"50: 1/2 of 100" brings underground music to screen

If you tune into GSTV at 8:30 p.m. on a Wednesday night, you'll probably stumble upon a music video featuring lively feline and canine skeletons or animations of morphing neon owls.

What you've found is "50: 1/2 of 100," the designated music television program on Geneseo's campus cable network. Since the show's start eight years ago, the students behind "50" have provided viewers with curious news about up-and-coming indie bands and music videos from the underground.

The show's producer, senior Meghan Caulfield, said she looks forward to rifling through ridiculous videos to play on the show each week.

"Some of the videos that we get are so outrageous and interesting that you would never, ever see them on TV," Caulfield said. Receiving material from music distributor Authentik Artists, Caulfield and senior co-producer Rebecca Kluberdanz play videos released by major labels that range from the bizarre to the profound. During the first half-hour show of the semester, the staff aired the comical video for The Decemberists' "16 Military Wives" after disclosing its anti-Iraq War message.

Every other week when the program airs, viewers may find coverage of recent concerts at Geneseo hotspots such as the KnightSpot and Mac's Place alongside exclusive interviews with their favorite bands. Having showcased a collection of small-turned-popular acts in the past - including The Plain White T's and Surfer Blood - the "50" staff takes pride in the program's contribution to the breakthrough of outstanding musical talent.

"These bands that perform at Mac's Place really have potential and they really could be national superstars one day," Kluberdanz said. "And we're catching them while we're still kids in college."

Though they are proud of their success profiling promising bands, Caulfield and Kluberdanz said that running a local college television show is a tough and tiring endeavor. In preparation for each show, these students must write outlines and scripts for featured segments and set up the studio equipment before taping.

To ensure an efficient show every week, the producers are looking to recruit more students who can host the program and work the cameras, teleprompter and other behind-the-scenes utilities. Caulfield and Kluberdanz said they are more than willing to teach incoming staff members the basics of television production.

Having spent most of her undergraduate run working for the college's radio station, 89.3 WGSU: The Revolution, Kluberdanz said, "I've never worked for TV before, and GSTV is a really fun way to learn something like that where there is really no pressure."

Although the show just started its fall season, the students of "50: 1/2 of 100" said they hope to experiment with new and creative ideas in the stress-free environment that the station provides. Listening to the suggestions of their staff members during the past few meetings, Caulfield and Kluberdanz said that, in the future, they will aim to cover more local shows in the greater Rochester area and feature a wider variety of videos on the program. They also plan to include a segment on the show consisting of news about genres outside of indie music, including pop, hip-hop and rap, in an attempt to cater to a larger audience on campus.

With all of these new goals and concepts to enhance the program, "50: 1/2 of 100" is looking forward to a fruitful year on GSTV.