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Ring Around the Dial

The long-running WRPI-FM hiphop program SuperFriendz is off the air for the summer due to scheduling issues at the station.

SuperFriendz, an underground hiphop show formerly aired on Saturdays from 10 PM to midnight, was bumped to a later time, 11 PM-1 AM, after the summer schedule was posted. The SuperFriendz program was not canceled; however, the DJs, J-Swift and Nate da Great, decided the time slot did not fit their schedules.

“I have a daughter that I spend time with on Sundays, and I didn’t want to be up until 2 AM or later on Saturday nights,” said Nate da Great.

According to Nate da Great, SuperFriendz DJ for the past five years, in the beginning of spring semester, another show called Through the Fader, hosted by a former WCDB DJ at UAlbany, received their time slot through a mix-up. The DJs were able to work out their schedules, giving Through the Fader the 11 PM-1 AM slot, and SuperFriendz the 9:30-11 PM slot.

WRPI DJs filled out applications requesting summer-season airtime and ranking their preferences in order from 1 to 5. The DJs of SuperFriendz and Through the Fader agreed to keep the same time slots they had in the spring. When program director Jonathan Corbett reviewed the applications and made the schedule, SuperFriendz was given its fifth choice, the 11 PM-1 AM slot.

Nate da Great sent an e-mail to Corbett; whom he said did not reply. He questioned why the time slot changed, assuming that the Through the Fader DJ filled out his application correctly. He feels the other DJ was given preference over SuperFriendz, which he assumed had seniority.

“I felt like I was being screwed around with by the program director,” said Nate da Great, who pointed out that SuperFriendz also was written out of the schedule during spring break. “My only grievance is with how John Corbett has handled his communications with us. He was unwilling to discuss the schedule with us before it was posted.”

The Through the Fader DJ, who asked to remain anonymous, said he has “nothing to do with what was worked out.”

When making the programming schedule, Corbett said he tried to fit the application times into the schedule as close to the DJs’ first choice as possible, while maximizing total airtime. The time slot given to SuperFriendz, Corbett pointed out, was within an hour and a half of their first choice, which he felt was reasonable. Corbett said that no preference was given to Through the Fader because of its music programming or the DJ’s WCDB experience.

WRPI is not entirely run by students. During the fall and spring semesters, approximately 50 percent of the staff members are RPI students, according to Corbett’s calculations. Over the summer, it’s much lower, around 25 percent. The rest of the staff is RPI alumni and community members. Preference is given to students, Corbett said.

WRPI received a few e-mails from listeners after SuperFriendz went off the air, which Corbett feels is a limited public reaction. Corbett said it’s up to the SuperFriendz DJs whether they come back in the fall—and that he personally doesn’t care.

“We bring the community hiphop music that speaks of more than just bling-blingin’, partyin’ and gangster mentality,” said Nate da Great, who added that he hopes to see SuperFriendz back on the air for the fall semester.

—Jennifer Schulkind


Mountain music: Jay Ungar and Molly Mason with Swingology.

Head for the Mountains

It’s the big one this weekend—the Catskill Mountain Foundation’s Mountain Culture Festival. From Friday (July 11) through Sunday (July 13), there will be a bonanza of events all around the CMF Performing Arts Center (Red Barn) and its grounds on Route 23A in the village of Hunter, celebrating mountain music, arts, crafts, cinema and (of course) food. How big will it be? The organizers are expecting between 5,000 and 7,000 people to show up.

There will be a diverse array of musical groups Saturday and Sunday, including the drum ensemble Shumei America Taiko Group, Brendan Carey Block and Richard Block, blues combo the Hell Hounds, the Ryan Holladay Band, José Gonzales and Criollo Clasico, Chico Alvarez’ Afro-Caribe Band, the Mammals, and Jay Ungar and Molly Mason with Swingology (pictured). There’s a film program on Friday and Saturday; on Saturday and Sunday, events include a fine crafts show, a quilt show, wood-products fair, farm exhibitions, mountain-bike races, an Afro-Latin dance party and assorted fun activities for the kiddies.

Tickets for fairgrounds events are $7 for adults and $1 for children under 12; a two-day family pass (for a family of four) can be had for $20. The movie programs have a separate admission. For more information, call 263-4908 or visit www.catskillmtn.org.

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