Show Spotlight: The History of Boise Rock

Todd Dunnigan, host of 'The History of Boise Rock'

Every Tuesday night, you can tune in to Radio Boise and hear a whole range of music recorded by bands and musicians right here in the Treasure Valley over the last 50 years. They cover all types of music: rock, punk, metal, funk, r&b, hip hop, electronic, dance, acoustic, Americana, weird music, whatever – as long as it was made in Boise / Treasure Valley / Idaho.

If you have any music from Boise’s history on vinyl, CD, DAT,cassette, even reel-to-reel, email historyofboiserock@gmail.com and let’s get it on the radio.

We talked to DJ J. Todd Dunnigan, who hosts The History of Boise Rock most nights, and is a local musician who’s played in countless bands. Let’s find out more about the show:

What can you not stop listening to these days?

Sick Wish

What is going on in the Treasure Valley that you’re excited about?

It may seem obvious to say this, but Treefort Music Fest invigorates me every single year. I always find some brand new thing that I love, I always get a chance to catch up to bands I’ve been meaning to see but haven’t yet. In general, there is a vibrant music scene going on right now. I’ve been involved in the music scene to some degree or another for 35 years and I’ve seen it ebb and flow, but right now I feel like we’re in a golden age – in 10 years when History of Boise Rock is doing a retrospective of the 2000-teens there is going to be an amazing amount of great material.

Do you have a ritual surrounding your show? You know, a ritual meal or a certain artist you have to play?

No, I’m way more go-with-the-flow. I mainly approach it as, “what do I want to listen to right now?” Whenever I’m talking on the mic, I use Joe Evett’s music to roll underneath.

How long have you been doing The History of Boise Rock? What drew you to take on the show?

The show is approaching 4 years, I believe. I had a local music show in the ‘90s and I’ve always just had a stronger attachment to music if it was done locally, maybe because there was a good chance I would see them live, get a chance to meet and hang out, maybe a chance to work together in the future. Plus I always feel like there is enough quality music being produced locally that I didn’t have to look anywhere else.

Local music was so important to me as a kid. I grew up in a Quaker community in North Idaho and rock bands were something that you saw on TV, if one of your friends’ parents were lucky enough to own a TV. When we moved to Boise and I saw my first live rock’n’roll it was a local band and it blew my mind. It was The Air and after the set I was able to talk to Jeff Tauge who played keys because I was interested in keyboards. He was very nice and encouraging a couple years later when I was playing out with my own band.

I always heard local bands that became part of the soundtrack to my life and so I started the radio show for people like me who came out and saw bands and had those bands become as important to them as the big time bands from their era.

For those who may not be familiar with your show, how would you describe its sound?

The sound is every sound because every type of music you can think of has been produced here.

How did you discover Radio Boise?

I had heard the rumblings about a community radio station since before Radio Boise was just an internet station. I had friends who were on the board from the beginning.

What other shows do you listen to?

I always go to Radio Boise first when I’m putting on the radio and see if they have something on that I like. Sometimes I may change the channel just because I’m not in the mood for bluegrass or whatever. I can find something that I like about any show because it’s being brought to you by people who are passionate about that type of music and they want to share with you what they perceive as being the best that style has to offer. Plus I always know that I have a chance to hear something brand-new as opposed to the same songs over and over and slotted neatly into categories.

What other kinds of things do you do in your life?

Outside of Radio Boise I mainly do as many music gigs as I can squeeze into my schedule. Beyond that, I like home improvement and building things.

Why do you believe volunteering for community radio is important?

It’s important that we have something on the air that reflects our community, not some pre-programmed playlists that have been focus-grouped in Texas or somewhere. It leaves you with a good feeling to give to the community.

What sounds do you find yourself inexplicably drawn to?

I’m a sucker for anything that sounds kind of 80’s-goth-y. That’ll catch my ear every time.

 

You can catch The History of Boise Rock every Tuesday night from 11:00pm – 1:00am
or stream online anytime.

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