Until my freshman year in college, I listened to two musical genres: oldies music and bad music. I had grown up listening to the Beach Boys, Chuck Berry and the Lovin’ Spoonful with my parents. But when high school hit, I tried to strike out on my own and ended up cultivating an explicable love for Amy Grant and Brian McKnight. Needless to say, I was fortunate to have friends in college who shepherded me away from the world of soft rock and into a universe populated by Van Morrison, Stevie Wonder, Elvis Costello and the Beatles. As the illegal download culture thrived at Swarthmore (and every university nationwide), so did my music tastes. I was able to listen to bands I’d never even heard before. I developed favorites and not-so-favorites, ultimately deciding that Ben Fold’s “Zak and Sara” was not only my anthem but deserved to be blasted down the hall of my dorm constantly. The next four years—to my delight of my Van-loving roommate and mix-tape-making boyfriends—continued in similar, musically obsessed fashion.
And now it’s 2009. I am nearly two years out of college and since those fateful freshman days I have expanded my musical tastes and repertoire dramatically, have begun to learn the difference between yelling and good hip-hop, and am still demonstrating a lot of growth potential. I just graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern in December and wanted the opportunity to combine this love of music with my interest in writing—which is how I ended up here, as an XRT intern. I worked out an agreement with my awesome boss that my main internly duties would include attending and reviewing concerts and working at various station events across the city. So that’s exactly what you’ll be hearing about when you tune in to read Diary of an XRT Intern: my ongoing pursuit for excellent music, the cool concerts going on in Chicago, as well as my interactions with the DJs and the various things I get to do around the station. That said, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy living the life of an intern and writing about it. And I promise, I’ll keep the discussion of slow jazz to the very barest minimum.