Been a big fan since 2009 when I was living in Shasta County. Now in Billings, MT. You have brought me many smiles. Russell – 2016
Thought you might like to know you have an avid listener in Oklahoma! thanks for keeping me dancing on the weekends! Chris – 2016
I was really inspired by your song selections this evening. It seemed to match my mood perfectly. Abram- 2017
I found your program a few weeks ago and now I am addicted! Carla- 2017
Thank you, Allison, for turning me on to such incredible music. You and David Dye are my personal heroes. If it wasn’t for your shows I would only be living in a musical world of Jazz and some classical. Your well crafted show is why I decided to become a member of JPR. One of your loyal listeners. Jon-
I really appreciate your blend of music. It’s such a great way to wind down a weekend. Massive respect and love for what you do. Great playlist, once again. Kirk L-
Allison, I love you. You rocked my world tonight. I have never listened to your program, but I happened to be driving tonight and I had the radio on and wow. Thanks for playing such fantastic music! Your music choices flowed together so nicely. I appreciate your company on my 45 minute drive and hope to tune in again. Thank you! Lea-
Love your taste! I never could stand buying tapes and cd’s, just to have them get stale on the shelf. I’ve heard you on JPR and now found out I could follow on Spotify. John A-
Allison, we love modulations and your musical gestalt in general. Please, whoever you are, keep making these incredible mixes! I first found you through KPOV in Bend, OR. Are you still in central OR? Southern OR? In any case, please keep producing these incredible shows, we love your work. David & John-
I am a huge fan of “Modulation” on JPR. I live in Mt. Shasta and whenever I can, tune in to listen to “Modulation” on Friday nights.I find it is a great mix of music to work to. Emily S.-
I was part of a fire crew that helped fight wild land forest fires. I’m a huge music fan and I was so happy to find your program and the rest of the music on JPR. When your show was on at midnight on Sundays I would stay awake to listen even though I had to get up early on Mondays to work. I remember hearing Blueberry Pancakes by Fink for the first time on your show. Another time I had fallen asleep while listening to your show and I woke up to a familiar sound. It was a Doves song and it just made me feel good to be roused by a great song by one of my favorite bands. Please keep up the great work. I love listening to your shows when I can. I listen online since I live in So Cal. Take care. Chris F-
Allison- I wanted to personally write you to say thank you for the music you have been playing onJPR. It takes me back to living in L.A. You have played amazing new music every week and I can’t get enough. Thank you again. Jessy W-
The only radio show I will listen to in the valley. Thank you for bringing me back to this station. It’s been too long. Nick D-
Sensational! We came upon your show while driving home late one night and can’t believe we didn’t know it was here. How did this happen? Thank you. We are officially die-hards. Heath & Kara-
This show is fantastic…I’m really enjoying it. No, this is amazing! I’m so relaxed right now…its phenomenal…this is my new ”time to write” soundtrack. It’s like being addicted to a drug that’s good for you! Don-
I think it’s one of the best radio programs I’ve heard in a while. Sunday night happens to be when we’re up working and communicating overseas. We have it on in the background and believe me, we look up almost every track you play. Thank you for being here. Josephine–
This is unbelievable. This show! Here? Finally! Thank you for the sick beats. We never miss it. Jonah & Kelley-
I was driving through Oregon last Sunday night, and your show made my night. Do you post your playlists anywhere online? I would love to check those out. Thanks for being awesome! Henry H-
Such a dope show as always! You be rockin my radio plays! Thanx for spreading great music via airwaves! viva muchacha alison graves! eh heh heh…keep it up:) Lani D-
LOVE the show tonight!!! Welcome welcome to your new home- we ♥ having you all to our selfish JPR selves! Clarissa S-
Yipee Allison! I love to listen to your show! Darlene S-
I’ll be listening…tomorrow at 10:00 AM…Great show! Dean F-
I really like your show and music taste it is very refreshing and is keeping me up to date. I don’t listen to the commercial radio so thank you! Peter I-
By Don McManamy
For the Tidings
Listening to the radio is too tough. It just is.
I’m a station hopper — out of necessity. I can’t listen to the same disjointed and worn playlists over and over.
Unfortunately, this seems the game plan for many stations these days. It is as if all use the same contemporary playlists, and the retired playlists find their way to “classic” rock stations. Show after show, day after day. So I hunt endlessly looking for songs I like, desperately trying to create my own show. I don’t mean to sound like I’m complaining. That could imply I haven’t sought out a solution. I’ll get to that in a bit.
Right, I should get an iPod then? I did. Now I can do radio’s work for them, sans a deejay. I like music, especially new music; iPods are about archiving. There’s nothing wrong with archiving. I am, however, talking about discovery. The only time an iPod will introduce something new is if I steal someone’s. I’m no thief.
I should search out my own music? Spend countless hours in record stores or online? No. High school and college are over, and I have things to do. Besides, that’s what I liked about radio. A time existed when radio shows filled that purpose. I like having someone introduce me to new artists.
So my point is discovery of new music and that radio needs good shows to accomplish this. Shows that are willing to move into that uncomfortable space many stations fear: playing songs people haven’t heard from artists no one knows. That’s what groundbreaking used to mean. Now it seems to be something an act has gotten permission to do from the label.
I’m just looking for a show I like. I want a show that has some thought behind it. I want the new songs as a means to the narrative. I think a show should be like a book and the host an author. Songs are the thoughts, words or chapters in the narrative of discovery. I want the story.
One solution to the prominence of plotless shows and their inherent lack of discovery is “Modulation,” a radio show hosted by Allison Graves from Ashland’s National Public Radio affiliate, Jefferson Public Radio.
Graves tells a story during every show. It is a story about music told in the context of songs. It makes synapses fire, bodies relax and minds start moving. It is about discovering the new.
It’s not over the top, either. Graves’ style is not to slide whispery words between songs like some minx. She doesn’t have to; she’s letting the music do the work. As you drift around in mental fluidity, she’ll pop in now and again with a clear, calm and intellectual voice giving you points of demarcation to manage your connection with the show’s theme.
Many are connected, too. “Modulation” broadcasts to all of Southern Oregon and Northern California, one of the largest geographic coverage areas of any public radio station in the United States.
As a listener, I’m discovering new music again. I get introductions to new artists, and often, after a little research, I’m shocked to find out the followings many already have.
The way the musical diversity is managed to represent commonality in feeling, emotion and thought is amazing. Considering how diverse the artists and songs, it would be remiss not to point out accomplishing a true theme is no easy task. Graves not only achieves but makes it sound easy. It is easy to let her steer the vessel while I enjoy the journey. I’m getting new music from new artists. What a listener gets out of a single “Modulation” serving is remarkable.
The show’s website states, ” ‘Modulation’ is a musical experience that celebrates creativity and diversity by combining the newest sounds in progressive pop, world-beat, indie, folk-rock, reggae, alt-country, electronic, chill and deep rhythms.” This is accurate but a bit of an understatement. You have to experience “Modulation” to understand.
Don McManamy is a freelance journalist living in Philadelphia.