The University of Dayton campus during the fall is destined to be on the cover of a postcard.
Or it could be a picturesque backdrop for all Midwest college destinations photo shoots.
I walked around the primary corridor on campus and was impressed with what I was discovering on this late October afternoon. My time at the college had been pretty limited except on this day. The colorful foliage falling entirely on the cemented paths to the traditional buildings was stunning. We must not forget the cool breeze tickling my senses ever so slightly.
I found my way over to the 300 block of Kiefaber Street, where the small architectural pleasing ArtStreet building stands. Within said structure is where I found Art Jipson conducting his weekly radio show titled Your Tuesday Afternoon Alternative With Dr. J. Jipson sees me walking up through the glass windows overlooking the housing and grass area around ArtStreet and waves me in. I walked into the studio and was warmly greeted by Jipson as he was in the middle of a block of music currently playing. Show posters from various musicians and bands hang all around the walls; from top to bottom, a history of bands that have come and gone along current groups paint the story of Dayton music over the years. One small piece of wall is a letter from Ben Folds, with wording that can’t be repeated. The space that Jipson conducts his show is abnormally undersized compared to most studios I’ve been in. Jipson is aware of such; he mentions that there’s some talk about reworking some things within the room that will help with spacing.
Jipson has been producing his weekly show in the tiny studio surprisingly, only a handful of cancellations pop up a year. The three-hour event primarily consists of local talent with national acts old and new sprinkled Jipson himself has hand-picked and reviewed. “We try to give a little bit of listen to everything that comes in,” Jipson says. “I get about ten to twenty CD’s just sent to me…a a lot of stuff is sent to electronically as well.” When it comes to choosing what he will play, Jipson informs me that he is always looking for a good flow with the tracks. On top of this, Jipson tells me that he must include talking points within the space. “If I’m by myself and I have lots of talking points…we will talk about the nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, we will talk about music news; we will talk about folks who passed like Kate Shattuck,” Jipson explains. The entire process for Jipson to create a three-hour show usually takes about six to eight hours. With so much work being put in, Jipson doesn’t see it as a burden. “The music and radio stuff…I started doing it for fun. I feel compelled to do it. I want to do it. When I feel weird in a day is because I didn’t listen to music. I need that exposure.”
After the first hour is completed, Jipson mentions that he needs to go out of the studio and welcome his guests today, Mikey Chappell and Eric Dino of Scary Hotel, in the lobby area of ArtStreet. The two individuals are spending the next hour playing a few of the songs that are their band’s upcoming album Love Like You’re Lonely. Dubbing their project as “melancholy music for happy people,” the indie rock band formed when Chappell and Dino met each other in a class. Both being transplants of Dayton via Air Force, Scary Hotel started as a three-piece ensemble to what’s now a five-piece. During their stint in the studio, Chappell and Dino performed two of the songs featured on Love Like You’re Lonely. The first song they play is “Big Waves,” a track that centers on the night Chappell declared his intentions to himself to stay around in Dayton. The harmonization between the bandmates soars throughout the room, capturing Jipson and myself cold in our tracks. The last string of the guitar fades away when I catch Jipson grasping for words to say; his body language presents an individual who fell into the singing of the duo like a soft cloud. Jipson emerges from the experience with excitement. “That was fantastic,” Jipson declares. “Love the falsetto, Eric. I totally know what you mean. I feel happy and sad (laughs).”
On November 22 and 23, Jipson will be celebrating his radio show with the “YTAA 15 Year Anniversary Weekend.” Taking place at the Yellow Cab, the two-day event will feature twelve artists that institute for the success of the show’s long tenure. Jipson and his wife Tracey, in many ways, have become pillars in the music community by attending a variety of shows, multiple in some evenings. My first interaction with them happened to be at a show with Ghost Town Silence at Blind Bob’s. This level of support for the local talent in Dayton is often why bands and musicians drop what they are doing and return the favor by supporting him. When he isn’t doing the show, Jipson is a professor at UD, where he focuses his teaching of social matters, ranging from white racial extremism to the sociology of music. Often Jipson will ask musicians to come and speak to his students, to which is done without any hesitation. “I feel like we are a team. We are working together to get people exposed to this great music.”
As the show begins to make the final turn towards completion, Jipson recounts his introduction to radio. Taking his classes that led him towards gaining employment at a country station, Jipson’s father would take him to the station when he was a teenager. From there, Jipson himself worked at the University of Minnesota’s radio station KUMM. During graduate school and his previous employment at Miami University, Jipson furthered his work on radio. The University of Dayton has been an excellent fit for Jipson; the school, according to him, has been nothing but supportive and caring about Your Tuesday Afternoon Alternative.
Throughout the show, a few minor hiccups occurred, which is expected. Jipson during our conversation often stopped mid-sentence from catching specific cues that needed to hit at certain times. “There are so many things that you are bouncing back and forth. No matter what you do, there’s always going to something that doesn’t work right,” he says. “I have learned to forgive the mistakes more…I was very unforgiving; I would feel bad about it or get upset about it. You think that it detracts from what you are trying to put together.”
Overall, another successful show will be in the books, and Jipson will go straight to work on next week’s broadcast in a matter of days. He looks at one of the main hardcopy calendars that he has on hand to see what the next week’s guest was going to be. On the day I shadowed Jipson, I’m informed that local hip-hop artist Kevin Carter will be joining him. The look on Jipson as he begins to wind down is one that shows a man who is beyond exhausted. Regardless, his energy throughout the three-hour window never wavered because he was doing that he loves. “I appreciate every person that listens to the show. I appreciate everyone that takes the time to give us any thought or consideration. I love music, and I want people to expose to this music. At the end of the day, if you go to a show, you buy a t-shirt, you buy a CD or record, that’s what its all for, man. That’s winning.”
The Yellow Cab Tavern will be hosting WUDR Flyer Radio 99.5/98.1’s Your Tuesday Afternoon Alternative for their 15 Year Anniversary Weekend on Friday and Saturday, November 22-23, 2019. Two-day tickets $25 on the day of and one-day tickets are $15 on the day of. Cover starts both days at 6pm. This show is all ages, with guests under 18 requiring a guardian.
Friday, November 22: TEAM VOID, Age Nowhere, Charlie Jackson and the Heartland Railway, Me Time (performing solo), Cricketbows, The Boxcar Suite
Saturday, November 23: Ghost Town Silence, The 1984 Draft, Rok, Amber Hargett (performing solo), The Typical Johnsons, The New Old-Fashioned, Neo American Pioneers
Food trucks to be announced. Yellow Cab’s resident truck, The Pizza Bandit will be set up and serving all night long.
Catch Your Tuesday Afternoon Alternative every Tuesday from 3-6pm online at wudr.udayton.edu and on 99.5 & 98.1FM. Follow Dr. J on twitter and instagram at drjytaa. Read the music blog at yourtuesdayafternoonalternative.com.