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The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Lex Valadez: Exploring Music That Means Something

Lex Valadez: Exploring Music That Means Something
Printed with permission of Lex Valadez

Senior Lex Valadez hosts a WRCU radio show they have dubbed “Musical-Lexicon” as a play on their own name. While the student-operated radio station features a wide range of music genres and news coverage, Valadez looks specifically at how genres have evolved and the ways in which they are connected.

“I love learning about music and expanding my taste,” Valadez said. “Every week, I’d go through the history of every genre and then how certain sub-genres came about.”

The genres they investigate on their show include everything from funk to jazz and blues. 

“You start to see the way all genres link up one way or another,” Valadez said. “There are no real hard lines between them, you just borrow from here and there and make something that means something.”

During other WRCU shows that stream music, the hosts often punctuate the breaks between songs with anecdotes, news or personal gossip. In Valadez’s show, they talk specifically about the ways in which prominent artists have impacted the genre of music featured. 

Valadez explained that one week, they chose to focus on Led Zeppelin and how their music has had a far-reaching impact on rock and heavy metal.

“[I talked about] Led Zeppelin in British rock and how a lot of heavy metal artists took from their style,” Valadez said. “So that would be one example of talking about how heavy metal and rock are connected and then the music that might exist in that in-between or considered ‘not quite rock or not quite heavy metal.’”

WRCU is broadcast throughout Central New York on 90.1 FM. The radio station serves not only the Colgate community and the town of Hamilton, but also a wide range of listeners in the region. Although this extensive audience is daunting, Valadez said there is something comforting about the experience from within the studio.

“I’m actually very performance-shy,” Valadez said, “But there’s just something so nice about talking on air in the studio, especially when it’s just conversations. You almost forget you are on air.”

For Valadez, the show started as a spontaneous decision during their sophomore year.

“I’ve always been someone who listens to music every moment of my day,” Valadez said. “I saw that there were radio applications floating around the beginning of sophomore year and I decided to give it a try. It became a really nice break from school once a week, so I stuck with it.”

The WRCU station is located within the Blackmore Media Center on the bottom floor of the O’Connor Campus Center (the Coop). A cozy cave tucked inside a campus hot spot, the station is a thriving center of campus life.

A major part of the WRCU shows are the communities formed between radio hosts as well as their listeners. Within these communities emerge inside jokes and entertaining bits.

Valadez invites friends to co-host and has developed a group of frequent guests. Naturally, they have created their own inside jokes.

“We have an ongoing bit about Shaquille O’Neal being our best friend,” Valadez said. “It kind of started because we were discussing EDM [electronic dance music] and I asked everyone who their favorite DJ was, and he got brought up. It’s really silly, but it has become a staple.”

From exploring the ways in which our favorite music genres have emerged to talking about their week and joking about Shaquille O’Neal, Lex Valadez does it all.

Tune in to 90.1 FM at noon on Thursdays to hear Musical-Lexicon by Lex Valadez.

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