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Now that WFMU's 2011 Marathon is but a happy speck in our rearview mirror, it's time to start mailing out mountains of swag to everyone who supported us. If you've pledged, thanks so much for your patience... it usually takes us a few months to get all the swag out in the mail. We've already begun sending out T-shirts and stickers, while other items continue to roll in.
One item I was particularly excited about producing this year was a glow-in-the-dark map of New Jersey. And I just can't help but show off the "daytime" version of the glow map, which was designed by Wolfy of Kayrock Screenprinting (and the band Red Dawn II). Much more NJ lore lurks when the lights go out...
If you missed out on the Marathon, but MUST get your hands on this poster, do not fret, you can still make a pledge (of $180 or $15/mo) to receive the map along with other great WFMU goodies.
And if swag is a motivator for you, don't even get me started on how incredible the WFMU bottle opener keychain turned out... Our sample was already swiped! Pledge $365 (or $30.42/mo) to get one for yourself.
Those of you who receive WFMU's monthly e-mail, Blast of Hot Air (sign up here), may have noticed something was missing this time around... We decided to move our ever-growing listing of WFMU DJ gigs to the blog, and thus, here they are:
Friday, April 8th - Jeffrey Lewis & The Junkyard / The Beets / El-G (touring from France, played WFMU's SXSW showcase) / Preston Spurlock. There's a Babycastles arcade opening party that night at 6 curated by DS Homebrew viking Kevin Chen. Music starts at 9, The Silent Barn, 915 Wyckoff Ave, Ridgewood , Queens.
Friday, April 8th - ¡MUCHO POR MATAR! (Too Much To Kill en Español), DJs Marty McSorley and Cuchy Frito Man provide Latin Garage, Soul, Boogaloo, and Cumbia beats that keep you movin' and groovin'.. all night. Brooklyn Beauty Bar, 921 Broadway @ Melrose, Brooklyn. WFMU's Nat Roe is presenting this show and the next one (where he appears).
Saturday, April 9th - Saturday the 9th is a showcase of collage artists with an emphasis on gestural techniques. Turntablism pioneer Grandwizard Theodore (of Wild Style fame) is headlining along with G Lucas Crane (Woods, Nonhorse), Maria Chavez, Sabisha Friedberg and DJ Nat Roe. Music at 9. The Silent Barn, 915 Wyckoff Ave, Ridgewood , Queens
Sunday, April 10th - Special ALL-STAR benefit for Japan disaster relief with an amazing line-up of entertainment at a low price for a great cause.with DJs WFMU’s Dave the Spazz, WFMU’s Gaylord Fields, DJ Kongress, DJ Shimmy, WMBR’s John Funke (Cambridge, MA) featuring Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens, The A-Bones, The Live Ones, Mighty Fine, The Dixons, The Back Ccs, The Underthings PLUS fabulous raffle prizes donated by the Great Jones Café, Harefield Road, the Richardson, Academy Records, Permanent Records, and more. $10 Admission includes one raffle ticket! ll proceeds go to AmeriCares and Direct Relief International. Union Pool, 484 Union Ave (@ Meeker) 4pm.
Thursday, April 14th - Everybody's Got Soul. Marty McSorley spins soulful soul hits from around the world while you drink $2 beers. Duck Duck, 161 Montrose @ Graham, Brooklyn.
Friday, April 15th - More Soup and Tart at the Barbican Theatre in London, UK. For one night only! Over 30 of the most exciting artists working across visual art, film, music, dance and theatre each give a two-minute performance that follows a light dinner of soup and tart, in the spirit of Jean Dupuy's legendary 1974-75 events at The Kitchen, New York. Featuring: Penny Arcade, Edwina Ashton, Vicki Bennett (People Like Us), Simon Bookish, John Butcher, Rosemary Butcher, William Cobbing, Martin Creed, Jeremiah Day, Dog Kennel Hill Project, and many more.
