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Jen chats to Jordan Oakley from PBS Radio about their fundraiser and more!

PBS Radio Festival 2020: You Can’t Stop The Music
Monday, May 18 – Sunday, May 31
#PBSRadioFestival #YouCantStopTheMusic
Good news! Even though it is now June you can still Sign up or donate! People still have until June 30 to sign up and be in the running for this year’s Major Prizes!
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#PBSRadioFestival #YouCantStopTheMusic
The global pandemic may have shut down many aspects of life as we know it, but PBS 106.7FM’s annual Radio Festival is not one of them. The good folk at PBS are once again calling on its listeners to dig deep and support the station that supports them, with its oh-so-apt 2020 theme ‘You Can’t Stop The Music’. Bringing you the best emerging, independent, specialist and underrepresented music 24-hours a day, 365 days a year for over four decades, PBS is the antidote we all need in these trying times and is seeking your help to keep the station alive and the tunes spinning long into a post-COVID future. So alert the group chat, bombard your next zoom meeting and call everyone you know, because this is going to be a big one!
“PBS has supported the Melbourne music community for over 40 years. Over that time most of the station’s income has been derived from sponsorship and membership. With many businesses closed due to COVID-19, most of our traditional sponsors are not in a position to support us at this time. Therefore, it is important for our survival that listeners sign up as members and that current members renew. Many people affected by the current restrictions are finding a sense of normality in listening to PBS. I urge them all to dig deep and support us with memberships and/or donations during our 2020 Radio Festival. You Can’t Stop The Music!” – David Heard – Acid Country Presenter
More info below including info on the amazing prizes! 

Jen has a chat with Jordan Oakley who has a radio spot called Underground Love.

Putting an ear to the vast amount of underground music from various pockets of the world, from punk & garage to house & techno. Underground Love traces the connections between fans, labels, venues and artists to tell stories of the little-heard scenes that are the beating hearts of our music communities. While focusing on Aus/NZ artists, you can expect to hear sounds from all across the world.” Taken from Jordan’s page on PBS.

Hi Jordan, thanks for answering a few questions. Tell me why PBS fundraiser is so important! 

Radio Festival is the busiest and most important time of the year at PBS. This year, more than ever, we need everyone’s support. Sign up at pbsfm.org.au

It is great to talk to someone who shares the same passion as me, to share and get the word out there that local Aussie music is awesome and well worth listening to! I am keen to share our shared views that public radio is well worth supporting and is vital for supporting local music and the entertainment and education of listeners. You have a slot on PBS on Tuesdays called Underground Love that is described as eclectic, navigating DIY and underground tunes from Melbourne and beyond.

 I was listening to your last show on the 26th of May ( those who want to listen here) and indeed the music that you shared was a wide range of sounds, artists and genres. My sort of music. I guess in a way our choice of music is similar, we listen to loads of different songs and choose the ones to share. So, my question is, do you choose songs that you like or love, or are you like me, share songs that are musically and vocally excellent songs, but you might not actually really like the song?

Hey Jen, thanks for listening to my show and for supporting community radio! It’s great to hear that you enjoy the different sounds and genres that I play. 

Something I grapple with every week is how much I should cater to my own ear compared to my listeners’ tastes. I like to see my show as an opportunity for smaller bands to get daytime airplay but at the same time I think my role as a radio host requires some amount of curation. It’s a balancing act I guess. I get sent a large amount of music every week (which is awesome) so I have to curate my playlists pretty carefully, but I always include songs in my show that I’m not in love with and I think that’s fine.

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I enjoyed the interview with Amanda Vitartas who runs Future Popes and who manages bands, is a venue booker and co-founded Hysterical Records. I was intrigued by the question: what would the world be like without Public radio. Can you explain your thoughts on this here, please?

Community radio is often something people take for granted and I think if we try to imagine a world without it then maybe that helps us better understand how important it is. Community radio plays an integral role in our music industry’s ecosystem. Aside from providing jobs, education and volunteer opportunities, it directly supports local artists in a really meaningful and genuine way. PBS functions as an organisation that – among many things – glues fans, bands and venues together. This support needs to be reciprocated though, as we rely on memberships and sponsorships to survive.  

