playground.shtml****R*chkIh$pmBIN> CRINGE 11.1 Independent Playground - Columbus, Ohio Music :: The Columbus Sound :: Columbus, Ohio Music Music Calendar and Resources


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Spring 2001
 ISSUE  11.1 Spring 2001 

Intro | The Lowdown | Releases | Reviews | Features


Diaphragm Records | The Independent Playground | New Bomb Turks | The Stepford Five

The Independent Playground aims "to go beyond the limit of regular radio," according to co-host Rudy Gerdeman. "Other radio stations will look at our playlists and go 'no way.'"

It's no wonder that other stations balk at the lineup showcased on the program, which airs Thursdays 11 pm-1 am and Sundays 10 pm-12 am on WWCD101 (101.1 FM). A recent playlist showcased national indie stalwarts Modest Mouse, Girls Against Boys, Mogwai, NOFX, Unwound and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

Rudy G
Rudy Gerdeman

Tom B
Tom Butler

The show mixes in plenty of local talent as well. The same show featured N.S.A., the Lack, Templeton, Kopaz, A Planet for Texas and transplanted Columbus-ite Mark Eitzel.

"There's a lot of local bands we want to get on," Gerdeman said. "Good recording, good record, it will get played."

"We strive for a good relationship with the scene... and we're getting it," said co-host Tom Butler. "Columbus bands have just as much chance as everything else. If somebody's playing, we try to play something."

Locals such as Pretty Mighty Mighty, F**bomb, Tiara, Velveteens, Flotation Walls, the Lack, Betaroric, Bravado, Bigfoot, the Jive Turkeys, Jack Neat and Bob City have already played live on the Independent Playground, with appearances by the Vincents, A Planet for Texas and Bowling Green's Aloha coming up. (National acts Starlight Mints, Vanity Set, Q and Not U and Planes Mistaken for Stars have also appeared.)

"Some of our [live] recordings are brilliant, some are disasters," Gerdeman said. And the live recordings are proving to be especially important now. Butler and Gerdeman said that they are hoping to put out an Independent Playground CD. They said that the CD hopefully would include some live recordings, unreleased songs by Columbus bands and possibly some interviews that they've conducted on the air.

"It's good that people are recognizing Columbus as a hotbed," Gerdeman said. "I'm just addicted to Columbus."

It seems that people are also recognizing the Independent Playground. Earlier this year, the show won an award for Best Specialty Show from Plug, an online magazine by and for people in the music industry (

Candidates for the award are nominated by people who work at radio stations, record labels, music publications and the like, then put online for anyone to vote on.

The Independent Playground (and CD101 itself) has also been recognized in a far freakier kind of way: they've recently had their first stalker. "We had this stalker named Angel Fire. He was a crossdresser that would just show up inside the station," Butler said. Suffice to say, the police were called to escort this fan out of the station.

Gerdeman started the Independent Playground is 1998. He had previously helmed the shows "Strange Radio" and "The Rockin' Rudy Show" at the University of Findlay. "I was playing a lot of music and saying a lot of stupid shit," Gerdeman said.

Butler joined the station in 1998 as an intern, and slowing moved his way up the ladder, eventually becoming the full-time overnight DJ and joining the Independent Playground.

Together, they play host to the most diverse musical lineup on commercial radio in Columbus. "We are the same as 120 Minutes was ten years ago," Butler said.

Gerdeman adds, "But only better."

- Chad Painter/Cringe (May 2001)

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