Programmer Spotlight: Taylor Shephard

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Every week this summer, CJSW takes you behind the mic in the booth to spotlight one of our amazing programmers. This week’s spotlight programmer is Taylor Shephard, a recent Mount Royal University graduate and the host of The Cram Session from 10:00 p.m.–11:00 p.m. on Wednesday nights on CJSW 90.9 FM. Taylor spoke about long post-rock, late-night Funding Drive and tunafish sandwiches. Interview by Melanie Woods.

What show do you host and what does it focus on?

I host the Cram Session every Wednesday night from 10:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. I try to play music to work and study to, for students and I guess anyone who needs something to get them through some really dry work. [I play] a lot of post-rock, I kind of constantly pick from whatever is on Constellation Records. A lot of ambient electronic music and every once in awhile some IDM. Really just kind of whatever I’ve been using to work with.

When I was a student, my degree involved a lot of papers, so I would start with a lot of post-rock because I would find that it’s such a gradual build, so as I’m writing a little slower, all of a sudden it just starts building and building and I’m sort of frantically just going down, going nuts, and then the song peaks and I probably have like maybe five pages done, because the songs are incredibly long. It was just something that really helped motivate me through so school. So I’ll kind of start with post-rock and get more ambient because I enjoy reading to a lot more ambient stuff — I find it’s less jarring.

How did you get started as a programmer?

Back when Genevieve was the [programming director], I volunteered and did a super late-night shift for Funding Drive one year and we just talked pretty much the whole time. Really, my goals at that that time weren’t to be a programmer, I was just happy to be here and help out. Then after funding drive, Genevieve sent me an email asking if I wanted to get trained and I was like ‘yes, so much yes.’ I got trained by Rich, the host of The Estate Sale, who did an excellent job, a great guy. And then yeah, it’s just been a downwards — well, upwards — spiral ever since.

What is your favourite thing about CJSW?

The amount of people I’ve met. They’re just so wonderful and I don’t think another organization that even comes close to what this is like can even boast such a wonderful volunteer base.

Lastly — and most importantly— what’s your favourite sandwich?

That’s probably the toughest question. I like turkey, but I also like tuna. I guess the one thing I do is I take tuna, a ton of mayonnaise, I dice up pickles, pepper, salt and just make a tuna sandwich. It’s probably my go-to for my whole life.

Check out the Cram Session from 10:00–11:00 p.m. on Wednesday nights on CJSW 90.9 FM, or online anytime at