WFMU holds its Annual Fund raiser
WFMU is once again against the rocks of it's annual fund marathon. Where-in it, beholden to no-one and possessing no external connections to existence, attempts to raise the million or so dollars needed to continue being a noun, rather that an adverb.
WFMU operates as a small patch of warm sunlight in a sea of florescent. An oasis of freeform individuation in an ocean of standard cubation. It is "my castle of quiet." Giving props where they're due Duane's show on Wednesdays after Ken's is their best new show. I like a guy who knows his stuff, who can make a point out the breadth of material he can touch a needle to. If I ever ended up in a position where i couldn't listen at work, I would pick up on the weekend shows, or use the archives to time-shift the week-day shows like Duane's down.Then there is Doug Schulkind who has an entire twenty four per day internet stream now to curate and dip into live: give the drummer some.
Their manner of organization reminds me of a law firm more than anything else. A sixty person volunteer air staff, not dissimilar to the staffing for a college radio station (of which they are an evolved life-form), but with an embedded board of stakeholders -- senior partners. Come marathon time everyone has to be a rainmaker. And of course any good law firm always has eye towards the next generation, and whatever it is that makes them buy transistor radios and snap their fingers to the beat.
WFMU's music programming is what brought me in. I find it difficult to work to talk radio, NPR for instance is either too engaging or too sommulizing, both equally bad for work. I like the occaisional incidental bits of talking radio WFMU does. There are different types of talk shows, different levels of production and preparation going into each. There are severely: extemporaneous dialogues on mike (Monologues ought never be more than set-breaks); recorded unedited dialog, but focused on a topic; record edited dialog with transitions -- intro outro juxtaposition interpolations; lastly as previous, but with sound effects and/or mood music, even scripted elements.
These are the differences between Ben Walkers show vs Clay Pigeons vs. the surreal narratology of the Joe Frank show they used to run, and Doug Rushkoff's brief show which Benjamin Walker essentially stepped into. Ideally you could mix and match these so you're not in a position of trying to put together an hour of fully produced radio every week.
Here I should say, back when I was a student dj at U. Maryland's 10 watt station my idea of a tape splice (this prior to the digital revolution, and I was a government not broadcast major at any rate) was to wrap the two cut ends of the recording tape with splicing tape and tie it off with a knot. My friends would say "that's not a splice that's Ahmenhotep."
In the past I've maintained that if I could rely on TV advertisers continuing to work the Violent Femmes and Pogues into commercials this would render radio redundant. But advertisers are looking to subvert and detach sentimentality, so there is that constant juggle of unattaching cars and laser printers and reattaching circumstance.
I had a dream a while ago. In this dream I was in some small second hand store. I came across an ocarina. It was no ordinary ocarina (of course not this was a dream and it was a dream object) it was a fantastic brass ocarina delicate rare, covered in unknown symbols. With odd extras beyond the standard ocarinas four to six holes. It had music making ports and parts formed of bassoons and harmonicas, the sound of which I could only guess at. It was said of it that it could make music if you just held it in your hand and moved it slightly. It was a thing that touched the very border of magic. The proprietor of the curiosity shop while selling the piece almost seemed like he was inspiring himself to keep it. Still I knew he would let me buy it. In these days of compressed digital music: iPods, iTunes, SmartPhones, songs bunched by a thousand apiece into each, an instrument like that should only seem quaint. Yet it didn't. Latter it struck me that, in a loose manner, this ocarina could be a metaphor for WFMU. Though at the time it seemed exceptionally singular. Possibly the dream was an independent evaluation of my subconscious conducted on its own inscrutable terms. To be deciphered at length latter on as needed.
11:05:14 PM ;;