Thursday, June 17, 2010

WCBN




Driving home this evening after spending some hours reading Michael Veal's Dub: Soundscapes and Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae.

I turned on the radio and went immediately to WCBN, Ann Arbor's fabulous radio station. I heard some lovely something and kept it. A few moments later, I exclaimed, aloud, hands in the air, with my windows open, driving through Ypsilanti, "IT'S CARLOS!!" Aloud. Loudly.

I had forgotten that it was Thursday, the night of Carlos Souffront's weekly radio show, Crush Collision, on WCBN from 10PM-1AM. You can listen to it streaming on the WCBN website. Needless to say, I ran straight in and slipped into my headphones to listen some more. Carlos has unannounced guests nearly every week including Todd Osborn. The show was begun in 1987 by Tom Simoyen as a primarily acid jazz program, but also included house 12 inches and remixes of pop bands. Footnote this to Brendan M. Gillen. Then, in the early 1990s, Brendan Gillen of Ectomorph took over the show and transformed it into more of a techno show, but also included lots of types of electronic music. Carlos Souffront began participating in the show in 1995. He has been doing it for a great number of years now. It's fucking great.

Other folks, indirectly involved with the show, but directly involved with WCBN include Erika Sherman, also of Ectomorph, and ethnomusicologist Ben Tausig, possibly known as Data General. You can check him here: Weird Vibrations. Erika started working at the station in 1993. The day after she arrived in Ann Arbor for college, she went over to the radio station and began working there immediately. She worked as the general manager of the radio station, program director, and gave disc jockey training classes. Erika, can you do that again? I'll be in your class. She also hosted her own free form weekly radio shows, taking on 3 hour time slots at first, and then began to take other time slots so that she began playing 6 to 9 hour sets on the radio. Her time ended at WCBN around 2000, and she devoted all her shining musical brilliance to production, touring, the Interdimensional Transmissions record label, and super party planning.

3 comments:

pipecock said...

what do you think of that Michael Veal book? i read it about a year and a half ago, i thought it was cool but i had kind of hoped for something a bit more like "Love Saves the Day" but for dub music.

Denise said...

I really like it. I'm working my way through it slowly though because I've got 2 other books going as well. Just recently started Tim Lawrence's book on Arthur Russell. It's excellent. For the Veal book, I'm really reading it first for his analysis and use of musical and cultural theorizing, so I've gone through the intro and conclusion, but not the inner chapters. :) I really like how he acknowledges the complexity and lack of universality and continuity in the culture and history of dub. I think he has a really unique, and impressionable (to me at least), way of writing about those ideas.

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