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February 09, 1990 - Image 18

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-02-09
Note:
This is a tabloid page

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Welcome to WCBN 88.3 Ann
Arbor We're here to guide
you through the barren
wasteland which is radio...
Now the meaning of this
regularly run radio plug
becomes clear: Coming across
a radio station like CBN in
American radio is like finding
this studio in this "barren
wasteland" we call the
University campus.
This is WCBN-FM. Rumbling
in the basement of the SAB,
crushed beneath four stories
of University brick and
concrete, students continue
to run their own radio station,
a station which has been
around for more than fifteen
years. And throughout the
years the station has been
rated one of top ten radio
stations in the United States
by various publications,
including the Village Voice.
So what makes this time of
the year any different at CBN?
Is it the dwindling slot season
for DJs? Is it the increasing
restraints on the media
imposed by drug wars? No,
it's something mere
mainstream mortals may
never hope to understand.
This week marks the WCBN
11th Annual Fundraiser. It
began at 8:20 yesterday
morning, and when its all
over - 88.3 hours later on
Sunday night - the staff and
supporters of this alternative
radio station hope to raise
enough money to pay for
more than half of their annual

(above) Marc Feggins, LSA Senior, DJsfree-form Wednesdays from noon-3p.m. (top
right) Jeff Stanzler, Rackham student, hosts "The Down Home Show" 1-3 p.m.
Saturdays. (below) Brad Heavner, LSA Senior and WCBN GeneralManager.

operating budget, about
$15,000-$20,000.
"This is our big week. This
is when we're at our best,"
says Residential College Junior
and CBN Chief Announcer
Andrew Flynn. Flynn has
worked on CBN Fundraisers
since their first one in 1980.
"This is when we have special
programming and all the DJs
who are in during the
fundraiser are planning special
things."
But the staff at CBN also
hopes to create an alternative

radio consciousness.
"I've been in classes and I
explain that I'm a DJ on CBN
and people say 'What's CBN?'
So I tell them," says Flynn.
"We're a student radio station.
We have a lot of fun down
here. We're trying to recruit
students and get people to
listen, people who want to
listen to challenging radio, not
commercial."
Going back home to get some
loving, going back home to New
Orleans...
Flynn loves CBN just as

much as he loves singing along
to any Joe Higgins tune he
spins during his specialty
show, "Just Say N.O." (The
N.O. stands for New Orleans,
not New Order.) Earlier this
week, Flynn and other
specialty show hosts raised
roughly $150 dollars from a
few hours of pre-fundraiser
specials. Flynn's show
regularly runs 10-11 p.m. on
Mondays.
"We've always had certain
specialty shows, certain genres
of music, and that's where
some of our community
members share their skills
with us," says Flynn. "
'Nothing but the Blues,' along
with the reggae show right
after, are traditionally the two
top money makers for the
station, which means they're
the most popular shows down
here. They have a defiantly
community following. And I
guess one of the things we're
trying to do, one of our goals, is
to get this to the students."
But Flynn says the greatest
feature about CBN is what
comprises half of the stations
programming: free-form, that
is, music directed by the
residing disc jockey.
"We look for free-form to be
three things: of high quality,
unavailable on commercial
radio, and eclectic," says

Flynn. "An eclectic mix of
genres, that's what we look for
in free-form."
Jazz, Blues, R&B, Reggae,
classical, 20th Century
Classical, folk, Soul, Pop, Rap,
Comedy, and Shw Tunes
demonstrate some of the
diversity of music available in
the station's uncountable
record collection.
There's even a section
called the "Good Life Bin,"
named after a Tony Bennett
Song. Frank Sinatra, Doris
Day, and other "wholesome"
artists make up this area,
which is mostly used for
innovative overlays.
According to Flynn, free-
form grew out of a great
tradition of counter culture
radio during the late sixties,
inspired by the anti-war
movement.
After talking with some of
the other disc jockies, the
creative potential allowed by
free-form becomes apparent.
sA senior Tamar Charney
does a program titled "Studio/
Reel Live" 11-12 p.m. on
Mondays. Her show features
live recordings of artists who
have appeared in Ann Arbor in
the past, from Billy Bragg to
Sun Ra. Charney is also CBN
program director and bash
coordinator.
"Radio here is more of an
expression, it's not just to
meet the needs so something
is playing," says Charney. "It's
an art form. Its a statement."
Along with free-form music,
CBN also prides itself on its
free-form talk shows
concerning people of color,
different ethnic groups, and
gay males and lesbians. "Real
Black Miracles," "The
Turkish Show," and "Closets
are for Clothes" are just some
of the stations regularly
scheduled shows.
"I like CBN because it gives
people an opportunity to
express themselves through
music and its also gives the
community a chance to hear
creative genius. No, no scratch
that, uhm, diverse. No
definitely not that word, cut
diverse, alternative radio." says
Kathy Michaud, an sA senior
who does free-form radio along
with a feminist oriented talk
show titled "Women's Rites
and Rhythms" 6-7 p.m. on
Wednesdays.
"We are the champions of
the dispossessed, people of
color, and the voices that are
not heard in mainstream

