As KVMR’s Volunteer Coordinator, Edy Cassell is in a constant state of hustle as she organizes hundreds of volunteers for dozens of radio activities, such as scheduling phone answers for the Nevada City noncommercial station’s on-air membership drive next month.
Sure, that takes passion and commitment, something she also joyously brings to her hip-hop radio show, “Road Dog Radio,” heard from 10 p.m. to midnight alternate Thursdays (KVMR 89.5 FM, kvmr.org streaming), including this Thursday (March 14).
“I’ve got more rhythm than a white girl knows what to do with,” she quips. “It’s music with substance, intelligence, social commentary, and it’s just … fun.
“Especially when “rhyme and alliteration are my two favorite literary devices.”
Why do a hip-hop show on KVMR, where the music often veers toward roots, folk and other “older” genres?
“I got dead tired of people saying they liked everything but rap,” she said. “It is positive, conscious music and actually a broad range of musical styles, not the vile crap version that’s played on commercial radio.”
She and KVMR see the seven-year-old show — along with many of the station’s other 10 p.m. series — as trying to build a block of younger, more experimental programs as what Program Director Steve Baker calls “an artsy, creative time of night.” To Edy, it’s an attempt “to keep the blood fresh.”
On a typical “Road Dog Radio” show, Cassell might feature Myka 9 and Factor, Boots Riley and the Coup, Zion I, Brother Ali and Doom Tree. Live in-studio guests have included members of the Auburn Hip Hop Congress.
The Vermont native — who spent a lot of time living in the Santa Cruz area — landed on the San Juan Ridge around 2002 and has been the KVMR’s volunteer coordinator for about a decade.
“I’ve always been a fan of independent radio and would seek out stations like KPFA (Berkeley),” she recalls. “I’ve always been into music and people, so the job’s a natural fit.”
Her aging 13-year-old dog, Rona, has become a familiar sight to KVMR visitors as the station’s front door mascot and “semi-official” greeter.
“And if you’re lucky, you might get a howl out of her as well,” according to Edy.
The station has a continuous need for new volunteers; inquiries can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
A weekly wrap-up of news and oddities about community radio station KVMR (89.5 FM, kvmr.org streaming), a noncommercial station offering diverse musical programming, independent news and provocative public affairs from about 150 volunteer “citizen-broadcasters.” Complete program listings are available at kvmr.org.
“I’ve got more rhythm than a white girl knows what to do with,” she quips.