The DJ’s of WBER

The DJs of WBER

Andrew

Friday 8:00-10:00 P.M.

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I first heard WBER while in a friend’s car in 1990. I was a live DJ at other radio stations but loved the format at WBER. So here I am. I grew up in the city here in Rochester and graduated with a B.A. degree in Communication from St. John Fisher, and I’m the world’s worst speller (thank you spell check!). Aspirations? To live and work where it is warm, year round. “Peace, Love & Pancakes”.

My five favorite alternative bands are as follows: The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Death Cab For Cutie, Beastie Boys, Rage Against the Machine and KISS (I know they aren’t alternative, but they are the greatest band in the world.)

Army Matt

Tuesday 8:00-10:00 A.M.


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I first started listening to WBER in college around 1997. I was drawn to the variety of the station. I had never heard a station that played music the way I listened to it. That is to say with a good deal of ADD. I was hooked from then on. Years later after a move out of state and then back I became a semi-regular caller to the FMS. Through listening I decided to enter myself in the “Be the Next WBER DJ” contest. In the 2011 contest I came in 2nd. I was then given a chance to come in about 6 months later and train to be a DJ.

Boston Erik

Friday 9:00-11:00 A.M


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I found The Only Station That Matters while driving the late night bus at RIT in September 2001 and my life has never been the same.  After looting the Friday Morning Show of countless concert tickets and CDs, I decided to enter the Be The Next BER DJ Competition #5 and managed to dupe all of the judges into thinking it was a good idea to make me a DJ.

During my show, you’ll find my weekly Flannel Song of the Week feature, where you’ll hear something from the 90’s that you haven’t heard in a while, if ever.  I’ve also been known to do many an interview with such BER greats as MC Lars, Jon Hopkins, and Kay Hanley!

And remember my friends, we’re all interested in the future, for that’s where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives.

Brett

Thursday 5:00-7:00 P.M


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My older sister listened to WBER during her junior high and high school days (1995-1999) and was a major influence on my music taste growing up. I put in an application after I graduated college in 2011 and was on the waiting list for five years before finally getting involved in September of 2016.

Real World: Been working at Bill Gray’s for almost 10 years and graduated from St. John Fisher with a communications degree in 2011. Wrote Buffalo Sabres news for examiner.com from 2013 until 2016 when the website shut down. Trying to gain valuable experience that pertains to my college degree to help further a potential career in broadcasting or journalism.

BrianStorm

The first Sunday of each new month from 12:00-2:00 P.M.


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My wife introduced me to WBER on my first visit to Rochester in 1999. I thought wow, what a cool station, we have nothing like this back home! I became a DJ by pestering Joey for most of 2014, until he gave in. It helped that I had 13 years of on again off again radio experience.

Charlie “Space Mountain”

Saturday 7-11 AM


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I first heard WBER while in a friend’s car in 1990. I was a live DJ at other radio stations but loved the format at WBER. So here I am. I grew up in the city here in Rochester and graduated with a B.A. degree in Communication from St. John Fisher, and I’m the world’s worst speller (thank you spell check!). Aspirations? To live and work where it is warm, year round. “Peace, Love & Pancakes”.

My five favorite alternative bands are as follows: The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Death Cab For Cutie, Beastie Boys, Rage Against the Machine and KISS (I know they aren’t alternative, but they are the greatest band in the world.)

Curtastrophe

Wednesdays 7:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M.


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In french class the cute redhead girl turns around and says “Hey, did you hear that old Green Day song on WBER yet?”. “What station?” “90.5” “Oh right”. I had no idea what station she was talking about, and I played it off as I hadn’t heard it “yet”. So I checked it out on the drive home to up my game, heard Bjork’s “Army Of Me” and I was hooked. Battled my way to victory through the 2012 Be The Next WBER DJ competition.

DJ Carbon

Sunday 8:00-10:00 A.M.


