Know Your DJ – Spinning Jennie

DJ Name: DJ Spinning Jennie
Freeform Show Name: Nova Radio
Freeform Day/Time of Show: Alternating Sundays, 8 – 10 p.m.
Interview by: Beanie

Beanie: When did you start volunteering with Freeform?

DJ Spinning Jennie: I describe my show as “Left-of-the-dial adventures in stereo: punk, garage, small label, local, underground pop, classics, and B-sides.” I started the show with my daughter, Veronica, who goes to Grant High School. She loves music too and plays the guitar. She and I did the show together for the first six months until she got too busy with school. When I was her age, I had my own show at our high school radio station, which was fun at first but ultimately was too regimented for me. We were required to play a strict playlist, and one day when I rebelliously decided to play the B-side of Terence Trent D’Arby’s “Sign Your Name” single–a song called “Greasy Chicken”—I got called out for not following “the rules.” So I quit! When we were deciding on our description for our Freeform show, I made sure to include “B-sides” as something we’d always play on Nova Radio.

Beanie: How do you prepare for your show / What influences the episodes from week to week?

DJ Spinning Jennie: I usually take three or so hours to put together the list of songs for my biweekly show. I start with music I already have—a mix of vinyl, digital and a few CDs. I look for bands that are coming to town and highlight songs with a mention about their shows. I intentionally seek out songs that are new, or at least new to me, and test out and rearrange the order of the playlist a couple times the week of my show. Then I post all my shows for online streaming on the free streaming service:

 Have you seen any standout shows in Portland this year?

DJ Spinning Jennie: Some of my favorite shows over the past year or so have been Parquet Courts at the Wonder Ballroom, Mary Timony playing Helium songs at the Mississippi, Wreckless Eric at Turn! Turn! Turn!, Haley Heynderickx at Revolution Hall, and the acoustic show that X played at the Old Church.

 What’s the first Record/Tape/CD You Ever Bought?

DJ Spinning Jennie: My Granny bought me the solo album that Peter “Cat Man” Criss from KISS recorded in the late 70s. It was in the $1 bin. (I was a huge KISS fan in kindergarten, which today I’m embarrassed about.) That record was crap, but it didn’t
stop me from wanting to play the drums.

 What do you think makes Freeform stand out in the realm of community radio?

DJ Spinning Jennie: I was a DJ in high school and on two college stations, and Freeform is my favorite because it’s so accessible and not at all pretentious. It’s about two things: music and community. DJs are empowered to make their shows truly their own, without having to adhere to playlists or play certain artists considered “hot” at the moment. I love the diversity of people involved, from a range of musical backgrounds and generations.