Galesburg After Dark: Knox College radio station WVKC 90.7 FM

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Getting back into the swing of things, I would like to kick off this blog with a closer look into the Knox College Radio Station, WVKC 90.7 FM. This station provides a very unique alternative amidst the other stations available here in Galesburg, offering programs ranging from easy listening and world music to various types of punk and metal, most of which you would be hardpressed to find on any major radio frequency in the midwest. It is an amalgamation of different tastes and very few programs sound alike, often providing an interesting listen regardless of taste. A few months ago, I had the chance to take a small tour of the audio facilities of the college and recently sat down with Aaron Palmer, a current disc jockey at the station and senior at the school, enjoying his last semester here in town.

To start, could you tell our readers about yourself?

My name is Aaron Palmer. I’m 21 years old and originally from Huntington, West Virginia. I’m currently a senior at Knox College with a double major in creative writing and history. I have a radio show that runs on 90.7 every Saturday at noon that specializes in modern heavy metal. Other than that, I’m a very low-key person who just enjoys hanging out with friends and listening to music.

What made you come to Knox College over larger universities? What brought you to Galesburg?
From the start I knew I wanted a small school. I had no interest in sitting in a giant lecture hall with two hundred other students and teacher who wouldn’t get to know me. I wanted a more personal experience. Knox has around 1300 students and class sizes tend to be around 20 or so pupils. I also wanted to be part of a community and get to know more people outside of the student body. It goes without saying that Knox College is an excellent school, but I was able to experience all of those things when I came to Galesburg.

How did you manage to become involved with the radio station and what made you decide to become a part time d.j.?
I had a girlfriend that ran a show when she was enrolled here and I used to come along and watch her from time to time. I liked the idea of having an entire hour to talk about and play whatever music you like, and giving others the chance to enjoy it as well. I am a huge fan of modern metal and after noticing a lack of a show devoted to it, I decided to make my own. This year I believe there is even another show that combines some metal and punk music, which is great too. I did have a radio partner for one term, but after a quick graduation I went back to flying solo.

How would you describe the environment of a Knox radio d.j. to someone who has never seen the operation?
The main area where the show is done is filled with the usual equipment: mics, soundboards, a cd player and cables for a computer hookup, etc. We have a large Mac computer with a huge mp3 library readily available for use, and when no one is running the show, the computer has a rotation option to fill the open air. Beyond the main room is our lounge room, equipped with furniture and a radio permanently dialed to 90.7. A few rooms are used for storing our vast collection of records and compact discs, which any d.j. can check out for use. The interaction between the other program’s hosts is rather minimal, besides a quick ‘hello and good luck’…