The Vegetarian Butcher // Alyson Gilman

What is your name and DJ name?

My name is Alyson Gilman. My DJ name is The Vegetarian Butcher.

What is the name of your show?

The Sweet and Lovely Show [Mondays 10-noon]. I’m a farmer, and we raise chickens, goats, pigs sometimes, and we have a couple of llamas. The first goat we had came with two little billy goats by her side, and they didn’t really have names and we knew they were going to be meat, so we called them Sweet and Lovely. The show is named after Sweet and Lovely goats.

What is the format of your show?

Genre-less. I like all kinds of music, so probably my main go-to is twangy, bluegrassy, old country, but I like The Kinks, and some Pink Floyd, and the old 70s… being a DJ has broken down the genre barriers. I’ll look up Otis Redding, and then who were his influences – Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Elizabeth Cotton…

What drew you to participate in KMRD?

I was on the board of the Madrid Cultural Projects, which was the umbrella organization of KMRD when it first began, and [Stella] came to town and put a little whisper in my ear that if we could have a radio station in our community and if the MCP could umbrella it for a while, that would be fabulous. I think all I did was float out a little email to the world. And before we knew it we’re official and we got a space… and then I thought, I want to be a part of this in some way, but I didn’t know how to be a DJ. I submitted my show request for a 3-minute show! But then when we were scheduling, and I did the training, and I thought, I get to play records! And there’s all these cool knobs and sliders and the voice out into the world – it’s an opportunity, I thought. And to join all these other volunteers!

What is the appeal of doing a radio show and how does it fit into the rest of your life?

I really feel that why I’m a radio DJ is that it’s a form of service. My original show was on Fridays at noon, which was kind of sweet to get people ready for the weekend and wrap up their week, but then I took a little sabbatical and then I came back on Monday mornings at 10, which I love, because I feel like I’m helping people begin their week, with just a couple of hours of sweetness and light and love and care. I think that’s what’s so wonderful about the radio is that I don’t know who’s listening – I know many of those who are listening – but it’s a force of love and support and community, without physical presence, worldwide. That for me is what appeals to me about being a radio DJ. And specifically our wonderful community radio – I’m so inspired because every time I turn it on, I hear that – there’s a uniqueness, there’s a differentness about KMRD, that each DJ brings their own differentness to it. It’s my favorite radio station.

What difference has being a DJ made in your life?

I speak more slowly. I listen a lot more to the radio, with a different ear. I think about how words affect. I never really had a large part of my brain that was musically developed – I love music, but I didn’t have connections between artists, genres, their songs, their lyrics – so wherever that is in your branoid, it’s being massaged and strengthened. There’s so much music. Musically it’s definitely broadened me, and spiritually too. 

What are your hopes for your show?

I want to do more live music. I’d love discovering musicians just wandering through the town, and asking them to come play. I’d like to do some more educational bits, like about the nutritional value of a farm-fresh egg, or the life of a meat goat, or where your chicken comes from. Why the chicken crossed the road. I’d like to do some more reading as well, and more vinyl, always.

What are your hopes for the station?

That we do summer camps and winter camps, that we involve more kids. That we become a stronger voice of our community, and what our community represents, which I think is pretty idyllic. Despite some of our challenges, we really are quite an epitome of what a small, rural community can be. And I think the radio pulls people together – they don’t have to come into Java or the tavern or the ballpark to see people – they are hearing about the strong force of our community. It’s a force. It’s a force of people that have knowledge and devotion. If we were to start digging a hole for every DJ that’s on air and the knowledge, if you collectively dug a hole that was deep enough to hold all our knowledge, we would dig all the way to China. That’s a beautiful thing.