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With the radio on
DJ Heinz (real name Vance Kim) is disorganized and lazy. And a bit selfish. He's not exactly a model for how to get things done. Only, maybe he is. After all, he's one of the guys behind Meatball Magic, a free alternative- and indie-dance night at the Red Lantern. And that's lasted three years — forever in Fresno time. Now's he's taken to the airwaves, with “Album of the Year,” a two-part music and commentary radio show he hosts with Estela Galvan.
“If I can do something, so can you,” Heinz says. “You hear so much negativity about this area and it really is easy to slip into that mode of thought. But there are things you can do to make it a funner place to be. There really are, I promise.”
Here is Heinz and Galvan's rundown of their new show, in two parts:
Side A is the music part of the program. What can people expect to hear?
Heinz: I want people to expect to hear what they can't necessarily hear typically in Fresno. If you happen to drive through the city, you'll find that there isn't much in the way of options. And 88.1 is a fitting place to have the show because that's what both KFCF and KPFA are about — an alternative to mainstream media.
What prompted you to want to do a radio show in the first place?
Heinz: Frustration prompted me to do a radio show. My frustration lies with the simple fact that the Central Valley is a huge area, and as large as it is, our choices are still exceedingly limited. And even though I myself am presenting my own perspective in terms of what I want to play, I still believe it is something different, especially in relation to what is currently out there.
Tell me about the name?
Heinz: “Album of the Year,” had about 50 names before someone said, “Just pick that one already, jeeze.” It was a random choice, basically.
Fair enough. There's sooooo much music floating around these days. How do you keep up on what's new and hip and good?
Heinz: If you look, you can find it … or something. My main source is the Internet, sadly. I wish I was just, “in the know.” I used to know so many people that just knew whatever band I had “discovered,” and had known about them for like two years before I'd even heard of them. I can't play any musical instruments, but I sure do appreciate music. Keeping an open mind and your views unbuttoned is an excellent way of keeping up. Good music can be heard everywhere. Even on NPR.
Is this show a spinoff of Meatball Magic?
Heinz: Meatball Magic began as a result of me not being able to go anywhere when I moved back home. There was nothing to do and nowhere to go (for me). Jack Tripper needed to expand outside of the Regal Beagle, didn't he? (I just thought of spinoff and my mind immediately saw the spinoff of “Three's Company,” which is “Three's a Crowd”). In a way the radio show is a spinoff of Meatball. My co-dj's and I had some lofty goals. Now it's just me with the lofty goals.
In terms of it fitting in with Meatball Magic. It's a perfect fit. Meatball Magic is a dance night, primarily. Most people don't go to hear slower songs. “Album of the Year” is an extension of that, in the sense of being able to play things that people would like, but not necessarily in a club/dance environment.
What's on your mp3 player right now? Top five.
Do you play requests?
Heinz: Of course. I'll even do a dedication or two if you ask nicely.
Explain the format of side B?
Galvan: Side B is a mix of stories, conversations, insights and upcoming events. The idea is to interview a diverse group of people, ranging from local activists, to those putting on community events, to artists and musicians.
What prompted you to want to do a radio show?
Galvan: When I was approached by Vance I immediately felt this could be an amazing opportunity to create a dialogue about our Central Valley identity by sharing the stories that make us who we are. So many times I hear how the Central Valley is boring. I beg to differ. There are so many activities that happen throughout the year. I hope “Album of the Year,” just as other independent radio shows, can contribute to bridging that gap of understanding why the Central Valley is a great place to be from.
So the show is about the Valley (not just Fresno). What's something you think people should know about their hometown/hometowns?
Galvan: Given that the Central Valley is diverse, I think it would be beneficial for people to know the history of their community. Another essential thing people should know is the best place to eat in their hometown. That's always a plus. Also what their hometown is known for.
How do you see your side of the program playing out? What can listeners expect?
Galvan: I think Side B will play out according to the guests we have each week. For the most part the interviews will strive to showcase how the Central Valley is thriving.
Obviously, this is very independent radio programming. Where do you guys fit into the current state of radio/with the Internet/etc?
Galvan: “Album of Year” provides listeners with another option for music and interviews they normally would not get from mainstream radio stations. The show also has a Myspace which gives listeners another opportunity to share their thoughts and comments.
How does side B fit into Side
Galvan: It's a unique situation in which both sides A and B complement each other. After listening and learning about the music on Side A, Side B comes in as the conversation piece from people who are doing great things in the area.
So, what music are you listening to right now?
Galvan: I am listening to “Superfluous,” a compilation by Ms. Soulflower a.k.a. Devoya Mayo.