By Olivia Korvas
“Album of the Week” is a weekly student-run radio show on WXPL 91.3, FSU’s campus radio station, that is hosted by Fitchburg State University Film Major and Music Minor, Shane Muir. The process begins with Muir choosing four albums himself and then creating a poll on Twitter asking followers to pick which on they would like to have reviewed the most. Then, Muir takes the two highest rated and has them battle for top through a final poll on Instagram. The winner of that poll is the album of the week. If Muir does not have time to have people vote, he will usually pick one at random.
WXPL is open to any and all students or faculty interested in having their own radio show. Those interested can pick whatever time works best for them, and club members train new participants on how to properly work the equipment in the booth.
Muir joined his freshman year and is the Treasurer for the club. When asked about his favorite part about being on the radio, Muir delved into the ability to create and make something special out of one’s personal interests: “I think the best part about being on the radio is that it provides you with an outlet to express your creativity,” Explaining that, “With this space, you can really make it your own.” This creativity is voiced through Muir’s show and it allows him to work with his personal interests and friends.
Taking on a creative project like a radio show can be an endeavor that pokes at one’s comfort zone. Muir discussed how getting comfortable with being on the radio takes some time for most and the best thing to do is realize that working with the equipment becomes more familiar as time goes on. Anything can happen, such as a sudden dead-computer or even accidentally slipping a curse word into a song.
When the unexpected arises, Muir says the best approach is to improvise and just keep going. “I initially didn’t know what I would talk about between songs,” Muir states when discussing the challenges of hosting a show. “But I found that you can fill awkward silences by plugging events on campus, talking about the music you play, or even just talking about yourself.”
Muir would like members of the FSU community to know that the WXPL has recently started “WXPL Sessions,” where bands from the area come to the station and perform sessions live on air. These acts are filmed, recorded, and then posted on YouTube.