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Radio DJing



 Campus DJs give punk a chance to growl again

 Eric Searleman


"It's all positive," says Eric Sylves, student disc jockey at Arizona State University, describing the type of music he plays over the airwaves. "It's all about unity and bringing people together."

The music is punk rock. More specifically: Hard-core, metal-core punk. The kind of music that harks to the Stooges and the Ramones but has evolved beyond all recognition. Music that now sounds like a Porsche skidding out of control on the autobahn. Music that most people think of as negative, unforgiving and dogmatic.

Not so, says Sylves and Scott Coffey, two on-air personalities who host a weekly three-hour radio show devoted to hard-core bands.

The two student jocks say the hard-core scene is cool.

"It's a great release for teenagers," says Sylves, 19, a computer information systems major at ASU. "The concerts are very accessible to high school kids. They get to go to a club, see a bunch of cool bands for five bucks. It's a great way for them to relieve their frustrations and aggressions."

The show emanates from the campus radio station. Students and Tempe residents can tune in Thursday nights from 9 p.m. to midnight on 1250 AM.

Coffey, a 20-year-old broadcast major, had been with the station for three years when, finally, he was given the opportunity to spin his favorite records. The Whole F'N Show kicked off in January when Coffey sat behind the control panel and started playing a Sick Of It All disc.

"Hard-core music inspired me to get my degree," Coffey confesses. "I can't play an instrument so becoming a DJ was a way for me to stay connected with the music."

Both Coffey and Sylves say their short stint on the air is starting to get noticed. Each week they get more and more request calls. Kids know and recognize them at concerts.

Coffey intends to hang on to his gig until he graduates in 2001. He hopes his tenure will educate and entertain the decidedly un-hard-core student population at ASU.

Afterward, he says, he's not sure where he'll end up.

"Who knows," he says. "After I graduate, I might be spinning country and Western music in Missoula (Mont.)."


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