Howdy. I’m DJ Michele Myers. I’ve been at KEXP for 13 years now. When I first started out at the station, I volunteered for a year, then got hired for night shift. Man, that is a long, lonely shift. 9 years later I got my own primo show slot on Friday nights at 9pm — I call the show Nite Life.
At midnight every Friday, I keep myself (and hopefully you) awake by doing the Midnight Album Spotlight. I choose one of my favorite records that is good from start to finish.
This Friday’s record I discovered while on night shift at KEXP (back then it was called KCMU). We were located in the Communications building at the University of Washington campus. Now, radio in general is a strange medium. You are completely alone in a room yet you are connected to thousands of people on the airwaves. So you are alone yet so very public. I think good DJs see the listener as a reflection of themselves (aren’t all people reflections of each other?) and so that makes it easy to talk to all the people you can’t see.
On night shift (which I did for over 3 years) I would dig through the record library to keep from going insane. At one point I started at “A”, looking through every single CD. I got to the middle of the “B’s” before I gave up. Then I became obsessed with the “experimental” section (which no longer exists, it is now called “beats” or “electronica”) and a trippy, cinematic genre called trip-hop.
I am not a person who does well without sleep. But for love of KEXP (then KCMU) I did night shift 3 nights a week. I called the 3 days after my shifts my “loser days” and I needed really mellow music. So bands like Morcheeba, Thievery Corporation, The Dub Pistols and Halou were staples. This record Peachhead by the Japanese band Natural Calamity became one of my favorites. Here are some samples (you can see how they’d fit into my post-radio dream haze):
“So Good” (clip)
“And That’s Sayin A Lot” (clip)
This gorgeous record has stayed at the top of my faves list for all that time. The band is still around but has yet to come out with anything as stunning and distinct as this record. But I’ve got my eye on them. See you Friday!