Our weekly radio show has never been something I just coast through, despite what it might sound like with the awkward silences or music mess ups or fumbling with content. That all happens with my trying REALLY hard. And whoa, two weeks ago was the most intense show to date. We had three scheduled musical performances plus interviews and one regular interview, and one tentative interview to fit into one entertaining hour spiced up with funny news stories and anecdotes, plus a TOTALLY unexpected musical performance twist.
Bold is my brain chatter.
-30.00 It’s early and the sound engineer actually shows up on time! Today is going to be flawless, action-packed, and incredible. Samer ‘Etyen’ Chami is debuting his potentially viral new song. He needs a mic for himself and for his backup singer. Two mics and a small mic for the ukelele. 3 Mics onstage. At least one extra in the studio.
-10.00 Loopstache shows up. Sound engineer has been working tirelessly but is stressed with all the performances. He’s freaking out. He’s raising his voice, “Adriana! This isn’t professional! I can’t set up all this stuff, we don’t have enough.” I’m really sorry, I tell him, but I primed him about this. Just don’t worry everyone can share mics. Everyone can share mics. Damn, I’m usually the one freaking out why is the sound engineer all freaked out. Is this making me calmer? Time for a beer!
-05.00 Loopstache is setting up a keyboard. Our first guest to talk about an upcoming music festival is not in the studio. There’s still some problem with getting the mics set for the studio interviews and stage. I just can’t dwell because we’re going live really soon.
00:00 We go live! Matias and I are chatting away about the blog. The bar is starting to buzz. Is this even interesting or funny? Are we rambling? I can’t stop looking at the studio audience. Are they entertained? Seems to be going well, where is that guest btw? Keep chatting!
00:10 Our first guest is lost on the road and probably not coming. OMG! In comes Jackson Allers and mega-famous NYC DJ Nickodemus! They’re going to do an impromptu interview for the show! Wow! Everything’s falling into place. Let me just prime them and get them on.
00:15 Nickodemus and Jackson and I are talking. This is good! I’m trying to pull the life and love and passion out of my guests. Matias gets a phone call. A phone call! In the middle of the show! I want to explode and disappear I’m losing my grip, this distraction has me reeling. Must stay focused on Nicko and Jacks. Ok, we’re doing alright. Close the interview, tell Samer to get ready.
00:20 Samer takes the mic, he looks comfortable and in control. Yes! I can breathe, this guest is going to be a breeze. We’re chatting one sec, the next second we push him on the stage to perform.
00:25 Performance is, in my opinion, beautiful! The sound engineer is appalled and offended by the song. In the booth SE explains how inflammatory this song is and I almost start to lose my confidence. I’m sorry for offending people, I guess I didn’t understand the lyrics. Sometimes controversial is cool right? I drink my beer and hold my chin up, the show must go on!
00:30 We’re back! We’ll have Loopstache on in just a second. Who just walked in!? Oh that’s the guy who was supposed to be our first interviewee. He’s ready to chat! During Layal’s Halloween segment he begs me not to ask difficult questions. I just ask him if he knows about the event he is promoting. It’s going to be ok, calm down. Smile smile smile. That’s what I do because I’m trying to make everyone else calm even though I’m freaking out.
OMG! Zeid Hamdan, our prized guest, just arrived strumming a ukelele while we’re interviewing! I’m even more excited and nervous. I want to look really cool and put together in front of Zeid. He’s a legend. He basically started the electro-indie scene in the Middle East. Gotta make this show look legit. Start asking smarter questions! Make people laugh! I love Matias but damn I miss Layal.
00:33 Interview with the guy from the music festival. It’s going smooth and well and we’re in control. He mentions that everyone who goes should bring toys because they’ll donate them to Syrian children. YES! News story gem! We found a nugget of gold! Good interview. Musical break. Everyone seems entertained. I’m riding high!
00:35 Interview with Loopstache feels good. Saving Grace: Loopstache LOVES Zeid Hamdan! I mean, if you’re new and up and coming prodigies in the Lebanese electro-indie scene naturally you’d love the godfather of it. Except in Lebanon you can’t just expect that. Everyone has some weird personal issue with people you’d think they’d look up to. Without having asked them off air, we ask them about Zeid Hamdan. They’re honored to be on a show with him and who else could they look up to more? That was smooth and glorious. They hit the stage and play two really fun and upbeat songs from the Jungle Book.
00:50 Give Zeid Hamdan a mic! Wow, he’s really cool. He’s not sitting like our other guests and he’s not standing like some of the guests he’s walking around back and forth and in circles answering our questions. His voice is so soft and sweet but he’s got really hard-hitting, really smart stuff to say. This interview is really tight. We ask him about the General Suleiman incident but he can’t talk about it due to ‘lawyer issues.” That’s ok. Matias poses a non-leading leading question. Few seconds of silence and confusion. Matias! Are you BEGGING for dead air? Everything’s crumbling around me, can we save this interview? We pick it up again and end the interview on a good note.
1:00 Zeid’s onstage! The audience is really full. They’re singing to his songs. He dedicates a song to Syrian refugees, he’s so on! I’m going to cry this is so beautiful, and it’s over, and wow what a night. Thank you all, we did it. THANKS ZEID! Ready to wrap it up and pass out.
1:15 Holding the mic, about to say goodbye. What, Zeid? He’s telling me his friends just came in from Jordan and they should play a song on the show! Um, OK!?! Sure! Who are they? WHAT?! They’re JADAL! That amazing Arabic rock band from Jordan whose songs I’ve listened to on repeat hundreds of times!? THEY’RE going to play on MY show RIGHT NOW!? Do I even have the cred to get this kind of opportunity!? I’m faking it till I make it here.
Yes, they will? The sound engineer scolds Matias for introducing their performance before officially asking them but Zeid had it taken care of so we didn’t worry. Ok, they rounded up their entire band and set up while I played 2-3 songs as a buffer.
I have to leave the studio for a sec to catch a breath and have a beer. I’m just not sure how well this thing is going. At least my part of it. I’m still nervous. Aren’t I tipsy? A girl comes up to me, “Hey! You’re doing so good you have such an amazing radio voice. I love what you’re doing, don’t stop.” WHAT?! Really!? I was like heart attacking the whole time! You think I’m good?! OK! I’m back up. Let’s go Jadal!
Jadal takes the stage. Performs two classic, beautiful hits. I’m seriously dizzy here. I can’t believe this is all going down. Matias is out filming, I’m in awe. I’ve left the studio and am clapping and singing and probably look insano but I can’t believe we pulled this off. I’m elated. I try to thank them more than a thousand times for unpacking all their equipment and rounding up all their band members just to play for us! How to show them!!
The show is over. Did we really just organize and host a Beirut music festival right now!? That was UNBELIEVABLE! What talent and diversity! My ears are ringing. I’m still too shy to talk to Jadal. Well, at least they performed right?
I need to take a nap. See you next week!
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