Music and comedy are fundamental aspects of entertainment and three enterprising students seem to have these arts down to a science.
Mix in some music, a few guests and some awkward, man-on-the-street absurdity and out comes “The Grotto,” an hour-long radio show that streams live on LancerRadio.org and UStream.com every Friday at 1 p.m.
“We try to explore different genres of music,” said Brian Diaz, undeclared, one of the masterminds behind the show. “We play songs that we like within that genre [and] give a little history.” Seventies glam rock and experimental music have been featured in the past.
Local music aficionados, like street performers and record store employees, are brought on weekly as guests to discuss the music. “We like to get more eclectic guests,” said Diaz, highlighting that entertaining guests attract listeners.
Derek Hink, a film major, is another force on “The Grotto.” But he and Diaz both believe the heart and soul of their broadcast is “Dead-Air” Jaimie Xie’s five-minute man-on-the-street interview segment, “Ding Dong the Xylophone.”
Xie, undeclared, is a man of few words. “I’m very shy,” he said repeatedly. But when it comes to his segment, he has the gall to ask students on campus personal questions like, “What type of music puts you in the mood?” and “Do you give up the goods on a first date?”
“We can’t post anything that we do on that segment [on LancerRadio.org] because they’ve deemed it… inappropriate,” said Hink. He encourages listeners to search for the show on Youtube, instead.
“We wanted it to be a little off kilter, like interviewing gone wrong,” said Hink. “So Jaimie, who is not very communicative or social at all, was perfectly suited for this opportunity.”
Xie sees himself as a behind-the-scenes type of person, so for him the experience is “fun, but nerve-wracking sometimes,” he said.
“I’m asking [people on campus] somewhat offensive, personal questions,” said Xie. Though he fears “being punched in the face,” he likes getting to know the students at PCC.
“We walk around campus and … everybody seems to know Jaimie,” said Diaz.
The camaraderie between the co-hosts is strong. They jokingly, but genuinely cite each other as one another’s inspiration and enjoy working together. “None of us knew what we were getting into,” said Diaz. “Going in blindly caused us to be a little more creative. What we do is … art imitating life.”
Though “The Grotto” will conclude at the semester’s end, the three already have a future project in mind and hope to continue working together by extending the most popular segment of their show.
“We’ve thrown around the idea of doing a documentary film, ‘Ding Dong the Xylophone: The Movie’,” said Hink. The documentary will chronicle a cross-country road trip Xie plans to take with a friend who has family on the East Coast. The two hope to reunite a family while meeting people and asking thought-provoking questions along the way.
The radio hosts have all the equipment needed for this project, but are short on funding. “We just need money,” said Xie.
But he’s optimistic, “Hopefully this will turn into something in the future.”
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