By Sebastian Moronta Blanco, Staff Writer
30+ years in radio, a hole-in-the-wall studio in Campus Center, a seemingly infinite CD/record collection, and a deep love for garage band rock and roll.
That’s how Ed Slota keeps the airwaves alive each week on “Citibeat,” the weekly rock and roll segment from 7-10 p.m. Friday nights on WUMD 89.3.
“Really, I guess you’d have to say I was corrupted by punk rock.” That’s Slota, talking about how he came to be a radio host first out of college, eventually leading to his spot in the studio here on campus.
Slota curates three hours of rock and roll programming each week for the station, broadcasting tracks “that [Slota] thinks are interesting or important, or just fun to listen to.” This is just one of the wide variety of shows WUMD broadcasts, each with a specific musical or cultural theme.
The show travels through many eras of rock and roll history, while keeping a garage-band theme. “Bands like the Trashmen, and even the Beatles and the Rolling Stones to a point started as garage bands. I start in that era and start linking it through the garage bands of the 60’s, the Sonics, the Nuggets era, into the glam period of the 70’s, the punk period of the late 70’s, and then into the post new-wave post punk period in the 80’s, up through today…It’s generally very guitar driven.”
In between the action, he engages with his audience, taking requests and calls from regular listeners commenting on the show. Just last week, the show evolved into a discussion on the flaws on AMC’s hit TV-show The Walking Dead. “Why don’t the walkers ever trip over their own shoelaces?” He said with a laugh, “At some point, you expect to see them all tumbling down…We’re currently working through our Walking Dead problems. Sometimes people will call up just to say hello, because in a way they are family.”
“We program things that no one else is programming: local content, local bands, new bands that haven’t broken yet on a national basis, old things that don’t get played anymore.”
The show gets music sent in regularly and Ed tries to listen to as much of it as possible, as well as looking for new releases on SoundCloud and related sites to keep the show fresh with new music, while paying homage to the staples of garage band rock and roll.
Slota has been hosting the show on WUMD 89.3 since May of 2005, but his tenure at the station could be coming to an end fairly soon upon the sale of the station to Rhode Island Public Radio, announced just a few months ago by UMass Dartmouth administration.
He doesn’t think any of the shows the station currently broadcasts will make it to the new station. “It’s very unlikely,” he said. “RIPR, all their content is nationally syndicated…other than local newscasts, they really don’t produce any original content.
They don’t have a lot of music programming, and the little that they do is coming from a national source instead of a local source.”
The team at WUMD is holding out hope for the station. “I’m hoping beyond hope that enough of the people who have been nice enough to write the FCC and object to the sale do so, I’m still hoping for that miracle.”
Ed Slota takes requests during his show at (508) 999-8150 and to find out more about WUMD and their locally sourced, diverse content, visit their website or you could always tune in to WUMD FM 89.3 to hear the difference for yourself.