Archive for the ‘WSIU’ Category

Required Reading, vol. 37

March 31, 2010

Carbondale’s wonderful weekly “Nightlife” newspaper has a great little interview and write-up about “Sounds Like Radio,” in the April 1-8 edition. Be sure to clip it out and keep it in your wallet, for easy reference.

Or, read it right now:

Dave Armstrong, sometimes known as DaveX, will begin a new experimental-music program on Saturday nights / Sunday mornings at 3 a.m. on WSIU 91.9 FM. The show, Sounds Like Radio, will debut Sunday, April 4 at 3 a.m. He will continue to host It’s Too Damn Early on WDBX 91.1 FM, though the second program will allow him to send each show in slightly different directions.

“Although it may be difficult for casual listeners to tell, I actually cover a rather wide swath of experimental music on It’s Too Damn Early,” Armstrong tells Nightlife. “Now I can divide it up a bit, and bring some more focus to each broadcast. Besides, they’re both great stations, and I love being able to be part of each….

“Although there may be a bit of crossover at times, the general idea will be to present the more academic wing of experimental music at WSIU,” Armstrong continues. “Although there’s always some crossover, this would cover the more rigorously composed pieces of electroacoustic music, avant-garde works, or simply those that require more unpacking and intellectual effort on the part of the listener. Of course, that just gives me even more room for going further out with the WDBX broadcasts– more noise, dada, outsider works.”

Another difference: Armstrong will prerecord the WSIU show, but broadcast the WDBX program live.

“Pre-recording shows offers me a completely different set of opportunities, which I’m also pretty excited about,” Armstrong says. “Live shows gives me a flexibility that I love, but prerecording might let me go completely baroque in the studio.”

As Armstrong implies, the works he plays on his shows are often challenging for listeners– while they certainly are not noise, they are not always music per se, either, but varieties of audio art. Enjoyment and appreciation often requires a different listening mentality, he says.

“I’m a big advocate of active listening,” Armstrong says. “After nine years worth of late-night phone calls [at WDBX], I know that a lot of listeners still consider experimental music as either unwanted noise or as a sort of sonic wallpaper. It’s understandable, but intellectually lazy. If there’s anything to jettison, it’s the concept that music has to be anything more than those sounds you choose to focus upon as music. Frankly, I just hope some new people check out my broadcasts. I may not want the Little Grand Canyon in my yard, but I’ve gone to see the place– it’s an amazing part of Southern Illinois, and an offbeat treasure– same as my shows.”…

Required reading, vol. 8

March 23, 2010

The Daily Egyptian (the campus newspaper of Southern Illinois University) has an article about “Sounds Like Radio” in today’s edition. Knowing that you’re all enthusiasts of student journalism, I’ve included this handy link so you can go read it right now. Please resist the urge to correct any definitions of noise– this isn’t the Troniks forum. On the other hand, check out the awesome photo! Feel free to leave your lecherous remarks regarding my rugged good looks in the comments section. Or, try to guess which CDs I’ve got in front of me on the board. I’ll mail a CD to whoever manages to guess ONE correct album first.

“Sounds Like Radio” launches April 4th!

March 12, 2010

“Sounds Like Radio,” my brand-new broadcast of experimental and avant-garde music for WSIU, will debut April 4th from 3-5 a.m.

I know you’re not doing anything important on Sunday morning, so why not get up a bit early and enjoy the show? WSIU is at 91.9 FM, or you can listen to me live online!

Incidentally, this means the show will share a birthday with Tristan Tzara! (And for those who don’t already know, “It’s Too Damn Early” shares a birthday with Alan Lomax and Philip Glass…)

An interview with DaveX!

March 11, 2010

Here’s an interview that ran on the front page of my local regional newspaper, The Southern, as part of their weekly entertainment section. Clicking the photo below– which I think makes me look a bit like an angry man broadcasting from somewhere in Hell– will take you directly to the article. Clicking on this link will take you directly to a terrifying original snapshot of Hell itself, which is apparently green. Curiously, it’s also in the first page of images for “microphone” found at Google.

Interview with ME about the new show!

March 1, 2010

It’s in the March edition of WSIU’s “Signal” newsletter. Also– my favorite SIU prof Jay Needham will be on “Morning Conversations” to talk about an Antarctica-related sound exhibit. I think he may end up being my first interview subject for the new show. But that’s future talk… go read about ME now!

Did I mention that you’ll not only get to find out the name of the show, but my last name as well? Secret origins, REVEALED!

Episode #1– DONE!

February 24, 2010

I got my first episode of the new radio show for WSIU done today! As I mentioned yesterday, the work-flow is a bit different, but the end result is a fine two-hour broadcast– and I’m happy to say that I’ll be starting my listeners off in the deep end of the pool. You’re going to have to wait until it’s broadcast to see the playlist, but if you’ve got a good handle on my taste, you’ll probably be able to guess a handful of my favorite artists and labels that made the cut.

