Meet Your Wizards: DJ Karl

Wherein we pull back the curtain for a personal visit with one of the wonderful wizards of the X. In this case, the DJ we are featuring is Kari “Bunny” Ames aka DJ Karl!

Listen to Dizzy Spell, Saturdays from 11a-Noon

Born: Planet Claire in the Fortean System

Home: Bluebottom Garden, Nashville

Drafted into WXNA: April 25, 2017

Spins: Experimental / ethereal / existential

Fades: Disingenuousness

How did you discover independent radio? WRVU and Coast To Coast AM

Most played song:Be Free” by B.F. Trike – recorded at RCA studios in Nashville in 1971

Vinyl, CD or mp3? All of ‘em and cassettes to boot

Fave WXNA shows: Tapeworms / The Scatter Shot / Body to Body

Pinch-me moment: Getting married 🙂

When I die: Bury me in my garden and plant a tree in my chest cavity

Meet Your Wizards: DJ Erica

DJ Erica of Soul of the City, Thursdays 4-6pmBorn: Atlanta, GA
Home: Atlanta GA, always. I live in Nashville, TN
Drafted into WXNA: 2016
Spins: Right
Fades: Left

How did you discover independent radio? Out of curiosity, I started working at WUOG 90.5 at the University of Georgia from 1992-1994. I come from a musical family, so it actually made sense. Then I did commercial radio for a year in Jacksonville, FL from 1994-1995 but there was no creativity. Came back to Atlanta and worked at WRAS 88.5 at Georgia State University and WATB 90.5 in Decatur GA from 1997-2003, running a dance/electronic music show, a neo-soul/r&b show, and a community talk show during that time. That experience led me to be a rep for Sony Music in 2000-2001 where I got to meet up and coming bands. I also promoted dance/electronica events (aka RAVES!!!!) and DJs with my group The Beat Collaborative and also I DJed in Atlanta clubs. From 2007-2016, I ran a podcast called Mode.Radio, which featured dance/electronica music. It was through the connections I made in Atlanta that I got onto WXNA. I knew Nashville (and former WRVU DJ) Mindub and he suggested that I join the nuts at WXNA. However, I could not do a dance/electronica show because he was doing a similar show at the station. So I created “Soul of the City” based on my experience and my fav radio in Atlanta, “Soul of Jazz” on WCLK. Later, I revived “Mode.Radio” to help fill in the schedule during the COVID pandemic. “Bring Out Your Dead” was a result of a slightly inebriated Facebook post to the WXNA DJ group, where all kinds of DJs showed their secret membership as Merry Marauders. 😉

Most played song on WXNA: “LA” from Nashville artist Jamiah

Vinyl, CD or mp3? All formats for radio. CD’s and Mp3 for club DJing
Fave WXNA shows:, Psych Out, The Corner, Reggae University, Beautiful Buzz and of course Soul of the City, Mode.Radio, and Bring Out Your Dead.

Pinch-me moment: Interviewing Bela Fleck because we had no DJs available to do it in 2000 in Atlanta. I was a secret fan and he was a super cool dude. Interviewing PJ Morton on WXNA in 2017. Getting invited to my first of 3 secret Prince shows because of my radio DJing in Atlanta in 2001.

When I die: I want to die with Georgia red clay under my feet and disco music playing at my funeral.

Meet Your Wizards: DJ Headwalker

Meet Your Wizards: DJ Headwalker of Spin Cycle, Wednesday nights from 11p-1a

MEET YOUR WIZARDS! A peek behind the curtain…

Meet DJ HEADWALKER, host of Spin Cycle from 11 pm to midnight on Wednesday evenings, followed by Indo-Burma from midnight to 1 am on Thursdays. He is also the owner of Guerilla Bizkits, located in Fatherland Shops in East Nashville.

Born: 12/27/93 til infinity — same day as my dad. cap gang
Home: East Nashville — filled with pet fur and tchotchkes
Drafted into WXNA: 2 years ago
Spins: Hardcore punk and jungle

How did you discover independent radio? In early middle school, there was a college radio station that I could snag from BGSU that played death metal every Thursday at like 4am. Some kid told me about it and I didn’t believe him, so I stayed up one night and sure enough, there it was. I tuned in religiously after that — it felt like my duty as a kid in the scene to tune in and support heavy music on the air.
Most played song: “Window Licker” — Aphex Twin

Vinyl, CD or mp3? Vinyl and mp3

Fave WXNA show: Reggae University

Pinch-me moment: Collaborating with my favorite record label, Triple B Records

When I die: feed me to the worms or press my ashes into a vinyl

Meet Your Wizards: DJ Nexus

DJ Nexus of Musical Mysticism (4-5pm on Wednesdays)
Meet DJ Nexus, host of Musical Mysticism from 4-5pm on Wednesday afternoons.

