WMSE loves free-form radio. Our format’s complete and genuine freedom allows our DJs to explore an insane number of genres — music without limitations! It’s a fact that each WMSE show has its own community within the larger, more inclusive WMSE community; diverse radio programming is rewarded with a loyal listenership like no other.
But because the WMSE DJs are only on the air for three hours each week, you the listener might not get to know them quite as well as you might like, so to give you all a bit more insight, we’re proud to introduce the Get To Know Your WMSE DJ series. Each WMSE DJ gets the same five questions, and just like our free-form format, they choose to answer however they want: short or long, intense or humorously…we ask, they answer, we post.
Sonic Diet will be posting a new addition to the biweekly series on Mondays and the first batch of WMSE DJs featured will be those whose show falls within the 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. show slots. Now up:
DJ: Dr. Sushi
Show Name: The Free Jazz BBQ
Day/Time: Tuesday, 9am – Noon
How do you spend your days and nights when not hosting your radio show?
I have a real job as a trial lawyer at McGranaghan & Stawski Ltd. and spend most of my working hours striving to obtain justice for injured people. My favorite thing in the world is to spend time with my beautiful, intelligent and talented 12 year-old daughter, Elizabeth, whom many of you have heard co-DJ with me on the Free Jazz BBQ.
Running along the lakefront is another thing I enjoy doing during my free time, notwithstanding the fact that it’s almost sub-zero along the lake in Milwaukee until June. Thankfully, the condominium complex that I live in has an exercise room with three treadmills overlooking the lake. Until I moved there, I ran outside all year long. Now, I can run, watch sports, enjoy a lake view and listen to jazz all at the same time. There’s nothing better!
The island of Kauaʻi has been a second home to me for over twelve years. I have visited there over fifty times and do a lot of hiking, camping, kayaking and other outdoor activities when I’m there. If you haven’t been there yet, be sure to go. It is truly one of the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful, places on earth.
I also attend quite a few sporting events. I have been a Marquette Warriors season ticket holder for over twenty-five years. I also make it to about a dozen Brewers’ games a year. I try to make it to Lambeau Field at least once a year to see the greatest football team in the world play. I’m not ashamed to admit that I am also a big Milwaukee Bucks fan.
Do you remember what band, album or song took you from being a casual music listener to a passionate music lover? Is there a memory associated with that experience?
I became a huge music fan about forty years ago. The first LP that I ever bought was Exile On Main Street. Ever since the day that the needle first touched that record, The Rolling Stones have been my favorite band. I see them whenever I can.
I first started listening to jazz in about 1973 or 1974. A that point in music history, many of my favorite rock artists like Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix were gone. I thought Keith Richards would be the next to go, but as we all know, by some miracle he’s still with us. The first jazz records that I can remember listening to were by Jeff Beck. After that, I soon got into Return to Forever and the Mahavishnu Orchestra. I listened to jazz-rock fusion quite a bit while in my early teens but soon realized that jazz had a lengthy history that needed to be further explored. I was soon listening to every jazz record I could get my hands on from Louis Armstrong to Duke Ellington to John Coltrane. It didn’t take me long to realize that jazz was really where it was at.
What band have you heard or discovered in the past six months that reminded you why you want to continue being a WMSE DJ?
Dead Cat Bounce. These guys can really play. Don’t be scared off by their name — it’s a stock market term that has nothing to do with felines.
Who is your favorite non-you WMSE DJ and why?
This is a very difficult question because we have so many great DJs at WMSE. Every one of them is a walking musical encyclopedia. I always enjoy attending station events so that I get an opportunity to talk music with the other DJs. If I had to pick just one, I’d guess that I’d have to choose Hal Rammel. His program, Alternating Currents, features some of the same avant garde music that you’ll hear on my show. As I reviewed Hal’s list of the top 10 albums of 2011, I wasn’t surprised to see that he and I had a couple of the same choices.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Either an astronaut or one of the people who has abandoned the rest of civilization and lives in the Kalalau Valley until the park rangers kick them out.