Tuesday, February 26, 2008

WFMU Marathon 2008

The WFMU annual on-air fund-raising marathon is happening now. I don't know of any radio station as generous with swag, prizes & premiums, or fund-raisers with so much silliness. It's also the peak of the WFMU social season.

The DJ responsibilities for this annual circus are one reason I no longer covet a weekly program at WFMU (though hardly the only reason). Nearly every DJ produces a unique premium, most commonly a compilation CD of rare &/or unusual music featured during the previous year, but there's other amazing items.This year I'll probably go for Bronwyn's DJ Nightmare Board Game. These are much sought after collector's items, & they're not easy to do year after year. In the 90's, I pretty much emptied the barrel over the course of five compilations of beat poetry, TV jazz soundtrack music, & cheesy organ selections. I could have gone on indefinitely with the organ stuff, there's so much of it, but I'd made my point. I never had a rep as "deep catalogue" kind of DJ anyway.

I'll probably make limited appearances in the phone room, a cramped, badly lit place that gives me eye strain if I have to fill out a lot of pledge cards & spreads viruses if someone walks in with a cold, & go with the trance-inducing envelope stuffing when I visit. It's WFMU's 50th anniversary, I've been on the staff over half of that time, a "regular" nearly 18 years of it. I'm one of the handful of DJs predating the Ken Freedman management era (a group that includes Ken). This makes me a historical oddity & also a trivia question asked by puzzled volunteers. But everyone dating back to the Froeberg Hall basement studio at Upsala College now qualifies as a peculiar old guy. I particularly enjoy the marathon when DJs bring their dogs. An affection for dogs running around the studio gives you away as somebody who came over to Jersey City from East Orange.


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