The 6 Best Things You Can Bid On From WFMU's Benefit Auction
It's fundraising time again for awesome local freeform radio station WFMU, and rather than do another fall marathon, music festival, record fair, or art benefit, the station has organized an online auction, with all proceeds going to support the beloved and increasingly beleaguered institution. (Last year, they fell $100,000 short of their goal during their annual March fundraiser, and the station is currently trying to build an antenna in the middle of Manhattan after losing the lease on their old transmitter site.) Luckily, one thing WFMU is not short on is friends, and so this auction is actually pretty incredible. Below, the best of the things you should probably buy anyway, on principal:
Inside the WFMU archives.
In addition to being one of the great guitarists and personalities of the last fifty years, Fahey had a remarkably successful sideline as a painter. (Sonic Youth, who used one his works on the cover of The Eternal, would surely agree.) At an opening price of $600, it is actually conceivable that you could come away owning this. Just make sure you don't end up in a hotel somewhere completely naked, staring at it for the next thirty years.
High bid wins attendance to one of this December's Hanukkah shows at Maxwell's, where "the winner will be put in touch with Yo La Tengo prior to the show to decide on a mutually-agreeable song to perform on a mutually-agreeable date, and will practice the song with the band during soundcheck on the show date, prior to the show." Good luck beating Jesse Jarnow to this one.
If only because this will be a story you can dine out on for the rest of your life. If the awkwardness doesn't paralyze you first, anyway. (We happen to think he's a very sweet man.) "Finger sandwiches" and "scintillating conversation" included; long excruciating pauses too, in our experience.
All drawn from various performances at WFMU. Just in case you forgot they were giving you this stuff for free long before they were asking for your money.
Anyone who has ever done college radio knows what a trove of history, vitriol, hilarious comments scrawled on records, and rare, rare, rare stuff archives like these tend to hold. Reading whatever debate raged across the cover of Slanted & Enchanted when that record came out is probably worth this trip alone. Plus you get to rip and record whatever you find. See also: Host Your Own 3-Hr Radio Show.
Another college radio rite of passage--getting sent Jandek CD after Jandek CD after Jandek CD in the mail. A nation of former DJs is cackling right now. This particular collection belongs to Songs in the Key of Z: The Curious Universe of Outsider Music author Irwin Chusid, who despite writing extensively about Jandek, describes the collection as "Most, if not all, never played or removed from jewel cases, some sealed in original shrinkwrap." We know the feeling!
There's also Guided By Voices tickets, VIP passes to a taping of The Colbert Report, lunch with FMU mainstay Tom Scharpling, and a ton of rare records. Do your part here, before the whole thing wraps up on October 12th.