Born: 10-3-1981 in Oak Ridge, TN
Home: Lebanon and Grandview, TN
Drafted into WXNA: 2017
Spins: electronic, hip-hop, funk, soul, psych, rock, folk, blues, jazz, ambient, reggae, dub, afrobeat, disco
Fades: cross

How did you discover independent radio?
I did college radio at MTSU and discovered WXNA in the Nashville Scene

Most played song: I rarely play a song on the radio more than once. Live DJing it’s probably “Scientific Dancehall” by Lee “Scratch” Perry. Listening for pleasure lately it’s probably something by Adrianne Lenker or “Doin’ Time” by Lana Del Rey.

Vinyl, CD or mp3? Vinyl live, WAV and FLAC when prerecording
Fave WXNA shows: Web of Sound, Mode.Radio, Free Association, Beautiful Buzz, The Housequake Vinyl Hour, Walk It Off!
Pinch-me moment: Meeting Jess Williamson and telling her I play her songs on the radio.
When I die: Natural burial or let wild animals eat me

About Me:
I’m an avid reader of mostly nonfiction, particularly mysticism, philosophy, poetry, pop culture and environmental/social issues. I’ve been vegetarian since 2004. In January 2010, I sat in a tree on a windy mountain in West Virginia for 9 days with no extra heat source to get in the way of blasting next to a coal sludge impoundment on a mountaintop removal coal mine site.

Meet Your Wizards: DJ Ed

In this edition of Meet Your Wizards, we bring you DJ Ed, host of Eighties Schmeighties, Fridays from 10am-noon.

Born: Atlanta, Georgia
Home: Nashville, Tennessee
Drafted into WXNA: 2016
Spins: Left (always left)
Fades: Lefter

I think I discovered independent radio growing up in Atlanta listening to the college radio station from Georgia State, 88.5 I think. Then when I went to school in Mobile, Alabama I was shocked to find out there was a very tiny college radio station, all of 10 watts. (Shout out to WTOH!) It was such a small-wattage station they didn’t care whether or not we followed FCC rules. That’s something I had to learn when I became a DJ at WXNA. Hey, you’re not a real DJ unless you’ve been suspended at least once! I love being the selector on Eighties Schmeighties. It beats therapy!

Most played song:Clampdown” by The Clash

Vinyl, CD or mp3? All of the above. Whatever works. Love vinyl, but not a fetishist.

Fave WXNA shows: Free Association, Works Progress Radio Hour, Reggae University, and Punk Not Punks

Pinch-me moment: Interviewing some great artists such as Kosmo Vinyl and Vanessa Briscoe Hay.

When I die: Enjoy Every Sandwich…

Meet Your Wizards: Laura Powers

Wherein we pull back the curtain for a personal visit with one of the wonderful wizards of the X. In this case, the DJ keeping us on Needles + Pins weekly — Laura Powers.

Born: Knoxville, Tennessee
Home: Nashville, Tennessee
Drafted into WXNA: 2014
Spins: Right
Fades: Right

I fell in love with independent radio back in high school when I discovered WUTK, the University of Tennessee’s student-run radio station. Doing Needles+Pins each week makes me feel like that 13-year-old kid hearing the B-52’s for the first time. In an increasingly algorithmic world, I love that WXNA is a place where you can still be surprised and excited by music, whether it’s brand new or just new to you.

Most played song:Sonic Reducer” by Dead Boys

Vinyl, CD or mp3? All of the above. Love LPs but definitely not a format snob.

Fave WXNA shows: Runout Numbers, Bedazzled Paradigm Jukebox, Punk Not Punks

Pinch-me moment: Throwing an on-air dance party with Vanessa from Pylon

When I die: Sprinkle my ashes in the New Arrivals section at Wax’n’Facts in Atlanta

Meet Your Wizards: Ashley Crownover

Born: Sixth-generation Nashvillian, but
Number of states lived in: 9
Drafted into WXNA: 2011
Show: Friday Friday, Fridays from 7-8 a.m.

I helped found WXNA, mostly by providing massive quantities of unrestrained enthusiasm. I discovered non-mainstream music during my teen years in the ‘80s thanks to the University of Tennessee’s WUTK and Vanderbilt’s dearly departed WRVU, while my love for ‘60s and ‘70s rock comes straight from my dad’s record collection. These days I learn about new music by listening to my fellow WXNA DJs (and, I’m ashamed to admit, via Spotify’s weird algorithms).

