AshevilleFM Blog

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Updates on volunteers, DJs, departments, and news about Asheville FM. Check back often!

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AshevilleFM Blog's Blog

Feb. 8 2017
KP Whaley

 

Hello everyone and welcome to the first official Asheville FM newsletter!

 

As the new general manager, I wanted to thank the Asheville FM community–volunteers and listeners – for welcoming me. As someone who has been involved in public and community broadcasting for over a decade. I’m excited to add my voice to yours in keeping this independent station at home in Asheville, and streaming across the world. It’s more important now than ever before!

 

When I listened to Asheville FM during inauguration week, it was clear to see that our volunteers who run the shows demonstrated great passion, thoughtfulness, and creativity to educate, inform, and inspire our listeners. I hope you’ll agree: We have a real gem in Asheville FM.

 

We also have a lot of momentum in 2017. News and talk shows keep you informed about events happening locally, nationally, and internationally, and DJs introduce you to new tunes and artists you may not hear on the radio anywhere else. Our board of directors has grown and added diverse voices. And we have taken over the other half of our building on Haywood Road, which will allow us to create new studios and a meeting space, and even make room for live performances.

 

Change is exciting, but it also requires more funding. Our community-run programming, events, music, commentary, and news are all done for free by our team. Everything else—rent, utilities, song royalties, staff costs—has to be paid for. To help us with that, please consider making a tax-deductible donation today, or donate your time by becoming a volunteer. Volunteers set their own hours and have a choice of nine different departments to focus on. We usually host a new volunteer orientation session once a month at our studio. Contact Clark for more info by emailing clark@ashevillefm.org.

 

If you are a local business owner, we hope you will join the growing number of likeminded businesses that support our efforts by becoming an underwriter of the station. In exchange for funding, we will create announcements about your business or organization. Everyone listening will know you support us and, in return, our listeners will support you! For more information, email Ben at underwriting@ashevillefm.org.

 

When I lived in the Asheville area, I bought a house because I loved it here, and always knew I’d return. Now, years later, I am thrilled to be back and am excited to help support our community. Asheville FM provides a radio community for all. Our region is a unique place to live, work, and explore. It is filled with diverse individuals and organizations passionately committed to the community. I am proud to support their efforts.

 

All the best,
KP Whaley
 

 

Feb. 4 2017
Jonathan Price
Name: Jonathan Price
Show: Tenor to Tabla
When?: Wednesdays, 8–10 p.m.
 
Jonathan Price hosts the show Tenor to Tabla on Wednesdays, from 8–10 p.m. He started DJing in the ’90s at Northwestern University’s WNUR with a show called The Lonesome Hobo Show. In 2004, his demo CD for a new show in Asheville started with a tenor sax piece and ended with a tabla piece. That’s how the show got its name, although over time, it has become more of a reference to his interest in jazz, international music, and everything in between. (You’ll hear the tabla featured in his intro theme music by a group called Baroque Jazz Trio.) Jonathan moved to Asheville from Evanston, Illinois in 2000, and started with Asheville FM when it launched in 2009.
 
Q: How do you like to keep the show fresh? How has it evolved over the years?
 
Jonathan Price: I don’t know if I *do* keep the show fresh, but I *try* to keep it fresh just by remaining open minded about all musical genres. I would say that the show has evolved a bit in terms of the fact that when it started—probably due to me not having much experience with freeform radio—I was somewhat defining it as a “jazz” show (with perhaps occasional and slight detours into other fairly non-threatening realms). Whereas for the last several years, I’ve been defining it as a freeform show (with perhaps only occasional and slight detours into jazz). Also, I frequently used to hyper-plan my sets and shows, and I’ve taken a much more spontaneous and improvisational approach to playlist construction in recent years.
 
 
Q: Asheville FM’s freeform programming is a format in which the DJ is given total control over what music to play, regardless of music genre or commercial interests. What are some advantages to working within this less strict framework?
 
JP: Freeform radio is the ultimate ear candy fantasy land for open-minded music nuts. If your record collection or your iPod or your mixtapes of yesteryear contain indie rock, hip hop, doo wop, sunshine pop and prog all peacefully coexisting, shouldn’t your radio show also be an accurate representation of your eclectic musical taste?
 
 
Q: What is your favorite part about being involved with community radio?
 
JP: Listening to and learning from my fellow freeform DJs.
 
 
Q: What genres do you play? What are some tracks that encapsulate the range of music that you play? 
 
JP: Any genre is fair game, but some get more play than others. Preferred zones include: experimental, international, jazz/improv, psychedelic, invented instruments, gospel, old school hip-hop. One time a few years ago, I segued from a piece of mouth organ music from Laos into the song “Chest Fever” by The Band — not because my show is a rock show or a world music show, but rather because it struck me that the Laotian mouth organ would sound perfectly seamless juxtaposed with the organ intro of “Chest Fever.” I think of moments like that as freeform magic. That’s just one example of some tracks that encapsulate the range of music featured on my show.
 
 
Q: What do you enjoy most about DJing?
 
