I have already published two sports-based posts regarding my status as a Superfan. The first looked at my Superfan experiences from high school. The second post continued the story into my undergraduate and graduate careers, with a focus still on sports.
I have found, particularly in the last few years, that I have shown fierce loyalty to various other pursuits that involve music, even though I am not a musician by trade. This started in high school, and furthermore justifies a few of the other posts that I have written in the past year (and other times too).
The music that got me listening to the radio again was music from the 1980s. During my junior year in high school, I would listen to Omaha’s Star 104.5 (KSRZ-Omaha) every Friday night when driving home from League. From 18:00 to 23:59, they had the Ultimate 80’s Request Party. I would listen weekly, but during 2003-2004, I had to wait until after 21:00 to call on my Dad’s StarTAC cell phone. (Who remembers those things?)
Why 21:00? These were the days where land-lines were still standard in most people’s houses, and it was a long-distance call in order to call the KSRZ studio. But cell phones do not have long-distance charges! Back in 2003, standard cell phone plans gave you a certain number of included minutes, with ridiculous overage charges. But, cell-to-cell, night, and weekend minutes were free. It’s hard to fathom that now, of course… how much times have changed in just ten years!
So, after several weeks of regularly calling, the hosts began to recognize my voice and always small-talk a little bit. This made me quite appreciated, as being a regular customer and treated as a name. This superfandom continued until the show ended sometime during my junior year of college, and it was replaced by the Delilah show.
This long diatribe is in some sense heading toward the same discussion that I had back in March, so I will just mention that I was obviously a superfan of Sunny-Side Up with Kristin and Lindsay as well. In both of these aforementioned shows, although the music was definitely one reason that I kept tuning in week after week, it was more about the alacrity of the hosts, and in the Ultimate 80’s Request Party, the enthusiasm of callers that got played on the air.
Another music-based thing that I consider myself a superfan of: ShireiNU, the Jewish a-cappella group at Northwestern. This was not just for the singing of Hebrew songs or the a-cappella style that I had come to really enjoy. The shows have always been fun, including silly skits between many of their numbers. It definitely helped in this case that there are always at least a few members of ShireiNU that are regulars at services on Shabbat evenings. Therefore, they are acquaintances/friends, rather than just local celebrities.
And the last one (this post was written in chronological order in some sense): Falldown. They are an independent rock/country group in Chicago, led by Jared Rabin, one of my bus-mates on the Birthright Israel trip. Several other of the bus-mates often attend these shows, such that it is a mini-reunion whenever it happens. A few of the songs are salient to me, particularly Slay Me, since it is Jared’s chronicle of the Israel trip in a lyrical format.
Shifting in a little sense to radio shows in general (and also shifting back the clock), the B Morning Show and The Human Conditioner with Bridget and Christopher are/were both shows that I am/was a superfan. With the B Morning Show, as long as I have listened (since 2004), they have played game shows at 07:40, which is something that I love listening and playing along with (although the short-lived Who’s Singing In The Shower game was horrible. Glad they scrapped it and replaced it with the current 4 and No More game.)
In addition, sometimes they have hilarious or interactive talk segments on their show. On July 19, 2006, the day was supposed to be a real scorcher. Gina and Joe tried to call the Dam(n) Site Inn in Hell, Michigan in order to find out if it would really be hotter than Hell in Lincoln (and it was).
Oftentimes, they will have a question that they want callers to respond to. For example, last week, they prompted listeners to call in with “creative job titles” that they have heard. At the B studios, the receptionist is instead called the “Director of First Impressions,” which is also the title of the deskworker at Northwestern Hillel. Whenever I call in when streaming them from Chicago, they always remark about it on the air, and thank me for streaming every day.
And then The Human Conditioner with Bridget and Christopher was a talk/music show on WNUR on Wednesday evenings during the Winter quarter 2014, and Monday evenings during the Spring and Summer quarters 2014. Every night, they would have a different theme, such as Mental Illness (better known as Irritating Quirks), Cultural Appreciation, and Scientology. I would often call in to respond to something that they mentioned or prompted, and occasionally got funny remarks from Christopher.
For example, when I called from Norris once, the reception was so bad that he asked, “Are you in a submarine? Is your voice box on?” and has lampshaded that on future calls. He is a master of giving me a hard time, and cutting me off mid-word after asking an open-ended question. The show ended a few weeks ago, but I am glad that I had the opportunity to listen to it most weeks, as it gave me some good laughs and thoughts.
All of these music- and radio-based superfandom traits that I have–it sometimes makes me wonder if one of these is going to become a moonlight opportunity for me!
Today is the two-hundred and seventy-second day of M.M.X.I.V. That makes thirty-eight weeks and six days.
Today is the seventy-seventh day of the Character Building Trial. That makes eleven weeks.