Natalie Wilkinson ’19
Like any good DJ, Natalie Wilkinson has an almost spiritual relationship with her radio show. She describes the studio as “a cocoon from the outside world,” and her DJ name came to her like an epiphany. “I had a dream, and Skooz came to me,” she explains. “I wrote it on my hand in the middle of the night in the dark—like ohmigod, Skooz, that’s what I want to be called.”
It comes as no surprise then that Natalie manages to incorporate poetry and literature into most of her shows. Yossarian Shrugged was Natalie’s first show’s name, a Catch 22 reference. On The Albatross hour, if not reading poetry out loud, then “I’ll usually overanalyze songs on air,” Natalie admits.
Natalie’s current show, The Albatross Hour, is a reference to a rarely-used metaphor that originated in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. “The albatross is a sea bird, and the metaphor means it’s something that weighs you down and doesn’t get off your back,” Natalie explains. “The reason I chose it as the name is because my show is an hour to let go of the albatross hanging on your back.”
Recently, Natalie has been overanalyzing songs by Mos Def, Erykah Badu, Daniel Caesar, Cosmo Pyke, Bobby Womack, XXXTENTACION, and Tennis.
Pierceson Brown ’18 & Marshall Borrus ’20
Two cans of condensed milk prompted the Milkmen in the PM radio show. “Pierceson here takes himself to be some kind of human ratatouille,” said Marshall, or DJ Tres Leches, about his amateur chef co-host, DJ Dulce de Leche. Once, while at a friend’s house, Pierceson, much to the dismay of Marshall and others, “dropped two things of condensed milk into a pot for three hours.” Despite his friends’ skepticism, after three hours Pierceson successfully created the dessert dulce de leche. From there, Milkmen in the PM was born.
The two explain their show as “banter, but when we feel like we’re going off the deep end we play music.” While in the past Pierceson, an experienced WCFM DJ, often attempted to schedule their show, Marshall would quickly instigate nonsense: “I see my role as directly to undermine,” noted the ironically lactose intolerant DJ Tres Leches.
While The Milkmen conceded that they often get no more than “that one phantom listener, probably from the radiation,” they are still optimistic about their fan base. “Sometimes, we raffle off tickets to our show. So if people call in quickly enough they get to come,” advertises Pierceson.
“They’re not great tickets, though, they’re outside,” confided Marshall.
“Yeah, you have to stand and look in through the window of the studio, but you get a bathroom pass.”
In terms of music, Pierceson recommends King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, The Orb and Cuig. Marshall only recommends his YouTube channel, where you can find a 4 hour video of him reading The Time Machine by HG Wells and a 5 hour live stream of him doing homework. “Haha, who would watch that?” laughed Pierceson. Marshall rebuked, “I had more livestreams viewers of me doing homework than we have listeners of this radio station.”
To boost Marshall’s ego, watch here.
Lylia Li ’18
“Lylia, join radio,” her sister commanded Lylia when she got to college. Lylia did, and now has a weekly two-hour show, Bimbimbangers. The show’s emphasis is on music—Lylia is a self-described “Pitchfork heaux”—and sometimes features guest musical commenters.
Music, for Lylia, is almost biographical. “I’ve been trying not to judge people so much based on what they listen to, but I think it’s telling the kind of music that really touches you, or that you really connect to,” she says. “Like, I don’t know my sister’s friends that well, but I know their taste in music. So one of her friend’s is just ‘sad, indie rock music girl’ and one of her friends is ‘alt rock,’ and listens to War On Drugs a lot and Car Seat Headrest, and my sister I’d describe as ‘mix of old and pop.’
“If I were to profile myself,” she continues, “I’d definitely be Tame Impala, Car Seat Headrest, Grimes, especially the new Grimes, and Carly Rae Jepsen.” As these bands might suggest, Lylia’s taste in music is, just like her sister’s, “good but not discriminatory.”
Recently she’s been listening to the album Freudian by Danial Caesar, Flower Boy by Tyler The Creator, and A Deeper Understanding by The War on Drugs.