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I’ve been listening to WBER since middle school in the early 90’s. I used to tape songs off of WBER with my little portable boom box. I remember hearing songs from the debut albums of Portishead and Weezer by listening to WBER. If it weren’t for WBER I wouldn’t be as obsessed with music as I am and probably wouldn’t have gone on to play an active role in college radio at WPTS at the University of Pittsburgh.

DJ JAKS

Alternate



 

JAKS started his love for radio in his childhood, pretending he was Johnny Fever from WKRP and making radio shows with his Playskool tape recorder. What was ignited by his older sister in his Ontario county youth with a love of The Go-Gos, Men At Work and Duran Duran, blossomed into a full-on musical obsession over the years. He was raised on popular radio, from classic rock to pop princesses, before discovering the joys of a non-commercial fed WBER in the early ’90s.

It was in the summer of 1991 when a friend from Florida arrived for the season with a copy of an album named “Kerplunk!” by a trio of then unknown west coasters named Green Day. It served as the ember that became the wildfire of his love for punk and ska and led to attending hundreds of concerts over the last 2 1/2 decades, traveling as far as Cleveland or Connecticut for a concert, hitting 20 of the 25 Warped Tours, and finding love in the high energy musical performances at whatever venue he might be fighting towards the front row of at the time.  Eventually, he was lucky enough to work for a punk rock website for numerous years before it folded. There he did album and concert reviews and got to meet many bands while interviewing them. The taste of backstage life, hanging in tour buses and green rooms, seeing the world and meeting his idols, only helped cement the fact that JAKS was due for a career in entertainment.

Channeling his interests, he took a Concert production course a Full Sail University in Florida and gotten bitten by the film bug while attending,  before coming back home and finally landing to roost in the ROC city at WBER. JAKS continues to strive to work in the concert and music industry and rarely turns up an opportunity to help a local artist in any form. He’ll be just as likely to dabble in film as well, completing his multimedia obsession by creating short films and music videos whenever given the chance.  And those concerts? Still a crucial part of his stress control. He has been known to say “I’ll die in a pit”, and there are very few who would argue the fact. In his years at WBER, he has strived to inject the playlist with more of the punk and ska music he adores so much, as well as some lesser known electronic artists while spinning the best in all forms of alternative. He’s the creator and host of the Compilation Celebration, Fridays at 5:30, which takes a classic compilation album and plays 3 tracks a week from it for an entire month.

He lists his Top 5 WBER bands as Green Day, Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones & MC Lars and swears “This Gigantic Robot Kills”, by Lars is his personal anthem. He also thinks writing about himself in the 3rd person is rather creepy.

Tune in and bop your head along to the funky beats every Friday from 5 pm until 8 pm to see if you can catch him singing along in the background to a favorite song! Or better yet, tap the big, bald-headed guy on the shoulder at the next show or fundraiser and say “Hi!” He may look intimidating, but he’s really just a mushy old teddy bear and he may just have a WBER sticker for you…

DJ NOVA

Thursday 7:00 –  9:00 PM

 

I discovered WBER in college while attending the Rochester Institute of Technology, first as a photographer and later as an AV geek. WBER fueled my creative hours and helped me burn off steam after long days and nights producing shows with the RIT Energy House Team. The idea of being on the other side of the mic as a DJ was a dream both fascinating and terrifying. Life got in the way of following that dream till recently, but when I got the chance I went for it.

 

Real World:
My full time job Director Content Strategy for a digital signage and touchscreen company called Kiosk & Display.  I run the content division in Rochester but the company is based in Atlanta, Georgia. I am an R.I.T college graduate but started college at an Art School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I grew up in two places. Fredonia, New York with my Mom and Kaneohe, Hawaii with my Dad. I love to travel at home and abroad. In the last few years ago I hiked the Grand Canyon rim to rim with my cousin and hiked the The Narrows – Zion National Park last year with my partner in crime Matt. Next I’m dreaming about a trip to hike the trail to Machu Picchu, a place my Grandmother and I planned to go years ago, but got derailed. I would love to do it in her memory.
I am always on the lookout for music that’s different. I like to say that I like music that flows and sometimes punches. Sound texture is huge. I love a good mash-up of worlds, instruments and styles.
5 Favorite Alternative Albums/Bands:
Depeche Mode – Black Celebration
Nine Inch Nails – Pretty Hate Machine
The Crystal Method – Vegas
Imogen Heap – Speak For Yourself
Trifonic ‎– Emergence
“Fall down seven times, stand up eight.”