But let’s geek out for a bit, before you leave your guesses in the comments section. Here’s a photo of Production B, where I’ll be assembling my shows:

This is a nice little room, very cozy. I haven’t had an opportunity to check all the equipment out just yet, but I will! Here’s a closer view of the board:

Looks like I’ve got a bit of a learning curve ahead of me– but then again, I remember when the board at WIDB looked expansive, too! I just reminding myself that it’s mostly repetition. Anyhow, here’s a look at the engineering area. Can you spot the Optimod?

Yep, that’s it, mid-way up in the sixth rack from the right. He looks a bit different than Sir Optimod at WDBX, eh? Speaking of fancy gear…

I don’t know WHAT this does, but I’m totally tempted to re-enact Star Wars scenes with it. Okay, </geekingout>.

Did I mention that I was interviewed today? I’ve been told the interview will most likely be in the March 1st issue of WSIU’s “Signal” newsletter. You should probably add this to your news reader, but you can also just read it at the site. Obviously, this is required reading.

Okay, gotta go now. Weasel is calling for his bath– “DaveX? DaveX? Baaaaaaaath!”

Pre-production, 1st day

February 23, 2010

Tomorrow, I’m scheduled to begin production on the first broadcast of my new radio show for WSIU-FM… which means that I spent a good amount of time today planning and shaping what that broadcast will be. Although I consider myself fairly talented at putting a radio show together, the live broadcasts I do in WDBX’s relatively free format are rather different than what I’m finding is required of me at WSIU– in short, I’m working on the same goal, but from different angles and with a different set of skills.

Luckily, I’m well-acquainted with my music library. Timing a show exactly– on paper– is a lot different than mixing CDs live to get the desired time, and I had to fuss a lot with my selections to make things fit. I also decided to take advantage of WSIU’s production facilities, and bring all my selections in on a thumb drive– I’ll still have the same sound quality, but I can work directly with the files in a sound editing program rather than record them in real-time. I’m hoping this cuts down on the time necessary to construct a two-hour show; I have to get three broadcasts complete before I can bring the show on-air.

This, in itself is rather strange. I’m broadcasting at a distance; I imagine this is how theater actors experience television work– even though I’m often alone in the Hi-Life Room at WDBX, I don’t find it hard to imagine my audience. The aural ambiance outside my door, the passing cars, the occasional phone call; they all combine somehow to give me a mental connection to my listeners. But here at my kitchen table, it’s more difficult to achieve this sensation, so I’ll have to work on building a new one.

I’m going to try to remember to take some photos tomorrow, so I can introduce you all to the studio. Wish me luck!

I’m starting a new broadcast!

February 20, 2010

After years of personal consideration, I’m starting another broadcast. As of Friday, I’m an official host at WSIU-FM, a public radio station broadcasting from the Southern Illinois University campus.

But don’t worry; I’m not leaving WDBX-FM, or canceling “It’s Too Damn Early.” My plan is to continue my current Saturday morning broadcast, as well as host a separate 2-hour broadcast at WSIU-FM on Sunday mornings. Both broadcasts will feature experimental and avant-garde music, sound art, and difficult listening– with no repetition between the two.

Since I’ve told you so much about WDBX in the past, I figure it’s only proper to introduce WSIU as best as I can. WSIU is a non-commercial station, and our local public radio broadcaster. They have programming from NPR, PRI, and some locally-produced shows as well. If you’re a fan of Celtic music, you may have heard “Celtic Connections,” which is carried in syndication on dozens of public radio affiliates across the United States.

Whereas WDBX currently broadcasts at 3000 watts, WSIU is at 50,000 watts. To make things even more fun, WSIU employs two “repeater” transmissions in Mt. Vernon and Olney for a total of 88,000 watts. As I understand it, this not only covers the lower-third of Illinois, but parts of Missouri and Indiana as well! Obviously, this will be a much larger listening audience, so I’m very excited. For those outside the broadcast area, WSIU streams online– and I have been told that archiving shows is a distinct possibility.

Quite possibly, this will be the largest broadcast of experimental music anywhere in the state; it will certainly make Southern Illinois a prime destination for sound artists, experimental musicians, and composers of new music.

For now, I’ll be working on getting the first few broadcasts ready, and checking my WSIU mailbox for the first promos I hope everyone will be able to send my way. If all goes well, the show will most likely be launching in early April, so send some music in!

Here’s my address at the station:

WSIU-FM, c/o Dave Armstrong
Communications Building 1003, Mail Code 6602
SIUC, 1100 Lincoln Dr.
Carbondale, IL 62901 USA