Chris Jimenez ’20 & Ashwin Dasgupta ’20
Chris and Ashwin couldn’t get through one question without breaking into a bit. Asked about their show’s name, the two said they had originally called it The Library but ditched the idea after their WOOLF leader called it garbage. Radically during their first show, “I announced live on air, ‘Our new name is Deadbeat Summer,’” Ashwin started—and the banter began.
“And just like that our email inbox exploded with fanmail. All The Library lifers are so upset right now, though” Chris added
“Yeah, I know dude. My ex-girlfriend got The Library tattooed on her arm”
“Yeah, that’s tough.”
Sarcastic riffs like these are typical of Deadbeat Summer, a half comedic talk show, half music show. Evidently, the show takes its name from a song by Neon Indian, a group frequently played by the duo. The title “doesn’t fully make sense as a phrase,” Chris says. But don’t attempt to find deeper meaning in the phrase, as there’s “no symbolism here, don’t read into it—we’re not Freudian boyz,” Chris says, the ironic “o-y-z” audible in his voice.
Aside from a reliably mature mockery of nearly everything, the show also features an impressive and sometimes international mix of music. Tocque Certeiro by the Brazilian Metá Metá is a favorite as is the Japanese artist Mariah. Chris is awaiting King Krule’s new album, and Ashwin recommends Iglooghost and Chino Amobi, an artist from his home state of Virginia.
Check out Deadbeat Summer every Saturday from 2 to 4 pm.
Wilson Wang, ’18
Being on air runs in Wilson Wang’s blood. “My mom told me when she was young,” Wilson shared, “she always did the morning announcements for her school.” Wilson has followed in his mother’s footsteps and is now the host of the talk show Sidenote.
On his show, Wilson shares life lessons from his unusually plaguing life. “Sometimes I don’t know if I’m dumb or if things just happen to me. Apparently I just get into situations.” While Wilson is still taxed by life on the daily, many of his stories come from Freshman year, a particularly punishing time for him. “I was very afraid of people not liking me and having no friends and being alone for the next four years and scaring people off. People at home know how weird I am, but I didn’t want to unleash it on people here.” However, Wilson’s weirdness slipped out early Freshman fall during an office hours with Chemistry professor Amy Gehring:
“I was with my entrymates, John and Esther, and we had finished our problem set and started talking. We got to talking about biology and about fertilization–the sperm, and the egg, and the zygote. In high school I took AP bio and my teacher had this strange theory which made sense to me at the time. Because the y chromosome is smaller in size, she thought the sperm with the y could swim faster and fertilize the egg quicker, whereas the x chromosome takes longer to get there. So you could increase your chances of getting a boy or girl by ejaculating at the right time. I’m apparently a loud individual, and I don’t gauge my volume well so Prof. G comes over in the midst of my explaining this. John then goes to her, “Wilson has a great story.” So I retold the story to Professor Gehring. She didn’t know my name before this but Friday lecture comes and she locks eyes with me and goes ‘Hi Wilson.’ It was a very memorable first impression.”
Nevertheless, Wilson and Professor Gehring are now friends and he hopes to invite her to join him on Sidenote.
To listen to Sidenote tune in to WCFM on Thursdays at 8pm.
Ariella Markowitz, ’19, WCFM DJ
Ariella is an accomplished jazz pianist from Catalina Island off the coast of Southern California. There, Ariella hosted her own show throughout high school at the local radio station. She plans to continue with radio and perhaps even make a career out of it, ideally working at NPR after Williams.
Sometimes Ariella just plays jazz on her show, on which days she notes, “people will text me, ‘Thanks for playing a studying playlist,’ which I guess is kind of derogatory, haha.”
However, Ariella’s jazz background does not limit her to just playing one genre. She says, “Some days I’ll just play classical music and not even care. I really love all music and think it’s all worth listening to. So I try to share that through my show.”
Lately, Ariella has been listening to Future’s new albums, Thundercat, and French Kiwi Juice by FKJ. She also adds an unabashed plug, “Follow me on Spotify. I have this new playlist ‘new year new me‘ that’s actually bomb. It’s everything.”
Listen to Counterpoint with Ariella Markowitz on Tuesdays at 8pm.