Billy Jam sez:
In the first part of this series (posted a week ago) I included an MP3 of people on the streets of Jersey City speaking on their knowledge (or lack thereof) of the origins of the name of New Jersey. This time I am including an sample of what the folks I stopped on the streets of St. Hélier in "old" Jersey had to say when quizzed on their knowledge of New Jersey (MP3). I am also including my new favorite old Jersey song which sums up so perfectly the unique and special place that is the small island of Jersey, Hedley Le Maistre's "Jersey, Mon Vie!" (MP3).
Friday, October 2nd's WFMU live remote broadcast (during Doug Schulkind's timeslot) from Jersey's capital of St. Hélier during the Channel Island's 2nd annual Branchage Film Festival was an amazingly wonderful event to be a part of, and a rewarding one on many levels. First off it was a really great idea of the festival's director Xanthe Hamilton to link "old" Jersey with New Jersey via WFMU - something she presented to a receptive FMU station manager Ken Freedman about five months ago, and whose concept grew in scope since. And secondly for the dialog it began between the two Jerseys - one which we hope to keep going on the air here at WFMU. Expect to regularly hear "Jersey Bites" on Friday afternoons during the new WFMU Fall/Winter season which kicked into effect Monday, October 12th.
If you missed last week's broadcast it is archived - in playlist and audio forms - here, and includes a wide variety of guests getting on the FMU airwaves to share insights on the island of Jersey; a place that may only be 45 square miles in size but is incredibly rich in culture and history. A British Crown dependency the Bailiwick of Jersey, as it is officially known, is 100 miles south of England and lies only 14 miles west of the coast of Normandy, under whose rule it was once governed.
The WFMU remote show guests included Philip Malet de Carteret whose ancestors - several centuries ago - owned the land now known as the Garden State and were the ones responsible for giving New Jersey its name. The interview I conducted with him at his historic manor in the parish of St.Ouen (Jersey is divided into parishes, not counties) ran a lot longer than the segment included in the remote broadcast. Hence snippets of it will be played over the coming months on the air. Same for the organic Jersey dairy farmer Ian Mitchell, who was a live guest during the October 2nd remote but whose farm I visited the following day (see video below) and recorded more footage about the Jersey cow (a highly intelligent & unusally friendly animal) and its rich dairy product.
In addition to Jersey historians and cultural experts, there were also numerous live musical guests including activist/musician Jersey Bob and 14 year old talent Isaac Evans (both included here in photos by Sebastian Meyer). And of course, the broadcast included numerous people associated with the Branchage Film Festival (which takes its name from the island's unusual age old custom of its citizens being required to cut their hedges each year or else suffer a hefty fine) including its director Xanthe Hamilton (pictured below), and also Luke Turner from the London based music website thequietus.com who was responsible for presenting the festival's wonderful screening of Man of Aran with live musical accompaniment by British Sea Power (as seen in brief video clip below) - a perfect pairing that had previously been presented at such places as last year's Edinburgh Film Festival.
The Branchage festival, which was comprised predominantly of documentary films, included the screenings of such music related documentaries as "All Tomorrow's Parties" - a brilliantly crafted film about a subject close to WFMU listeners' hearts, "Sounds Like Teen Spirit" - an affectionately comic look at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, examining the mindsets of its 10 to 15 year old competitors, and "The Posters Came From The Walls" - an engaging film about the global fandom that surrounds Depeche Mode with an emphasis on those in Eastern Bloc countries. Note that interviews with both Posters' co-director Nick Abrahams and also Teen Spirit's director Jamie Jay Johnson will be broadcast on upcoming Friday afternoons on WFMU. Stay tuned New Jersey for more on old Jersey!