By Silvia Foster-Frau
Emily “Stuch” Stuchiner ’15 is the proud KDIC radio host of the show Goodnight Apathy! which airs every Tuesday at 11 p.m. The show began when friend Dylan Karle ’15 approached her with a proposal to be a radio host with him. Although Karle is no longer hosting the show, Stuchiner continues to put it on every week for her listeners.
While initially intimidated by the technology and performance aspect of the radio (“I mean, everyone can hear you!”), she decided that it was “nice to know… a well-trained monkey could work it.” Ever since this realization, putting on the show has been more enjoyable than nerve-wracking.
Goodnight Apathy! includes a broad range of music. However, Stuchiner admits that “my focus, definitely—doing Karle proud—would be of the Indie persuasion.” Stuchiner also adds that classic rock music is abundant in her show. She and Karle chose these themes because both are from New York and, in her opinion, that’s what everyone was expecting. All in all, a listener of her show can rely on two things.
“Reliably, there will be music from when Nixon was president, during every show, and some songs I most likely heard from this underground venue from the depths of Brooklyn, something pretentious like that,” she said.
During the occasional pause between songs, what used to consist of bantering with Karle has been replaced with brief and informed commentary by the host herself. Stuchiner’s comments often consist of information about the artist or perhaps a telling anecdote. She strives to appeal to her audience, often keeping the show entertaining by inserting her own quirky personality.
“Sometimes the stuff I say on air is a little bit ridiculous, because people like to listen to things a little bit ridiculous, I’ve noticed,” she said.
Getting past the nerves, however, was not the only challenge of hosting a radio show. Stuchiner expressed her disappointment at the lack of listeners for KDIC.
“I feel like radio has really fallen by the wayside, because people just have iTunes and are like ‘I like MY music, this is what I want to hear,’ and I do feel that,” she said.
She understands that the radio is not at the forefront of current technology, but she also gets frustrated that people, especially Grinnell students, do not seem to care about their own radio station. The radio shows on KDIC are an experience, just like theater and art shows, yet the listener count is very low compared to the number of attendees at other fine arts events. Goodnight Apathy!, she admits, gets about three listeners.
Jack Menner ’13, station manager, concurs. Just like the other fine arts, Menner describes KDIC as “an extension of the Grinnell community.”
“While radio continues to radically transform, I believe that it should maintain its nature as a medium through which Grinnell can broadcast its diverse creativity,” Menner wrote in an e-mail.
When asked about the benefits of the radio, with regards to current media competition such as iTunes and Spotify, Stuchiner says without hesitation, “Exposure, man!” The radio is considered by Stuchiner to be the best instrument for finding out about new artists and acquiring new music tastes. Stuchiner also asserts that one can learn a great deal about the musical world simply by listening to the radio.
“People [hosts] tend to go on the radio because they know a thing or two, and if you’re interested in music, the radio is a great, kind of passive way to get exposure,” she said.
Essentially, the radio is the best tool for people to become more eclectic in their music tastes.
According to Menner’s e-mail, KDIC’s goal is to “energize and magnify what is already growing from the students.” Despite the low number of listeners, Stuchiner continues to stay true to KDIC as well as Grinnell’s hipster disposition, with the indie- and classic rock-themed radio show Goodnight Apathy!