The Oberlin Review
<< Front page Arts March 3, 2006

Diverse Programming at WOBC 91.5

As a completely student-run organization that operates 24 hours a day during the semester, WOBC 91.5 says a lot about our college’s students. We are a community passionate about its music, enough that the prestigious Princeton Review ranks it as the #7 college radio station in America.

Every semester, students prove their commitment by vying for a radio program, even if it means sacrificing several hours of sleep in order to have a show when most people are not conscious.

One such radio show would be first-year Alex Visotzky and sophomore Taka Yasuzawa’s hip-hop program, “Two Dope Boys and a Cadillac,” which is on air from 3-5 a.m. on Wednesdays. Neither one of them have hosted a program before, but their enthusiasm is evident when they wake up for a show at 3:00 am.

“It’s nice to know that someone in Sweden could be tuning in to a webcast and be exposed to American underground hip hop. We’re just educating the kids,” said Visotzky about the possibilities that radio offer for communicating ideas.

The exploration of rare genres of music is a specialty of WOBC. First-years Alice Sharpless and Maddy Davis-Hayes’ program “Best Friends Play the BEST Twee Pop!” which airs Wednesdays from 7-9 a.m., displays the pop sub-genre characterized by saccharine sweet pop tunes.

“A lot of people don’t know about the bands we play and they’re fun and accessible, but Twee is a genre that’s dying and we’re doing our best to keep it alive,” said Davis-Hayes, explaining her radio program’s mission statement.

Helen Stuhr-Rommereim, who braved an early morning slot last semester, and Alexa Manos Gully, both first-years, host a pop program called “Ice Cream at the Zoo,” 7-9 a.m. on Sundays, inspired by a Simon and Garfunkel song. As their title suggests, their intention is not to play music that has never been heard before.

“Our tastes are not so obscure, but feel-good and nostalgic,” says Stuhr-Rommereim about her program.

WOBC veterans, juniors David Bernstein and Will Griscom, have had programs in previous semesters and are hosting a program titled “Underground Testing Facility,” which airs Fridays from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m., featuring an amalgam of electronica and grime, a British sub-genre of hip hop.

“WOBC is more than a typical college radio station because it ventures deeper than typical college rock. WOBC is a submarine delving the Mariana Trench of music,” said Bernstein, describing his lofty vision for WOBC radio.

WOBC radio is an invaluable asset to our college community as a means for students to express musical tastes that can easily get lost in the MTV and Clear Channel musical hegemony.


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