I noticed that you mentioned that many of the songs you share are songs that have meant something to you over your lifetime. Which happens to be many years less than me!  Can you choose a song or two if you can’t decide that you have shared recently and explain why this song was so meaningful for you?

I played ‘Palm Trees’ by Woo Who on my second Radio Festival show because it was an important song for me when I was searching for a music community around 2015. At that time of my life, going to jazz school at Monash University, I felt pretty out of place because most of my peers were people who had come from schools with huge music programs and who practised their instruments for many hours a day. I didn’t really relate to them and I was interested in more than just music for music’s sake. I believed in music existing as a vehicle for change and building communities. Following my friends to gigs, I’d discover heaps of new music made by like-minded people, and Woo Who was one of my favourite bands back then. I have a fond memory of being at The Tote upstairs while Woo Who played ‘Palm Trees’. Everyone was clinking pints together, smiling, and I was singing along with Amy Taylor and others. It was one of the first times I felt like I actually belonged to a music community and it was awesome! So many similar nights followed. A full Tote or Old Bar bandroom where the audience was captivated by bands like Lazertits, Porpoise Spit or Rhysics. These are the moments that I lived for!

 I like how you interview artists on your show so they can get exposure and also it is fun to do interviews. I have interviewed over 600 bands, and many of them have been new bands for sure and some of them were bands/artists that I loved growing up and meant so much to me. To get a chance to ask their motivation and influence on writing songs that have shaped my music tastes has been a real treat. Eg Derryck from Sum 41 that were so important to me in my 20’s. Have you interviewed any bands that you have a similar experience with?

Over 600 bands?! Whoa! I’m always really inspired by the underground bands in Australia and it has been great to interview a bunch of them over the past year. Getting a deeper insight into songwriting and recording helps me further connect with certain bands and hopefully, this has a similar impact on my listeners. I haven’t had the chance to interview any famous heroes yet and to be honest I’m a bit scared by that prospect!

Agreed! I have had some pretty nervous moments before talking to some huge artists!

What is the process of you planning your playlist for your shows? Do you have a structured process or is it what you are feeling at the time?

Good question. Once my show moved from 2-6am to 3-5pm I changed the blueprint to make it fit within my new spot. I start after a great bluegrass show so I tend to kick things off with some acoustic guitar or softer sounds. Usually, I like to gradually change genres and by 3:40 I’m often playing pretty hard-hitting electronic music. That can tie in pretty well with fast punk music and then I end the show with some slightly slower rock/punk sounds which ties into the following show. It changes every week but that’s the general idea.

In terms of finding music, there’s always a lot of new local releases which I struggle to keep up with. I always listen to everything that’s emailed to me and I try to include a lot of those songs too. 

Does it ever get frustrating for you that you know so many solid bands that release great songs that could be hits but due to the mainstream media choosing the same old songs that are pushed by labels and are usually songs that don’t mean much and some that are actually really bad?

I used to get more frustrated by this but I think there are some great opportunities for musicians in our underground scenes. There are all sorts of underground ‘hits’ that may never get played on mainstream media or the national broadcaster but will still impact loads of people. With that said though, it would be refreshing to hear more local and independent bands getting played on ‘mainstream’ stations. 

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I love the image of you on your PBS page. It actually made me feel frustrated as growing up with tapes and recording songs off the radio so carefully then having the old tape struggle and winding with a pencil…. Brings back some memories of annoyance! What medium do you usually listen to when it comes to the music that you listen to in your personal time?

Thanks! There was indeed a pencil involved in the making of that photo. I’m actually a big fan of digital music. Even though I like the mediums, I don’t seek out vinyl and cassettes too much. I’ll buy physical editions of stuff I really love but I don’t have enough money to buy everything I like on vinyl or cassette. Don’t get me wrong though, I love that vinyl and cassettes are popular again!  

 Can you please list the last five songs that you listened to?

