– Alternate answer: Since Richard Nixon was President.
– Longer answer: Started as a grad student in February 1974 and continued for both semesters in 1974/1975. Then returned in February 1976 and forgot to leave.
Favorite bands/musicians: David Bromberg, Leftover Salmon, Railroad Earth, Beppe Gambetta, Dan Bern, Tedeschi-Trucks Band, Randy Newman. Lacy J. Dalton, Chuck Brodsky, Bruce Hornsby.
Memorable on-air moment: When I started and had an early morning show, a woman called in and said, “Young man, do you realize you are in Princeton, New Jersey? This is not Nashville.”
Advice for current WPRB DJs: From time to time while you are alone (and preferably driving), listen to a recording of your show and make sure nothing about it annoys you and makes you think about switching the station.
Favorite bands: Joy Division, Andrew Bird, Cat Power, Devendra Banhart, T. Rex, Caribou.
Memorable on-air moment: Receiving a request for “Fistful of Love” by Antony and the Johnsons from a federal prisoner.
Advice for current WPRB DJs: Don’t be afraid to mix genres–some of my favorite playlists were the ones that had songs that didn’t seem to go together at all but somehow worked. You don’t always have to have a premeditated theme. And sometimes it’s okay to go mainstream. (I got a lot of flack for listening to Franz Ferdinand but I have no regrets.)
Favorite bands (of the era): Animal Collective, Sufjan Stevens, Caribou, The Books, Bill Callahan, Menomena.
Memorable on-air moment: Live-broadcast of the series finale for Rock Blastaar and the Radio Rangers! Also, not technically ON-air, but near it: painting the studio mural with paint fumes in the unventilated basement!
Advice for current WPRB DJs: Explore the station’s amazing record collection by wheeling open an unfamiliar cabinet, and push yourself to curate as eclectic a program as possible!
We’re thrilled to announce the long-planned second phase of WPRB’s 75th anniversary celebrations (the first being the launch of this website): a physical exhibit of station history and esoterica, which will be on display at Princeton University’s Mudd Library through May of 2016, and which is open to the public!
Titled “WPRB: A Haven for the Creative Impulse”, and curated by WPRB’s Mike Lupica and Princeton University Archivist Dan Linke, the exhibit is a meatspace version of the kind of materials we’ve been highlighting on this website. On display are vintage photographs, playlists, documents, selections from WPRB’s vinyl record library, vintage broadcast equipment, and much more. There is also an interactive content station that allows visitors to browse audio selections and WPRB-related news clippings from the last 75 years.
“WPRB: A Haven for the Creative Impulse” is a free exhibit which is open to the public. The exhibit is housed in the Wiess Lounge at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, 65 Olden Street, in Princeton, New Jersey. (Right around the corner from Hoagie Haven!) Viewing hours are Monday – Friday, 9 AM – 4:45 PM.
Favorite bands: Auktyon, Bettye Swann, Mogollar, Dengue Fever, Las Malas Amistades, Alemayehu Eshete. This just barely scrapes the surface, but these are probably my most frequently played.
Memorable on-air moment: I don’t know if I have one in particular, but I sure do miss all those shows hanging with my girls (fellow DJ’s Andrea Lee, Kate Poole, Angelica Reilly and Rachel Younger), playing crazy world music for hours, and having stoned townies call in to tell me I was blowing their mind.
Advice for current WPRB DJs: Don’t be afraid to dig through the stacks (especially the world music stacks!) Like all good things, music tastes evolve. You never know what amazing things you will find hidden in the back. So stop only playing things you are familiar with!
Bonus audio #1: Tesla voices the promo for her show
Bonus audio #2: Tesla voices the “WPRB/Soviet” station ID.
Note: Tesla’s show was called Gde mui bili e gde mui budem which, in her self-described ‘broken Russian’ translates to where we were and where we will be.
Favorite bands: This is kind of like asking which oxygen molecule I like best when I’m breathing.
Memorable on-air moment: [My wife] Nancy and I had joint bachelor and bachelorette parties by doing a graveyard (late night show) with our friends the night before we got married. It was a Saturday night, so we started early at around 11 pm. It was a cool thing for many reasons. Everyone that was there did something – the 12 or so ex-DJs all played a set, while everyone else picked songs, or read the weather or news, or something. And all through the night we were getting calls from people who were happy to hear voices they hadn’t heard in years. Like Sean Murphy said in his post last week, I majored in radio, and this ended up being the last show I ever did. It was a great combination of friendship and connection that were the hallmarks of all of my great WPRB memories.
Advice for current WPRB DJs:Experiment with everything. The station gives an amazing opportunity to try out every idea you have, even the stupid ones. And the stupid ones often end up be the best. So much of university life is regimented, but at the station you have unbelievable autonomy – take full advantage of that!
Favorite band/artist: Okkervil River. Will Sheff is a brilliant lyricist, which appeals to the poet in me.
Memorable on-air moment: The first happened during a sub that I was doing my freshman year with two other new DJs who had recently passed their tests. We were dancing in the studio and I, impassioned by the spirit of radio, dropped it so hard that I split my pants. Really cemented my status as a top dog among the freshman DJs.
Advice for current WPRB DJs: Understand that the station is a glorious combination of a monied institution and a startup over which you have full creative control, and milk that for all it’s worth.
Years on air: 2002-2006: Mixtape Maker/Heartbreaker. 2006-2014: Clean Yr Room (w/ Art Andrews) and Born Inflamed.
Favorite bands: Modern Lovers, Dead Moon, The Replacements, Arthur Russell, Kate Bush, Screaming Females, Beat Happening. Favorite bands I found through WPRB: Half Man Half Biscuit, Red Krayola, The Mekons, Television Personalities, The Soft Boys, Desperate Bicycles, Silkworm, Meredith Monk, that crazy closed-loop record that has 500 tracks on it.
Memorable on-air moment: The time I tried to explain to Wilbo that I self-identified with the cover of Blurt’s In Berlin LP in deep deep ways. It was, needless to say, a confusing moment for both of us.
Advice for current WPRB DJs: Keep it weird, and DON’T DRINK THE BLEACH. Outside of the WPRB studios and on the rest of the dial, life can get pretty bland and bleached out. Your show can be a portal or it can be par-for-the-course. In the style of Hawkwind’s weirdly delivered monologues: “CHOOSE WISELY, MORTAL BEING.”*
*Not an actual endorsement of Hawkwind.
Bonus audio!Here’s Julia providing a non-verbal impression of the drum fill from Big Star’s “September Gurls” in WPRB’s infamous “Fish Fingers” station ID.