Two college radio Music Directors trudge through endless CDRs, sleazy promoters, and an indifferent student body to deliver one of the last, best radio stations in America.
Reduced to cold statistics, Mark MacEwan and Carina Zercher initially seem indistinguishable from the rest of the Prozac Nation youth. Mark, 22, studies computer engineering and philosophy at Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, CA, and embodies total punk rock rebellion in his attire, musical preferences, and everything but his irrepressible smile. Carina, 24, is a philosophy and film double major at nearby Cuesta College, a self-described Anglophile who traveled through Europe in the great quest to find herself come hell or hackneyed cliché. They are outgoing, intelligent, and enthusiastic for the future.
They also answer to their on-air handles, Mark Uranus from Planet Slitoris and DJ Red, at Cal Poly’s celebrated independent radio station, KCPR (91.3 fm). There, they raze the airwaves as volunteer DJs, two among the loyal legion of university students able to drop Fugazi bon mots and bicker on-air about frozen chicken prices. They also serve as the exclusive music directors; the presiding eyes and ears to the world of underground music for San Luis Obispo’s 45,000 residents. Their weekly director duties consume upwards of 15 hours and involve sifting through 150-200 received CDs to select less than 20 for addition to the station airwaves, running new-music meetings for fellow DJs, running the popular New Releases show, charting played albums, and dealing with record promoters with varying degrees of patience and outrage. They juggle their studies with the godlike power/eternal headaches of their roles – and while adults, students, and prison inmates appreciate their work, they still don’t get paid.