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The Scarlet & Black

Poetry, lyricism on the radio

A lover of stripped down, from-the-heart storytelling in music, Hannah Condon ’16 is the host of Bare Bones Radio which airs on Sundays from 9 to 10 p.m. The name of the show emphasizes what music is all about for Condon.

“I think what’s great about music is it exposes insights about the lyricist or society at large, so that’s where bare comes from, and then bearing your insides, so bare bones,” Condon said.

On her show, Condon often plays artists such as The White Stripes, The National, Bright Eyes and other bands that she identifies as garage rock or blues rock, and places a lot of importance on the poetry and messages of lyrics.

“I like pretty raw music, I don’t like it to sound too polished, and I like people with kind of weird singing voices,” she said. “I like getting into the story that a song tells.”

When choosing the music each week, like many KDIC DJs, Condon tries to work with a theme – this year has so far included neo-blues week (such as The Black Keys) and murder ballads. Because an emphasis of Bare Bones Radio is good lyrics, Condon spends time between tracks giving her personal analysis of the lyrics of a song just played.

“I had seen a dead bird lying outside one of the dorms so I went with all bird songs [one] week,” Condon said. “I would analyze what the bird was symbolizing in any given song.”

Condon also researches the background of a song to get an idea of its origins.

“I like to play a lot of songs from my own iTunes library because I want to be pretty familiar with them so I can give some insights on it,” she said.

In addition to analysis, Condon often gives listeners fun information about the band that was just played.

“If I’ve seen a band in concert I’ll tell stories about that, or if I know any interesting facts about a band I’ll share them,” she said. “I like to Google things as I’m DJ-ing to see if I can find anything interesting.”

This is Condon’s first year with a radio show at Grinnell, but she took a radio broadcasting class early in high school and had a radio show with a very similar format at her school. She is still building her listenership, has a few friends who listen regularly and is beginning to podcast her shows, which she hopes will help gain more listeners.

“I just really like getting people to listen to [the music I like] because it’s really important to me and I like to share it,” Condon said. “I like the radio because if someone’s listening to my show it means they want me to share music with them.”

Next semester, Condon is hoping to spice up Bare Bones Radio with some musician interviews. Over winter break, she is going to see The National live, and is working to get an interview with the band, and is looking to possibly interview The Heartless Bastards as well.

“I think I’m [also] going to start playing more full albums and analyzing the full album because that would be fun,” Condon said.

Hannah Condon ’16 live in the studio. Photo by Shadman Asif.
Hannah Condon ’16 live in the studio. Photo by Shadman Asif.
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