The student weekly of St. Olaf | Thursday, October 2, 2014 | Subscribe
ISSUE 117 VOL 15 PUBLISHED 4/9/2004

Doin' It

By Diana Frantz
Copy Editor

Friday, April 9, 2004

A passion for the latest music drew Gautham Reddy '04 to work as a DJ for the student-run St. Olaf radio station KSTO. After three years on the job, in 2004, Reddy assumed a greater role in college radio as KSTO's Top 200/alternative director this year.

Alternative (alt) is a difficult genre to define. "The stereotype is that it is just rock," Reddy said. "Now there is the influence of hip-hop and electronica in alt music." He cited the group Air, which draws heavily on electronica, as evidence that alt is more than just rock.

Reddy's position as alt director involves a lot of communication -- from advising DJs on what music to play, to talking with CD promoters.

"Every week I get about 60 CDs. I don't listen to them all, of course. The promoters tell me what is good, and from there, I narrow it down," he said. At any given time, Reddy has about one hundred artists' CDs available for KSTO alt DJs to play. "The deejays expose the student population to new music, and they can play some of their own music, too," Reddy said. KSTO DJs record which songs they play in a logbook, from which Reddy compiles weekly alt top ten charts. These charts are sent to the College Music Journal (CMJ), which compiles a yearly top two hundred list. The current top three bands played by KSTO alt DJs are The Walkmen, Franz Ferdinand and The Mountain Goats.

Never heard them? Never heard of them? Reddy suggests tuning in to KSTO. "I just encourage people to listen. You get to hear lesser artists that are really good and that you would otherwise easily miss out on," he said.

Attracting listeners is a persistent problem for KSTO. "I feel like a big problem is that people don't even know we have a radio station," Reddy said. KSTO has been working on widening their audience this year with promotions such as ticket giveaways. However, KSTO's listening audience is limited almost wholly to students because reception only extends to the parameters of campus.

KSTO plays more than just alt, and Reddy is far from being the only staff member at the station. The other genres represented at KSTO include loud rock, RPM, hip-hop and world music. Each category has its own director, and they meet together with manager Pete Mahan '04 and assistant manager Brian Strand '05 for weekly meetings.

According to Reddy, there is no "inter-genre competition" between the directors. "I think everyone respects other genres. We are all interested in learning about music," he said.

Sometimes KSTO "discovers" artists before they become popular. "We had Franz Ferdinand before they got any press," Reddy said.

Some of Reddy's favorite newer artists include Death Cab for Cutie -- an alt band that recently played a concert in Minneapolis -- and Belle and Sebastian. Although Reddy loves new music from artists like Franz Ferdinand, he also enjoys old favorites like Weezer.

Reddy offered a bit of advice for listeners new to KSTO. "The best time to listen is in the evening -- after five. The most experienced DJs usually have the evening time slots," Reddy said. To hear Reddy in action tune in to KSTO 93.1, and listen to the shows he DJs on Tues. and Thurs. from 9-10 p.m.

Reddy emphasized that the fun of working with KSTO lies in the opportunity to hear new music. "I really like hearing new music. That is my favorite part of radio," he said. "Even if it's not good music, I like the experience of just hearing the new stuff."

Printer Friendly version of this page Printer friendly version | E-mail a Copy of the Article to a Friend Email this | Write the editors | More articles by Diana Frantz

Related Links

More Stories

Page Load: 31 milliseconds