Saturday April 16th - Live music from Lame Drivers (feat WFMU's Jason Sigal), Sloppy Heads (feat Jesse of WFMU's Frow Show), and Platinum Vision (feat. Matt Mottel from Talibam) with DJ Brian Turner between sets @ Rad Town in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn (J/M to Flushing, G to Myrtle-Willougby) [email for details].
Saturday, April 16th - Mr. Fine Wine spins at Knights of the Round Tables soul dance party at the Commodore, 366 Metropolitan Ave., Williamsburg, 10:30 till 4, free.
Wednesday, April 20th - WFMU Music Director Brian Turner joins in for live performances backing up Jowe Head (Swell Maps, Television Personalities) at his Rock Shop show (Gowanus, Brooklyn), then playing again Friday, April 22nd at Bruar Falls in Williamsburg (both playing with Jowe and his other band the Mad Scene), then the Cake Shop on Ludlow in Manhattan on Saturday, April 23rd. More info here.
Wednesday, April 27th - People Like Us will perform Genre Collage at Open Ears Festival in Kitchener, Ontario. There's an amazing line up in the festival, including John Oswald, Tanya Tagaq, and also Tony Conrad.
Saturday, April 30th - Wang Dang Doodle with Dave the Spazz, Rex Doane and Phast Phreddie spinning crazy and rockin' 45s at The Fifth Estate, 506 Fifth Ave (between 12th & 13th St) in Brooklyn. 11 pm, free.
Every Sunday, Dave the Spazz plays rock & roll records at Union Pool. 10pm (484 Union Ave at Meeker in Williamsburg Brooklyn) Free.
Every Wednesday, Mr. Fine Wine spins soul 45s at Botanica (47 East Houston St.) 10 till late, free.
This week was juicy in terms of live shows to attend, I wanted to go to many, but have yet to clone myself and my jet propulsion unit is still at the shop. I cheated a bit, by having a band on the Fun Machine, to be able to provide you, the listener with some tracks aside from these pix, so here's a quick rundown!! Sunday March 27th, I caught Thin Lizzy at the Starland Ballroom. Brian Downey, Scott Gorham and Darren Wharton, all from the Lynott era were joined onstage by Marco Mendoza, Vivian Campbell and Ricky Warwick. The show was great, the set list was very different from the Sykes/Gorham era that ended rather unexpectedly the summer of 2009, and all is well! Here's a few shots from the show! Tuesday, Batillus made their way to Jersey City to douse the Fun Machine with some gasoline, torched
We ended a mere $45,000 short of our goal, which is so close that post-marathon pledging could eventually push us over the top. If you would like to make a pledge, you can still do so on our secure donation page here.
Marathon payment forms will be mailed later this week, and swag will start being mailed out in April. If you have questions or problems with a pledge that you made, please contact Listener Service Czar Joe McGasko via this page. And thank you again. WFMU loves you.
If you missed out on WFMU's Marathon Finale live band karaoke party with the Hoof & Mouth Sinfonia (or even if you want to re-live the magic), the entire set's archive and playlist have been posted here.
WFMU's 2011 fundraising Marathon is coming to a close, and we are within reach of our goal! Please make a pledge if you haven't already, and help us keep this freeform radio ship afloat.
We've got tons of on-air excitement in store for you over the next few days and lots of webcam action, so don't miss out!
Noon - 3pm: Bryce gradually morphs into an giant mass of food (watch it live on our video stream at wfmu.org).
6 - 7pm: Andy and Frangry take it all off on Shut Up, Weirdo! and you can watch it go down via webcam.
8 - 9pm: "Flammable"? "Inflammable"? Chris T. clears it up for you on Aerial View and asks "Will it Burn?" as he tries to set fire to various pieces of WFMU swag.
9pm - mid: Pseu Braun will be joined by co-host Tom Scharpling and musical guest Doug Gillard of Guided By Voices.