DJ UNO

Alternate

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An occasional listener back in the day (late 80’s), my brother Al got me back into listening and when I won tickets to go see Moby I asked Joey about being a DJ. After 6 months of pestering him, he finally relented…

Dr. Jay

Friday 5:00-8:00 P.M.

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WBER History:  Looking for something new in 1991, started at the beginning of the FM dial.  Came across Depeche Mode ‘Personal Jesus’ on 90.5 and haven’t left since.  Became a DJ in 1987 by answering an ad in Freetime magazine from Beal’s Rock & Roll Review.  Played at bars, weddings, parties etc.

Real World:  Software developer for a large local payroll processing company.  2 kids, just became an empty-nester as my youngest went away to college.  I went to MCC and finished at Empire State College.  Grew up in Buffalo, moved to Halifax Nova Scotia for 6 years and ended up in Rochester in 1983, on my own at the age of 20.  Huge Buffalo Bills fan.

5 favorite alternative bands:
Depeche Mode
Live
The Cure
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Graham Parker & The Rumour

Fav Movie: The Princess Bride
Fav TV show: A tie between NYPD Blue and Game of Thrones
First Concert: Jethro Tull, War Child tour at the Niagara Falls Convention Center 1975

Words to live by: “Try not to act your age.”

Furious Yellow

Saturday 11:00 A.M.-2:00 P.M.


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A longtime listener of WBER, I was listening to the FMS and heard Joey announce the first “WBER Be the Next DJ” competition. I emailed my entry as soon as I could, thinking, “What have I got to lose?” I barely survived the first elimination, but I did make it to the “Elite Eight” of the competition. After several weeks of pre-dawn rising, donut buying, and tireless self-promotion – I emerged the winner. The first “Be The Next DJ” competition winner – I thought to myself, “Holy crap!!! – I won… now what the hell am I gonna do?” Joey asked what shift I wanted, I said Wednesday’s. I got on air in July 2004 and have been going ever since. I love working at the station. I have met some great people and learned a FRIGGIN’ TON. So what I don’t get paid – the job is rewarding enough. I get to spin great music for three hours, be on air and talk to some fantastic listeners (my favorite part of the gig – seriously). Hopefully, Joey will want to keep me around for a while, because, like I said, I love doing what I do.

Ginger Snap

Monday: 10:00 P.M.-12:00 A.M.


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Driving to high school and on Monday mornings, the song “I Don’t Like Mondays” by the Boomtown Rats would play. I haven’t stopped listening. I originally applied to be a DJ during the “Be The Next WBER DJ” contest that Boston Erik won. I got an email 7 years later and my work schedule fit to start the training process.

Jeff Kurzrock

Monday 12:00-2:00 P.M.

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I joined WBER back in the summer of 1993 during my college years to get more radio experience. After graduating from college, I followed Jennifer V to WMAX and became her assistant. The spring of 1997 brought the timely death of WMAX. I then moved on to work at WCMF for a couple of years.  I’m thrilled to be back and working at WBER, hands down the best radio station in Rochester. After hosting 1st Impressions from 2001-2008, I stepped down due to family commitments. You’ll now hear me on Mondays, at noon until 2:00pm.

Jennifer V.