white-male controlled media
industry," says Flynn. "We're
not an industry; we're a
community group just sharing
stuff with each other. The
dynamic is so different and
therefore the sound is so
different then commercial
radio. Everybody who is
working here is doing
something very personal to
them."
Along with its music and
discussions, CBN touts its
alternative news coverage.
Former news director and
LsA Senior Geoff Matson says
the best news form CBN has to
offer is the Pacifica News
network.
"Pacifica News has some
really great reporting that
concentrates on what's
happening all around the
world. When you have
something like Tom Brokaw's
broadcast it leaves you with
the impression that 10,000
people killed in Africa is equal
to, 100 Europeans killed,
which is equal to one
American killed. Pacifica news
places the same value on any
human life."
Matson says the largest
problem with mainstream
news coverage is the
systematic biases which occur
everyday. He added that the
most dangerous aspect is how

the public unquestioningly the Fundraiser
accepts these reports. culminates
"Commercial radio - which with its
is 99.9% of radio -is selling a famous
product, and that product is "Bash," a five
the listener," says Matson. "As hour
long as commercial radio extravaganza
doesn't offend, disturb or at the
challenge anything, then University
they'll get their ratings. CBN is Michigan
for the listener, we're not Union Ball
trying to sell anything. We're Room. This
trying to open up new worlds year, the Bash
for the listener and ourselves." will include
"We're all really excited and everything
optimistic about this year's from the
fundraiser," said Matt rockablility of
Madden, LSA senior and this George
year's fundraiser coordinator. Bedard and
"We're really well organized the Kingpins
this year and hope to make to the
more money." psychedelic
Madden says this is the first lounge music of Capt. Dave biggest production in Ann
year the station will be using a and the Psychedelic Arbor all year long, is our way
computer to record all the Loungecats to pre-teen rockers of thanking the community
pledges. the King Brothers to the back," says Madden.
"We're trying to be more University Gospel Chorale. Also this weekend, a large
organized without sacrificing And while the bash usually portion of the proceeds from
our spontaneity or our non- brings in the least amount of the U-Club's Friday New
corporate attitude," he said. money of all fundraiser events, Music Night and Saturday
Premiums such as gift its purpose, like CBN radio's, is Root Reggae night will go to
certificates for dinner for two to provide a unique service for CBN.
at Grazzi, lunch at the Halfass, the community. DJ Tom Simonian, who
and T-shirts and coffee mugs "The bash, which is the does his CBN "Crush Collision"
will also-radio show 9:30-
be used tc 11 p.m. on
attract Wednesday
pledges. nights, and also
As hosts a "3rd
always, World Dance
Party" on wEMU,
has helped to
n at6organize the U-
Club fundraiser.
But Mr.
progressive,
ural o ** industrial, house,
rca. R * new wave, rap,
. and reggae insists
us, our we should still call
>e as the CBN with our
rngidepledges.
m guide Why?
first "Because CBN is
Your one of the top five

radio stations in t
and they play a w
of music which is
the carpet by mas
CBN has plenty
from Radio Free A
The Last Bastion o
Expression in the w
But as you are lea
studio, many of tI
point out the mos
their most favorit
pinned on their b
The floggings wih
morale improves.
Perhaps the ph
admired for its in
"There's a core
this community c
genuinely love th
station and I'd li
check it out, to se
of music out ther
announcer Flynn
the world of mus
neglected by con
radio. That shoul
people. I would I
that interesting p
like to check out
you something tc
about."

WCBN Bash performance sch
7:00 - The King Brothers - pre-teens "Billy" and "Kenny" doi
covers and originals
7:20 - Driving Sideways - country and western
8:00 - George Bedard and the Kingpins - rockabilly, dance
8:40 - Captain Dave and the Psychedelic Loungecats - Psyc
lounge music, multi-media show, films, dancers, and, of cou
machine, etc.
9:20 - University of Michigan Gospel Chorale - gospel
9:40 -Map of the World - Atlantic recording label
10:20 - Four Foot Three - jazz quartet
11:00 - The Avenue - urban funk
The 11th Annual WCBN Fundraiser will continue through around mid,
evening (on 88.3 FM). The Benefit Bash will begin at 7.p.m. on Sunday
Union Ballroom (530 S. State State St.) For more information, call 76.

8

WEEKEND

February 9, 1990

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