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Guide to B-Rad’s Unique Stations

B-Rad is Bennington’s campus radio station. Each show has its own identity and caters to a wide variety of tastes. We spoke to some students participating on the station who explained their productions and ideas behind their stations to us. 

Alto’s Elevator is put on by senior music student Izzy Gibson. This live podcast was inspired by the idea of elevator music and what makes particular music elevator music and exploring the ideas behind it. This particular piece is “a silly outlet and like there’s so much music that I love and I’m a sampler at heart so like I reflip and reform music a lot ro bring something else out of it and a lot of music that I play… is stuff that I feel like is so perfect but I also want to give it a platform as nobodies heard of it.” Each episode of this particular piece is themed and the creator enjoys using the show as another place to create stories. This production is lightweight and is structured like an old fashioned, wooden elevator with someone pushing the buttons for the rider. Izzy has said he pulls his music everywhere, wherever he finds inspiration mostly. He has touched upon every genre and culture and has currently been diving into 60’s chinese music. The name came about from Izzy’s artist name, Enzo Alto. The show was inspired by students and posters in the dining hall not liking elevator music. When I was interviewing Izzy, he stated that of all the people on campus, he’d like to work with Michael Wimberly. “He’s probably my number one right now and I have a specific episode for him in mind that I wrote with his voice being a part of it.” Izzy has worked with other faculty members and students for his shows in the past and loves the amount of people with amazing vocal talents here on campus. It is an unspecified freeing project for him that allows him to listen to his fun work with the people he recorded with. He has stated he wants the work to live on after Bennington and the place it is looking like listeners will find it is on Soundcloud as their guidelines for copyright infringement are a little looser if one is giving credit to the original songs and artists. He does take song requests however, he does have a long line of episodes scheduled and put together before it is released so it might be a while before your song becomes a part of it or it might get tacked onto the end if it inspires Izzy enough. This show airs on Thursdays at 8pm.

Pure Ideology is a show where each week Will Schultheis brings in a funny and/or obscure political ideology and presents it to his co-host Emerson Lee. They talk about ideological lineage, chronicle the history, and important people associated with it. They have covered everything from the Anti-Masonic Party of 1800s America to the synthesis of Trotskyism and Ufology theorized by Argentinian activist J. Posadas. The main goal is to have a fun time and learn about the very strange ideas that shape the outer limits of politics. This show airs on Tuesdays at 7pm.

Cozy Craft is a production put on by two friends, Squirrel Todd and Mirche Lena Loomis. This particular show is the two of them playing minecraft. It’s meant to be relaxing and a space for those who enjoy the sounds created by the game. The creators are Squirrel Todd and Mirche Lena Loomis. Living in the same house with a shared house minecraft server, it sparked the idea of a B-Rad show where the two “just play minecraft and be cozy.” This show does not have guests on it but both hosts have stated it could happen in the future. To make it cozy, the two hosts put on lofi beats and let the minecraft sounds come through as ASMR. This show is meant to function as background noise for homework or relaxation time for students. Squirrel did state, “there are definitely moments where it’s a little less cozy…every time I run into a monster and get my face blown up but that doesn’t happen too often.” There is no talking in this show and it was developed as an excuse to just hang out for an hour with friends. With an Instagram that can be reached at @cozycraftlive this shows updates on what happened can be found there. This show takes recommendations from fellow students but not songs, just what to build on that particular day. Airing on Mondays at 10pm, this show is a good production to fall asleep to.

Synthetic Heartbeats is also put on by Squirrel Todd and is based off of an idea they were particularly interested in. When I talked with them they told this reporter, “basically there’s like this theory I’ve got based on studies I’ve heard about where like.. So your heartbeat will like actually kind of match itself to the rhythm of something you’re listening to. So if multiple people listen to the same song…it’s kind of like if you don’t have connection with other people, store bought is fine.” In other words, this show plays music that a person’s heartbeat can sync to and if everyone is listening to the same song, there are a lot of synthetic shared heartbeats. This particular piece also does not have guests on it but Squirrel does take song requests and is not opposed to guests in future. This show too has an Instagram that can be found at @syntheticheartbeats. This show airs at 10pm on Wednesday nights.

Natural 1 is a group of three friends (Dylan Ball, Vila Gonzalez, and Ren Acevedo) sitting down and playing Dungeons and Dragons. This particular show took place at 9pm on Friday nights. It was invented on the day of submission as a last minute entry. This piece is a bunch of stand alone episodes that all take place in the same universe. The setting is a version of Bennington College which is established as a constant place specifically stating, “the setting is like a modern fantasy version of Bennington College. Bartington College.” They have a spinning wheel of guests that come on and play with them. Next term this show is going to continue and they will be opening up their guest pool to the rest of the campus. They will help with your character if you choose to do so. They are also all in multiple d&d groups around campus. Their episodes are themed and they have an Instagram (@Nat1b.rad) where they post their posters and explain the episode of the day. 

The Iceberg is hosted by Ezra Usmani and is based on the idea of surface concepts and digging deeper into music genres than just the surface content. Ezra picks a genre or artist and does an episode diving into specifically those works starting with the most popular songs and then moving deeper and deeper into the more obscure parts. He has stated that “I explore that genre as deep as I can get within an hour. It’s around 10 to 12 songs going chronologically then moves into more niche stuff.” There is no set theme beyond the genre for each episode and he does take requests for genres, artists and songs. The show was started as a fun project to do in their freetime. It is all put together by Ezra except for an episode they did on boy bands where they got help from their mom as a boy band girl in the 80’s. The shows are stand alone and one does not have to listen to previous episodes to listen to current ones. This production airs Tuesdays at 9pm.

The full schedule of shows can be found on the B-Rad website.

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