DJ Names: Big Hoss and DJ Lizzo
Show Name: Girls’ Guide to the Outlaw Spirit
Show Time: Thursdays 9-10am
Show Description: Feelings music – country, rock, Americana, cowpunk, alternative for listeners who enjoy Waylon Jennings, Liz Phair, Guided by Voices, Tom Waits, etc.
Where was the idea for “Girls’ Guide” born?
BIG HOSS: We both had shows originally on our own. And we were like we want to do a show together that would be fun, and the whole concept and the name and our first set pretty much was all conceived on her parents for the porch, one night at the end of summer over that first COVID summer.
DJ LIZZO: Yeah, we were like sitting on the porch, I guess maybe we were making a playlist first. And we were like, and we were trying to think of what to call it. And we spent like an hour just trying to think of a name. And there was this book called girls guide hunting and fishing that Big Hoss introduced me to and we were obsessed with and still are still are.
BIG HOSS: And then we spent a long time trying to come up with what it was the “Girls’ Guide” to. I think we were going through colors for a while and listing color names we liked. But then we were looking on Wikipedia pages of music we liked trying to find common description words. And one of them was on the “Outlaw Country” Wikipedia page, it talks about the outlaw spirit. Yeah, so we were like, that’s it.
How do you go about curating sets, is it a collaborative process or more of a trade off?
DJ LIZZO: Yeah, it’s definitely collaborative. Usually, it’s just like, throughout the week, one of us makes a playlist and then we both add songs. And sometimes it’s like, I don’t know we’ve gone through little “Girls’ Guide”phases… like, when was that, last fall?
BIG HOSS: Yeah, last fall we went through a really big, like, 90s girl phase, where we would play Poe and Garbage and stuff like that every week. We definitely have the phases and sometimes we’ll make the playlists together at night.
DJ LIZZO: Yeah, that’s really that’s really fun.
BIG HOSS: Those are some of our favorites.
Do you guys have any guilty pleasure music, stuff that wouldn’t normally make it on “Girls’ Guide”?
BIG HOSS: Yes, but sometimes I’m like “maybe we should put this on the show.” Yeah, we definitely do. Honestly it’s been really hard for me over the past year to not put Lana Del Rey. I don’t feel guilty about it, but you can’t play her on WKNC because she’s too big. But she is one of my top artists.
DJ LIZZO: Actually the first night we planned out our name, it was like a week after “folklore” by Taylor Swift came out and we were listening to “mirrorball” all night.
How has your show evolved over time?
DJ LIZZO: I feel like in the beginning we had this specific sound in mind. I think a lot of it was like, both of us brought our music tastes from each of our separate shows. So we had an idea of what our sound would be and how our tastes overlapped.
BIG HOSS: Yeah, I feel like our first set. We were like, this is the perfect set. And for a little while we thought “this is the formula for every other set” and were like, “we need a song that sounds like this and we need a song that sounds like this” and so on. I think over time, we’ve definitely loosened up the boundaries of our show.
What are the stories behind your DJ names?
BIG HOSS: Big Hoss is a country term of endearment and Waylon Jennings was called that, people always called him “Hoss.” And it’s just like, what you would say to a country man: “Hey, hoss what’s the deal with this?” But I don’t remember how I came up with it, it just appeared one day.
DJ LIZZO: I guess not as many people called me “Lizzo” in college, maybe or something, but it was a nickname I’ve had since preschool and I wanted to carry it on into college. So I thought that like it being my DJ name would be good. But, pretty much everyone just calls me “Lizzo” at the station now.
When I first saw your DJ name was Lizzo, it did not occur to me that Lizzo could be a nickname for something, so for a little while I thought you named yourself after Lizzo, the pop star.
DJ LIZZO: I think that a lot of people probably think that. Sometimes I forget there’s an actual famous person who goes by Lizzo so that’s what everyone associates the name with.
Favorite aspect of being a DJ?
DJ LIZZO: I like that I have an outlet for doing things I love, like making playlists or talking about music and learning more about music. I’ve been given an amazing outlet to do that. And I get to do that with my best friend, it’s so fun.
BIG HOSS: Yeah, it’s something to focus our energy on. We both just enjoy making and creating things, And it’s nice to have something we can gravitate around and have it be the basis of what we’re doing.
DJ LIZZO: And it’s every week we have this thing that we work on together and create together.
BIG HOSS: I like our show being Thursday mornings. It’s nice to have that thing to wake up to and now Thursday is our favorite day of the week.
Do y’all have a favorite phone call you’ve ever gotten?
BIG HOSS: There have been a couple times where somebody will call and follow up with an email.
DJ LIZZO: When anyone calls, the fact that they had they cared enough to call in and tell us means a lot.
BIG HOSS: Yes, especially because you don’t have to do that, listeners can listen and just not do that. For people to take that extra step is very meaningful and we appreciate it a lot. I just remembered my favorite. Last fall, I played “The Highway Kind” by Townes Van Zandt, which is a soul crushing song and it’s a journey to get through because it’s a super harsh song on the soul. Someone called in and said “That song killed me.” I feel like sometimes when you play a song that you have a lot of emotion with, it can just go out there and you feel like nobody is responding. To me, it was proof that people are having an emotional experience with what I play.
DJ LIZZO: You can be connected to on a very intimate level that you’re having through the air waves, it’s so cool.
Do you hope to do radio after college?
DJ LIZZO: I definitely think working at KNC has given me an idea of what sort of job I would want to have post-college. I don’t know that it would necessarily be being on the radio but maybe something where I’m somehow involved with music. It would be cool to do radio as a side-thing still. I know a few people in the workforce that are able to do radio as a hobby and I would love to do that.
BIG HOSS: I’m not going into a career related to radio, but if there are ways I can do it outside of my career I would like to keep doing it, it’s just fun.
DJ Lizzo and Big Hoss have been creating a lot of content recently, including their Instagram for their show @girlsguidetotheoutlawspirit. They also recently attended MerleFest, and posted a few videos to the Youtube Channel as well as created a blog about their experience. Be sure to check that all out, and to listen to Girls’ Guide to the Outlaw Spirit every Thursday at 9am.