Artist Obsession: David Bowie Forever

Favorite WXNA DJ Collaborators: Jonathan Grigsby (Dance Party XNA) and Michael Roark (Hazy Ways)

Biggest (and Funnest) Challenge as a DJ: Playing ear-catching new music in addition to my beloved “oldies”

Most Awkward DJ Experience: When I phone interviewed Denny Laine of Wings and was so in awe I could barely speak. The most notable thing about it was his boredom

Something Listeners May Not Know About Me: In 2008 I wrote a retelling of Beowulf from the female characters’ point of view (Wealtheow: Her Telling of Beowulf, Iroquois Press), and in 2016 I published a children’s book called Nashville Boo (Reedy Press) featuring the ghost of Hank Williams as narrator.

Meet Your Wizards: Sirena Wilson

Born: Nashville, Tennessee
Home: Inglewood, East Nashville
Drafted into WXNA: 2018
Shows: Music for Grownups, Bring Out Your Dead

In the 20-oughts, Sirena loved to listen to two DJs: Bob Parlocha, host of the syndicated show Jazz with Bob Parlocha, and Pete Wilson, host of Nashville Jumps on Vanderbilt University’s WRVU. In the teens, both jocks suffered major blows: Pete’s station died in 2011, and Bob died in 2015. Sirena was cheered to find out, though, that a group of ex-RVU jocks, including Pete, were suffering years-long withdrawal symptoms and trying to get a brand new station off the ground. Miraculously, they succeeded. Sirena attended an event held by the new station in the summer of 2016, found out which of the middle-aged boys was Pete, and introduced herself. A little less than two years later they were married. Before honeymooning in England, they spent a couple of hours the day after the wedding doing Pete’s Sunday show Music for Grownups together. As she did in Pete’s life as well, Sirena morphed from guest to partner, and now she’s the better half of Music for Grownups. As DJ Indigo, she’s also one of the growing rotation of DJs who take turns hosting Bring Out Your Dead. She spent many happy days as a Deadhead and brings flair and savvy to her presentation of the Dead and related bands, Dead-inspired groups, and related musicians like Elizabeth Cotten.

Salina at Tomato Art FestYou may not be surprised when I tell you this is Pete writing this. You surely will not be surprised when I say Sirena is my favorite DJ. I admire her great work as host of Bring Out Your Dead, but her co-hosting of Music for Grownups is closer to my heart. Before WXNA went on the air I knew I wanted to do a show of good old pre-rock pop music, jazz vocals and show tunes. To my mind when I was a youngster in the 60s and 70s, Bing Crosby, Peggy Lee and Nat King Cole were the Music for Grownups–NOT the Eagles or the Stones or the Allman Brothers or even the Beatles. I wanted a show that would appeal to the inner adult inside each of us. Or even the inner nerd–at one point I wanted to call the show “Music for Squares,” which I guess might have been heavier on polkas and Lawrence Welk. Randy is still mad that I abandoned that name, but I wasn’t sure listeners would want to self-identify as Squares.

STOP TALKING ABOUT YOURSELF PETE! I was just leading up to why the show is better with Sirena. Each week we choose some themes, or songwriters to celebrate, or we find out whose birthday it is, and sift through stacks and stacks of CDs (we may be old-fashioned but not so much that we play phonograph records on the show!) to find great and appropriate songs. So many times Sirena has stumbled across an intriguing title that led to a three-minute gold mine. She finds cuts that sound great in succession but contrast enough to keep the ears perked, and has a great ear for a witty lyric. Working together, we’ve come to love many particular singers in common–Lee Wiley, Matt Dennis, and the king of them all, Bobby Short–while also individually claiming certain songs as our own pets. For Sirena those include “Big Spender” from the show Sweet Charity, Bobby Short’s cut of “I’m in Love Again,” and Stacey Kent’s version of “He Loves and She Loves.” Kent herself is an example of something else Sirena brought to the show: contemporary performers whose styles and choices absolutely fit our premise. Kent and Harry Connick Jr., for two examples. The contemporary crooner she’s championed most is the handsome singing archivist Michael Feinstein, whom we both call Candy Face out of love and respect. What’s more, Sirena’s playful enthusiasm on the air makes our talk breaks a blessing. She is audibly pumped about introducing our listeners to standards of the Great American Songbook.

Also, she rustles up new PSAs for the station. SO MANY NEW PSAs!

Pete Wilson, Nashville Jumps