Tonight the New York City skyline will glow red and green. The traditional Christmas illumination at the Empire State Building welcomes the season, but also honors the official opening of the “2013 Radio City Christmas Spectacular.”
By Sandra Lopez-Monsalve
This weekend, unusual characters will crowd the BAM cultural district. Expect to see talking-animals, friendly monsters, strange shadows and even wandering socks.
The Brooklyn Academy of Music will present the third annual “Puppets on Film festival”, a series exploring live puppetry in cinema. The program – to be held at the Rose Cinemas and the Fisher Hillman Studio- includes nine features, 30 shorts, a family workshop and live performance, and a “Little Shop of Horrors” sing-along extravaganza.
Waking up in the morning, most sports fans turn on the television and put on ESPN to find out what the latest scores and stories are. Depending on the time of year, the sport that is in the midst of a season usually gets the most airtime. That is the blueprint for one of the sports shows on WBCR, Blueprint Radio.
Blueprint Radio’s host, Chris Brundage, says he wakes up to watch the nationally syndicated Mike and Mike Show, and listens to the Michael Kay Show in the afternoon. Based on what the hot topics of the day are, Brundage takes them and throws in his own take in Blueprint Radio.
“I’m not afraid to say anything on the air,” said Brundage. “People may not always love it, but I have to be honest. I don’t hold my tongue.”
His honesty is what he says separates him from the other radio shows at the station. There is no focus on local teams on Blueprint Radio. The biggest sport story in the country or the most significant story in a sport is what will be talked about. Around this time of the year he says he likes to spend most of his hour of airtime talking about football. But as the year moves along, basketball and baseball become a larger part of the show.
Although the show broadcasts here in New York City, Brundage’s only favorite local team is the New York Yankees. All other New York clubs are free game for Brundage to discuss.
“I’ve ripped the Knicks and every other New York sports team,” he said. “I’ve also ripped college sports teams. I talk about any team in the country.”
But the show isn’t all about ripping teams. Brundage, the Music Director at WBCR, incorporates music into his show breaks. But instead of playing a typical radio song, he instead chooses songs that somewhat relate to the topic being discussed.
“I’ve talked about the Phil Jackson situation recently and I’ve played something that is related to money,” he said. “I did the same with the Marlins’ recent trades. I try to relate the music and the topic.”
Brundage’s experience at stations like Power 105 and WBCR has allowed him to think about possibly expanding the show to two hours. However, he says that expanding it to two hours just for the sake of having two hours wouldn’t be the right move. Unlike other show hosts who tend to hammer the same point constantly, Brundage says what he has to say and moves on.
“I could sit and talk about the Knicks for hours,” said Brundage, though, cracking on the basketball team that plays at Madison Square Garden.
Callers are also part of Blueprint Radio, as they are on most sports talk shows. Although time constraints sometimes limits the number of callers he can put on the air, Brundage says that he has been lucky to have informed listeners call into the show.
Blueprint Radio airs every Wednesday from 4 to 5 pm on WBCR.
Based off the Rolling Stones song, Gimme Shelter Radio with Michael Gomez is, as Gomez hopes, a radio show with a true devotion and respect for the rock and roll music of olden days.
Q: What’s your show about?
Michael: It’s music – 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s….I’m usually only strict rock music this semester.
Q: Why are you doing this show?
M: I first started out doing radio shows because I thought it was interesting, and I thought it was a good way to get into the field….College radio is in a lot of ways better than mainstream radio because it’s a good way for students to express certain news you won’t hear on the radio. Every show has their own topic, their own genre….You don’t have a lot of pressure from higher ups to tell you what to do – within the rules….You have your own agenda.
Q: Do you focus on giving news?
M: Not so much as last semester. The most news will probably be in the first five minutes. Unless something really, really big happens, like [when] I talked about Hurricane Sandy….In the beginning it was more music news. Recently I’ve been talking more about news news – world news, local news, what’s going on around campus, stuff like that.
Q: What’s the background to your show?
M: The show I have this semester, I thought about it last semester, and I really wanted to keep it the same. I wanted to focus on rock and roll….It’s not really based off anything; I just came up with it….But it’s inspired by 104.3 FM.
Q: Is your show unique?
M: I wouldn’t say unique because a lot of stations are like my show, but I think when it comes to AM radio it’s one of the few that still plays the oldies from back in the day. A lot of the time you turn on the radio you hear the Top 40 stuff, which is fine, but mine you get to hear the old stuff.
Q: Do you focus on one band over another?
M: I don’t really focus on one band over the other, but I would say every show I would play at least one Rolling Stones or Led Zeppelin song. But I try to play as many different bands as I can.”
Q: What’s an ordinary show like?
M: I usually get on and after the five minute news segment I say, “Welcome to the show,” and then I play a song – maybe one or two based on the mood I’m in – and then I come back and I talk about news and whatever I feel like talking about for the day, and then I play some songs, and then I come back and I kind of go back-and-forth like that….When I have someone on, when I have friends on, we talk more than play music.
M: Usually who I have on are friends – I don’t usually find special people to interview – but my friends, they have a love for rock and roll music, and talk about how music is changing nowadays. Sometimes we talk about songs individually and what we think they mean….It’s interesting how other people will perceive a song differently than you.
Q: Do you give commentary on your show?
M: Usually when I play a song I say why I like it.
Q: Do you try to be journalistic?
M: From my viewpoint, it’s sorta random news….Originally I was a little journalistic when I was talking about Hurricane Sandy….Sometimes I put my own journalistic viewpoint on things.
Q: Why news at the start?
M: It’s hard to give rock and roll news every show….Something that bothers me or I find interesting, or something I heard in class that I think people would like to hear I’ll bring it up on my show.
Q: Are you concerned with how many listeners you get?
M: Not really, I don’t really think about how many people are listening. I just hope people are listening….I hope the people who are listening pay attention.
Q: What do you talk about with a caller you don’t know?
M: The music. Once someone called and we talked about a band that just played, and we talked about how awesome they are. We’ll talk like friends. Music unites everyone.
Q: Are you content with your show right now?
M: I am content with the way I am. I don’t have that much of an urge to do something differently – as of right now. I love radio, but right now I’m very comfortable with what I’m doing. You can never have too many rock and roll shows.
For the future, however, Gomez maintains that he is looking for change. Gomez says he’s not sure if Gimme Shelter Radio will stay exactly the same as it was this semester, and that he would like to vary the format and focus of his show to ensure he doesn’t become bored.
In the meanwhile, however, he continues to rock on in reverence to the rock deities of olden days.
Gimme Shelter Radio with Michael Gomez airs Thursdays from 2-3 pm on WBCR.