Thursday, October 02, 2008

Pre-Debate Mischegas

Finally, my hideously expensive education and my ceaseless toil on behalf of KWUR have paid off. I'm going to the big show. I got my ticket to the dance. Hitting the big time. Finally, I've got access to the movers and shakers, I'm going to ask the big questions, I'm going to nail people, I'm gonna shake this whole rotten system. But perhaps more importantly, check out the free swag I get!

Metal water bottle! Damn, Wash U! Also included, but not pictured: a Wachovia pen. The ill-starred company agreed to sponsor this before going down the shitter. So there's Wachovia stuff everywhere, and if you concentrate, you can smell the flopsweat of financial failure here on campus.

So I set out around 5:30 today to capture the various developments on campus. With my v-neck KWUR t-shirt, my camera and a Merantz, a mike and a cable wrapped around half my damn body, I made a quick circuit of the debate area. Here are a few choice snippets:

This is where they're setting up for Hardball, in front of Graham Chapel. If you look closely, you can see the holding pen where they keep Chris Matthews before the show. Most of the stuff on campus is like this, just kind of superimposed on the campus. So there's this weird feeling of, oh shoot, NBC is setting up near where I go for roast beef sandwiches on Tuesday. I'm impressed by how quickly they got all this stuff up. None of it was here a week ago.

Check out the interns! Look at them go!

I really like the guy on the left's 'stache. Tech people, for whatever reason, always seem to look like "Roadie: Metallica '92 World Tour".

Not pictured: The "Sex" sign, pointing to the showers in the DUC.

This is where we're going to be broadcasting from tomorrow (Pre-Debate at 7, Post at 9:30ish). Gotta say, they've done right by us. Check out Bubba's big mug on the screen. Nice.

This is from inside the AC. The "For Authorized Personnel Only" space is where I typically use the treadmill. I would not want to be authorized to access a space that smells like my stale sweat, but hey, spooks gotta have what they gotta have.

The media filing center, AKA Spin Alley, AKA, the Rec Gym, if you can freakin' believe it. This place is posh. TVs, ethernet. WUTV's got a fancy interview space up front, and KWUR is in the back with Asahi Shimbun and German Public Radio. I will definitely let this corrupt me.

This is Barry, a former KWUR DJ(!), now working for Wash U, making sure all the press folks get what they paid for. Back in the day, he spun Industrial. We commiserated over the demise of the Rat, and he asked if we still play vinyl (which of course, we do).

This is from the debate hall itself. Unfortunately, it is slightly blurry, but that's almost better, since these folks are student volunteers used as stand-ins for Palin, Ifill and Biden so that they can get the lighting right. They all fit in the same, uh, category as the person they are supposed to be, so Ifill is a black female, Palin is a brunette with spectacles, and Biden is a tallish white guy. I got an interview with fake Palin. I asked her if she learned how to field-dress a moose in preparation for her role as fake Palin. Apparently, she did not. I question whether she was truly prepared for the position.

Seats on the debate floor, and the tech guys doing the finishing touches. Overheard from one exhausted tech guy: "Is the debate over yet?" Don't blame 'em, they've been working nonstop all day.

The scene from backstage. Wires!

When I took this picture, I thought these were servers, but it occurs to me now they might just be a stack of preamps. Tech folks want to chime in here?

The podiums, from fairly close up.

These are some elaborate soundstages set up in front of the AC. I think they're for the major networks of something.

Overall, didn't get much out of this little trip, outside of the interview with fake Palin. I wanted to chat up the cops and the tech people, but they're barred from talking to the press, apparently. Also, I was a little shellshocked; this is my first time doing this stuff. I'm no journalist, I just read the newspaper and spin soul records. But I'm gonna try and get deep into this thing, see if I can get any neat insights, and besides, I'll have some friends with me. Tune in tomorrow at 7, for commentary from WUPR and special guests, and live coverage from Spin Alley!

P.S. Show yer corner


At 8:37 AM, Blogger SD said...

yaaaaaaaaaaaaaay dylan! i'm so jealous!

At 9:51 AM, Blogger KWUR DJ said...

This is pretty great. Way better swag then we got at the *presidential* debates in '04.

Don't forget to visit the huge wooden AB bar in the parking lot, stocked with all you can drink free beer (no ID required).

Also, Chris Matthews and Anderson Cooper both stopped by the station last time (although not together). Anderson told me he saw the Scissor Sisters live...

At 4:34 PM, Blogger Midnight Cowboy said...

the "servers" look like mic receivers - the radio units that pick up wireless mics. whoo!


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