College-Radio DJ Thinks He Has Cult Following

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Vol 39 Issue 23

Woman Checks Terror-Alert Level Before Leaving For Work

FORT DODGE, IA—As she does every morning, local resident Wendy Trotter, 33, consulted the Department of Homeland Security web site Tuesday to check the terror-alert level before leaving for work. "I like to leave the house prepared," said Trotter, a cashier at a local Cub Foods. "I'd hate to assume that the level is still Elevated, only to find myself caught in a High-level situation. And if I didn't check, how would I know whether I need to coordinate necessary security efforts with federal, state, and local law enforcement and begin contingency procedures by moving to an alternate venue?"

Banks Introduce 75-Cent Surcharge For Using Word 'Bank'

NEW YORK—Executives from the nation's 50 largest banks announced Monday that, effective July 1, all customers will be assessed a 75-cent surcharge each time they use the word "bank." "Now, each time a customer uses the word 'bank' in either its spoken or written form, 75 cents will be automatically deducted from his or her account," said Kenneth Nordland, 54, president of the American Banking Association. "For instance, if you say, 'I bank with Bank of America,' that would cost you $1.50." Nordland added that customers wishing to avoid the penalty are encouraged to use the alternate phrase "financial institution."

Christ Returns For Some Of His Old Things

JERUSALEM—After being away for nearly two millennia, Jesus Christ triumphantly returned Monday to pick up some of His old belongings. "I realize this isn't exactly how the world's Christians were imagining it, but I left a really comfortable pair of sandals in Galilee, and I wanted them back," said Christ, who died for our sins. "Also, I'm pretty sure I lent [Apostle] Simon Peter my best goblet at the Last Supper." This marks Christ's first return since 76 A.D., when he thought he'd forgotten to turn off his coffee pot.

Father's Day Gift Way Shittier Than Mother's Day Gift

TOPEKA, KS—For the seventh year in a row, the Father's Day gift that Robert Frankel, 48, received from his children Sunday was way shittier than the Mother's Day gift his wife received five weeks earlier. "Wow, thanks, Marc and Erica, they're great," Frankel said, as he unwrapped a $9 pair of padded socks. "These should really keep me warm." The gift, which stood in sharp contrast to the $85 day-spa gift certificate the children lovingly gave their mother on May 11, was presented without a card.

U.S. Refuses To Allow U.N. Weapons Inspectors Back Into Iraq

BAGHDAD, IRAQ—For the third time in as many weeks, U.S. officials denied U.N. weapons inspectors' request to reenter Iraq. "Thanks so much for the offer, but we can handle it from here," Lt. Gen. William Wallace told U.N. chief inspector Hans Blix. "We're getting very close to finding Saddam's massive WMD stockpile, and to have the U.N. get involved at this point would just complicate matters. Sorry." U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan has given President Bush a June 28 deadline to let inspectors into Iraq.

GOP Reports Record Second-Quarter Profits

WASHINGTON, DC–At a stockholders meeting Monday, the Republican Party announced record profits for the second quarter of 2003, exceeding analysts' expectations by more than 20 cents per share.
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College-Radio DJ Thinks He Has Cult Following

CHARLESTON, IL–College-radio disc jockey Jordan Haley is convinced that "Rock Blossom," his show airing Thursdays from midnight to 2 a.m. on WEIU 88.9 FM, has a devoted cult following, the Eastern Illinois University senior told reporters Monday.

Jordan Haley, a.k.a. DJ Hale Storm, broadcasts to his cult non-following.

"I can't say how many people listen regularly, but I bet it's a lot for a college station," said Haley, 22, who has used the moniker DJ Hale Storm since he started hosting the show in December 2001. "When I hit the mic, I'd say at least a thousand people tune in on average. We've never done any kind of survey, so I don't have the exact figures. A thousand is a guesstimate. For all I know, it could be way more."

Haley said his fans are drawn to his eclectic music choices, which set him apart from other DJs at the low-wattage station.

"I'm always mixing it up," Haley said. "In my opinion, the other guys here cling to their niche too much. Like, Scott [Schefter] always plays a lot of psychobilly, and Tim [Arbus] plays a ton of emo. But with me, you never know what you're gonna get. I might play something like the new Sigur Rós, then turn around and play something off the new Oxes record. Or maybe even Lovecup's 'Hi Pazoo,' which is one of the best songs from the mid-'90s Champaign scene. I challenge my audience, and that's why people respond to my show. My success should prove to other radio stations that people don't want to be spoon-fed their music."

Though "Rock Blossom" is heard mainly by his girlfriend and a handful of friends who request songs while they get stoned, Haley said his show is distinctive because of his personality.

"I hate boring, robotic Top 40 DJs who never go off the script," Haley said. "Me, I like to mention concerts that are coming to town. Or sometimes, I'll tell people a personal anecdote about a song or just share what's going through my head. That's the kind of stuff you don't get listening to some corporate behemoth."

Another quality that sets Haley apart is his encyclopedic knowledge of underground music.

Haley waits for the phone lines to light up with song requests.

"A lot of DJs think that if they know Rocket From The Crypt or Burning Airlines, they're up on the alt-rock scene–whatever that is," Haley said. "I was the one who introduced Black Dice, The Mink Lungs, and The (International) Noise Conspiracy to the people of the Charleston metro area, so it's understandable why my show would be bigger than [fellow WEIU DJ] Eric [Poppel]'s."

Though over the last two years he has received only one phone call from a woman–a drunken sorority sister asking him to play a song from the Grease soundtrack–Haley said he has a large female following.

"I like to play a lot of female-friendly stuff, like Shannon Wright and Girls Against Boys," Haley said. "So that's definitely a part of it. I think what the ladies like most, though, is my voice. I've been told by a few women that I've got a good radio voice, sometimes by women who didn't even know I had a radio show."

Discussing his nonexistent fans, Haley said he believes they like the fact that he keeps his show lighthearted.

"Most of the other DJs around here take music so seriously," Haley said. "What they don't get is that music expresses the full range of human emotions, and that laughter is part of that range. That's why if I play something like June Panic or Songs:Ohia, I might lighten things up with a King Missile song or maybe even something by Hayseed Dixie, this funny bluegrass AC/DC cover band. It keeps things from getting too heavy. I'm sure my listeners appreciate that."

Eager to stay on top of the music scene, Haley attends as many shows a week as he can. Being a regular on the local concert scene also enables him to show his fans that he's "just a normal guy."

"If I don't go to shows, I lose touch with what people like," Haley said. "You can't just exist in an ivory tower, like a lot of DJs do. Plus, I like to tell people on the air which bands I'm going to be checking out that weekend. I want my listeners to know that I may be a DJ, but I'm a fan first."

As a graduating senior, Haley expressed sadness about the impending end of his show, abandoning what he imagines are hundreds of ardent listeners.

"I'm sure a lot of people returning next year will miss 'Rock Blossom,' but life must go on," Haley said. "I've never regretted doing a show, even though it meant missing some cool parties. In the end, it was worth it. My music was the soundtrack to a lot of people's college years, which makes me feel really good. And if nothing else, I've exposed the people of Charleston to the music of NoMeansNo. How many people can claim that?"

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