Radio not only lives, it thrives on our campus this semester. Although they all share the same title of radio DJ, each one provides a unique experience for their listeners. This series aims to spotlight the various radio shows available to everyone on campus and perhaps persuade you to switch up the Spotify shuffle and try a new method of listening to music.
Elyse Mielke ‘25 and Josh Palles ‘24
Name of Show: The Friend Slot
Radio Hour: Thursdays 8 -9 p.m.
If it has always been your dream to have a podcast, WFNM can provide the space to do so. Mielke and her friend Josh Palles made their desires come true with The Friend Slot.
“No plan. No content. No Fear” is the motto of Mielke and Palles. There is no theme because it would be too restrictive to their hour. For the friends, it’s a time to catch up and have fun during the week, therefore, a script would put too much pressure on both of them. However, sometimes they think of random themes on the spot such as “What would it be like if someone heard us in the Dining Hall?” Sometimes there are guest appearances, such as the head coach of the Rowing Team. The focus of their hour is less on music, as neither are traditional DJs. The show began as most podcasts hosted by twenty-year-olds do. The two were at breakfast and their friend said they were funny and would make a good podcast.
The name is inspired by the sitcom Friends. During the 90s, 8 p.m. was the prime-time TV slot. The show originally aired at the same time so it felt right. Ironically, Mielke is not a Friends fan, she is more of a Seinfeld person herself.
Her favorite part of the show is sending the link to her parents. Her mom live-tweets the show and adds commentary as she listens. After her show, she receives a massive block of texts.
Mielke was most surprised by the amount of nerves she had approaching the microphone because she was afraid of messing up. There are certain profanities you cannot say on air, and even though Mielke does not use them, they certainly add an extra level of anxiety for an accidental slip-up. However, after hosting for over a year, she has conquered this fear.
Mielke would tell you to join WFNM because it is so much fun. Even though she is not into music, she still thinks other people sharing their music tastes are cool.
Sarah Quirk ‘27 and Amara Patel ‘27
Name of Show: Sarah and Amara
Radio Hour: Monday 3 -4 p.m.
When co-hosting, listeners not only find new music from their hosts, but co-hosts learn from each other as well. Sarah and Amara bring their individual favorites to the booth, creating a diverse showcase of genres. They have brought the genres of Indie Folk, R&B, 60s Pop Rock, Power Pop, and Indie Rock along with spotlight hours on artists like The Beatles and Lana Del Ray – each favorite artist of the duo. Each week has a different theme and they alternate who chooses the theme. The theme is always centered around music they believe needs to be shared with the world. Their radio hour together has exposed the other to music they would not have explored otherwise which is something Quirk enjoys so much about their show.
Quirk and Patel prefer to let the music speak for itself, in part because Quirk is not yet comfortable speaking. However, eventually, she plans on sharing her motivations behind choosing each song. Between songs, the two like dancing around, but also just sitting and listening. They share what their favorite parts of the songs are off-air.
The supportive texts Quirk receives from her parents remain to be her favorite part of hosting a show. It makes her “Happy knowing that people are listening and hearing things they like.” Unfortunately, Patel was unable to be interviewed so her favorite part remains a mystery.
For Quirk, the most unexpected experience she has had is the fact that she has not had as many tech issues. She assumed she would have had many more because she does not consider herself a tech-savvy individual.
If you are considering joining WFNM, Quirk would tell you to do it. She loves how “it is a fun way to express yourself, a time where you can do whatever you want, play any songs and be whatever you want it to be.”
Evan McCarthy ’27
Name of Show: Big Jilm’s Pantry
Radio Hour: Wednesday 12 -1 p.m.
If you’re looking for a show that feels like an “oiled up pig running through a forest and you and your friends trying to catch this pig but it’s a little too slippery,” you are in luck with your recent discovery of Big Jilm’s Pantry. You may wonder what music encapsulates this feeling; McCarthy’s answer would argue alternative rock with artists like Modest Mouse, Ween, Oasis, Radiator Hospital, Sun Kil Moon, Alex G, The Weakerthans, and the Replacements. However, in general, he likes to explore many genres of music. His hour is not organized by genre but rather by feeling. Some weeks are softer than others, some louder, but there is always a loose consecutive order. McCarthy is drawn to these songs because of their familial connection. His dad is in a band, Basement Noise, and found these genres because of his dad’s musical background. They remain nostalgic and hold a special place for McCarthy.
Big Jilm is inspired by the Ween song – his favorite band. He is unsure why it is such a great song however it does remain as his pseudonym for most things.
