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On Being a College Radio Station Music Director in 2001
Scenes from College Radio Volume 3

truly a simpler time

I was chosen/elected/whatever to be Music Director my Junior year of college due mostly to possessing the position’s most necessary trait: tenacity.

WVUM’s executive board was made up of different people with responsibilities over the station’s moving parts. Among these were positions such as station engineer that fixed stuff that got broken, production engineer who recorded anything that was neither music nor the droning monotone of our DJs, and an Underwriting Director whose responsibility it was to go out and find our equivalent of advertisers.

The three top positions were as follows in order of importance: General Manager, Program Director and Music Director. These could not be halfassed though finding the time to do them well was hazardous to your GPA and/or sanity. To offset this somewhat, the top two came with scholarship bonuses that unfortunately had the side effect of being the actual reason most people sought the positions rather than any real love of the station or its work. Contrast this with the benefits to being Music Director, specifically free CDs, tickets to the occasional show, and undeserved swagger. Oh, and severe and nearly instantaneous burnout.

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WVUM’s Radiothon is on! Donate to the best college radio station in the known universe!

by , posted 2495 days ago

Songs from College Radio Volume Two: Winter 1999 through Summer 2000

truly a simpler time

Notable album releases around this time include In An Aeroplane Over The Sea, The Soft Bulletin, Terror Twilight, Kid A, and The Moon and Antarctica. Part one of this series is here.

So our story opens in Winter of 1999. I’m not going to recount most of the experience of applying for a show again. People who have actually worked in College Radio or spent any time in a comic book store will have an idea of the snobbish air that permeates things that can otherwise be called “hobbies.” Fleshing out the ways that independent music has changed and covering the general oddness of working at WVUM are both later subjects. For now though let’s delve into the hoops and pitfalls involved in getting your very own radio show and trying not to screw up on it every 10 minutes.

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Songs from College Radio Volume One: Introduction

“So remember when you used to work at WVUM?” said Liz.
“Yeah?” I replied
“You should write about that” she continued.
“Hm.” I thought about this for a second and then put it off for like a year.

This brings us to today and this post that I hope will be the first in many articles chronicling my experiences working at WVUM between 1999 and 2003. Among the things I want to discuss are the shifting scene of college radio at the turn of the millenium, the general ridiculousness that occurs when college radio weird meets Miami weird, the changing nature of the Miami music and mainland club scene at the time, how odd it was trying to run an indie college station in Miami generally, and (if I still have patience) the albums that came out at the time that I find significant.

Given how quickly things can change in 10 or more years, let us first provide some context for entering WVUM circa 1999:

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Bonnie Prince Billy and the Cairo Gang with Angel Olsen on WVUM

bonnie prince billy

We gave you a teaser on Miami New Times with a recording where DJ and the man in charge at WVUM Kevin Mason got BPB and co. to play his favorite song. Here’s the rest of the goods for your auditory pleasure.

Brilliant stuff here.
Thanks, Kevin!



Will Oldham, A.K.A. Bonnie Prince Billy, will be on WVUM live at 3 p.m. today! Click here, go to On Air and then Listen Live. Can’t wait for the show tonight!

by , posted 2823 days ago

Don't miss The Heat Lightning's dedication hour on WVUM 90.5, Monday at 3 p.m.


Tomorrow, Monday, at 3 p.m., Amanda and I will be dedicating songs to some of you people on WVUM. If you’re not near a radio, go to, on air, and then listen live. We might give you a shout out.

Check out Amanda’s ’90s dedication jam mix from awhile back. Two of the songs on this will be playing tomorrow!


The Heat Lightning will be on WVUM's Rotation Device on Monday at 3, and here's a top 10 list


The Heat Lightning loves WVUM these days and back in the days. Two of our writers, John Spain and Nathan Lam Vuong, played music over these college airwaves only a couple of years back. There were a few hundred days in there where the station was not the raddest, but they’re back on track, and I again scroll to 90.5 on my FM dial more frequently than not. Kevin Mason has kindly offered to share Miami’s finest radio station’s top 10 songs with us, and asked us to appear on his show!

Make sure to listen to my scratchy voice on WVUM 90.5 this Monday at 3 p.m. on Rotation Device. Expect some ’90s rock and psychedelica. YOU WILL LIKE IT. YOU. WILL. LIKE. IT.

1) The English Riviera METRONOMY
2) James Blake JAMES BLAKE
3) Mind Bokeh BIBIO
6) Zonoscope CUT COPY
8) Escape //TENSE//
9) Bag Raiders BAG RAIDERS


Jen Stark, Alvaro Ilizarbe and Sam Borkson on WVUM's Miami Time

You know Jen Stark, you know Freegums, and you know Friends With You. Click to hear Sam, Jen, and Alavaro shooting the shit over music here.
MIAMITIME by Giovanna Stallings-Blanche// Featuring. Jen Stark, Freegums and Friends With You


Jen Stark, Alvaro Ilizarbe and Sam Borkson on WVUM tonight, yo

We love WVUM, but you know that. I guess artists Jen Stark, Alvaro Ilizarbe and Sam Borkson (Friends With You) do, too. They’re going to be on Miami Time Takeover tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. They’re taking calls but no requests.
Um… can I hear… um… No.
jen and alvaro wvum



90.5 WVUM, the college station that raised us and which our John Spain was once the music director and all-request show host is interviewing Bruise Cruise musicians. Tonight it’s the Jacuzzi Boys and last night, I fucking missed it, but they interviewed Quintron. I’m also interviewing a few of the artists for THL and Crossfade, so stay alert people and read my dorky conversations with people more successful than myself.

by , posted 2921 days ago