6B - The Michigan Daily Weekend Magazine - Thursday, April 9, 1998
The Michig, Daily Weeken
El State of the Arts
WCBN DJ enlivens airwaves with her spunky personality
THE LAST WORTHLESS COLUMI
By Gina Rasmussen
D ily Arts \Writer
Music plays a role in everyone's life
in one way or another. For Art senior
Nirrranda L. Tarrow, assistant music
director and promotions coordinator of
WCBN. 88.3, music is something she
appreciates -- and it's her job.
"Music is a big part of my life. I am
like a 'hipster,"' said Tarrow, who does-
n't perform as part of her involvement
v, ith music.
Tarrow has worked at WCBN for the
past two and a half years. and this year
w ill be her last. She is a regular D,
broadcasting almost six hours a week
on "Freeform" (12 p.m.-3 p.m.
Thursdays) and "Radio Limbo / All Out
Attack" (10 p.m.-I a.m. Fridays).
Besides her on-air duties, she works
off the air anywhere from four or five to
20 hours a week. Tarrow handles give-
aways, tickets, guest lists, CDs and
local concerts. Sometimes she has the
opportunity to interview bands at the
Shelter, St. Andrew's Hall or the Blind
Although her job offers no monetary
compensation, Tarrow said she enjoys it
and that it has been her "single biggest
source of friends
"College radio is so different than
commercial radio,' she said. "We have
so much leeway and can play whatever
Commercial radio, on the other hand,
has set playlists that must be followed.
Other things Tarrow said she loved
about her job include "the access to the
CD library, the free stuff and the fact
that people know me."
She said having people recognize
her gies her a feeling of accomplish-
"The best experience I can remember
was when I was in a restaurant in
Ypsilanti and a customer recognized
me by my voice," she recalled. "She
said that she listened to my program
and laughed so hard that she almost
peed her pants. I was talking about a
fight I had with a boyfriend and how I
beaned him in the head with a loaf of
Tarrow said the flattery makes her
Her job isn't always that rewarding.
But Tarrow said she has only had to rant
and rave on the air a couple of times.
She explained that female DJs, espe-
cially those who work at night, some-
times have some
problems with pes-
L. Tarrow tering callers.
Put down that crossword. Let your
Stucchi's melt. Commence weeping.
No, Bivouac hasn't stopped carrying
North Face gear - this is the last
worthless column, the last time my
name and face will grace these pages of
Weekend, etc. under the banner "State
of the Arts," hence revoking my ability
to comment on the state of such arts.
Not that I did much commenting on
the state of the arts to begin with. I don't
believe my fondness for Minnie Driver,
my rant against landlords or a descrip-
tion of my overactive hips as a child
would qualify as in-depth examinations
of cultural goings-on.
Still, I never intended to change the
world with my hard-hitting analysis of
"Ally McBeal," or astound the campus
with my mathematical relation of Puff
Daddy to all major events of 1997, or
particularly impress anyone at all with
I only tried to hog as much of the spot-
light as I could bear - yeah, that's the
ticket - forcing my harebrained theo-
ries, my esteem for Debbie Gibson and
all the twisted, pointless details of my pri-
vate life onto an unsuspecting and
unwilling community, with only the aspi-
ration to receive fan mail driving me on.
I think I'll miss such iaw, unbridled
power. After all, the readership of this
paper reaches upward of, what, 50,000?
Wow, I'm almost drunk on the power
this paper offers.
Seriously, I have enjoyed conveying
the state of my mind, if not of my arts, at
any given moment and I hope you have
enjoyed reading it. So just bear with me
as I relive my Daily Arts experience thus
far with a column full of thank-yous.
First, I'd like to thank the man who
sent me my first piece of hate mail last
winter, thankfully calling me on my hor-
ribly flawed review of "Vegas Vacation."
I apologize for my deep-seated stupidity,
as I'm sure that this stellar film will be
remembered and cherished as a classic
for many generations to come.
I'd also like to thank the woman iho.
fulfilling the most narcissistic of my
dreams. sent me my first fan letter. Your
praise of my great writing and dead-on
analysis of film made me a very happy,
if self-centered, ego-driven, boastful boy.
Your kind words went straight to my
head, so I'll overlook the fact that the let-
ter was in response to my review of the
lesbian noir film "Bound" and your let-
ter conveyed your rather disturbing
obsession with the film. It is the thought
that counts, I sup-
Next, I'd like to
praise the thought-
fulness of one
Miss Koko, for
allowing me a few
minutes of bliss
(phone sex) for a
Bryan Lark ($49.95) as "re-
Daily Arts Editor search" for a jour-
In addition, I'd also like to thank former
Daily Arts editor and mentor Brian Gnatt,
who not only let me fake an orgasm in his
hallway, but also commended me on my
It's all about positive feedback with
me, as you can plainly see - and you
thought it was all about the benjamins.
