Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2009/03/16

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Subject: [Leica] IMGs: The Face of Freeform Radio
From: jbm at (Jeff Moore)
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 2009 14:35:15 -0400
References: <> <>

2009-03-16-09:37:32 Ric Carter:
> looks like a real interesting event!
> I'll give a listen today


WFMU can be an acquired taste, because all the shows are so different --
since it's a true freeform radio station, each DJ plays whatever he or
she wants.  So if you dip into the broadcast at any random time, there's
an excellent chance you'll find something you just don't care for at
all;  but when you find a DJ whose tastes have enough in common with
yours that you're sucked in, it's far more engaging than the dreary
playlist radio which has taken over the commercial airwaves.

But there's something really cool:  they keep archives of all the shows
(for two weeks in pretty-nice-sounding 128Kbps MP3 streams, forever at
lower quality).  So if you figure out whose shows you like, you can just
dip in and listen at your convenience.

For instance: Monica (who was, and maybe still is, a big-time record
producer in a different genre)

just has superb musical taste (in my opinion, of course), and tends to
play melodic sorts of things.  Not too "kids-today" challenging.  But
not dull either.

Doug Schulkind

usually plays percussion-driven acoustic music, most often jazz or maybe
Brazilian or suchlike.

Laura Cantrell's "Radio Thrift Shop" is generally bluegrass, golden-age
country, Texas swing, and like that:

Laura's a successful recording artist in her own right -- although you
wouldn't know it from her show, because WFMU's strict no-plugging policy
forbids people from flogging their own projects on-air.

Ken Freedman, the station manager, does a brilliant kind-of-high-energy
show with lots of mashups and bits of music you might otherwise find
quite annoying (and, okay, you may anyway), but somehow his
sensibilities, and his his comedic timing make it work for me.

That's Ken's Wednesday-AM show.  Wednesday evenings (US-Eastern), Ken
and Andy Breckman (longtime comedy writer, including a stint at Saturday
Night Live; creator of "Monk") team up to do "Seven Second Delay",
wherein each week they come up with a flawed premise for a show, set it
in motion, and watch it fail.

Irene Trudel tends to play beautiful-sounding (if low-energy) acoustic
music, much of which she engineers herself in live sessions:

Lessee...  some guys who do good straight-ahead rock shows are Bill Mac
(longtime Philadelphia radio guy) and Frank O'Toole:

and there's much much more; I've just mentioned things which happen to
match up with the quirks of my taste, and which haven't just slipped my
mind.  There're shows which specialize in high-energy club music,
throbbing metal, playing Edison cylinders(!), whatever.

Note that if you're dipping into the archives, shows from 2 March
through 15 March will be from the fundraising time -- there's an
addictive carnival atmosphere to Marathon shows, but they won't be
representative of the station's character most of the year.

Plenty of information at the station's main website:

My pictures of goings-on related to the station:

This is pretty cool: because of the great shows (and because they've
remained ahead of the curve in web services), the station has an
international following.  Here's a map of where this year's Marathon
contributions came from:


Replies: Reply from ricc at (Ric Carter) ([Leica] IMGs: The Face of Freeform Radio)
Reply from ricc at (Ric Carter) ([Leica] IMGs: The Face of Freeform Radio)
In reply to: Message from jbm at (Jeff Moore) ([Leica] IMGs: The Face of Freeform Radio)
Message from ricc at (Ric Carter) ([Leica] IMGs: The Face of Freeform Radio)