Slomo – contrary to the suggestive nature of his DJ name – seems to be moving faster than the speed of light. The recently elected Rock MD, Slomo has not only made reviews on the site more engaging by posting tracks from the albums he reviews, but he’s also gone the extra mile by sharing the wealth with all Djs on how to post tracks themselves. From reviewing new music at record speeds (get it, record?) to putting out an awesome concert calendar every Friday, Slomo is the perfect example of a dedicated WRUV DJ. Find out a little bit more about the man behind the catchy show name, and while you’re at it, check out The Sleepy Strange from 9-12 pm every Friday.
What brought you to WRUV?
A good friend of mine, introduced me to WRUV when I first moved to Vermont in January 2000. I wouldn’t have thought of myself as a DJ but I’ve always had a great interest in music. My first real exposure to “indie” was in the late 80’s at my college radio station in Danbury, CT. Where I first heard some ear-opening stuff like Pixies, Throwing Muses, Fugazi, Sinead O’Connor & the Sugarcubes. And for the past 11 years I have been on the air and the music I have found here has created a soundtrack for my life in VT and I am very appreciative for the access to music here. And recently I have become a Rock Music Director which is exciting and allowing even more “frontline” access, so almost nothing can get past me now! This is mainly why I love being a DJ, to discover these bands when they first start out, to develop a relationship with their music now, and perhaps get to see them at a small club here or in Montreal before they get to be huge.
Tell us about your show– what inspires the music you play? How did you come up with your show/DJ name?
My show is called The Sleepy Strange which is the name of a Japancakes album. At some point early on, I decided to have a theme song and I use the first track from this CD to open & close my show. And I play the entire CD (in order) as my backing music throughout my show. My show has changed over time, I used to play more folk/country and even alternative news until I found my niche with “easy indie”.
For my DJ name, a friend of mine used to call me Tomo, (based on my real name, Thomas), so I just adapted it to Slomo. Having my show in the morning fits well with the music that I like to play, which is generally melodic, soothing, pretty, and easy on the ears. I keep things mellow for the first hour then pick things up around 10am. Sometimes I feel like I get stuck “inside the mold” of The Sleepy Strange and am unable to break out of it, and play some harder stuff. But I think my listeners have come to expect the stable, easy listening, i.e. more sleepy than strange, if you will. I prefer it that way anyway with a band like Beach House that actually raises my serotonin levels, haha (the good-mood chemicals).
I tend to think of my entire show in “waves”, where I build up slowly and come down slowly, without abrupt changes. I try to play a lot of new music and I keep track of each song that I play, so I don’t repeat myself and if you listen over time you will hear several tracks from the same CD. I come in an hour early to prepare and pull the music for my show, listen to some new CDs, and pick out the tracks I like. Sometimes I may pass something by just because, at first listen, it’s too “raucous” or loud but I have learned to give things a second chance and keep my ears and mind open. I tend to take “rough” bands and pick out the quieter tracks that I can find. Lately I have been searching music blogs for free downloads of unknown bands to play at least one brand new song or band each week.
We know you have a knack for finding upcoming shows in the area — are there any you are especially looking forward to?
This is true, as I do The Sleepy Strange Concert Calender ™ every Friday at 11am. I scour every source I can for upcoming indie shows, especially the under-advertised ones. I am glad to be able to put it all in one place for others. My friends down at The Radiator often stream my Calender live to their listeners, which is great.
I like to keep up on shows because there are always those that you miss, especially if you don’t know the band yet. And then come to find out later that you like them. Plus you can see bands that are up & coming in small places like the Monkey House.
I am looking forward to the Waking Windows Festival at The Monkey House, especially Future Islands (who I missed last time) with Joey Pizza Slice. I really appreciate folks at Angioplasty Media, MSR Presents, The Monkey House, Tick Tick and others for bringing some amazing acts to town.
I especially love going to Montreal to see bands in small venues there, like La Sala Rossa, which is my favorite. CULTS is coming to Montreal and I missed them when they played at Metronome because I didn’t know who they were yet. Also, Explosions In The Sky is coming to Montreal in October.
What do you like to do besides being a DJ?
I am a vitamin buyer for a local “healthy” food store and have been in that field since the mid-90’s when I lived in San Francisco. I have been in a couple of bands locally and enjoy playing out & with friends. I have been involved in the Shambhala Meditation Center in town for few years now and that has been very positive and life-changing.