DJ Emeritus


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I started being a DJ when I was 15 growing up in Cortland NY.  I always laugh because I started on WSUC (SUNY Cortland’s radio station) and it was 90.5 fm.  That frequency would follow me to Rochester, NY in 1990 and sealed my fate as a DJ at WBER.  I started at WBER in April 1990 when I was interviewing then program director Andrew Chinnici for my internship and he hired me that day.  I’ve been on-air at WBER ever since eventually taking over the Music Director Position and Morning Show until 1995 when  I left briefly to be Progam Director and host midday’s on WMAX from 1995-1997.  I found out quickly that commercial radio wasn’t for me.  I returned to WBER to co-host New Wave Wednesday with FrizB and eventually to host it solo.

I am incredibly grateful to be able to do something that I love and for so long at a radio station whose fellow DJ’s and listeners have become not only my family but home.

Joey

Friday Morning Show: 6:00-9:00 A.M.

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1986: Back in the day my Mom read that WBER offered a summer radio camp. I enrolled because I had always been fascinated by radio and being a D.J.. 1989-90: I started my first radio show on WBER 90.5 FM while attending my senior year in high school at McQuaid. 1993: During the summer of my senior year at the State University At Geneseo, I returned to WBER and interned for Jennifer V and also had my own show again. My dream job after college was always to work at WBER full time. 1994: After I graduated, I stayed at WBER doing my own weekly show and created the Indie Show. In December, Jennifer took a job at the WMAX and I applied for the job of Assistant Program Director and Music Director. I started full time at WBER as Assistant Program Director and Music Director on January 15, 1995. 2001: During the Summer of 2001, I was promoted to the position of WBER Station Manager and Program Director. I am very lucky to have a job that I love and look forward to every day.

Marv

Tuesday 9:00 p.m. – Midnight

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I started listening to BER in my teens (Mid 90’s) and never looked back! In the Halcyon days of Nirvana, or as Ed Sullivan famously called them during a performance (before they were a band, and after he had expired “Near – Vah – NA”), Bjork and Wesley Willis, this station was a respite for someone who was found by music that he didn’t even know he was looking for.

I was a contestant in the 2012 and 2013 “Be a DJ” contest and I was brought on board in 2014 as a regular irregular part of this dysfunctional family.

I’ve dined with Kings and Queens and lived in the gutter eating Pork and Beans. If you’re from Greater Rochester, I’m you (and you’re me). I’ve had a lot of jobs but haven’t found a career. I’ve loved a lot of girls, but haven’t found a wife. Every day above ground is a blessing.

“My best friend is a monkey. We learn, we laugh, we leave behind empty OREO containers. Join us, won’t you?”

Marv’s YouTube Channel

The Mayor of Nikville

Thursday 9:00 P.M.-Friday 12:00 A.M.

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I moved from Atlanta, GA to Rochester in 2000 and discovered BER while on Dr. Laura detox. (Atlanta is a big Dr. Laura town and I got hooked with her insight, insults, and charming personality). I realized that BER was unlike any station I had heard before, offering new music selections like no other and playing true variety (Similar to a Canadian radio station I used to listen to in hometown of Detroit). I was an avid listener when I heard about the “Who Wants To Be The Next WBER DJ Contest” on the FMS. I made it to the wild card round that first year, but lost to now WBER DJ Furious Yellow. Distraught and heartbroken I turned to Dr. Laura. She got me back on solid ground, and soon after I was recording my mic brakes in my basement, researching bands and churning out countless sit-ups and push-ups accompanied with many late nights discovering the nuances of alternative music. (Is it The Pretenders or is it just Pretenders?). Thanks to great listener support I won the DJ contest the following year and can be heard every Thursday night bringing the weekend in with musical style.

MC Em

Saturday 3:00-5:00 P.M.

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My family moved to this area when I was in college, and I was pleased to discover this cool station at 90.5 FM when I was visiting during a break in 1998. More than a decade later, I was again living in the area and heard an ad for a “Be The Next DJ” contest and, rather uncharacteristically, decided to enter. I was an alternate that year and only made it through a few rounds. The next year, I was a regular competitor and lasted a bit longer, but did not win. Nevertheless, I let Joey know I was interested in learning, and a few years later, he had a spot to train me.

