Better Know Your KJHK
Catch up on recent KJHK antics and get to know your KJHK DJs.
What am I reading?!
My name is Lucas Homer, and I’m the station manager at this fine institution of chaos we call KJHK. One of my goals for this year was to start a blog on kjhk.org to show our listeners some of the behind-the-scenes aspects of KU’s college radio station and draw your attention to our upcoming projects.* Stories, links, and .gif’s for all! Please read on…
Gold stars for everyone…
I’ll get the shameless bragging out of the way first. Over the summer one of the Lawrence Journal-World’s “Best of Lawrence” awards found its way onto our shelves! Lawrence residents voted us Best Radio Station in town. Thanks Lawrencians! You’re the best.
The past couple years KJHK has seen a lot of growth. We’re entering our fourth year in the new studio on the third floor of the KU Union. Last year we launched Live @ KJHK, our video in-studio show. There’s a bunch of other stuff, but this article actually sums it up nicely, and you get to see our Online Content Director (aka “kjhk.org Overlord”), Sarah, and I cheesin’ for the camera.
Meet a KJHK DJ! (volume 1)
It’s too bad we have to do that “graduating” thing and “get a job.” When DJs leave, though, we get to bring in some fresh blood, which can add a new element to KJHK’s style. For this blog post I want to introduce the ‘webz to one of our most active new additions to the KJHK DJ roster, freshman Sam Boatright. Sam’s from Lawrence, so he’s known KJHK for longer than most KU freshmen. He started as a Breakfast for Beatlovers DJ over the summer, but this fall he has a rotation shift. I asked him some questions:
Lucas: What high school did you go to?
Sam: Free State High School, Lawrence, KS
L: When did you first start to listen to KJHK?
S: Oh man, I probably first started listening to KJHK my freshman year of high school. My dad told me that him and his friend loved listening to it back in their college days because there was always music he’d never heard on it. There would always be something different. That sparked my interest, and eventually I just realized I could count on it for really neat, interesting, hip music, as cliche as that sounds.
L: Did you have a favorite show or DJ?
S: My favorite show has been Primitive Panic hour for sure. That type of music is right up my alley. I usually just loved turning it on randomly, though, and trying to find new music blended with music I knew. It’s always fun to hear a song on the radio that isn’t that popular, yet that DJ is playing it. It makes you feel “in” and connected. It’s cool.
L: As a listener, what appealed to you most when listening to KJHK?
S: The quirkiness. The odd, rare b-side you could hear one night and then the more radio-friendly indie tune the next day that you’d hear. The commercials are also hilarious; I think they aptly kinda describe and portray what KJHK is trying to do as far as being a college radio station that is unique.
L: How has KJHK impacted your music taste? Have you made any musical discoveries from listening to KJHK?
S: Oh my god, I’ve made so many musical discoveries from KJHK, whether it’s reinforcing me to go back and listen to stuff I already knew about or turning me onto new stuff. KJHK turned me onto Sam Cooke, more specifically his “Live at the Harlem Square Club” album that I actually bought later that day! I heard “Alice” by Tom Waits on Jazz in the Morning while driving to school one day, and that was just perfect. I think it was in the winter. That was the first Tom Waits song I had heard. Being a DJ, too, just encourages me to listen to new music and try out new songs, or dig through the vinyl stacks and pop something on that I know is clean but that I’ve never heard before. I’ve done that so much and I’ve gotten into so many bands and songs because of my DJ experience.
L: What has been your experience this summer been like DJing at KJHK? Has it changed how you view KJHK and radio in general?
S: I’ve loved waking up early to come in and DJ Breakfast for Beatlovers; or going in to do a sub shift from 10 to midnight. I love it and I try to sub as much as possible. It’s one of those things that never feels like work. I definitely grow as a music listener which in turn I think benefits listeners because the wider the palette a DJ has, the more listeners will love your show, and I can also turn people onto new music, which is probably one of my favorite things ever. It has been interesting to see the “Behind the Scenes” of a college radio station, but I knew that going in it would be completely different from the typical Top 40 radio stations. My view of radio is that, in general, it’s pretty crappy, but KJHK and college radio and NPR and stuff like that? That’s the hope, the shining beacon of light in the radio world.