Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Bet you can't say howdy!

After doing this radio show for 9 months, I figured that maybe it's time to post some playlists. WBCR-LP is a low-power FM station in Great Barrington MA, in the Berkshire Mountains. We're all volunteer programmers, and every show is different than almost anything you'll find anywhere else. On my show, THE SPLATTO FESTIVAL, what is played is based on a combination of my mood that day and what music I remember to bring to the studio. I've played avant-garde Chinese opera, free jazz, hip hop, Latin church music, sugary pop, and the occasional parakeet training record. Usually a show is either all vinyl, all CD, or all run off my computer. I've had several guest artists show up to talk and sing, which is a blast and incredibly easy, because I don't have to do anything but sit there and ask questions.

The show's only an hour long; it was originally two hours, from 4 to 6, then the station decided to start running Democracy Now at 5:30, and then my partner Myong-hwa took over the first half-hour, from 4:00 to 4:30 to host Kimchi Shelter, a Korean music and talk show which is incredible and you should really listen to it. So I'm not complaining, although one day oon I think I'll like to get that lost hour back.

The name. It was very early on a Sunday morning in April 2005, and I read in The Berkshire Eagle that the radio station, which had been a rumor for about three years, was in fact up and running. I decided I needed to do a show, so I went to the station's website and downloaded the programmer application form. The fifth or so blank on the form was "name of program." It hadn't occured to me that a radio program needed a name, but I needed a name. So, in the old Indian tradition of naming a kid after the first thing you see, I looked up from my desk and the first thing I saw was a poster from the annual Spoleto Festival, a big hoidy-toidy art festival held each Spring in Charleston, which I had the pleasure of attending in 2001 and 2002. So I bastardized that name, utilizing what looked to me like a sound-effect word from a Don Martin cartoon in Mad Magazine: SPLATTO.

As it turns out, Martin never used the word SPLATTO in his cartoons. He used SPLAT, to denote an egg hitting Robinson Caruso in the head and a hand squishing a spider, and he used SPLOIT, to denote a baby throwing food with a spoon, but not SPLATTO. Don't believe me? Fine. Look it up.

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