Monday, February 13, 2006

Beware of the Blog - WFMU's MP3 Gold

Maverick New York/New Jersey radio station WFMU can be alot of fun. It's a non-commercial beacon for underground music of all stripes and a Mecca for today's armchair cultural archeologists and the ironic psychic surgeons who dust off, inspect and present lost gems and current oddities from across the sonic spectrum. While I haven't met anyone who can stomach all strands from the sheer variety of round the clock programming, there's sure to be a few shows in the schedule that'll catch yr ears.

In addition to their outstanding broadcast radio (both in the ether and on the web), they've been running a top notch blog that really captures the brilliant, twisted thinking behind the station. It's a compact text version of what goes out over the airwaves, all linked up with sound and video files and plenty of arrows pointing to the outside world should you want to learn more about anything in particular. Killer lost rock, funk or dance tunes, art-noise, goofy, camp jingles, assorted web zen and plenty of other, genuinely interesting shit are all presented with the same earnest, if often ironic, care that's made the radio station thrive since it's split from Upsala College in 1994. Most employees rather than being out to climb the corporate ladder or pick up some easy credit hours, work for free out of a love of the mission and the material. It's the sharing of their love of impossibly great songs, odd floatsam and kooky ephemera with like-minded listeners that has built a genuine community around WFMU and kept the 100% listener-funded station and blog afloat.

Check out their blog: Beware of the Blog

And if you've got some time, file through their Audio/Video download page. There's plenty of music and commentary, but more of the gems are hilarious finds like these:

  • "GRANDPA PSA" by American Family Association MP3
    The best public service announcement we ever received, which was mailed to every radio station in the country by Donald Wildmon's American Family Association, which apparently still harbors fantasies of liberal Gestapo squads shoveling heaps o' Bibles into the secular humanist bonfire. No word on whether this magical piece of radio theater generated the million signatures they were aiming for.

  • "THE THEME" by Aboriginal Peoples Television Network WMV
    Airing Thursday nights in Canada on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network or APTN, Inuit Mittatin's official description reads "This program sets out to find the funniest, quirkiest Inuit in the communities of Nunavut. What is so distinct about Inuit humour? What role does humour play in Inuit life?" We think the following description is more apt: "This program is a lunatic Inuit woman running all over the barren north making up songs and inviting us along as she sinks deeper and deeper into dementia."

  • "K-ROCK BRINGS YOU PAVEMENT" by Annoying Concert MC MP3
    Says our friend Bill W.: "I'd like to 'put my hands together', with his neck intervening."

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