You write down your innermost
thoughts for publication on a bi-weekly
basis and see what wonders it works for
I distinctly remember one morale
boost, when a caring, generous young
lady sent me a virtual postcard when I
ended a column with "Bryan Lark is a
pitiful loser," a comment usually reserved
for catty co-workers and ex-swim coach-
es. I was being somewhat sarcastic when
I wrote that, ma'am, but if it makes you
feel needed, I can browbeat myself any-
time you like (wink, wink).
Speaking of beating, I'd like to thank
the sleeping woman I accidentally
kicked in the head while uncrossing my
legs at a showing of "L.A. Confiden-
tial" last week. Upon being rudely
stirred from your S6 slumber, you man-
aged to utter as you exited the theater,
"That was the most boring excuse for a
movie I've ever seen," and then
bemoaned the fact that you didn't go
see "As Good as It Gets" again. You're
entitled to your opinion, of course, but
please call me if you ever need your
head kicked again. For real this time.
It's no trouble, really!
Next, I'd like to thank John Cusack
for allowing a starstruck kid to pose
,,with him even after the kid tripped over
a coffee table and spilled Cusack's Diet
Coke. Pictures are worth a thousand
words, especially if those words are,
"Who the hell is this dork?" (See photo
Continuing on the celebrity beat, I'd
like to thank Peter Howitt, director of
the upcoming "Sliding Doors," for
offering me bourbon and advice, which
amounted to something like, "Follow
your dreams and just laugh at the bug-
gers you leave behind." We should have
T-shirts made, mate.
I don't really know any famous peo-
ple; I just want to thank those two men
for affecting my life in ways they could
never know, or even remember.
Now, I'd like to take a moment to
thank you, the reader, for swimming in
my stream of consciousness from week
to week and not drowning in a pool of
sentiment, self-loathing and sarcasm,
which I think are the three words that
describe me best.
The three words that best describe
my Daily Arts cohorts, without whom I
might have actually written serious
meditations on the state of the arts,
would most likely be bad-ass mother ...
shut your mouth! You guys and girls
have made me less sane, less boring and
less "good cop" --- in short, a better, not
as mean-spirited person, and I love and
respect you all for that --- except you.
Yeah, you. I hate you.
Finally, I'd like to thank Annie
Lennox for writing the lyric, "Dying is
easy, it's living that scares me to death."
The embodiment of coolness, .
besides being a tool, possesse
Profound, yes, but for me i
without an audience every ot
that scares me to death.
Call me an exhibitionist.
egotistical. Call me kidding
Mrrranda L. Tarrow puts her own unique spin on broadcasting at WCBN.
"We all get
along great," she
said. "I have met
W WCBN disc jockey
called for phone
some of my best
WCBN is known for the variety of
music it airs. Throughout each day and
week, its programs range from country
and hip-hop to reggae and' industrial
punk. "(Station) workers' tastes gener-
ally overlap," Tarrow said.
This sound collage is one thing
Tarrow loves about working for the
University's radio station.
sex before,' she
said. "I just scream into the mic and tell
them to stop calling." Although frustrat-
ing, the entire scene can be quite comi-
cal, she said.
Tarrow admitted that she "makes no
distinction between private/personal
and public life." She feels comfortable
enough on the air to share her birth con-
trol side effects as well as her relation-
ship sagas, all of which make for an
Although Tarrow may be loud, out-
going and semi-obnoxious on air, she
confessed these aren't necessary traits
for every DJ. She said she knows plen-
ty of DJs who are soft-spoken, intelli-
gent and articulate, qualities which
she said make for an excellent broad-
cast. Basically, she said, anyone can
'Those interested in working as a DJ
at WCBN should know that certain
training is required. Generally, this con-
sists of "fluff" work such as filing
records and organizing the music
library. Learning to spin and making a
demo tape are also required. The know-
how of actual broadcasting and the
behind-the-scenes engineering takes a
little more time and training. Tarrow
recommended that people interested in
becoming a DJ should apply during the
She, on the other hand, plans to move
to Portland after graduation. Tarrow
explained that she has minimal interest
in continuing her radio experience and
instead would like to concentrate on
other interests, which include photogra-
phy and writing. She also writes Azines,
small-press independent magazines, in
her spare time.
But she won't forget the impact of the
University and, more importantly,
"This has been a fun. edifying expe-
rience at U of M, much more than many
of my classes," Tarrow said.
It is hard to forget that, although
famous on the radio, Tarrow is an ordi-
nary, everyday person.
"Today my mind is trailing behind
me with a thin piece of string and I'm
going to play on the computer," she
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