Spring has taken off like a doomed Russian rocket here at WFMU, and our staff is celebrating the return of glorious weather to the Evil Apple by hogging the attentions of the press, the internet, the local club scene, and a few of the dodgier police precincts. We are hereby pleased to offer the following summation of how we've been soiling our reputations around town, and how you can be a part of it in the days ahead.
Radio's favorite proprietress, Laura Cantrell, has garnered an all-new boatload of attention of late with a spotlight feature on the PBS series "Profile of a Performing Artist". You can stream the entire segment courtesy of YouTube by clicking here, and appropriately school yourself on the many nuances of Laura's arrival in NYC as a fresh-faced college kid, her wonderful Radio Thrift Shop program on WFMU, and her latest album "Humming by the Flowered Vine" on Matador Records. Laura also penned a great reflection on the modern radio biz in The New York Times' Week In Review section, which you can read here. Radio Thrift Shop isn't on the current air schedule, but of course we all hope it'll be back someday soon! Lest you forget, you can enjoy years and years of Laura's archives right here.
WFMU and (Laura's labelmates) Yo La Tengo are beaming with pride over the release of "Yo La Tengo is Murdering the Classics", which, as covered in an earlier post, is a collection of tracks recorded right here at the Magic Factory during our annual fundraisers dating all the way back to '96. The album (not actually on Matador, but available through the band's website) has picked up all kinds of complemenary press in places like CMJ and Backwards City. You can listen to a few tracks from it (streaming Real Audio from the WFMU archives) by clicking here, here, or here.
DJ Jim Price has been busy updating his Flickr site with scads of images from days of WFMU's past. This time around it's the 1986 Fundraising Marathon getting the royal treatment (and perhaps earning Jim all sorts of desperate, late night phone calls from Rob Weisberg regarding that shot with the meatloaf.) You can see the images from the '86 fundraising fracas right here and check the rest of Jim's exemplary evidence for the good ole days here.
While you're lounging around Captain Price's site and after you're done considering Bob Brainen's epic facial hair of days gone by, head on over to DJ $mall Change's (aka Jim Dier) newly unveiled website. With the help of veritable web-wizard OCDJ (a guy who thinks, and often speaks, only in 1s and 0s), $mall Change now has a great home base from which to foist his particular brand of ass-wagging and beat-thumping upon the world, along with links, contact info, DJ dates, and a photo gallery (which includes the one re-produced here, in which Jim appears able and willing to buck-fifty the photographer into the middle of next week. Furrowed brows aside, we assure you that Jim is actually a very sweet guy and can be found helping old ladies across the street as often as he can be seen spinning the black crack at some loft party or another...)
No list of FMU-related press clippings of note would be complete without nods to the great writeup that the new Circle "Arkades" LP (recorded live on Brian Turner's program) earned on Siltbreeze Records honcho Tom Lax's blog. Although you can listen to the entirety of the this same session in streaming Real Audio on Brian's archive page, you're gonna want to pick up the actual vinyl for Brian's great liner notes, and Circle's latest (and perhaps oddest) obsession: the Old West, and all its accompanying imagery. Oh, those crazy Fins. Check Circle's website here, and prepare yourself for the coming age of the NWOFHM. (New Wave of Finnish Heavy Metal.)
Jeff Feurzig's "Devil and Daniel Johnston" documentary (inspired by Johnston's now-legendary performance on WFMU's airwaves via telephone from a mental institution in '91) has been earning rave reviews and press six ways from Saturday. Here's a recent writeup from The Star Ledger, and don't forget that The Sony Classics website has a full listing of related press for you to peruse, or you can read more about it (and stream the original performance) on WFMU's blog archives here. Jeff Feurzig was a recent guest on Tom Scharpling's show, and many film-related details were discussed. You can listen to that show (streaming Real Audio) by clicking here.
Depending on how far you're willing to wander from home, you may want to mark your calendars for spending May 7th in Memphis, where you'll be able to catch WFMU's Downtown Soulville host Mr. Fine Wine spinning and grinning at the mighty Ponderosa Stomp festival. Specifically, he'll be manning the wheels of veal at the Pre-Stomp Soul Night, to be held at the High Tone Cafe, 1913 Poplar Ave. More info is available here. Closer to home, you can catch Fine Wine at his usual Wednesday night DJ gig at Botanica (47 E Houston, NYC), although NOT on Wednesday the 10th, as he'll likely still be passed out cold somewhere between Memphis and the East Village. And of course, if you're more of a middle-finger-to-the-workweek sort and prefer doing your damage on Sunday nights, you can invest your time wisely at Union Pool (484 Union St, Brooklyn), where Dave the Spazz bravely spins the platters that matter beneath the glimmering streetlights of the BQE. No cover, as was duly ruled by the ancients.
Finally, it's only fair to warn you locals that on Saturday, May 13th, you're going to want to scramble in a disorderly and maniacal fashion in the general direction of Barbès (376 9th St, Park Slope, Brooklyn), when Transpacific Sound Paradise host Rob Weisberg, with guest co-host Irene Trudel will broadcast live from said club's inner chambers and bring you live music from all-female Brooklyn folkies Lamazi Kolektsia, gypsy-punks Luminescent Orchestrii, and the accordion-swing sounds of Musette Explosion. Rob and Irene will have copious amounts of complementary WFMU swag for all who stop by the broadcast booth to say hello, so please come down and be a part of the magic! Watch the WFMU homepage for updated info, as it becomes available. See ya there!