Alumni Spotlight: Jeff Malone
February 8th, 2011 by Amanda Nolan
Last week I was able to get in touch with another one of WLOY’s most recent alum, Jeff Malone, class of 2010. Once both a DJ and a staff member in the station, Jeff is now out in the “real world,” dealing with some of the post-graduate elements. One of the ways in which Jeff occupies his time was with the creation of his very own blog, which features reviews on SNL episodes, the best of 2010 and more! Find out more about Jeff and his blog after the jump!
AN: How has life been since graduation? What are you up to now?
JM: Life after graduation so far has been similar to what life was like during breaks while I was still in school. I still have my job at a movie theatre, where I have been working since high school. It’s part-time, but I get full-time hours, so it keeps me busy and with a steady income. On the other hand, it’s not a job I plan on making into a career, so I’ve been job-hunting on the side. So right now, my life is in a goofy in-between stage: I’m looking for an attractive job, but I don’t have as much time and energy as I’d like to devote to that because I’ve already got a job. I’m still living at home, and my parents aren’t in any rush to kick me out, though I suppose living on my own is something that isn’t too far away. So, my life right now is defined by possibilities, while also being stuck in a routine. Check back with me in a few years to get the full scoop.
AN: You’ve been a DJ and a staff member at WLOY. What was your favorite part?
JM: DJ’ing was more fun than being a staff member, as there were fewer responsibilities to DJ’ing, which isn’t to say that being a DJ was devoid of responsibilities. Some of the DJ’ing responsibility was self-imposed, as I generally came into my shows with my entire setlist planned out. In many ways, the duties of a DJ and a staff member became streamlined for me, as I would use my show as a forum to promote what the WLOY staff was up to. If I had to pick between being a DJ or a staff member, I would have to go with DJ. I was attracted to the station because it gave me a chance to put together playlists and expose people to my way of thinking about music. I became a staff member mainly because I wanted to be more intimately involved with the station. I was kind of hired as the guy who was willing to do anything, and I ended up working two different positions during my time there. Coming into WLOY, I knew I wanted to be a DJ. Joining the staff, I was willing to do anything.
AN: I’ll admit it: I’m a fan of your blog! How did it all begin?
JM: My blog started last March when I took a Writing for the Web class taught by Dr. Ron Tanner in my last semester at Loyola. (Note to all Writing majors and minors: this is a class you should want to take.) We were required to make our own websites and start our own blogs. People had asked me before this class if I ever blogged, as they knew about my interests in discussing pop culture and writing in general. So, I had considered the possibility of blogging before but just never found the time to get it started. The Writing for the Web class made it necessary that I start my blog. It wasn’t like I was lacking for material. I had used my MySpace blog and written notes on Facebook, so I had a basis set for what sort of topics and what sort of writing style I would use for my blog.
I also keep a dream journal, and people would ask me if I did anything further with that. So that got me thinking as well, and in July, I launched a second blog to serve as a collection of my most memorable dreams.
AN: Your blog is mostly comprised of lists and/or reviews. What influences you on these lists/reviews?
JM: My penchant for reviewing is influenced by what I read. I read reviews in my local newspaper; I read magazines like Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone cover to cover; I check out websites like Rotten Tomatoes and Pitchfork Media. I’ve been regularly reading movie, TV, music, and book reviews at least since I was ten, so I know how critics think, and I’ve irreversibly begun to think like a critic myself.
As far as listing goes, two notable influences in that area are the American Film Institute’s 100 Years series and VH1’s Greatest series. AFI’s list of the 100 greatest movies ever made (revealed back in 1998) is one of the earliest definitive pop culture lists I can ever remember being exposed to. VH1’s lists are often silly and contain a lot of terrible choices, but they do a good job of assembling well-known and not-so-well-known factoids. Plus it is always to fun to pick apart the parts of a list I disagree with.
I am attracted to lists for their exclusivity and their organization. For the past few years, I have been picking the top five songs of the year. Every year, hundreds, maybe thousands, of new songs are released, and maybe a hundred or so are worth listening to, but not all of them deserve a spot in the pantheon of great songs. We have to be exclusive to know what truly defines greatness. And with the wide range of interests I have, it is nice to have lists to keep me focused when pursuing my interests. And if others won’t make lists regarding topics that deserve to have lists, then I’ll go and make the list myself.
AN: Any plans for the future with writing or your blog?
JM: As far as plans for my blog are concerned, I’ve got a backlog of topics I’ve been meaning to get to for a while (good songs that I used to think were bad, the best guest actors on Arrested Development, etc.) along with the topics that I regularly post on (SNL episode recaps, VH1 Top 20 Countdown recaps, the Oscars). It would be great if my blog could lead into a writing career, so to any magazines or other publications like Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, SPIN, or Blender, if you happen to come across my blog and you like what you see, I’d be happy to have a job! And then hopefully my writing career can also be extended to include screenwriting and book writing (novels, essay collections, etc.). I’ve been meaning to get around to working on this idea for a sitcom based on my family that my uncle came up with, so we’ll see if anything comes out of that.