WFMU Opens Its Live Performance Space This Weekend

Categories: WFMU

[Photo: Richie Charles of Watery Love, who play WFMU's performance space grand opening Saturday.]

For many years now, the Jersey based freeform radio station WFMU has been a beacon of freakdom for our area. Besides broadcasting audio obscurities both day and night, you might also know them for their legendary yearly record fairs where you can spend anything from a dollar on a beat-to-shit copy of Frampton Comes Alive! to close to a grand on some one-in-a-million record made by some shut-in from Boise.

And now, you can chalk them up as a steady supplier of live music events as well.

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The Relatives Want to Save Your Psychedelic Soul

Categories: Gospel Music, WFMU

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The Electric Word
A swirl of gritty, psychedelic guitars and screaming fans with their hands raised to the heavens isn't what you typically think of when you hear gospel. But Dallas-bred group the Relatives have no concern about your or anyone else's preconceived notions of the Lord's music. They weren't concerned in the early '70s either when the band crossbred the funk rhythms of the times with psychedelia and injected a heavy dose of soul --as in the biblical type, into their music.

See also:
- Norton Records Warehouse Takes Massive Hit from Sandy
- Charles Mingus' Secret Eggnog Recipe Will Knock You on Your Ass

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Q&A: Michael Cumella Talks Old Records And His "Antique Phonograph Music Program"

Categories: Interviews, WFMU

Mac, at home with one of his most loyal listeners

As even Brad Paisley has pointed out, we live today in something like the future. The past few years of continuously shrinking computers and continuously growing cities seem to suggest that he might be on to something. Then again, we still haven't mastered time travel, that single technology no future should be without. Fortunately, if you're itching to hear a certain ragtime cylinder the way it would have been heard one hundred years ago, you're not totally out of luck, for you can find Michael Cumella (a/k/a Mac) of WFMU's "Antique Phonograph Music Program" spinning music from the period on equipment that's as old as the records. Mac and I used some newer technology (Skype and a cell phone, respectively) to talk about his program and the timeless pleasure of listening to an analog recording.

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Lucky Dragons On WFMU Last Night/At Light Industry Tonight

DJ/Rupture's Mudd Up! radio program on WFMU hosted Luke Fischbeck's Lucky Dragons yesterday evening--fitting, as the two of them have some old Cambridge history together. The audio is up already, and it includes fun war stories about the band's Cambridge days, lots of well chosen Lucky Dragons outtakes and ephemera, and some good conversation about participatory aesthetics and what exactly the idea is behind having the audience play most of the instruments at LD shows. Old hardcore records and free jazz for the nostalgic win. Those curious about why this band ended up being the sole opener for Thom Yorke's band out in LA last week would do well to listen in. "In those situations, the only direction we can go is extremely psychedelic," Luke says. "There's so many different ways to talk about what happened that night." Lucky Dragons play a Showpaper benefit tonight at Light Industry out in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, doing live soundtracks to Rose Lowder films. More info about that here.

Tonight: WFMU Book Release Party in Park Slope

Categories: WFMU

A release party for The Best of LCD: The Art and Writing of WFMU takes place tonight with editor Dave the Spazz (and special guests Ellery Eskelin, Kenny G.) at Community Bookstore in Park Slope, Brooklyn (143 Seventh Avenue, between Carroll and Garfield). Bronwyn C will broadcast her WFMU show "Killing Time" live from the event.

Text by Shaun McCormack

WFMU has always been like big-budget porn for discriminating music fans. The Jersey City station first broadcasted in 1958 (a bit of a mystery; nobody at the station really knows anything about it) and has since been operating pretty much the way it does now, as a jungle of underground brilliance, deviance and experimentation. It's got a psychopath DJ named Kenny G who isn't a white jazz asshat. It's got call-in shows with twisted hosts who orchestrate scavenger hunts for Thanksgiving turkeys and matzah balls throughout New York and New Jersey. It's got a game called Dead Air Chicken. Dead air, for those of you who don't know, is exactly what it sounds like: silence. The most feared sound in radio. Andy Breckman and station manager Ken Freedman made a game out of it. Genius.

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