A few years ago, the American dance-punk act LCD Soundsystem penned the song, “Dance Yrself Clean,” a critical look at the condition of the music industry packaged as an an energetic and upbeat rock song. Rayna Christman’s WSUM show “DNC YRSLF DRTY” derives its name from the aforementioned song by LCD Soundsystem. Each week, Rayna scours the Internet and WSUM’s music shelves to acquire dance music outside the top 40 hits often heard on mainstream radio. In the same ethos as LCD Soundsystem’s dance manifesto, Rayna’s show rails against the repetitive nature of commercial “dance music.”
Tell us about yourself (name, DJ name, year).
Rayna Christman, Raina C, super senior.
What was the inspiration for your latest show, “DNC YRSLF DRTY?”
Last semester I had a lot of fun doing a punk-centered show called Jar, but for my final semester at WSUM, I didn’t want to put a constraint on which genres I could play.
My very first WSUM show was called Dancing for Weirdos, so DNC YRSLF seems like a fitting bookend to my time at WSUM. I threw in an LCD Soundsystem pun for good measure.
I’ve notice from listening to your show you manage to choose a range of genres to classify as dance music. How do you categorize songs as danceable?
When I hear the songs I choose, I can’t help but groove! I rarely recognize any of the top 40 songs you normally hear in bars, and I always wish they’d play a soundtrack that I could dance to.
I strive to provide that soundtrack. You should see me during one of my shows: I like moving all around the studio.
What atmosphere do you see as the perfect setting for your dance playlists?
Jumping on the futon in your living room with your roommate, maybe working on a puzzle.
What song is a must for any party?
“Gronlandic Edit” by of Montreal.
Over the years you’ve hosted an eclectic mix of shows. Which show sticks out as your favorite? And how has the constant search for music to play on the air affected your tastes as a DJ?
My show “New York New York” will always have a soft spot in my heart because I absolutely adore musical theatre. I used that semester to introduce people to soundtracks that don’t necessarily sound like typical Broadway musicals. I focused on more modern musicals such as “Passing Strange,” “New York, New York” and “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.”
The need to always have new, fresh music to play on air is one of my favorite aspects about WSUM. It encourages me to discover new bands, which I love to do. Now, when I hear a song, I’m always thinking if I could play it on my current show or in what type of show it would fit or if it could be used as voice-over music.
I have a lot of iTunes playlists. I have a playlist from all my old shows, and I try to rarely repeat a track (unless it’s really, really awesome).
Any album you can’t get enough of right now?
I recently got the Beastie Boy’s Check Your Head on vinyl, and I can’t stop jamming to it.
Why should people listen to your show?
It’s a fun, genre-jumping hour of music you maybe haven’t listened to before!
“DNC YRSLF DRTY” airs every Saturday at 9 p.m. on WSUM. To listen live, stream through wsum.org or tune your radio to 91.7 FM.