and this is one of her writing experiments

Loosening the Belt

Besides cardboard cutouts of Captain Picard and Captain Kirk and the broken $65,000 record, on the wall in the KDVS lobby hangs a resolution presented to KDVS by the California State Assembly. Dated Apr. 25, 1987 and signed by the Honorable Thomas M. Hannigan, the document resolves that KDVS continue service in providing the community with a unique listening and learning experience.

In particular, the resolution states, “KDVS disc jockeys have offered an alternative, progressive form of programming, thereby extending to their listeners an appreciation of music often ignored by commercial radio...” This sentiment is one of the first lessons volunteers learn when venturing into the underground world of KDVS, to be sure that all DJs expand the horizons of their listeners and themselves.

The resolution, however, fails to recognize that KDVS exists in media forms other than radio. Our online presence is expanding steadily as KDVS experts work around the clock to redesign the main website, and KDViations has been printing (more or less) quarterly since (at least) 1986. This magazine serves as the fall programming guide and the written outlet for our volunteer staff.

Just as DJs are encouraged to embrace freeform programming and the ability to play whatever they like, we encourage staff to write whatever they like for KDViations. Luckily, in print we don’t have to abide by the FCC.

Thanks for reading,
Elisa Hough

Continuing the Music Scene

Summertime in Davis is a magical season. The campus is emptied out of so many clueless bicyclists and instead overrun by children’s day camps, downtown is always quiet by 9 p.m., and the dry heat embraces you like an old friend. The lengthy days are best filled with silly adventures and live musical entertainment.

If you take a look at the KDVS Events Calendar, you will notice that the music scene is kept quite alive in the summer. Michael Leahy does this town an invaluable service, bringing live acts to Sophia’s Thai Bar three nights a week. A new venue in Sacramento will be opening up in July called Luigi’s Fun Garden, and DJ Rick already has dozens of shows booked there.

But with Davis’ – and even Sacramento’s – obvious lack of all-ages music venues, house shows are the key to maintaining and strengthening our scene. Several DJs will be opening up their homes for live shows this summer, like at the DAM House, Thugz Mansion and Fort Douglass. If you want to play a role in the scene, you should host a house show too!

Here is a list of basic tips, from my own experience:

1) Publicize by posting on and These are generally safe places to list your home address to the public.

2) Pass around a donation hat instead of charging a cover, especially for touring bands.

3) Unless you have a PA system, make sure the bands know they’ll have to work around that with their own equipment.

4) That said, acoustic shows are much easier to host, at almost no risk of noise violations.

5) Discourage people from attracting attention to your house by standing outside drinking.

6) Supply as many fans as you can to keep the Central Valley heat moving.

7) Providing drinks and snacks is a nice touch, but not necessary.

8) If bands need a place to play, they usually need a place to stay, too. Offer your couches for them to sleep, or at least help find free accommodations.

9) Don’t be afraid to kick people out once it’s over.

10) Let someone else name your house!

I have met some amazing people by welcoming them into my house to play shows, and have been happy to carry on this underground tradition of such an intimate music setting. Hopefully you will help keep it alive too!

—Elisa Hough

Keeping Print Media Alive

Under the threatening omnipotence of the internet, print media is taking a hit. Magazines and their little sisters the zines are making way for more website and blogs. We at KDVS want to help preserve the printed page, and you can help!

Here are a few basic steps to starting your own zine:

Choose a topic that you can add insight to.
On the internet you can read anything about anything, so you must develop a unique voice, with unique viewpoints, that has so far gone unheard. Zines are by definition small scale, which allows you to focus on community issues, what will hit closest to home with your readers.

Find motivated friends to help and challenge you through the process.
It’s hard to take on this kind of project alone. Your partners should be just as passionate about the issues and as driven as you. Brainstorm and criticize and praise together. Different voices and views will keep your zine from stagnating.

Don’t rush the layout.
Even with groundbreaking writing, maintaining a steady readership is difficult if it doesn’t look nice. You can go the old-school route of cut-and-paste or, for a more professional look, you can try fancy publishing programs. offers a free 30-day trial of InDesign (that’s what we use); you can also use a combination of Open Source programs by following the instructions here.

Make some buddies at Kinko’s.
If you’re a university student, take advantage of your quarterly allotment of free printed pages on campus. Whatever way you do it, make sure you follow through and get it out there in someone else’s hands!

Alternatively, if you don’t want to go through all the trouble, you can start volunteering at KDVS and work with me!

Happy reading,
Elisa Hough

Post-script: A quarter or two after this issue came out, a UC Davis student started volunteering at KDVS and seemed especially excited to help me with KDViationS. He said the last paragraph of this article convinced him to get involved.

Passivity vs. Radioactivity

Commercial radio is a passive medium. Most people listen while half-asleep on morning alarms, in short spurts while in the car, as background music at work. Listeners take songs (and ads) as they come, content with taking no control. It is the soundtrack to zombie culture.

However, I like to believe that KDVS listeners are active participants in our underground operation. We answer your calls during our shows, throw on your requests and welcome your feedback. Our shows reflect our personalities, the things we learn in school and the conversations and events of our week. You can learn about us through our shows, and if you call us up, we’ll learn about you, too, and that will also influence our programming.

The same goes for KDViationS. At the KDVS Record Swap in June, a man offered me some cookies that he made, following a recipe in the KDViationS “How-to” edition from January 2008. I was so touched that someone had saved and utilized that issue, which I proudly revealed to him that I worked on. So, thank you, Dave, for taking an active part in KDViationS.

I’ve been working as Publicity Director for the last three years, and this is my final issue as editor for this magazine. Working at KDVS and on KDViationS has changed my life. And I hope, in some small way, you take something out of this too, even if you just made some cookies.

Thank you for reading and participating,
Elisa Hough