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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Random Encounters with Young DJs

posted by on January 28 at 20:13 PM


Within the span of an hour at Friday night’s Subtle/Truckasaurus/Pigeon John show at Neumo’s, I had inspirational conversations with two young area radio DJs. What are the odds?

The first occurred with Gavin Dahl of Olympia’s KAOS, who used to host the Yes Yes Y’all show on KBCS. He now handles three shows: Breakfast Special (music, news, Mondays 6-9 am); Movements (electronic, hiphop, funk, ska, Wednesdays 3-5 pm); Digital Crossroads (media tech activist talk show, Fridays 12-1 pm). Dahl rapped in my ear at a rapid rate about wanting to boost awareness throughout the nation of local hiphop artists. He emanated a selfless, overpowering zeal to promote Seattle’s scene. Dude seemed utterly sincere and bursting with energy and good intentions.

The second jaw-wagging session was with Alex Ruder, an intern at KEXP who also ran the electronic-oriented Something for Your Mind show for two years and then a morning variety program on UW’s Rainy Dawg until June 2005. He’s been at KEXP for a year and a half and is itching to get airtime. Meanwhile, he’s written hundreds of CD reviews for internal use among programmers. Chatting with him revealed a young man with impeccable musical taste and the sort of passion and curiosity essential for quality DJing. Ruder expressed a burning desire to fill local airwaves with more hiphop and electronic music, even if it has to be done during the graveyard shift. I have the highest expectations for Ruder; it would be nice if KEXP eventually gave him a shot on the mic.

Both of these youthful talents give one hope for the future of local radio.

RSS icon Comments


The youth! Promising indeed. Sounds like it was an invigorating experience.

Posted by Steve | January 29, 2007 3:56 PM

we don't need kexp (e.g. land of the dinosaurs)! interesting programming with young djs can be heard on the internet. check out hollow earth radio ( and rainydawg, where not all of the dj's are pot-smoking-ben-harper-spinning undergrads.

Posted by dna | January 29, 2007 4:34 PM

as the general manager of rainydawg, and as the guy who took over ruder's job as electronic md after he left, i gotta say one thing, conflict of interest though it may be - ruder was one of the best djs we ever had, and i was sad to see him go. but i'm glad that one of the most curious, most passionate music appreciators in this city is getting his due.

Posted by Jeff | January 29, 2007 5:18 PM

Good point, DNA, but not everyone is online all the time. It's nice to have the option of tuning into terrestrial radio and hearing some amazing underground music.

Posted by segal | January 29, 2007 6:51 PM

i know, but fm radio is crowded and corporate (thanks, clearchannel). a lot of public stations are moving to news and information programming. (for example, chicago's jazz station, wbez, just ditched the music.) we're lucky to have kexp, but we don't have the right to require that it play underground music. i think we'll all be able to hear internet radio over our cell phones soon enough, and there's plenty of bandwidth for good stuff. plus underground shows can be podcasted. the only danger is that they pass legislation to fuck over internet radio. (i.e. )

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