I arrived at XRT by way of genetics. My parents met when they were DJs at a radio station downstate. Dad chose to get out of radio; mom chose to stay in it and started working at XRT (then “Chicago’s Fine Rock”) in the mid-80’s. Needless to say, when she started working at XRT, I just sorta hung around and was promptly put to work (see below). I interned at XRT through college, worked my way to radio stations in Missouri and Wisconsin before coming back to Chicago. I worked in advertising and had a brief stint on the railroad (seriously, like the song goes, I was working on the railroad all the live-long day) for a few years. Good fortunes (and maybe good karma) brought me the opportunity to come back to the industry to which I’d devoted most of my professional career. What better place for a live music loving, record collection building, stringed instrument playing radio nerd to end up! XRT, to me, really is…home. I still have the first CD I bought on my own – the soundtrack to the film LaBamba. Yup, LosLobos is who got me into collecting music. As for faves, I’ll take The Clash right along side the Dead, The Pogues right along side Van Morrison, and Coltrane right along side Kanye.
It’s hard to draw a line between work and play. Crate-diving is a hobby. I have my circle of local, independent record stores I visit on a regular basis. I run, I volunteer, and I see as much live music as I can. My post-live music routine is a small chocolate Frosty from Wendy’s. Don’t judge me – you don’t mess with a routine.
You can catch me on XRT Tuesday – Friday from 8-12mid and Saturdays from 3p-7p. I host New Noise at Nine – the Best of New Music Thursday – Thursday nights at 9. If you catch me at a concert, usually grooving in the back of the room, say hello! My handle on Twitter / Facebook / Instagram is RyanArnoldRocks, so connect with me there, too.