What is your name and DJ name?
My name is Ethan. My DJ name is DJ Libre, which my wife suggested, based on the name of a street we used to live on, and because it worked in the context of freeform radio.
What is the name of your show and when is it on?
Old News, Mondays noon to 2 p.m.
Please describe your show. What is its format?
On the schedule I describe it as “classic alternative rock, alternative classic rock, and more.” That obviously gives me a fair amount of wiggle room. I guess what I’d say I’m really looking for is music that conveys sincere feeling, whether it’s country or jazz or rock ‘n’ roll or soul or tropicalia or what have you. And I’ll deliver a little spiel once in a while if a song moves me to say more than just its title.
What drew you to participate in KMRD?
The first thing I focused on was the Sunday morning gospel show, which stood out to me because of all the amazing artists I’d hear there, like Reverend Charlie Jackson and the Louvin Brothers. That kind of set the hook. Then, as I started listening to the station more, so many of the DJs’ tastes and sensibilities resonated with my own that KMRD became almost like a constant soundtrack in my life. I donated a little money to the relocation fund and found myself daydreaming about what it would be like to do a show myself: songs I’d play, things I’d say about them, etc. One day I finally sent an email asking if the station needed more DJs.
What is the appeal of doing a radio show? How does it fit into the rest of your life?
It’s so much fun. I love it. I’ve spent most of my adult life working as a journalist, a lot of it writing about music and the music industry. That’s all super-interesting to me, but it’s also a bit removed from actual music. Having a radio show gives me a chance to share music with other people, and also gives me an impetus to stay on the lookout for new music—or at least music that’s new to me.
What difference has being a DJ made in your life?
It’s sort of rekindled my connection to music. I had a weekly radio show in college, and it’s been interesting to see what parts of my taste have and haven’t changed since then. On top of that, we don’t live in Madrid—we live a bit to the north, in a town called Santa Fe—and it’s great having a reason to travel here every week. “Community” is a word that gets thrown around pretty casually, but Madrid strikes me as a true community, and I very much appreciate having even a minor connection to it.
What are your hopes for your show?
More listener requests!
What are your hopes for the station?
With the new, permanent home, I hope KMRD will be a long-lasting presence in Madrid. And awesome DJs keep joining up.