According to McCarthy he “hangs out with himself” during his hour and just listens to the music. He enjoys talking during his hour but claims he is unskilled at it, so he keeps it to the basics. The first time he got nervous and dropped his voice about an octave while introducing the songs. Regardless, he would like to have a better presence.
His favorite part about hosting a show is “never quite getting it right.” McCarthy is referring to the balancing act of playing the required PSAs, transitioning his music from the auto DJ, and talking. Hopefully one day McCarthy will, in fact, get it right.
An unexpected experience learning how to host was when a stranger called to tell McCarthy his music was not loud enough. The problem was quickly resolved when he turned his phone volume up.
If you asked McCarthy why you should join WFNM he would tell you: “Cool. Have fun. Enjoy it. Remember the community. Think of the love. Think of the care. Live large. Never take anything for granted. Love often” and quite possibly any more cliques he could think of. McCarthy thoroughly enjoys his time in the booth. It may come as no surprise that McCarthy is also a passionate member of the Rumspringas.
Lucy Nolan ’27
Name of Show: Radio [REDACTED]
Radio Hour: Thursday 12 -1 p.m.
Nolan is determined to give you “Good. lit, crazy, music”. She most certainly does collections with her broad collection of genres with Simon and Garfunkel, Solange, Radiohead, experimental electronic, rock, jazz, folk, and more. Some of her shows remain funkier than others but she always creates balanced playlists while mixing up the moods. The world around her influences her curation. Nolan enjoys adding little easter eggs – “November has Come” when November began, Halloween music on Halloween, etc. She remains light on the theme because she believes she is still establishing herself.
Music is something that excites Nolan. Her extended family produces music therefore music has always been in her life. However, in her adolescence, she started to explore different genres and artists and pursued music more actively. Now, music is an “outlet to express what she has found through her journeys.”
The show title is the product of a brainstorming session with her friends back home. While discussing the fact that the FCC requires songs to not contain any profanities, her friend shouted a title with profanity. Someone then joked she was a radio rebel. Nolan combined the idea of radio rebel and redacted words and Radio [Redacted] was born.
Usually, the booth is filled with Nolan’s friends – in person and online. During her hours, she dances to music but also texts her friends listening along at different universities. She answers their questions and uses her hour as a way to remain connected with them. Talking between songs is not very important to Nolan. She sometimes introduces her friends in the booth along with the songs that are playing. However, she does enjoy a good moment of banter.
Her time in the booth is a moment to not put any pressure on herself. Nolan’s favorite part of hosting is having a specific time in the week to express herself, vibe it out, and chill. For Nolan, it’s a “whole redacted mood.”
The most unexpected part of hosting for Nolan was how easy it is. Therefore if you’re considering joining WFNM she would tell you to “Go for it because it’s easy as pie”. Hosting her own show gives her freedom to express herself. Nolan has found immense value in her experience with WFNM.
Noah Ehrenberg ’27
Name of Show: The Truffle Hour
Radio Hour: Friday 10-12 a.m.
Some would argue there is a distinction between music written for everyone, and music written for musicians to show off their musicianship. Although technically brilliant, sometimes the product is rather eccentric. If you’re looking for an hour of this energy, you are in no shortage with The Truffle Hour. Inspired by Ehrenburg’s nickname, Truffle, the hour is filled with a little bit of everything with a heavy influence of 80s and 90s alternative rock. Overall he explores many genres during his hour and is focused on the craft of each song. Ehrenberg likes to highlight the musicianship and proficiency of the artists he chooses like Primus, Zappa, Ween, Dinosaur Jr, and others. He understands that this music is “not for everyone” but regardless he always finds the beauty in the music. He never wants to take his show too seriously and describes it as “light and fluffy.” Overall, Ehrenberg aims to stress his desire for community involvement and is always open to suggestions.
Although Ehrenberg has a fear of public speaking, he does enjoy sharing any knowledge he can on his music selections whether it be the context of a song, information about the band, or what the song means to the band. He believes he has improved his public speaking skills through radio and finds it easy to talk about the music he loves now.
His favorite part of hosting a show is sharing music he likes with other people because he is so passionate about it. One time, the F&M facilities department called in to tell him he was doing a good job and this conversation meant a lot to Ehrenberg. Additionally, he enjoys seeing when people from different countries are listening in because he feels a sense of community.
If you are considering joining WFNM Ehrenberg would tell you just to do it because “sometimes you press a button, sometimes you press a second button”. It is truly that easy. Ehrenberg urges you to tune into The Truffle Hour just once because he believes you will find at least one new song you’ll like.
Freshman Lily Andrey is a Staff Writer. Her email is email@example.com.