Friday, November 2, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Threatens America's Greatest Radio Station

WFMU's Blast of Hot Air Newsletter
October 31, 2012
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WFMU News: We Are Livin' a Dream. Unfortunately, it's not a Very Good One... Please Make a Disaster Recovery Pledge!

Record Fair is Cancelled and it's all Sandy's Fault
Due to the havoc, chaos, lack of electricity in NYC and general sludge based misery (who knew there was so much sludge in the world?) following Hurricane Sandy, we've had no choice but to call off the Record Fair. All dealers will be refunded their payments, and the Fair will return in the Fall of 2013. And this new 'Future Fair' will be even better, with flowing white robes, a teleportation booth and floating symetrical rings adorning everything. And a bonus performance from the recently cloned John Denver! We're very sorry about this, but the Metropolitan Pavilion has no power, mass transit in NYC is still not working and there are no estimates as to when electric or transit will return to normal and we don't want a whole Mad Max thing on our hands. We know you guys, give you half a chance and you'll go completely Road Warrior on us. Our apologies to anybody who is inconvenienced by this. You could replicate that Record Fair vibe at home by getting a stranger in a t-shirt that's too small for him to sit behind a table in your rumpus room and ignore you as you rifle through his Night Ranger out-takes. Try it, it's fun! All kidding aside, the cancellation of the record fair is a financial disaster for us: it turns an event that wouldve raised $70,000 into an event that loses almost that much. We've extended our silent fundraiser until November 17th in a valiant effort to remain solvent. Please make a disaster recovery pledge, the station has NEVER been in such a cash-poor state as it is now, due to the electrical damage we suffered from Sandy and the huge loss from the record fair:Pledge Here NOW. Please. Thank you.

Hurricane Sandy Kicks WFMU's Ass!

The aftermath of Frankenstorm (actually Frankenstorm was the name of the doctor, it really should be called Frankenstorm's Monster) left WFMU with no electricity in our Jersey City studios, and at BOTH of our FM transmitters (91.1 FM and 90.1 FM). We tried rubbing many balloons on our heads and holding it near the equipment, but no dice. For two days, we streamed WFMU in Exile from various DJs' homes, or the shanties and mini-vans that they call their 'homes'. Despite that shanty crack in the previous sentence, our DJ's are just the best and we perpetually salute their dedication. On Thursday morning, we resumed (semi-)normal programming after electricity was restored to our studios. And then reality started settling in, as we discovered tons of critical equipment that was fried by the electrical chaos that Sandy hurled our way. And both of our FM transmitters are still down.

Fortunately, everybody from the WFMU staff is safe, and miraculously WFMU's basement did not flood, despit the Hudson River coming within 50 feet of our front door. We credit our lack of flooding to our slavish worship of Ahpuch and Thamuz, plus that carp we sacrificed (delicious). The photo above is Station Manager Ken attempting to get to WFMU via his bike during the end of the storm. Not seen in picture: tears. Meanwhile, the misery and desperation in our community is mind boggling. The environment around Hudson County, Staten Island,  Rockaway, lower Manhattan and Brooklyn is akin to the film The Road. Or The Walking Dead. No, it's Road Warrior.. Wait, it's actually a bit more like The Road. Nah, it really feels kind of like The Day After Tomorrow, but with the soundtrack to The Road. With the flashback sequences of Terminator 2. But with a fat governor instead of a killer liquid robot. But with your help, we will make it feel like Herbie Goes Bananas real soon. Please help!

Silent Fundraiser Extended
With all the damaged gear we're discovering, and with the cancellation of the Record Fair,WFMU desperately needs your support. Our silent fundraiser will be extended a few extra weeks, giving us more time to raise the funds we need to get through the next few months and to hopefully make up for lost income due to the Record Fair going kaput. Pledge now to help us get through this very difficult time. Money can't buy you love, but it can buy transmitter codecs, computer servers, and all the other stuff a radio station needs to regain (ab)normalcy.

WFMU's RadioVision Festival was a success
Enough bad news, let's talk about happier times. WFMU's 2012 RadioVision Festival was a huge success, thanks to Benjamen Walker and all of our panelists and special guests. The funnel cake in the shape of Art Bell was a roaring success and, despite rumors to the contrary, Bachman Turner Overdrive failed to perform. Heidi Madagame of WCBN wrote up some nice blog posts about the conference. We will be posting audio clips from the conference soon.

Off-Mic DJ News

Dave Mandl just had this article published in the Rumpus on the Ancient Tradition of the Sacrilegious Cover Song, from "The Beatles to Ol' Dirty Bastard" (that Beatles cover of Shimmy Shimmy Ya is particularly nasty). Also, section hog Dave Mandl, published a review of the Touch.30 festival at Issue Project Room (celebrating the 30th birthday of the Touch label), in the current issue of the Wire. It's not available online, unfortunately. Look for it at your local newsstand, if it isn't underwater.

Kurt Gottschalk's latest production effort is a collaboration between guitarist Loren Connors, singer Suzanne Langille and painter MP Landis. Kurt selected paintings by Landis and projected them in the studio and Connors and Langille responded in sound. (Hence the title 'Four Dogs Playing Poker'. Note: This isn't true). The resulting recording is the pair's first duo recording in 14 years. CD and 7" single on colored vinyl available here.

