#RFBatHome (Part 2): Calvin Williams of “Lush Vibes Radio” broadcasts from Crown Heights, Brooklyn

#RFBfatHome (Part 2) features Calvin Williams of “Lush Vibes Radio” as we continue our ongoing spotlight of our many hosts who continue to do their weekly shows from home. Hoping all of you and all your loves are / remain safe!
Your friendly redheaded Editorial Director,
MicheleC

Tuesdays were my favorite day of the week.

I had them down to a science. At 6:00 p.m., I closed out my “regular” workday and began compiling the playlist for that night’s show. Most weeks I already had a few songs added, but this is when I figured out exactly what direction I wanted to take for that night. Once the playlist was finalized, I put together my social media image, sent it off to all my socials, packed my laptop and DJ controller, and started making my way to the studio. Along the way, I’d catch the tail end of Jim Melloan’s “50 Years Ago This Week (hearing him on the mic is always a blast) and the beginning of Ali Darling’s “Witchtape Radio Hour” — they were the soundtrack to my trip each week. I’d then hit up Brooklyn’s Natural real quick for a few goodies and beelined it to The REC Room, where Ali would greet me. We’d chat it up for a bit, she’d invite me to jump on the mic to give a little preview for my show, then we’d do our weekly show transition. By the time 11:00 p.m. rolled around, I’d have everything in place: my laptop and DJ controller set, theme music queued up, sound levels about right, and all that would be left was to watch the studio computer approach 11:01 p.m., when I’d take a deep breath, pray the audio worked… and pressed play.

That was my weekly ritual for “Lush Vibes Radio” since my very first show back on October 24, 2018. It was the one thing I looked forward to other than turning off my work phone on Fridays. It was not just “a show” to me; it was my weekly therapy session, an opportunity to play some great music, and a chance to maybe break down a wall or two, to open up and give a glimpse of myself to the vast openness of the internet. But in March 2020, as the threat of COVID-19 loomed more and more each week, it became clear that coming into the studio was going to be less and less of a good idea — and then Tom made the difficult decision to close down. Thankfully, the option to broadcast live from home presented itself (thanks Tom!), and, of course, I jumped at the opportunity!

Calvin Williams‘ home studio in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

Broadcasting “Lush Vibes” from my living room is a vastly different experience than in the studio: different environment, different equipment — and the off chance of errant dog barks during the broadcast. Now, instead of gearing up to head to the studio, I unfold an old picnic table I (thankfully) had laying around and set up all my equipment on it. The setup takes a bit more time, but the time I save by not traveling more than makes up for it. It’s been a major change except for one thing — the excitement I feel, which is still very much present.

The spirit of “Lush Vibes” is a bit different now as well. Given the times we’re living in and how the coronavirus has affected my family and myself, the show has a slightly different tone. One thing I’ve noticed is due to the number of artists recently passing, I’ve done more tributes in my last three shows than I have in more than 70 previous episodes. I still feel excitement (along with a little bit of sorrow) with these home episodes, but more than anything, I have a ton of gratitude that I’m able to continue the show, knowing I can still bring a couple of hours of happiness and good vibes to whoever may be listening.

That’s what really keeps me going! It feels more important than ever that I (along with the rest of Radio Free Brooklyn’s hosts from home) try to keep new content flowing; not just for ourselves, but for our regular listeners and for newcomers that may not have known about us until recently. Times are really tough right now, morale is not what it once was, but we’re still out here plugging away and doing what we love for those who know us — and those who may get to know us during this time.

Tuesdays are still my favorite day of the week.

Tune in to “Lush Vibes Radio” Tuesdays at 11:00pm.