7pm - mid: Live band karaoke with WFMU's Hoof & Mouth Sinfonia! You can watch our live video stream of your favorite WFMU DJs belting out our version of the hits live from the stage at Maxwell's in Hoboken. At midnight, we'll draw one lucky winner for a trip for two to Barcelona to check out the Primavera Sound Festival -- pledge $1000 or more to be eligible!
Don't miss out on the Best Show on WFMU with Tom Scharpling tonight (9pm-midnight EST): special guests include comedian John Hodgman, and musicians Kurt Vile, Carl Newman (of the New Pornographers), and Ted Leo! Amazing giveaways and more surprises are in store for Tom's second and final 2011 WFMU Marathon show!
We'll be hosting a live video stream at wfmu.org so you won't miss out on any of tonight's mirth or mayhem.
Here are just a few of the fabulous prizes that Tom will be giving away tonight:
A single and LP signed by CONAN O'BRIEN
A signed test pressing of the new KURT VILE LP
Signed CHRIS ELLIOTT BOOKS, including a VERY RARE COPY of Daddy's Boy also SIGNED BY BOB ELLIOTT!!
A super rare DEAD WEATHER TEST PRESSING worth hundreds of dollars!
A copy of I AM AMERICA that is SIGNED BY STEPHEN COLBERT
A rare GEORGE HARRISON POSTER
An LCD SOUNDSYSTEM SINGLES PACK
A signed copy of OUR BODIES, OUR JUNK
DVDs signed by director ADAM McKAY
And for the person who pledges the most over the two weeks DURING The Best Show, there's an amazing work of art created by STEVE LAMBERT. You can check it out here.
Right now the highest pledge is 1000 bucks, and this thing is worth a few thousand easy!
Tune in tonight and don't forget to pledge!
Don't miss The Best Show on WFMU with Tom Scharpling tonight (9pm-mid) -- special guests include Carl Newman of the New Pornographers and Ted Leo!
Plus, we'll host a live video stream at wfmu.org so you can watch the phone room bedlam and on-air throwdown from home. Don't miss out!
Bring the noise: WFMU's annual fundraising Marathon approaches!
Unlike many other bo-ring public radio beg-a-thons, your pals here at Freeform Headquarters make sure our Marathon is spastic, exciting, and a little bit dangerous. Be sure to tune in to WFMU February 28th - March 13th for some very special programming including DJ tag teams, on-air stunts, live webcam video streams, prize giveaways, and on March 4th (9pm-mid) Yo La Tengo will play cover song requests for your pledges.
We've got a new line of swag to offer, including a T-shirt designed by Tim Biskup, a Glow-in-the-Dark Map of NJ, a Bottle Opener Keychain, a USB Flash Drive loaded with hits from the Free Music Archive, and tons of great DJ Premiums for the taking! Check out the mountains of goodies and make your pledge right here.
Special Marathon Broadcasts - stunts, celebrities, prank calls, and more! Take a peek...
Each year during WFMU's fundraising Marathon, NJ legends Yo La Tengo set up shop in our tiny studio and play cover song requests in exchange for pledges. The event is always highly anticipated and full of surprises, and it just keeps getting better year after year.
This year, YLT cover request madness hits the WFMU airwaves on Friday March 4th, 9pm-midnight EST, during Pseu Braun's show (Gaylord Fields will be co-hosting). Synchronize your watch, get your requests ready to fire, and be sure to tune in. We'll be hosting a live video stream of YLT's set at wfmu.org, but it won't archive the set, so don't miss out!
When home recording pioneer R. Stevie Moore left New Jersey last year to return to his birthplace of Nashville TN, it left a void in our hearts here at WFMU, where R. Stevie is a former DJ and our most frequent live guest. Fortunately, we now have the opportunity to lend a hand in his first album since returning to Nashville.
RSM has been doing the "Direct-to-Fan" thing since way back before the Internet came along. So this feels like a natural step for the DIY icon to be going the crowd-funding route via Kickstarter. RSM is also an innovator in home video since before the days of YouTube -- he now shares over 400 videos via RSMTV. The video for our hero's Kickstarter campaign finds RSM swingin his guitar around Nashville past sights like the Parthenon replica, the Ernest Tubb Record Shop, and the Batman building.