Sat Nov 3: Jesse Jarnow may speak at the Hoboken Historical Museum, (if it isnt underwater) reading from Big Day Coming: Yo La Tengo & the Rise of Indie Rock and expanding on the unlikely parallels between McCarty's and Maxwell's, two Hoboken bars separated by two blocks (and 130 years) whose clienteles would trigger profound changes in American popular culture. 1301 Hudson Street, 4pm, free. Though as Hoboken currently resembles Aquaman's holiday home and the lost city of Atlantis combined, you might want to double check that it's still happening.

Fri, Nov 9: Irwin Chusid will feature Raymond Scott recordings and discuss the life of the legendary composer as the guest of Brian Carpenter on WZBC, Boston College Radio, from 7-10pm. Chusid has managed the Scott Archives since 1991 and is the foremost authority on the great composer/inventor/genius/recreates the sound of an anvil being dropped on a cartoon horse-er.

Gaylord Fields will be in London DJing, MCing, presenting a Fake Beatles lecture, and hosting a pop quiz as part of the Chickfactor 20: For the Love of Pop concerts on November 16-18. There will almost certainly be a riot of some sort as they love riots over there. It's like a religion to them. Take protection.

Mr. Fine Wine's Fall 2012 Greasy Popcorn tour. Fri Nov 2,Munich, Deeper Shade @the Atomic Café, w/DJs Leo and Hannes. Sat Nov 3 : Berlin, At the Soul Inn @the Lido, 23hrs, 10 euros, w/Cody Chesnutt and DJs Christian Göbel andKristian Auth. Sun Nov 4: Leipzig, No Twistin on Sunday @Cafe Waldi with DJ Chris Redlich. Thurs Nov 8: Bruges, ’T Zwart Huis, Kuipersstraat 23, 22hrs, 8 euros with DJs Laurence B. (Slick Club) and Betty Ford (Moka Soul Collective).  Fri Nov 9: Brussels, Popcorn Oldies Night @Le Cercle Des Voyageurs, Rue Des Grands Carmes 18, 22hrs, 8 euros. With DJs Jr. the Canadian, Laurence B., and Raphi Scorcher. Sat  Nov 10:Manchester, UK, No Way Out @the Old Nags Head, 19 Jacksons Row. Again, the UK dates will almost certainly feature rioting of some description. And expect cheese in Bruges.

Mr. Fine Wine will also DJ at Botanica every Wednesday except November 7th (when he will be somewhere between Leipzig and Bruges and will probably be eating something doughy), at theCommodore in Williamburg, Brooklyn on November 16th and at Home Sweet Home in Manhattan on the 30th of November.

Dave the Spazz will spin at Union Pool every Sunday this month, as he does most Sundays. Dave is also starting a monthly series at Videology, the Dave the Spazz Movie Club, which will show the weirdest, wildest movies, short subjects, and forgotten ephemera with occasional guest hosts and various surprises. The series kicks off on Saturday, November 24th with a rare unspooling of Phil Tucker's1953 epic, Robot Monster in "Tru-Stereo Three Dimension Process" (crummy red and green 3-D glasses provided free). PLUS!--Voltaire the Chimp and Thinko the Robot tangle it up in the smutty European-only sequence from Sex Kittens Go To College (1960), the Marquis Chimps recount the tale of Cinderella, 1930's legend Mr. Jiggs caddies on a golf course, and select 16mm sound chimp movies direct from the Dave the Spazz archives. If you can find a more chimp-filled night of entertainment in the tri-state area, you'll win a prize! A chimp!

Sites for Sore Eyes

No one knows how much money musicians are making now
Columbia Magazine has a nice article on Laura Cantrell
Lamin Fofana's African Inspired Techno is Dutty
"Guns and Roses" at Neil Young's Bridge School Benefit recently
Here is the first ever recording of a musical performance Or is it? The oldest recording of someone singing Or maybe it's this one Contender for the earliest known musical recording.
Spherical Vinyl Record
Keep WFMU's Rays from Penetrating Your Body
Watch a guitarist quit his band while onstage
Learning to Love Yoko Ono
Turning Weapons into Instruments
Fun Fake Facts About Science
Giorgio Moroder posts remixes and rarities on Soundcloud
Lou Reed's Radio Show on BBC
Stacked Images from the International Space Station
Pop Songs Funeral Favorites
Dick Clark archives up on Youtube
Documentary about the Icelandic Phallological Museum
Steampunk Guitars
Giant Cardboard Radio
Neneh Cherry covers "Dream Baby Dream" to awesome effect
Artist draws himself after taking almost every drug known to man
Scientists Grow Bacon from Stem Cells

(Contributors the the urls include Andrea Silenzi,Woody Sullender, Dan Bodah, Irene Trudel, Doug Schulkind, Benjamen Walker, Brian Turner, Kurt Gottschalk, Mike Lupica, Rich Hazelton, Evan "Funk" Davies, Chris T, Robin Edgarton, Irwin Chusid, Steinski)

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