Students bring songs from The Attic
The Attic is a new radio show on Colby’s student-operated WMHB, featuring house music from 8 to 10 p.m. on Wednesdays.
- Being ‘Good’ and Getting ‘Wyze’
- Atkinson ’15 is student by day, DJ by night
- Students bring songs from The Attic
It all came together one cold January morning when Jack Cohen ’15 and Nate Morgan ’15 sat next to each other in English class.
Morgan, who has already DJed one Colby event, an opening act for Joe Tagliente ’13 two weeks ago at the school-sponsored dance in Foss Dining Hall, realized that he and his classmates “all have similar tastes in music” and suggested that they collaborate on a radio show.
It was only a matter of time before the boys found each other and made plans to share their musical favorites with the campus.
“I had heard Nate was starting a [radio] show with Jack [Hartigan ’15],” Cohen said. “He really got the ball rolling in terms of getting us a slot, and before we knew it, we had a show.” What resulted was the newest addition to the WMHB lineup.
The show, which the group decided to call The Attic, runs from 8 to 10 o’clock every Wednesday night on Colby’s owned and operated radio station, WMHB 89.7FM. It is an interactive program broadcasting primarily progressive house music.
“The name is supposed to be a little ironic,” Morgan explained. “On the one hand, we’re running the show from the Roberts basement, and on the other, the attic is the top of the house….And we’re playing the best of house.”
House music, a type of electronic music, is becoming increasingly popular amongst college and club audiences, and has found a home on WMHB. The musical form originated in Chicago during the early eighties and is characterized by its up-tempo style and is standard fare for discothèques worldwide.
Hartigan described the initial planning stages and hopes of having a radio show as “a way to kill some time on a Wednesday afternoon,” but added that “it had always been something that Nate and I wanted to do, so when the others expressed interest, we booked it.”
Since the show’s begun, the Attic family has grown to consist of Morgan, Cohen, Hartigan, Peter Quayle ’15 and Noah Randall ’15, and the group has learned what works to make their time on the air successful, namely a great deal of research to prepare for each upcoming show. “I keep my ear to the ground,” Morgan said. “I comb the blogs and keep an eye out for premiers. We really want to bring people the best stuff we can find, so you won’t be hearing any obnoxiously trashy dub-step or wind up with a techno-induced headache.”
“One way that we’ve found success,” Morgan continued, “is by making it a participatory event. We take a lot of calls with suggestions from our listeners, and I will physically spin and occasionally do live mixes as mash-ups.”
Although The Attic is becoming popular among students, the group has learned the issues that can arise with content and timing. “It can be difficult sometimes,” Cohen admitted, “because our audience isn’t really partying when we’re on, and that’s what you typically tend to think when you think of techno. But we’ve found that, because a lot of the songs we play aren’t the typical pop, rock or country music, it fills a niche for the majority of people who don’t rely solely on iTunes for their music.”
Ultimately, the DJs in The Attic have realized that their show not only provides entertainment for their listeners, but also for themselves. “Selfishly,” Hartigan said, “it is fantastic way of putting everything aside, not worrying about anything else for two hours and producing something cool with your friends. However, we also like to think, perhaps incorrectly, that others enjoy it, too, and that makes us happy. The best case scenario would be for us to be having fun while our listeners—counted on one hand I’m almost positive—are having a laugh.”
Morgan is especially excited for the future of The Attic. A DJ since high school, he said that they are hoping to team up with members of the Colby community like Tony Atkinson and take the program live for a few school events. While the year is nearing its close, “big things are in the works for next year,” Morgan said.