Photo courtesy of Lily Andrey.
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.
Esmaralda Van Den Tol ’27
Name of Show: Flower Power Hour
Radio Hour: Monday 2 -3 p.m. & Wednesday 3 -4 p.m.
If you’ve been craving a deep dive into the psychedelic 60s, Flower Power Hour will give you just that. Inspired by her love of 60s hippy culture and The Summer of Love, Van Den Tol wanted to honor favorite artists like Pink Floyd, The Beatles, The Pretty Things, 13th Floor Elevator, and more. The 60s and 70s offered a wide range of genres, and she likes to highlight those genres by playing Rock one week and Folk the next.
An interesting feature of Van Den Tol’s show is that she plays chunks of albums during her hour. She will highlight five tracks in a row of an album to ensure the listener gets a well rounded understanding of the musical elements of the album, without using up the full hour to do so.
It comes as no surprise that Van Den Tol loves to talk about her music selections. According to her, she will “info dump” about the various artists. She loves the time period therefore has a deep understanding of the context, drama, and compositional elements of the bands and their music.
The most rewarding part of hosting a radio hour for Van Den Tol is the ability to introduce something new into someone’s life. She wants to be a gateway to this genre for anyone willing to listen. She loves not just introducing this music to people, but also reminding them of their love for it. Van Den Tol appreciated the unexpected moments in the booth when people call in to say her selections make them reminiscent of their childhood memories. For her, it’s all about emphasizing how music evokes happiness and connection.
Van Den Tol would tell you to join WFNM because it is a wonderful way to alleviate stress and its such low commitment.
Aislinn/ Amadeus Wallin ’24
Name of Show: Undead Air
Radio Hour: Saturday 9 -11 p.m.
The only consistency during Undead Air is just that – there is no “dead air” in the booth on Saturday nights. The name inspired by one of the first things every DJ is taught, “you can never have dead air”, Wallin will bring you every genre a listener could want. 80s/90s Alternative Rock, K Pop, Pop, 60s, 00s are just a few of the genres along with artists like Red Velvet, XO, Lana Del Ray, The Smiths, Radiohead; truly bringing the listener a little bit of everything. After two years on air, Wallin has become less strict with their themes. Regardless, there usually is a weekly theme. Sometimes they craft a playlist beforehand, sometimes spur of the moment, but they always have a fun time in the booth no matter the level of preparedness. Wallin recognizes the chaos of their hour but they are not motivated by their number of listeners so they don’t mind.
Wallins music taste was shaped by those around them, like parental influences that awaken childhood memories. They discovered K-Pop mostly because they grew up with K Pop fans. Over the years, radio had allowed them to discover music they otherwise would never have found.
Wallin prefers hosting night shows. They love the privacy of the night and always look forward to putting on the headphones, turning off the lights, turning the volume up and blasting the music. It’s a moment to be present with themselves. They love talking between songs, perhaps sharing little life updates and anecdotes. Wallin added, “It’s cool knowing other people are listening but you are alone.”
WFNM was unknown to Wallin until they started dating the club President their sophomore year. Radio has become their favorite part of their F&M experience and cannot imagine their time here without it. For Wallin, “it’s a unique way of listening to music and a weird thing they can say they do”, considering not every college has a radio station.
Wallin would tell you to join WFNM because it allowed them to gain confidence in their music taste. Radio is a, “Niche part of college, but [they] can’t imagine experience without it.”
Lily Andrey ’27
Name of Show(s): A Milly With Lily & Alex G Wannabes
Radio Hour(s): Tuesday 9 -10 p.m. & Thursday 2 -3 p.m.
On Tuesday nights, my listeners can expect a deep (ish) dive into the sounds of the 90s. I like to start the hour with alternative, shift to shoegaze, and end with acoustic to mellow out the night. You are always guaranteed a Tori Amos song in there. My secret goal may or may not be converting everyone into an Amos fan. Balancing out classics of the decade with more niche finds is my favorite quality of my show; with this approach I can honestly say I have discovered a whole realm of music I thought I was familiar with but was not. I equally love when my friends text me how I reminded them of a song they loved but forgot about, or asking me for the name of the song because they discovered something new. In case you wanted artist names, you can usually tune into Pixies, The Smashing Pumpkins, Sixpence None the Richer, Belly, Suzanne Vega, Cocteau Twins, and of course, The Smiths. In my opinion, the 90s were a relatively male dominated genre when it came to popular alternative/indie names so I like to highlight female voices.
I have the wonderful privilege of hosting my hour before Vinny Smaldone, aka Vinny Da Pooh – and he crafted the title A Milly with Lily. Don’t ask me what it means because neither of us know. Naming things is comically difficult for me, so I was appreciative that the burden was taken off my shoulders. There has also been talk of producing my very own intro; make sure to watch out for that next semester.
When I picked up my other hour, Alex G Wannabes, I thought I would stick to silly little contemporary indie artists that make some objectively strange musical choices. It’s personally one of my favorite genres. However, I found two strictly themed shows to be constricting. I started hosting with my friend Nayelli, and we switch the theme up weekly. We have brought our listeners “Songs to Eat Your Granola to,” “Chilly”, “Divorced Dad Rock”, “Rock Goddesses”, and in the future there will be “Women Who Have Shaved Their Heads”. I am excited to announce we will be “tying the knot” as official Co-hosts for the Spring Semester.
I am extremely particular about my playlists. I craft them in advance, even placing the songs in a specific order. It’s a way to relax for me, something I look forward to taking the time to do each week. I have always loved either using music to create an atmosphere or matching one that already existed and radio is the most straightforward way to practice this. Ironically, this is the complete opposite of my listening experience on my own – I rarely make playlists and just put my 3,000 + liked songs on shuffle.
I love talking between songs. At first, I was terrified of using the mic, but I quickly got over it. There are so many stories to share about the artists, or the history of the song, or interesting compositional elements, and you can be sure I will share them. I think the host’s input is what makes radio special – otherwise I would just put on my own playlist.
Radio was never on my radar, I found out it was a club at Music Pre-Orientation and joined because there was little commitment. I am so grateful because it is truly one of my favorite experiences at F&M. According to Spotify, I spent 127 days listening to music– music is a huge part of who I am. Having a space to more formally express my love for music is so wonderful.
It comes as no surprise that if you are considering joining WFNM I would tell you to do it.
Freshman Lily Andrey is a Staff Writer. Her email is email@example.com.