Pretty random but here you go:

Jarrow – Keep a Tab (On All My Friends)

The Cool Greenhouse- 4chan

Sweet Whirl – Weirdo

Treepeople – Big Mouth Strikes Again

Pataphysics – Today

  Do you have any plans for a career in radio? Or something else in the music industry? I actually really like your vocal sound for radio. You have a really good style, any training on this? 

Wow, thanks! That’s so nice. I think I just subconsciously picked up a certain style from listening to heaps of different presenters across community radio. Sometimes I talk way too fast and I often need to remind myself to relax and breathe. There are no concrete plans at the moment for any particular musical career. I’m really happy and busy presenting my show and playing in a band. I’m sure I’ll be involved in the music industry in some way for a long time though!

 Can you, in 7 words tell us why it is worthwhile tuning into your radio show?

Diverse underground and DIY music. TUNE IN!

Good use of words! Thanks for your time Jordan. Keep up your great work.

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MORE INFO 

The 2020 major prizes on offer to all those who join up or renew their PBS membership from Friday 1 May are:
– A Primavera 125 i-GET Vespa in classic white with tan saddle trim valued at $6,990* ride away, courtesy of Peter Stevens Motorcycles
– A Clingan Guitar Tone handmade ‘Goldfinger’ electric guitar with SKB road case
– A Gett by Funk turntable with F7 tonearm and AT cartridge courtesy of Audiophile
– A Giro F2 bike with Ortleib accessories from My Ride Collingwood
– An entire year’s worth of PBS feature albums

Stacks of prizes are up for grabs for all tiered memberships including performers, businesses, pets, juniors, Friends for a Decade and Friends for Life. Become a performer member and you could score a Baked Goods live session video recording, or sign up your business for the chance at $1000 worth of custom merchandise printing from Das T’Shirt Automat. Perhaps your pet’s membership has expired, renew your furry friend and you could be the proud owner of a hand painted pet portrait by Archibald finalist, Cameron Potts.

Plus each day of Radio Festival from Monday 18 May to Sunday 31 May, there’ll be a different spread of daily prizes to be won including merch packs, food and drink hampers, tickets, vouchers and more, all kindly donated by local businesses, venues, and generous members of our community. Some of the seemingly endless daily prizes up for grabs in 2020 are:
– A handmade Anna Cordell tailored suit with consultation and two fitting sessions
– The Blues Train Queenscliff Experience dinner and show for four
– Music on the Hill double pass, plus a bottle of wine or 4 beers and a signed poster
– A Sonos special edition HAY One Speaker in red
– A one month Shining Light yoga membership
– Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio (MESS) yearly membership and double session pass
And at least 100 more!

“PBS has spun The Teskey Brothers since we first started releasing music in 2016. We definitely wouldn’t have had such a good start without their early support. It’s really important that this great radio station can continue to support bands like us forever so please sign up to be a member during this year’s Radio Festival.”
– Sam Teskey of The Teskey Brothers

Every year PBS releases its coveted Sounds of Studio 5 Live compilation album featuring exclusive live recordings of guest artists from the year that was. All new and renewing members who join up during this year’s festivities will receive a digital copy featuring the likes of Surprise Chef, Pinch Points, On Diamond, Coda Chroma, Clowns, Dyson Stringer Cloher, Deline Briscoe, Karate Boogaloo, Ghost Note and many more. Plus, get ready to slide into your next zoom meeting in the latest PBS Radio Festival T-shirt designed by local artist Jase Harper. Simply join up as a passionate member or above and be the envy of all your half-dressed mates this iso.

So get ready to transform your virtual hangout space into a non-stop disco dance floor and keep the good times abundant, and tunes endless this Radio Festival. Freshen up your zoom background with the 2020 Radio Festival poster here, or print it out and chuck in your window for everyone to see!

PBS Radio Festival 2020: You Can’t Stop The Music
May 18 – May 31 2020

For the full list of daily prizes or to join head over to www.pbsfm.org.au
If you are having trouble renewing online, you can email info@pbsfm.org.au or try calling (03) 8415 1067 between 10am-6pm Monday to Friday and PBS will do their best to answer your call

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#PBSRadioFestival #YouCantStopTheMusic

Thank you for supporting PBS.

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