The Drexel students who run WKDU Philadelphia 91.7 FM, Drexel’s free-format and non-commercial radio station, are used to overseeing all aspects related to WKDU, from managing the budget to recruiting new DJs to hosting their own radio shows to promoting local bands and concerts. In May, the student DJs created another outlet to contribute to WKDU with the launch Communiqué, the station’s new blog featuring archived recordings and original content.
Communiqué, which takes name comes from the station’s ‘80s zine, was co-founded by Nick Stropko, a pre-junior communications major and the station’s PR director, and Paul Brown, the former WKDU music director who graduated from the music industry program this year. Brown conceived the idea of the blog for his senior project and enlisted Stropko, who has written concert reviews for The Triangle, Drexel’s independent student newspaper, as the editor-in-chief of the blog.
“Really, the blog is just another medium through which we can share our love of music. While a DJ is fairly limited in what they do can during their show, the possibilities are endless on Communiqué,” Stropko said, adding that the students can use different media to give the visitors more accessible content than what is provided during each DJ’s radio show, which can only be heard a few hours a week.
So far, Stropko, Brown and a handful of other student DJs have written opinion pieces, album and song reviews, and interviews for the blog. A weekly chart listing of the College Music Journal Award-winning station’s most played artists is put online every Tuesday.
According to Stropko, the DJs are absolutely not required to contribute to the blog.
“DJs just do it because they want to contribute and bring attention to music they like,” he added.
Communiqué will also feature archived recordings of several decades’ worth of in-studio performances, which have included artists like Kurt Vile, Good Old War, the Menzingers and many others. The new and archived recordings, which were previously unreleased to the public, are put online every Friday for free streaming or downloads.
“Eric Muth, who is our engineering director, is in charge of prepping the in-studios for release. He takes the recordings, remasters them, splits them into individual songs, and then sends them to me to upload to Bandcamp, where we host everything. From there we embed it into the blog,” Stropko said.
The blog features an eclectic mix of all different genres and types of music since the contributors are not restricted to solely writing about the types of music that they play on the air. Communiqué can be accessed at www.wkdu.org/communique, or by clicking “Blog” on www.wkdu.org’s home page.