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Tuned In

Arts & Culture | October 26, 2009

Do you know what goes on at 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday mornings? Have you ever wondered what is happening while you are snug as a bug in a rug, slumbering peacefully inside of your double long twin bed? Suns rise, birds chirp, joggers jog, and WMFO plays tunes. Outside of your window, down the Memorial Steps, inside of Curtis Hall, and in the WMFO studios, Kristen and Sarah are already up and spinning the tunes. I voluntarily decided to wake up at 6:55 a.m. and investigate the quality of those tunes and what was going on at 91.5 FM at this ungodly hour of the morning.

Opening up the WMFO website and waking up hours before my first class to listen to a show called “Bad Conversation” is not a very pleasant surprise. Oh dear God, what have I gotten myself into? A morning talk show by Tufts students? Ughhhhh. When the streaming audio started and the sounds of piano, bass, and rhythmic hand claps came through instead of droll, drab talk, I realized that which I should have already known: show names have nothing to do with shows. “Bad Conversation” = show with good music. Excellent.

Technically speaking, “Bad Conversation” is not the most polished show. Okay, so the song transitions weren’t the slickest, and, at times, the audio levels changed in the middle of songs, and, yeah, once there was some serious dead air between songs, but who cares? A radio show should not be judged on its polish but on the musical selections. The songs were just right for the time they were played. DJing is about playing the right song for the right moment. Let’s play a little game to see if you could be a DJ. It’s 7:14 a.m., do you play “Rollin” by Limp Bizkit, or do you play “I Feel It All” by Feist? Well “Bad Conversation” is run by some professional disc jockeys, and at 7:14 a.m., they proved it by choosing Feist over Limp Bizkit. In a clever, culturally relevant series of song choices, Taylor Swift’s “Forever and Always” (a surprisingly awesome song, I’d like to point out) was followed by Kanye West’s “Heartbreak & 808s,” and then topped off with a little Beyoncé. As the show progressed over the course of the hour, the songs changed from smooth and sexy (Hello Seahorse! tune “Won’t Say Anything”) to upbeat and frantic (The Clash’s “Train in Vain”), easing my tired ears out of sleep and into alive, alert, awake-ness.

It’s not only the song choice but also the vocal interludes that made “Bad Conversation” a good early morning listen. About every three songs, Kristen and Sarah would take to the microphone to inform the listeners about what we had just heard and what was up next. Not too much chitchatting, just simple stuff with a few anecdotes thrown in. Isn’t that how it’s supposed to be in the morning?

I know it’s hard to wake up more than nine minutes before class, but what about lying in your cozy bed and letting the sexy sounds of “Bad Conversation” wash over you? Sounds pretty alluring, eh?
I would give “Bad Conversation” a: “Lie in bed, and listen to it occasionally.”