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September 10, 2007 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

The City Showcase – Profile

It’s hard to gauge who is listening in on the array of VBC shows; its best to just assume that the effort the DJs put into producing and presenting their shows is making their countless listeners throughout Wellington better informed people.

When Will Terpstra, Ollie O’Connell and Dan Cape get on the airwaves every Tuesday from 1.30 – 3pm for ‘The City Showcase’, they aim to educate their listeners on the history and the current state of the music that comes out of different cities the world over, and they know they have at least two fans who dig their theme of showcasing different cities’ music scenes.

The City Showcase usually focuses on a different city each week and presents the music produced in that city chronologically, usually starting in the mid 70’s with lots of facts and observations on the artists and social context thrown in. Their showcases usually begin in the punk movement and run to the present, because as Will explains, “you have to live in your parameters to some extent – you can’t just do everything. You need to sort of go ‘this city for this time period.’” But, quips in Ollie “we do the occasional foray back to pre-1977.”

So far they have explored the sounds of Manchester, Dunedin, New York, Detroit, Paris, Berlin, Auckland, Sheffield and San Francisco, and usually change their city each week depending on its size. When they did New York, which has been the highlight city to date, they spent three weeks on it, going from CBGB’s era punk, to new wave, hip-hop, all types of electronic music, and modern rock ‘n’ roll. Last week was Auckland, where Will and Ollie (Dan wasn’t present) played tracks from AK79 such as the Suburban Reptiles and imparted their wealth of researched knowledge on the city’s scene to their presumed audience.

Whichever city is getting profiled, there is going to be a vast array of music from the signatory to the obscure. Ollie says, “we just try to sort of acknowledge lots of different types of music in the city,” which means researching the cities music, and not “just going through our CD collections and going ‘what have we got?’”

The public library proves to be a great resource for their shows, where Will enthuses there is “heaps of obscure stuff and books on the historical background”, which helps to explain the social context of the music and bring in some history of the city.

Both say New York has been the best city highlighted to date, due to the sheer diversity, whereas the worst has been LA. Ollie says “LA sucked, partly because of the effort we put into it. There is a lot of diversity there but if you look at the big bands that made it they are crap, they are so superficial like the whole hair metal thing. Basically you have to dig a little deeper for it to get interesting stuff and we didn’t”.

Most satisfying for any VBC DJ is finding out people are actually listening to them. Best measured when listeners actually call up and tell them they like what they hear, as was the case for The City Showcase.

Ollie and Will light up when they reveal they have had two random callers to date, and they don’t even encourage people to call their show, one called in to say “the show was really cool”, and the other, Ollie says in excitement – followed by a tinge of remorse – rang in with a request; “It was choice! But, we didn’t have it. I told him we did.”

Listen to The City Showcase, Tuesday’s from 1-30 to 3pm, and make the DJ’s day by calling them on (04) 463 9994 to tell ‘em what you think.


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