Meg

Tuesday 5:00-7:00 P.M.

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I started listening to WBER in middle school when my older sister got into alternative music. I’ve been hooked since! Then I joined my high school radio club and got my first taste of DJing through the WBER Radio Club High School program. When I attended college I was a part of college radio and my WBER influences always came shining through with what I decided to play. Back in 2009 I participated in the “Be The Next BER DJ” competition, and while I didn’t win, it was a great opportunity. But here I am now and loving every minute on the airwaves!

Nancy aka: Nanimal

Sunday 10:00 A.M.-12:00 P.M.

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I started listening to BER in 1995 when my friend introduced me to the station. She turned on the radio and PJ Harvey – Down by the Water was playing. I have been a faithful listener ever since. During college I e-mailed Joey and asked if he could use an intern. He said yes the next day and I became the “ace” intern for the FMS. I then worked my way up to filling in for occasional shows during school breaks and scored my permanent slot here at WBER. I have been with the station since 2001 and have loved every second of it! I’ve met some fantastic folks in the past 12 years here.

Sarah

Monday 7:00-9:00 P.M.

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I had friends who listened to WBER in high school and college. Through them, I learned about the station. I credit this station with introducing me to many indie and/or alternative artists whom I love today.

Sgt. Pepper

Friday 6:00-9:00 A.M

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I’ve been listening since the early 90’s. Applied once, but Jen V. shot me down, I guess she thought I was to good looking for radio. The second time was the charm, as I managed a record store where 2 employees of mine worked at WBER. They hooked me up with my now second baseman, Joey.

Smilner

Monday 5:00-7:00 P.M

How did I come to WBER? Why, I’ve always been here! My first concert was Smashing Pumpkins with Fountains of Wayne in January 1997.  It was a bizarre show, because it was in the middle of anti-moshing hysteria, Jimmy Chamberlain had just been kicked out, and D’Arcy clearly loathed Billy. My top five alternative bands are: The Velvet Underground, P.O.S., Tori Amos, Run the Jewels, Madvillain. #1 Crush is the best song by Garbage in a country mile and black coffee is my favorite caffeinated drink.

“Either these curtains go, or I do!”

Smilner’s YouTube Page

Vernicus

Monday 6:00-9:00 A.M.


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Because I have to travel often for my job, I moved to Rochester in May 2008 with my wife (a native of Canadice), our 2 young daughters and our black cat so that my wife could be close to her family while I am out of town. Not long after moving here, I was on my way to the airport for one of those frequent business trips and I discovered New Wave Wednesday. It was like someone had raided my personal music collection! I immediately programmed 90.5 into my radio and it has been preset #1 ever since. After listening to the station for a while, I heard Jen say that she would miss a NWW show one week. Loving the show and having been a college DJ throughout the ‘90’s, I naively emailed Jen and offered to sub for her. She very politely informed me that there are many people waiting to be DJ’s (I had no idea it was a volunteer gig) and that there is a training program before you can go on the air. She recommended that I contact Joey about the Be the Next ‘BER DJ Contest. I did and ended up taking second place to Curtastrophe in a split decision in the 2012 contest. It took a long time to get over the heartbreak of that loss, but I entered the 2013 contest with my eyes on the prize and after 2 years of hard work I finally won! It was the first and only thing I ever won on WBER.

Warbux

Sunday 8:00-10:00 P.M.

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Music is the beginning and the end and the bologna in between. I would put nothing as a higher priority than a good show and am lucky enough to see several amazing shows a year! College is just a stepping stone and as long as I end up doing something music related with my life, I will call myself a success. WBER has done everything to feed my addiction and is an amazing outlet for me to interact and meet new people that feel the same. The best part of being involved with the radio station is being given the opportunity to interview and hang out with some of my favorite artists. I often use this as a bragging right, but often I’m the only person blown away!!!!