On Air
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Gabby Salinardo | Sister Outsider

1 March 2020 Host Spotlight

by Barbara DeMarc-Barrett

Tell us about your show and how you came up with the idea for it.
My show, Sister Outsider (Tuesday, 10 p.m. to midnight), focuses on women of color and queer musicians, the name coming from a collection of Audre Lorde essays and speeches. Being someone who identifies as such, I wanted to give a platform to some of my favorite artists who don’t get nearly as much airplay as they deserve, especially considering much of mainstream music today has roots in Black and Asian cultures, some staple genres being pioneered by women. Growing up, I listened to a lot of music made by cis white men, and found myself attending shows where I was one of the few who didn’t look like those on stage; nowadays, being able to see artists who look like me and identify as I do grace the main stage is always a joy.

Do you take call-ins?
Yes I do! I love getting to chat to listeners.

What do you hear from your listeners?
Most of the time it’s someone asking me about the songs I’m playing, but I do get the occasional comedic call from somewhere in the country. Being that I’m in a late night slot, I’ve had intoxicated callers ask to be put on air, and while I appreciate the enthusiasm, I tell them they’ll have to settle for a conversation with me instead.

How did you find your way to KUCI?
Music has always played a big role in my life and I’ve been doing music photography since high school, so when I found out there was a radio station at UCI, I was sold in the time it takes most people to recognize Mr. Brightside. I’ve known about the station since my freshman year, but never had the chance to train due to late night classes. I finally found my way back about two years ago, and I can’t imagine my life without it.

You’re the Music Director for the station. What does that entail?
As Music Director, my job is to curate the station’s library by filtering through all the new music being sent to the station on a weekly basis and reaching out to artists our DJs want to hear more of. Between promoters for labels and independent artists, my office has become a fortress of physical releases (imagine that!), some that have been there long before my time. I also compile KUCI’s Top 30 every week, which is a list of all the new releases our DJs have been loving and playing on air.

Biggest surprise that came from being so involved at the station.
The amount of long-term friendships that I’ve formed; three of my four roommates are also DJs at the station! Love you, DJ Anj, DJ Owen Chillson, and DJ Kale #welivewithher.

What are you focusing on at UCI?
I’m currently a fourth year art major at UCI, so I’ll be graduating in the spring! My main mediums are photography and cinematography, and I’m in the Senior Art Honors Program with a minor in Digital Arts and Digital Filmmaking. Being involved in DigiFilm Society and FADA (Film Arts Drama Alliance) outside of class has gotten me even more hands-on experience in the field I’d like to work in.

What drew you to UCI?
I’m actually from New Jersey, hence the origins of my on-air name, DJ cawfee. A lot of people tend to be surprised when I tell them, but I wanted to live in California for a bit because of the great art and music scene. When I found out about the Anteaters, I knew I had to apply. How can you resist that mascot!

Tell our readers (and listeners) about the live bands that occasionally perform and are aired on KUCI.
The live bands that we have do in-studio sessions at the station are all artists that get airplay on one show or another, and DJs tend to choose bands that fit within their show theme. Most of them are local to southern California, but sometimes we’ll get a band that’s in the area on tour which is always super cool! I’ve been in talks with a Taiwanese band to try and arrange something for when they tour the US next. The DJ hosting the band often includes an interview segment as well, so if you tune in you’ll get to hear some great music and the stories behind it. Our YouTube page also has some of our previous in-studios, and interviews can be found on show blogs!

What’s the last great book you read?
Funny enough, the last book I finished is Love Is a Mixtape by Robert Sheffield. Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami has been a great read so far (as all his works are).

What’s on your nightstand?
A stress relief candle and too many film cameras.

In your fridge?
Oat milk, fruit, veggies, eggs, tofu, and soba noodles.

Advice for readers who are curious about KUCI and whether they should take the training course.
I really do recommend taking the training course! You learn so much about radio and the underground/pirate history of the station, as well as get the chance to meet other people who have similar musical interests to yourself. Some of my favorite conversations with DJs have actually been with those who have really different show themes than myself, which is what I truly love about KUCI. The station has such a variety of different personalities that culminate into this wonderful melting pot of an incredibly supportive community from all walks of life. I’m still in touch with the DJs who helped train me, and I can only hope that the ones I’m training now feel the same way about me!

Favorite quote.
“Myth is the facts of the mind made manifest in a fiction of matter.” – Maya Deren

— March 1, 2020


Barbara DeMarco-Barrett has hosted Writers on Writing (Weds 9 a.m. PT) for 21 years. She teaches here and there, has published here and there, and her book, Pen on Fire (Harcourt, reissued by Mars St. Press) was a Los Angeles Times bestseller. More at penonfire.com.