How a Russo-Nigerian Stallion Found Video Game Music, Part 4: VG Frequency (The Radio Show)

After a semester of my "(Insert Name Here)" radio show, split between my favorite mainstream tracks and tracks from the amateur VGM arrangement community, I realized that most of my listening audience stuck around for the video game music. Having promoted my show more thoroughly on OverClocked ReMix's message boards, I managed to secure a tight-knit group of listeners who I'd gather up on AOL Instant Messenger in a chat room. Among them were Scott "SeattleOverCoat" Porter (later just "OverCoat", my first regular listener), a.p. "analoq" matthews, Candy "Juverna" Bullard, and Danny "SuperGreenX" Adler (now "SGX").

I honestly don't remember if any specific track prompted me to also follow the original music that amateur VGM arrangers made. Having done a great amount of personal research on the artists' homepages, I was able to familiarize myself with the fact that many of them also had original works on MP3.com or personal homepages.

As far as I recall, it was around the end of the 2002 school year when I decided to do an episode of "(Insert Name Here)" exclusively featuring original tracks by artists in the OC ReMix community. Mixers who had already heard of my show quickly turned out, so I ended up with material from all the names mentioned prior. SGX's stuff in particular was very impressive (and continues to be to this day). I was also excited to receive material from top names like Disco Dan, Ailsean, Injury, DarkeSword, Protricity, and Star Salzman.

One particular thing I remember in preparation was that I printed notes on each musician and track to reference for the introduction of each song. Not to sound egotistical, because my shows were both very loose and tongue-in-cheek, but I'm impressed at the degree of seriousness that I gave to the subject matter at the time. I was able to note real names, music competitions that they had recently taken part in, as well as previous works and relevance to the community. There was no moment where my audience went "Damn, he respects the community. He knows his stuff," but I feel those things were inherent and unspoken to those from the VGM arrangement community who tuned in.

In the summer of 2003, I finally made the move to focusing on video game music and the amateur VGM arrangement community entirely. After being stuck on a name for weeks (the best I could initially come with was VGM: Very Good Music, which I allowed Steve "D-Lux" King to steal years later), my friend Joe bantered out a few radio sounding words, including the word "Frequency." As soon as I put "VG" in front of it and said it aloud, I knew I had a very strong name for the show.

Looking back to my first episode's playlist from VGF, I'm certainly astonished by a few things:

*I forgot about my penchant for inserting songs into my playlists on the fly when requests popped up; my first track of the show was a request for Gröûp X.
*Just friends at the time, "The Lady", Paige, called into the very first show. Though basically a hater (you'll hear more from her when the time comes), she was impressed by the music of Jared Hudson and Quinn Fox.
*My selection was nowhere near as deep back then. Most of the tracks were favorite OC ReMixes.

It would take too much time to go through all the various developments in the show that were very important to me at the time. The ball started rolling with people I had known beforehand, and soon enough I was joined by people I didn't know well but knew of the show. The show clearly became more important over time as ReMixers started going out of their way to catch it, started providing me with audio bumpers, tracks to play (many times, before anyone else had heard them), works-in-progress to provide feedback to or interviews, and started treating the show's chat room as a important place to be to interact with lots of community members.

Memories of those 3 years, in shorthand:

*The headache that was streaming in RealAudio
*Commercials for Zwings 'n Things ("Miss the old days when a wing was a wing?", which Spencer Koch later admitted he had no idea how he came up with that when recording the ad)
*Bubb Rubb during all of the early aftershows
*Coining the term "e-penis" while interviewing KyleJCrb and reading the chat room window contents over the air; if you've ever heard the term anywhere, I somehow invented it
*The Wingless explains the meaning of bukkake
*The Valentine's Day shows
*Being saved in a big way by 5 interviews when audio from my computer was a no-go one week
*Interviewing Protricity, the arrival of Jim Holland and newly being able to record the shows myself, leading to jump in popularity once show MP3s became available every week
*Having friend, Emory student, WMRE DJ, and old-school OC ReMixer Electron on board as guest host
*The yearly "Best of the Best" episodes capping off each year's run
*Interviewing OC ReMix founder, David "djpretzel" Lloyd
*The surprise return for one more season after graduating from Emory University in 2005

VG Frequency certainly was a memorable experience that fueled my love for broadcasting to this day. The radio show kept me in tune with the goings-on of the amateur VGM arrangement community for quite a long time in an Internet age where people move fast and events move faster. The casual fan misses out on the high quality, diversity and vast selection in arrangements outside of OC ReMix and especially original works from artists' homepages. It made me respect the community's musicians even more, and bringing those tracks awareness they may have otherwise not received is something I'm proud of doing.

Though I served an unconventional role in the community as a radio DJ, the role was one that provided me not only the opportunity to observe the community's contributors, but ultimately the ability to actively shape the community's direction in my own small way. After doing community music reviews during the summer of 2004, I entered a few people's radar as a serious candidate for a position on the OverClocked ReMix Judges Panel. That'll take us to Part 5...


championvinyl said...

I didn't realize thar Enter the Frog was on the very first VGFreq playlist.

*single tear*

Dhsu said...

Leave it to Larry to claim credit for coining the term "e-penis." :rolleyes: