The UMFM Show Spotlight is monthly column showcasing various programming on the University of Manitoba’s campus and community radio station. To recommend a show for spotlight, contact Arts@themanitoban.com
Looking for a local music fix? UMFM’s The Scene is sure to hit the spot every Friday afternoon, when hosts Jeff and Dave serve up a healthy dose of musical styles that are all-Winnipeg all the time.
About five years ago, the high school friends decided they wanted to start a radio show. Dave, a U of M Law School graduate and Jeff, a graduate of Assiniboine Community College’s Media Production Program in Brandon, thought there wasn’t enough local content on the radio and proposed the idea to the station. “We figured it was a shoo-in to get a show.” says Jeff. “I mean, who’s going to say ‘no’ to Canadian content?”
Approximately 550 artists make up the local music catalogue at UMFM, and the number is constantly growing. Each week, Dave and Jeff make sure to check out what new, local music has been dropped off at the station and take a listen. If it plays well on-air, they’ll include it in the show. Another way they come across music is simply by going to local shows or Festivals, approaching the bands they like and asking them to send in their music.
The Scene will let local musicians send tracks through email, however most artists drop off their music in the station mailbox. “We encourage people to send us information on their band, but we also visit the Manitoba Music website for show listings and artist backgrounds,” Jeff explains.
Both hosts try to cover all genres of music: country, rock, pop, hip hop — but they each have personal favourites when it comes to local musicians. Jeff enjoys Oldfolks Home, Boats and The Waking Eyes while Dave, a musician himself, is a big fan of Dr. Rage and the Uppercuts, Men in Kilts and The Dust Rhinos. “There’s a lot of really good music out there, sometimes you just have to hunt for it,” says Jeff.
The Scene tries to give local bands the chance to have their music heard in an otherwise overly populated radio community. When compared to commercial radio, perhaps the biggest difference of this show is that these guys don’t only play radio “singles.” “Whatever we like, we play; we actually make a point of playing a lot of songs from the same album,” Jeff says. “With commercial radio, you hear the same songs all the time, and when you hear the same song continuously, you tend to gloss over it.”
That’s not the case on this show. Where else can you hear songs from Ultra Mega’s album “Black Wu Jackets” — a handful of folk covers of Wu Tang Clan songs? These local musicians do “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” like you’ve never heard before.
More than just music, however, The Scene also conducts live interviews and performances. “If we’re featuring a local band in an interview, we’ll try and dedicate at least half of our hour-long show to them and their music,” Jeff explains. Manitoba band Tonitis recently drove in from outside the city to be interviewed live, and Steinbach’s Katelyn Dawn, who made it to the Top 16 on the sixth season of Canadian Idol, has been interviewed recently on the show as well.
As far as advice for someone who wants to start a show on UMFM, Jeff just recommends thinking of an interesting show concept and pitching it to the station. You really have nothing to lose. “As long as you’re prepared and find a time slot that works with your schedule, hosting a show is really fun and you constantly get to hear new music.”
Catch The Scene weekly Fridays at 1 p.m. on 101.5 UMFM.