November 19, 2019

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Opinion

Rocking out with a 'music lover nerd'

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/2/2017 (995 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/2/2017 (995 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Patrick Michalishyn volunteers while most people are asleep.

The 30-year-old volunteers his time as a DJ at CKUW 95.9 FM, the on-campus radio station at the University of Winnipeg. His show, The Wonderful & Frightening World of Patrick Michalishyn, airs Friday mornings from midnight to 6 a.m.

Patrick Michalishyn, 30, is a longtime volunteer with CKUW 95.9 FM, the University of Winnipeg’s on-campus and community radio station.

BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Patrick Michalishyn, 30, is a longtime volunteer with CKUW 95.9 FM, the University of Winnipeg’s on-campus and community radio station.

"I try to go for mood over genre," Michalishyn says when asked how he describes the theme of his show. "I like playing some weird, (messed) up stuff."

Tune in and you’ll hear everything from rock to punk to hip hop to industrial, much of it pulled from Michalishyn’s own 4,000-plus CD collection.

You’re also likely to hear weird recordings such as, say, selections from Ballads for the Age of Science, a six-CD collection Michalishyn owns that consists of educational recordings from the early ’60s.

Michalishyn, who works as a server/bartender and runs a record label called Sounds Escaping, enjoys the freedom that comes with CKUW’s mandate to present music and ideas that cannot be found in the mass media.

"I like that I’m not hindered by length," he says. "Sometimes I’ll play a 70-minute Japanese experimental freak-out if I want to take a nap."

Other than some time spent living in Australia, Michalishyn has had the same time slot since he was 19 years old. He was initially part of a rotating cast of hosts on a show called Dreamweapon. A few months later, he became Dreamweapon’s sole host and renamed it Radio Schizophrenia.

When he returned from Australia in 2015, he was able to get his time slot back, and he gave the show its current name.

Michalishyn became a "full-blown music lover nerd" at the age of 13 when he discovered Canadian instrumental rock band Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet via the sketch comedy TV show The Kids in the Hall.

"Something just grabbed me by the ears and wouldn’t let go," he says.

Volunteering at CKUW allows Michalishyn to share his encyclopedic knowledge and passion for music with listeners.

"It’s amazing being in this little cramped room with no windows, with the music blasting out of the monitors, just sending a signal out to whoever might catch it," he says. "It’s like my happy place."

Michalishyn is one of 120 volunteers at the station who host shows, conduct interviews, help with the news department and serve on the station’s board of directors.

"Without volunteers, the station wouldn’t be able to function as it does right now," says Ugonna Chigbo, CKUW’s volunteer co-ordinator.

The station is looking for more volunteers. Anyone interested can email volunteer@ckuw.ca or call 204-786-9782.

For Michalishyn, one of the best parts about being involved at the station is the camaraderie.

"I like that when I meet other volunteers from CKUW, they are just as passionate and ready to geek out over music as I am," he says. "That’s my favourite thing: meeting a complete stranger but knowing you have that one thing that you’re just going to click on."

If you know a special volunteer, please contact aaron.epp@gmail.com.

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