Feature DJ: Andrew Shores

ERETAndrew Shores, a junior in journalism and mass communication, says he can beat you and all your friends at Pokemon. He has also been working in radio since he was 14.

Shores hosts a program on Wednesday evenings called “Emo Rock/Emo Talk.” He also DJs on Mondays from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.

“I came to K-State on a campus visit last spring, and drove through Manhattan the evening before listening to 91.9 thinking, ‘Did The Get Up Kids seriously just come on the radio? This station is rad,” Shores said. “Some of the friendly people from Kedzie Hall directed me to the KSDB Studio where I spoke briefly with Jordan Swoyer. He was friendly, inviting, and told me everything the station had to offer. It made me really excited to get in the studio in the fall.”

Although he listens to a wide variety of music, Shores has always been fascinated with Emo bands from the 1990’s.

“I’m also interested in the ‘Emo revival’ music that has been prominent in the scene these last few years,” Shores said. “When I found out that it was possible to host a specialty program on The Wildcat, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I put an application together and planned out my program, then got approved to host a weekly show. At first it was unnerving, realizing you have to plan and execute an hours’ worth of programming. I love it now.”

Shores says that the word “Emo” is actually slang for “emotional hardcore,” and the genre was birthed during the 1980’s in the Washington D.C. area. Bands like Minor Threat, Rights of Spring, Embrace, and Indian Summer were pivotal hardcore bands that starting writing music that was a little less lyrically aggressive and more introspective. Later, bands started coming out of places like Chicago, Omaha, and Kansas City that had stood for all the same things, but embraced a more indie/pop touch and feel.

“People seem to think ‘Emo’ is a bad word, and maybe it is. You don’t hear a lot of songs on the radio anymore that touch on real issues that impact us emotionally,” Shores said. “During the early 2000’s, there were bands like Hawthorne Heights and Panic! at the Disco that kind of defined the glam rock era of Emo, and that really gives us sad kids a bad rep. It’s hard to pin point exactly what Emo is, but it’s mostly just down-tempo punk music that makes you feel something. In the end, it’s just a word. You should never be ashamed to enjoy the music that makes you happy.”

If you listen to Emo Rock/Emo Talk, you will hear Shores play bands he loves and obsess over them.

“For example, a few weeks ago I played exclusively Brand New for the program, and gave an oral history of the band while providing a few lesser-known facts,” Shores said. “It’s like telling a story, and that’s the kind of entertainment I want to consume also.”

Shores thinks campus radio matters because it engages and inspires the campus community and gives them a voice.

After leaving a previous university, Shores took a year off from college and worked as a para educator.

“I spent most of my time with a student with severe developmental issues, but it was a fantastic experience,” Shores said. “Every day was exciting and it felt very fulfilling being able to watch a student grow in many different ways. I learned a lot about autism, and I learned a lot about myself. I would never want to work in that position again because it was stressful and emotionally draining at times, but it gave me a redefined perspective on life and made me realize that I need to work harder to reach my potential as a human being.”

Shores currently works at a radio station in Manhattan. He says radio is in his blood.

“After graduation, I want to be able to be some sort of music journalist or promoter and expose people to great artists whether it be through Internet radio, blogging, or podcasting,” Shores said. “The hardest part is figuring out how that will put a roof over my head and food in my stomach.”

By: Maria Penrod

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