Off the Air.

I never did learn how to work the phone line. I must’ve said the number a thousand times — five seven three, eight eight two, eight two, six two — but I never did figure out how to work it.

Sometimes, the phone rang. Sometimes, it just flashed red digits. Sometimes, it didn’t do anything at all.

So in four years as a DJ at KCOU 88.1 FM — the Mizzou college radio station — I can’t say that I ever took a call on the air. But I’ll take solace in other discoveries. I learned exactly why Townes Van Zandt is the best songwriter you’ve never heard of. I discovered the ways of the blues legends — Memphis Slim and Big Bill Broonzy and Lightning Hopkins come to mind — and nodded along to the Piedmont rhythms of Cephas & Wiggins. And I found out that if your band had a name as weird as The Butthole Surfers’, you’d probably get airtime on college radio.

Last Monday, I hosted my very last show on KCOU. For posterity, I’ve embedded the final hours below. If you’ve got two hours to waste with me, The Black Keys, The National, and Big Smith, then by all means, enjoy.

And if you’re over at KCOU right now reading this, I’d stop and look over at the phone line. It might be ringing, and you might not even know it.


The photo, of KCOU’s Pershing studios, by me.