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a spin painting with many colors exploding outwards from the center
Mark Chadwick/Flickr

Friday’s a big day. We all need some invigoration to get us to the weekend — even more so right now, when an ordinary day can stretch on for ages and ages.

Luckily for KSPC’s listeners, DJ Hannah is here to help.

“It’s kind of cheesy,” Hannah says of her show, The Weekend Warmup. “But also, this is just good Friday morning, easy-to-listen-to songs. That’s something I like to achieve.”

Throughout the summer, Hannah’s put out good sounds of all genres over the airwaves. She finds it most energizing when her sets tell stories and have an emotional connection.

“I usually like to select music that’s relatively narrative,” she says. “I really enjoy when songs are stories.”

She draws from a variety of artists to make that happen: lots of AJJ for their narrative style, singer-songwriters like Laura Marling and Tristen for the contemplative moods, the Silver Lake Chorus and Bon Iver for easy listening and intricate song crafting.

i,i is an album that’s very much about soundscaping and painting pictures with sound,” she notes.

Still, sometimes the mood takes her to KSPC’s jazz library, where she spins Zara McFarlane and the Onyx Collective, or to releases with a more emo persuasion.

Hannah’s been refining her format since becoming a KSPC DJ last winter, striking a balance between the artists she loves and crafting a more cohesive listener experience.

“Now I think I’m a little bit more intentional about what I play and when,” she says.

One factor that adds energy to The Weekend Warmup: it’s live! Through the quarantine, KSPC has experimented with providing studio access to DJs remotely, through Zoom. Though many DJs continue to record their shows at home in advance of airplay, Hannah is up every Friday morning, speaking in real time over the airwaves.

“It’s a lot of fun,” she says. “It also definitely pushes me out of my comfort zone, not gonna lie. It’s a little nerve-wracking, especially when there are things out of your control. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been kicked off of the Zoom call because of the internet.”

How does it work? In addition to our basement collection of CDs, vinyl and tapes, KSPC maintains an expansive digital music library in the cloud, composed of more than 41,000 individual files (and counting!). In recent months, the summer staff has continued to build on the library to provide remote DJs with new music to play on their shows.

Hannah logs into KSPC’s on-the-air studio computer, speaking through Zoom into the sound console, and cues up music and pre-recorded community messages through remote control. The effect is often seamless — listeners might not be able to tell anything different is going on!

Still, even with new technical challenges, the show’s spirit remains the same.

“It’s a little bit of normalcy, and a really un-normal time,” Hannah says.

Listen to The Weekend Warmup with DJ Hannah — Fridays on KSPC from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

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