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Radio hosts Tim "Love" Lee and "Coach MP" Mike Messenie, the pair who make up DJ duo Two for Tennis, spend Tuesday evenings spinning at the streetside East Village Radio studio -- but the real show is often outside.
"We get a lot of strange looks, but I give a lot of strange looks," said Messenie, as a group of tourists stopped to snapped photos outside the small, glass-front, mirror-walled space that serves as the station's studio on 1st Avenue and 1st Street in Manhattan.
"One of the greatest things about New York is to people watch, and we are sitting in front of a gigantic window on the corner of 1st and 1st -- the nexus of the universe -- just observing people walk by. Everybody is represented on this corner -- a guy walks by, crying, drinking a 22-ounce Budweiser and then a lawyer will walk by."
"We see everything."
Two for Tennis -- which lists Steely Dan and Gentle Giant among their musical favorites and boasts listeners from the UK, Australia and Asia -- has watched as confused passersby walk into the studio, mistaking it for a bar or club or some sort of dance party.
“Because of the mirrors, we have people wandering in thinking they’re walking into this happening joint and it’s just me and Mike in here,” Lee said. “But sometimes people stay and we’ve ended up with nine or ten people all crammed into this little room. Several times it will turn into a mini night club back here just by people coming in by accident.”
Lee and Messenie said the spontaneity of the show adds to the experience and is even reflected in the music they play. The DJs pride themselves in not having a set list of songs and say it’s part of what adds character to the show.
“There’s always a solution to not having a plan,” Messenie said. “If you can’t think of one thing to play, play five things.”