R. Stevie Moore's been keeping busy in Nashville, as a 2-hour special appearance on WRVU-FM's Loud Love program can attest (click the link to listen). It's no surprise for the man who's been recording constantly since the 1960s, building a cult following that seems to be growing exponentially in our interconnected online era. One fantastic example is the free ongoing tribute project from Sick Of The Radio, which has now reached 8 volumes and over 200 contributions including some prominent followers like Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Throwing Muses, Jad Fair, Jason Falkner, Penn Jillette (Penn & Teller), Dave Gregory (XTC), and James Richardson of MGMT. To further this spread of his music, R. Stevie Moore has kindly offered two tracks off of his recently released REPLICA series under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license. REPLICA is available in three volumes via iTunes: vol 1 / vol 2 / vol 3
For those in the Nashville area, catch a rare live performance TONIGHT when R. Stevie Moore opens for Deerhoof at the Mercy Lounge!
An innocent question posed on WFMU's Twitter account sparked a whirlwind of responses: where is the Pork Roll / Taylor Ham divide in NJ?
NJ natives, chime in on where you live and whether you call it Pork Roll or Taylor Ham. If you're feeling ambitious, add your point to our map!
View NJ's Pork Roll / Taylor Ham Divide in a larger map
For those out of the loop, these terms refer to a mystery meat pork product that is produced in NJ and is popular within the tri-state area.
Just a few months ago, WFMU held an online auction to raise a little extra cash, and some items we offered were a tad unconventional. Congrats to all auction winners, and thanks to everyone who placed a bid! Extra thanks to Stephin Merritt, DJ Monica, Todd at Maxwell's, and Yo La Tengo for making dreams come true!
If you're in northern NJ, be sure to stop by Maxwell's in Hoboken this Sunday (Jan 16th), for Auction Winner Angel's curated show, featuring Mattress and 4 other bands. The event serves as a launch party for Angel's new website Joydropper, dedicated to fun happenings in NJ.
And speaking of Maxwell's, we've got video footage of Auction Winner Jason expertly performing "Astral Plane" with Yo La Tengo during one of the band's coveted Hanukkah shows.
Check out Auction Winner Aimi, sipping tea with none other than Stephin Merritt!
WFMU is taking pledges RIGHT NOW to send Station Manager Ken aloft with helium balloons! Pledge now to help us reach our goal by noon! For every $1000 we raise, we'll fill up a balloon and tie it to Ken, who is in the WFMU parking lot in his favorite lawn chair. If we're successful, Ken will lift off!
If WFMU reaches our Lift-Off campaign goal this Wednesday and sends Station Manager Ken into space with 25 tanks-worth of helium balloons affixed to his lawn chair, it will be a triumphant moment. Can you picture it? I'm not actually sure what it's going to look like (fortunately there'll be a live video feed) but I can already imagine the feeling of looking up at the sky to see Ken -- a tiny speck burried in a sea of multicolored balloons -- and all of us down in the parking lot here in Jersey City smiling with great pride, just knowing that the station will be able to stay afloat through the frigid dark winter months ahead. Why? Because everybody chipped in -- either by pledging to the station and/or by putting their lives at risk -- to keep freeform radio afloat!
But did you know that our visionary leader would not be the first person to take flight through the power of helium? In fact, there's an entire website devoted to "Cluster Ballooning," and I've been reading up on some of the most famous examples in an online science magazine called the Darwin Awards:
Both of these stories end in tragedy, but WFMU's story will be different because we are taking some precautions. For example, they didn't think to use a safety harness, or to hire a sniper to take out a few balloons in case the wind picks up and Ken floats into air traffic control space (good idea Rich Hazelton!). Many of us have even gotten a jump start on pledging, since pledge-fuel is the only variable that is not yet fully accounted for. And earlier today, Ken was hovering right outside my window testing the strength of his harness. Hey wait a minute -- he's still out there! And his harness seems to be holding strong despite today's snow flurries and 10-degree wind chill... that is a good omen.
