Friday, January 16, 2009

College Radio Is Better: How to Listen to WRVU

Posted By on Fri, Jan 16, 2009 at 7:55 AM

click to enlarge WRVU.jpg

Vanderbilt's college radio station, WRVU 91.1, has been entertaining listeners since the early 1950s. This December, it was rocked by scandal. (Well, sort of--stern emails were sent because someone posted a pornographic image as the desktop background on the station's computer. It wasn't me, and I didn't even get to see it.) But it has weathered the storm, and recently posted its new spring schedule, which went into effect yesterday.

If you're going to listen to any radio, I will opine that this is the station to be paying attention to. The DJs include some of Nashville's most interesting and dedicated music fans (many of them are community members, not undergraduates), so it's a great way to learn about different genres of music. (You can also learn about issues of interest in your community, and, for some reason, the plight of Floridian manatees.)

But the weekly schedule includes a total of 96 different shows, playing everything from Persian music to political chat. And since show times change in the spring, fall, and summer, it can be difficult to keep track of the shows you want to listen to, especially if you're not on the Vandy semester schedule.  It's best to start paying attention now.

Below, a (very) few suggestions to get you started.

--The D-Funk, Fridays 8 to 10 p.m. Grimey's music expert Doyle Davis plays "deep-dish down and dirty funk that makes you wanna get nasty and greasy."

-- Music City USA, Wednesdays 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesdays. "Cowboy Anton," a grad student in the Spanish department, shares his passion for classic country music from the past eight or so decades. Along with his co-host, Cowgirl Erin, he conducts his show with an air of old-fashioned professionalism that's all too rare in today's world of mumbly indie-rock DJs.

--Connect the Dots, Thursdays 2 to 3 p.m. Preston Garland plays a well-chosen, unpredictable selection of rock that ranges from newer indie to older stuff like Hank Williams and The Kinks.

-- Nashville Jumps, Fridays 8 to 10 a.m. Classics and obscurities of '50s and '60s rhythm and blues, played by the charming Pete Wilson.<

Every semester a handful of new DJs go on the air. One of their new shows could be an instant classic --the D-Funk of the future, if you will--so here are my picks for two to watch, based solely on names.

-- Night Goat, Saturdays 2 to 3 a.m. You and your friends have been out partying all night, and now you need to hang out at someone's house and unwind... talk things over... maybe even smoke some fine tobacco products. You need a DJ who knows how you feel. Perhaps this faintly sinister-sounding show will provide.

-- The Fagan Bi-Hour, Fridays 7 to 8 p.m. Questions: Is this show hosted by the wily con artist in Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist? If so, what, exactly, is "bi" about the 60 minutes he will be spending on the air? Anyhow, claims to be one of the few "garage/psychedelic" shows on the station, so worth checking out.

If there's a WRVU show that you particularly enjoy, tell us about it below!

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