JP: Moments during a live radio show where the playlist unfolds in a surprising manner and things just click. Since I rarely plot out my playlists in advance, there are a lot of opportunities for such moments to materialize. Of course, this also provides plenty of opportunities to make a bad segue or a choose a song that kills the flow of your set. It’s a balance of risk and reward.
 
 
Q: All DJs at Asheville FM also have to volunteer a few hours every month to keep the station working. As the jazz genre director for the music department, what do you do?
 
JP: Develop and maintain relationships with artists and record labels that release jazz and improv-related music, frequently from overseas. Review new discs and add them to the station library. My taste in “jazz” veers left of center, so sometimes my contributions have some crossover with the wonderful work of Dogeye, who is experimental genre director as well as host of Melody In Mayhem.
 
 
Q: As part of your life outside the radio station, you have a baking business. Tell us about that.
 
JP: It is called Crust Never Sleeps. I make bagels, bialys, pretzels and breads, which can be purchased directly from me at local tailgate markets. I also offer delivery and catering.
 
 
Q: Anything special that you'd like for your listeners to know about you?
 
JP: I have a face for radio.
 
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Feb. 4 2017
Asheville FM News Team

Listeners of Asheville FM rely on the News Hour on Thursdays at 7 p.m. and La Radio, on Mondays from 6–7 p.m, for up-to-date information on what’s happening in the world. These citizen reporters—all volunteers—find local stories and bring them to the spotlight. This is community radio at its best.

Emma Hutchens, co-director of News and Community Affairs with Victor Palomino, says, “Like everyone at Asheville FM, we're all volunteers. It takes so much time and skill to report on current events and get finished segments live on the news before they aren't ‘news’ anymore. All of us have day jobs and most of us aren't journalists or sound producers in the other parts of our lives, so it takes a lot to produce the show every week—but we do!”

The Team

Members of the news team are Victor Palomino, Emma Hutchens, Scott Owen, TJ Amos, Trevon Dunn, Gerry Leonard, Andrew Rainey, Rachel Herman, Keith Fletcher, Andrew Vasco, Alex Heisey, Zachary Newman, Liam Nilsen, Peter Kent and Doug Klesch.  

Primarily in Spanish, La Radio (hosted by Victor) highlights current events pertaining to black and brown communities in Asheville, combining interviews, commentary, discussion, and music.

Themes of Focus

In a recent strategic planning meeting, the team agreed on some larger themes to focus on:

1) Social justice

2) Highlighting diverse voices from the community: They want to hear from people who live in Asheville and the surrounding areas about what they think and feel and what affects their lives. 

3) The intersection of arts and politics 

4) Local politics and issues: They report on City Council meetings and county commissioner meetings, interview local candidates for office, and also cover issues including local schools, streets, parks and infrastructure, and natural places 

5) Highlighting resources that are available to the community and ways for people to get involved with local issues. They talk to a lot of local nonprofits and local businesses. 

While national and international stories are mentioned briefly at the beginning of the show (termed “headlines”), all stories and interviews are based in the community.

Regular segments include the Wild Gardener with Peter Loewer, and CalCast from the Mountain Xpress, which covers upcoming events for the weekend. Last year, they hosted a “Know Your Rights” series with Pisgah Legal Services, and a seasonal health segment with the Department of Public Health and Human Services.

“We cover some events if they fall within one of our larger themes; politics, social justice, community resources, etc.,” says Emma, adding, “We got a chance to interview members of Pussy Riot. That was amazing. And it’s been awesome hearing voices from the local women's march as well as the D.C. march.”

Keeping it Fresh

The News Team spends hours putting together stories. They reach out to local folks for interviews about something going on. If it’s an event, the team may record live. Recorders are used to collect audio. The recording is edited to be the right length, background noise is removed, and the clips is generally cleaned up.

“Every story is different,” says Emma. “Sometimes, I email someone that I want to interview, they show up, I talk to them for 15 minutes and then take 15 minutes to edit that interview. Sometimes we play nearly raw footage from a meeting or an event that is breaking news when we don't have time between the thing happening and the show airing. Other stories, like the Women's March, involve multiple news team correspondents going to an event or meeting (or more than one related events), collecting community voices and statements, background noise, like music or chanting, and then writing a report describing what happened and editing all of that together. Those segments can take 5-10 hours of work. The previous format of the City Council report took that long."

Featured segments from a recent week include Kim Roney announces her candidacy for Asheville City Council; Dr. Dwight Mullen on the state of black Asheville and the state of the world; and Voices from the Asheville Women's March.

A couple of people write brief synopses of national and international events (the news team calls these “headlines”) every week. The team meets up at the studio on Thursday night for the live show to read the headlines and play the prerecorded segments. If timed right, it comes out to be exactly an hour.

Get in Touch! 

The best way for listeners to get in touch with members of the news team is by emailing news@ashevillefm.org. All shows are run by volunteers. If you’re interested in contributing your skills, please email our volunteer coordinator at clark@ashevillefm.org.

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