Maison estimates about three or four songs under the umbrella of “heavy rotation” make their way on the air per hour, plucked from a list that is typically at least 30 songs deep. Songs in minor rotation include what Maison describes as “artists we have a reputation for playing,” such as Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr., as well more mainstream ‘90s alternative artists and, if applicable, their current songs (think Weezer, Pearl Jam).
“We try to connect with our core audience while trying to push their musical taste a little bit,” Whiting said.
The staff also takes requests. Although she had no hard evidence on hand, Maison believes William Shatner’s cover of Pulp’s “Common People” is one of the most requested. “People love that song!” she said.
So who plays these songs? One might believe the future DJs of America, and although that might occasionally be the case, Maison believes that is becoming less and less true. “That interest is really dwindling,” she said of people wanting to further their radio career. “But it is really cool that people still love DJ-ing as hobby.”
Elise Yoon, a 21-year-old entering her fourth year as a DJ at the station, is interested in the music as well as the production end of radio, but for her it’s about more than that.
“It’s not only the experience,” she said. “It’s a great community. We have classes together and we’re on the radio together. It’s great.”