The Long & The Short
Keen-eared listeners who have been tuning into Mid-Valley Mutations recently have probably noticed that we have been in re-runs, for a while now. It’s been fun to take a bit of a stroll through some older episodes, to get a sense of where we have been. We’ve been on the air in some form since 1998, and with 23 years of shows under my belt, it can feel like there’s nowhere left to go, and no territory left to explore in the Mid-Valley.
So, when you get an offer to start DJing at WFMU, you suddenly realize that you feel like you are just getting started on this journey, and that there’s plenty left to explore, for at least another 23 years, anyway.
Relocation without Reconstruction.
Through a series of wonderful circumstances, Mid-Valley Mutations is back on Tuesday, and more importantly, will be airing LIVE at 6 PM PST for two hours, every week. And you can hear this through the extremely hip and oh-so-exciting streaming site, Sheena’s Jungle Room on WFMU.
If you haven’t been listening, then you are in for a treat. Sheena’s Jungle Room has been blasting forth some of the most exciting new shows from all over the world. To get to be a part of this crew of DJs is no small matter. While I will try to keep my cool and do my best to fit in and not put my foot in my mouth, you can rest easy knowing that it won’t be long before they see me for who I am: an enthusiastic DJ who want to bring you the same show you’ve come to know, all these years.
“Well,” you say, tentatively as I begin to close up my Press Conference, “that might be enough information for the long-time listener. But what if I’ve never listened before? What can I expect then?”
Now that is a very good question! Let me see what I can do by way of a reasonable answer:
When I first pitched my show to KWVA in Eugene, OR in 1998, I opened with: “It’s like Over The Edge, but with my take format.” The staff didn’t exactly know what I meant in those days, but they gave me a show anyway, and that humble beginning led me to bring this show to KPSU in Portland, KMUZ in Salem, KLFM in Split, Croatia, and now, to the hallowed halls of WFMU.
And, each time, I’ve used the same pitch: My take on OTE. That is to say: I still DJ music, I still do cut-ups, I still include interviews and live performances when I can, and I approach each show as a self-contained Audio Essay, where I present what I think makes the most sense for that particular show.
In 2016, I re-launched the show with a new name, and since then, have focused more on collage, more on experimental music, and incorporating more of my own live mash-ups and cut-ups into each broadcast. I had this notion that someone else needed to step up to the plate, in an effort to take on what Don Joyce had begun, especially now that he had passed.
It’s been an evolution over the years, certainly. The show began as a simple DJ program, playing the music I liked as a 20 year old, and occasionally playing samples between tracks. I only slowly integrated “conceptual” ideas into the program later, and even then, tentatively, as if I might break something if I were to do it wrong.
It took a long time to get comfortable breaking radio rules, and even then, I found myself filtering the ideas of Don Joyce through my own interests. I would toss in crazy stuff when it occurred to me, but for long periods my show would take on a straight DJ format, with occasional live guests performing, followed by an interview. It was almost pedestrian, so much so that when I would remember my roots and do something very strange, it stood out, for better or for worse.
The Modern Era.
Now, in 2021, it is time to re-brand again, and for the better. If you’ve ever followed any of my shows before, then you might like this one, too. I’ve going to feature experimental / rock music / punk and post-punk music that I like, albums that I enjoy, mash-ups and remixes and other live weirdness that I’ve been known to incorporate in the past, and occasionally: just some straight up DJing because I’m into the records. You know? The thing radio has been based on for years?
Occasionally: I’ll feature some live performances and interviews, when it makes sense, and when I can make it happen. And, sometimes: I’ll cut up some old broadcasts to replay for modern audiences (There are 23 years of shows floating around the studio). What you can count on every week is that you can listen to Mid-Valley Mutations live on Sheena’s Jungle Room, c/o WFMU radio. And that is something truly exciting.
The Excitement Is Palpable.
My first broadcast will be November 16th at 6 PM PST. (9 PM, EST.) I’m going to begin again with a very simple theme: BLAST OFF! As we launch Mid-Valley Mutations into the future, we casually introduce listeners to what they can expect as we explore the Mid-Valley.
If I haven’t yet offered enough insight into what you can expect from us, you can always find all relevant information about our program at midvalleymutations.com. Not only can you hear us live on Sheena’s Jungle Room, there’s a number of ways to listen to the show: podcasts, KLFM.org on the Wednesday after, etc. I’m sure there’s a way that you can enjoy our show, and we’ll help you find it!
If you have listened to us for years: thank you. If this is your first time: welcome! And, if you are somewhere in-between: we hope that you didn’t mind the re-runs for so long. This move to WFMU has been pending for a while, and we have had a hard time not just blurting out what’s up.
So, until we get started: Be Seeing You!