As we prepare for Wednesday morning's launch and figure out a safe place to store these 25 extremely volatile helium tanks, I'd recommend reading more about the history of helium-balloon powered flight and watching a rare video of Father Adelir Antonio de Carli after the jump.
Also, be sure to tune in to this Tuesday's Thunk Tank (7-8p ET). Station Manager Ken joins WFMU's Chief Science Office Bronwyn C. to discuss the aeronautic research behind Wednesday's lawn-chair-and-balloon fundraising launch.
One week from today (December 8th), WFMU will be taking pledges over the air to send Station Manager Ken aloft with helium balloons! Tune in or watch our live video feed to witness the madness firsthand! The pre-game show begins at 9am, and we'll be taking pledges 11am-noon.
The launchpad: WFMU's parking lot. The vessel: Ken's favorite lawn chair. The fuel: your pledges, realized as giant helium balloons; for every $1000 we raise, we'll attach another balloon to Ken.
If we're successful, we'll raise $180,000, and Ken will lift off! Pledge online or over the phone between 11am and noon on December 8th at (800) 989-9368. We've even got shiny new swag for the taking: a t-shirt designed by Tom Frost, and a WFMU baseball cap! Help us make radio history!
Not long ago I picked up on a gig announcement that Easy Action would be playing The Acheron in Brooklyn on Monday, November 15th...yay! I contacted them immediately and inquired if they'd be interested in playing live on the Fun Machine on the next day; Tuesday the 16th. And so it was. The band, with John Brannon of Negative Approach and Laughing Hyenas on vocals, has a perverted blues-punk sound that is so mesmerizing you could set your own face on fire and never notice. I've had the pleasure of seeing them play over a dozen times (6 of those shows at SXSW 2 years in a row), and can honestly say there is no pretense or even intention of having, wanting, or needing a stage show with these guys. Brannon is as terrifying as he was in Negative Approach, and sounds even more caustic now, possibly because he's all grown up, and he still howls like an animal fighting for it's life, but this time you know it's premeditated and not simply a reaction to teen angst. EA features the rhythm section of Tony Romeo on bass and Matt Becker on the drums, and Harold Richardson's sick, greasy and intense guitar sound to round off the spectacle. Easy Action just get down and dirty and give their performances the Detroit treatment: 100%-period. They rule, and really-- they can't help it; it's so authentic that it shows. Here is the set fresh off the Free Music Archive; yours to download, yeah, Christmas is early this year. Easy Action also graced the WFMU airwaves in 2005 on the Pat Duncan program, hosted by Andrew Listfield that particular night, and John and Harold also were here in Negative Approach for their appearance on Brian Turner's program in 2008.
On Tuesday, they arrived at WFMU early, "That's how we roll"; set up their gear, played and left the studio begging for mercy... and at the end of the afternoon after all was said and done, John Brannon, the fiercest voice in the universe, turns around and says to me "here's your pen, Diane." It may not seem like much of a gesture, but this is coming from a man who'd basically bitten off the head of your mother, or would have if she was here; paid homage to and fistfought every drunken gambler, pimp and derelict either side of the Mississippi; successfully and creatively edited his vocals for the live performance (I said Easy Action are great, but yeah, they're dirty... in the just the right way), and pulled off the most burnt out sounding cover of 10cc's "I'm Not In Love" - remembered that I lent him a pen to write out their set lists with about 4 hours before. Shucks, what do you say about that except, come back soon! It's a crime these guys aren't huge. Send your friends to this site, check out the playlist from the show itself -more photos there- and have them check out Easy Action. It can be your own dirty secret and hopefully one day it will be everybody's. Accompanying are a few shots from the WFMU studio as well as the Acheron show on November 15th. From Richmond? Well get your ass out to see them tonight; Saturday November 20th at the Triple. Obey.