

http://www.mixcloud.com/localeclectic/imagine-music-festival/

http://facebook.com/WVVSValdosta

http://www.fuse.tv/2014/01/best-music-festivals-2014

http://imaginefestival.com

https://www.facebook.com/irispresents

http://www.irispresents.com