Knitting and television at KEXP!

The Death Skeins 010.jpg
The KEXP knitters formed a band – the Death Skeins!

We’ve got a definite knitting thing going on here. I got to the station this morning and two of the eight volunteers were knitting sweaters. Then, a few hours later, Josh comes back to do a shift on the phones, his cashmere-cotton blend in hand. The knitters have formed a band that I (and I freely admit that there’s some contention around this)… that I call the Death Skeins. The actual knitters might tell you differently.

The DJs and the volunteers establish pretty neat relationships, too, even though they only interact through TV screens during the shows. This is how it works. The volunteers are in a long conference room. At one end of the room is an impossibly large television: flat, wide, humongous. Mounted atop the TV is a video camera. It’s beaming to two TVs in the dj booth. On top of one of the booth’s TVs, the one that looks down upon the dj who’s curating the show, is another video camera. It’s beaming back into the pledge room. So, that means the two djs in the booth look at all of us answering phones and entering data, and we see the dj spinning the records (well, the cds and records).

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Mari (KEXP Volunteer) with Cheryl on the TV – 10/16/06

I’ve noticed that each DJ has a different relationship with the TV camera. It’s neat. I love it. Or, maybe the relationship is with the little flip cards on the table in the pledge room that lets the djs know how many more calls they need to make their goals.

John Richards gets boyish grins on his face now and again, when he shoots quick glances around the pledge room and something strikes him as humorous, and then his attention is quickly back to the myriad of things that he needs to do.

Kevin Cole looks at the TV, glances at the number of calls left ahead, gives the room a thumbs up or a wave and smile, and then he too gets back to the work of being a dj.

Larry Rose interacts with the TV, and the microphone too, as he would with friends. He gestures expressively to them, cajoling them sometimes, and showing genuine appreciation to them for the gifts that come in while he’s on the air.

When Cheryl Waters is on the air, she’s extremely focused on the tasks at hand, and the goal she’s trying to reach, and the song she’s going to play. When she looks at the camera, she’ll give a wave and then she’ll look at the volunteers to see if she’s making an impact with her words – meaning are they on the phones? She’s so articulate and inspiring with her messages.

Sometimes, when the phone volunteers have good news to share (through gestures), they spend a bunch of time trying to get the dj’s attention. It’s fun. They clap or give thumbs up, or do funny dances to keep the djs’ spirits up. I love hanging out in the pledge room.

Thanks so much for your support.

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