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Take A Break, Grab Some Snacks and Tune In to “Alternative Tracks”

By Lindsey DeRoche; A&E Editor
On October 9, 2017

Gatcomb outside of the WPCR office


91.7 WPCR, PSU’s official radio station, has experienced a notable influx of students wanting to join the club and gain their own radio stations during this semester. Many students are new and eager to learn the ropes, whereas many students are seasoned veterans returning to the airwaves.

The latter group describes PSU sophomore Justin Gatcomb, who uses his radio show, “Alternative Tracks,” to showcase his both eclectic, as well as passionate, taste in music. I will play anything that I enjoy, and I think should be heard by other people,” Gatcomb said, “I don’t care about the genre.”

Gatcomb is respectful of all types of music, even if they do not fall under the umbrella of his own liking. Regarding “mainstream” music, and Top 40-geared radio, Gatcomb said, “You have to realize that it’s popular for a reason.”

However, he still holds his own opinions about the mainstream, and yearns for more authentic and composition-driven airwaves. “I wish that there was more music in our music, less sounds and talking about the same thing in every song,” Gatcomb said.

Gatcomb has been a member of WPCR since he signed up for the club at the last Student Activities Fair, when he was a freshman. He saw the lists of groups and organizations to join, and WPCR stood out. “Then, I came to the meeting, and got a show within a week, and it was fun,” Gatcomb said.

When he started as a DJ, Gatcomb’s first radio show was entitled “Barely Legal,” which was a joke, as he was only seventeen-years-old at the time. Later, he teamed up with his roommates for a new show. With their new line-up, they decided to sport a new name: “Kickback, Jam and Slam.” The title, which held the letters “k,” “j” and “s” at the beginning of each major word, correlated with the first letters of all of their names: Kyle, Justin and Sam.

Nowadays, under the radio name of DJ Rocky, Gatcomb and his roommates command the WPCR show entitled "Alternative Tracks." The title is a play on words, slightly editing the topical political phrase "alternative facts."

Even with a plethora of radio meetings under his belt, Gatcomb still uses them to find new music, with the aid of peers. Gatcomb said about WPCR meetings, “People talk about what artists they like, and they bring up different groups and different genres I’ve never even heard of.” After hearing about new music, he promptly goes home and looks it up.

Gatcomb thinks highly of the sizable, yet tight-knit, WPCR team. “They all like different music, but have overlapping interests,” he said. He enjoys how college is more inclusive, and less clique-oriented.

Gatcomb cites his favorite bands as Blink 182, The Story So Far and A Day to Remember. However, staying true to his eclectic taste, he cites his favorite album of the spring/summer season as “Humanz” by Gorillaz. He also cites some of his favorite lyrical lines to be those by the rap artist Childish Gambino, who is known to have clever, off-color, but humorous word play.

If he could see anyone live, regardless of their musical era or whether they are living, Gatcomb said he would want to see Prince or Childish Gambino. Gatcomb said they are “both very versatile in their music.”

As of late, Gatcomb has been listening to a remix of the song “Come Together” by The Beatles, the song “Believer” by Imagine Dragons, and the early 2000s hit “Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous” by Good Charlotte.

The first album that Gatcomb bought as a child was “A Thousand Suns” by Linkin Park, but he ultimately cites his brother as the one who continually passed music down to him, and sparked his interest in listening to music.

He said that one of the most relatable albums, for him, is “Copacetic” by the pop-punk band Knuckle Puck. “There’s a few songs on there that I could have sworn that I wrote, if I was musically-capable,” Gatcomb said.

Eclectic interest is not only home to Gatcomb’s musical taste; it permeates into his hobbies and other life interests, as well. He loves martial arts, acting and is a self-proclaimed “comic book nerd.” He even hopes, with his background in martial arts and acting, that he may be able to audition for another edition of Power Rangers, as he is a fan of nostalgic TV shows from childhood.

Regardless of what path Gatcomb chooses, it will most likely continue to be well-rounded. Gatcomb said, “You’ve got to have a variety of tastes, or you’re going to find yourself not liking things.”

Tune in to "Alternative Tracks" on Saturday nights, from 7-11 p.m., only on 91.7 WPCR!






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