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DJ Steve-O, Signing Off of the Local Beat

Admittedly, I know far less about the local music scene than I’d like, but what I do know I learned from the Local Beat. Hearing DJ Steve-O’s lyrical wit and entertaining interviews made the dreadful commute home via I40 on Friday afternoons pleasant. In addition to learning more about some of the area’s talented musical acts, the program also exposed me to some great local shows I wouldn’t have otherwise known about.


Steve with Gabriel Pelli and Django from The Old Ceremony

Steve Salevan first started out with WKNC only a week after arriving on campus. Brought to the area from Delaware by way of the reputation of NCSU’s engineering program, it wasn’t long before he began to establish his roots in the local music scene. By the end of his first semester, he was planning events for the Inter-Residence Council. After spending a few months with the station, he was inspired to plan his first musical event, “WolfStock”. It was this on-campus show which eventually launched him into the role as Local Music director.


The Local Beat co-host Hand Banana recalling his first on-air interview in which Steve helped make a potentially awkward first interview an exceptional one

If you’ve ever heard the Local Beat, chances are you’ve come to know Steve’s incredibly broad vocabulary and highly polished enunciation. It came as quite a surprise to me to learn that the first call-in to his show (broadcast live) was from someone who asked: “Do you know what you’re doing? Do you know how to speak on the radio?”. The caller taught classes on how to speak on the air, and had offered her services to him. He recalled it as being incredibly awkward and harrowing. Despite the somewhat mortifying nature of this first call, he got to know her and is friends with her to this day.


Mike Gray (aka Gray Matter) and Steve

Steve didn’t sign off for the final time this past Friday because he is no longer a student or because he is fully employed (as a QA Engineer for Red Hat). He did it to pursue a startup venture specializing in–you guessed it–local music. Titled “Neckbeard Records“, the idea behind this new label is to be service-oriented. This means producing a limited run of handmade CDs and promoting the band’s tour and CD until every unit they’ve bought is sold. He described it as a combination of a Team Clermont-like organization as well as record production company. Although details of the first group being signed on to this label are being kept under wraps, he said that you can “rest assured it will be a good one”.


Steve with Jonathan and Jason from Red Collar

Steve closed out his final show with a heartfelt thanks to his listeners as well as the area’s bands that helped form the show:

Everyone around here has been exceptionally grateful and gracious.  They’ve all been thanking me, and I think it’s time I took the opportunity to return that. I really can’t imagine how profoundly local music has affected me and how covering the music scene as part of this show and as part of doing this job has changed me as a person. As I seem to learn more about the music around here, I learn more about myself. It has changed me as a person, into the person I am today. I am exceptionally grateful–it’s been a true privilege to serve in this role. I am exceptionally grateful to everyone that has made it possible. Additionally, I’d like to thank everyone that’s been listening. They’ve been great fans of show, and I have appreciated your listenership, as always. It’s going to be an excellent next couple of years with DJ Mick and DJ Ray, you’ll definitely want to stick around for that. As for me, it’s been a hell of a ride. I think I’m going to close off the show with the song I can probably trace down to the point where I got involved in local music. It was back in my freshmen year when I helped put on a concert called “WolfStock” as part of the Inter-Residence Council. This group [Nathan Asher] graciously agreed to headline it that night. They played this song [“Turn Up the Faders”] and when they played it, I realized that it was something special and that everyone around here needed to listen to it. I will leave you now with that one last goodbye.  Be healthy, be happy, and always be sure to choose local music. This is DJ Steve-O signing off.

I must admit I’m sad and that I’ll miss the highly entertaining and vocabulary-building late Friday afternoon shows with Steve. However, I also know that I can count on WKNC to continue providing fantastic programming that highlights the great local bands that make staying in the area on a weekend evening worth it. Good luck, Steve.

For more info on Steve and the Local Beat, check out Grayson Currin’s great writeup in the Indy.


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