Saturday, March 5, 2016

DJ Knix of WERU's The Knix Mix Q&A

I've done a few Q&A profiles of artists and other WERU programmers along the way, and I thought it would be a bit of fun to answer a few questions myself.  Of course, you know I spin electronic music on The Knix Mix every Friday night from 10 p.m. to midnight. If you don't, you can listen by going to and live stream or listen to a previously recorded show.  I'd always been aware of WERU being from this part of Maine. I graduated from Brewer High School in 1988, which happens to be the same year WERU was getting underway at the Hen House in Blue Hill. When I returned to Maine after a decade in Massachusetts I moved just down the road from the station. There's a great sense of community at the station, and it doesn't hurt that I get to play the kind of music I wanted to hear. I've been at the helm of The Knix Mix for over two years and counting.  Which is, come to think of it, one of the reasons I coined "Knix Picks." So I could keep track of all the new music in that span of time that I love, love, love!

  1. Favorite genre of music? My heart belongs to electronic music, which encompasses a range of styles. Basically, I’m a total child of the 80s. British New Wave was the soundtrack of my youth, and I subsequently love anything that has synthpop origins. Ah, nostalgia!  Electropop, electro house, electro clash, French house, club/dance...Sensing a theme here? Really, I adore anything you can dance to.
  2. Favorite band? It’s hard to name just one, but there is exceptional music to dance to coming out of Europe. Artists like Röyksopp, Etienne de Crécy, Autokratz, Vitalic, The Bloody Beetroots, Yuksek, Simian Mobile Disco and Soulwax. I also love music to brood to. Bands that have that angst-ridden post-punk influence like Motorama, The Juan MacLean and White Lies.
  3. Favorite song? I’m really crushing on Etienne de Crécy generally, but “Someone Like You” on Essentials (Best of) is amazing. It also appears on Super Discount 2 as “Fast Track.” Other tracks that I adore are Vitalic’s “Poison Lips,” “On a Train” by Yuksek and Simian Mobile Disco’s “I Believe.”
  4. What was the first LP or CD you bought? The first album that I picked out on my own was Shaun Cassidy’s second studio album Born Late. I was kind of obsessed with Shaun Cassidy in elementary school. I swooned over him as little brother Joe in The Hardy Boys. I remember bringing the album to my 3rd-grade class’s show and tell. I sat up front and held the album cover open while the teacher played the record for the class. I couldn’t have been prouder.
  5. What hobbies and interests do you have outside of music? I love hiking and snowshoeing, which I get to do a lot of living in Orland. Besides conveniently living very close to the station, I also live very close to the Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust trail system and a short drive from Acadia National Park. I love nature photography, and I take a lot of photos on my hikes. I have two rescue dogs who are my hiking partners and frequent subjects of my photography. This doesn't mean I'm especially outdoorsy. I'm not the person you want with you on a mountaineering expedition.  I wouldn't last a hot minute. I have a romantic notion of nature and am fascinated with natural history and anthropology. I’m a voracious reader, and I love to browse the library or used bookstores on Saturdays. I love all things vintage, so flea markets and antiquing are fun for me too. I value learning new things. I’ve dabbled in acting and working with clay, and I’ve continued to take writing classes over the years.
  6. If you could hang out with anyone, alive or dead, who would you pick and why? I would love to meet Gary Numan, who is one of the pioneers of electronic music. I’ve seen him in concert a couple of times, which was great fun. He smiled at me when I yelled for him to sing “Down in the Park.” I’d especially love it though if I could hang out with Josh Gates for an Expedition Unknown adventure or two. He’s kind of cute (and very married), true, but I’m also exceedingly envious of his job. Something that combines travel, adventure, history, archeology, and anthropology? Sign me up! Just don’t sign me up for a spelunking adventure because the movie The Descent scarred me for life.
  7. If you were an animal, what animal would you be and why? I would want to be an owl. Owls symbolize intuition and have highly evolved senses - seeing what other can’t. They seem wise and cerebral, but they are also stealthy and can use those talons pretty effectively when they need to.
  8. Favorite food? I could probably live a long, long time on pizza and cheesecake. I won’t. But I could.
  9. Favorite book? Honestly, I could probably expound more on books than on music. Music I like specifically. Books I like generally. Though I’ve come to prefer reading nonfiction. I think everyone has a story to tell, and real life is often more interesting than fiction. Devil in the White City is a great example of compelling historical nonfiction. I read a lot of adventure books where people overcome – or don’t – seemingly insurmountable obstacles like Touching the Void, Into Thin Air and Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage. I love satirical memoirists like Augusten Burroughs and David Sedaris too. Laugh out loud hysterical!
  10. Favorite movie? Henry and June, 1984, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Little Children, The Shining, and Out of the Blue.
  11. If you could have any super power, what would it be? To know the unknowable and solve life’s mysteries. Like where did the settlers from the Roanoke Colony go? What happened to Amelia Earhart? What’s up with the Bermuda Triangle? That kind of omniscient knowing.
  12. If you could visit any place in the world, where would it be? New Zealand is at the very top of my bucket list. Amazing flora and fauna sans large land predators or snakes. Perfect! Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to summit Everest, was a Kiwi!
  13. What would people be surprised to know about you? I have two teenage sons who are amazing. They spend their school year in Massachusetts. They’ve co hosted The Knix Mix a few times. Keston, my youngest, has a boy band aesthetic, plays piano and prefers dance pop. Keegan, my oldest, looks like he could have been a Seattle rocker circa 1990, plays guitar and is into progressive rock.  They both love WERU but neither are into electronic music, and they are spectacularly unimpressed that their mom has a radio show.
  14. What three words would best describe you? Complicated, introspective, sentimental.
  15. What three words would your friends use to describe you? Honest, loyal, intelligent.

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