Entries tagged with: WFMU

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photo via Brooklyn Flea Facebook
Brooklyn Flea

As previously mentioned, the 2015 fall Brooklyn Flea Record Fair happens Saturday, September 26 at Smorgasburg in Williamsburg. The vendors were already announced (4AD, Warp, XL, Other Music and more) and now the DJ lineup is here. It includes members of Small Black, Yumi Zouma and Lemonade, label reps from Mute, Ghostly International and Beyond Beyond Is Beyond, record store employees from Captured Tracks Shop, and a WFMU DJ. The full lineup of DJs with set times is below.

In related news, the Smorgasburg that was in Brooklyn Bridge Park is now in Prospect Park. It opened at the end of last month, and will stay there every Sunday from 11 AM to 6 PM through October 11. The new location is a spot called Breeze Hill. Via Smorgasburg's site, "Breeze Hill is just north of the LeFrak Center at Lakeside, and just off the main bike/jogging road across from the Lincoln Road entrance to the park. The closest subway is the Q to Prospect Park, but you can also walk from the F to 15th St. or the 2/3 to Grand Army Plaza."

Smorgasburg and Brooklyn Flea will also now have a winter edition at Industry City in Sunset Park. It opens the weekend of October 17 & 18, and runs every weekend through March. Here's what Brooklyn Flea says:

The gigantic market will be held in a 50,000 square-foot space overlooking the Manhattan skyline from the second floor, every weekend through March 2016, from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The entrance address is 241 37th Street, just two blocks from the 36th Street D/N/R subway station--only two stops from Manhattan on the D train!--and a short walk from the B35, B38 and B70 bus stops. The 39th Street exit off the Gowanus Expressway/BQE also takes you pretty much to our doorstep (and to the second-busiest Costco in America next door.)
The one in Williamsburg runs through Sunday, September 27, the day after the record fair. Record fair DJ lineup below...

Continue reading "Brooklyn Flea Record Fair DJ lineup revealed; Smorgasburg open now in Prospect Park, coming to Sunset Park this winter"

photos by P Squared, words by Bill Pearis

Ultimate Painting @ Rough Trade 9/18/2015
Ultimate Painting
Ultimate Painting

Ultimate Painting's current tour rolled through NYC on Friday (9/18) for a show at Rough Trade with Pale Lights and Wall. Pictures from the whole night are in this post. While in town, they visited WFMU for a session that will air tonight (9/23) at 9 PM as part of Evan "Funk" Davies' show. I caught Ultimate Painting at Pop Montreal a couple days before they hit NYC, which was a great set.

Ultimate Painting tour heads to Memphis this weekend for Gonerfest 12 where they'll play Saturday (9/26) with their Trouble in Mind labelmates Salad Boys and more. More pics from Ultimate Painting's show at Rough Trade, below...

Continue reading "Ultimate Painting played Rough Trade w/ Pale Lights & Wall (pics); recorded WFMU live session"

photos by P Squared

The Feelies @ WFMU Monty Hall 9/19/2015
The Feelies

The Feelies have written 11 songs and are about to start working on their sixth LP soon. "We've got a new album's worth of songs that we've been rehearsing and demoing and right now," Mercer says on the phone from his New Jersey home/studio.

"It should be a slow, semi-laborious process. Right now, there's a lot of acoustic guitar. It's kind of mellow, but there's some rock-type songs, too," he says. "We're trying to cover a lot of ground, be a little experimental. There's this one song that has a drone, loop-type thing. We're trying to figure out the best approach to recording. I think we're going to do it here and we'll see where it takes us."

"To me, that's the single most important thing," Million says of writing new material. "When you can go out and record a new album and play those songs [in concert] and fit them into songs from many years ago in that way, it tends to put the older songs in a different light." - [WBUR}

The Feelies seem to tour in little weekend spurts, one of which just happened. They played Cambridge, MA on Friday (9/19), Jersey City's WFMU Monty Hall on Saturday (9/19) and New Windsor, NY's Storm King Art Center on Sunday (9/20). We caught the Monty Hall show where, as usual, Bill Million, Glenn Mercer and the rest of the band gave fans their money's worth with two full sets, and a couple cover-fueled encores. Setlist and pictures are in this post.

As mentioned in the quoted article above, The Feelies are gearing up to record a new album, so that is something to look forward to. In the meantime, Glenn Mercer has a new all-instrumental solo album, titled Incidental Hum, which will be out October 9 via Bar None. Here's what Mercer says about it:

My idea for the Incidental Hum was to try to create music that would evoke an atmosphere that would, in turn, suggest images of a more specific location. I would, as an experiment, picture in my mind a scene with a particular environment and then write music to match the mood and place. Once the concept came together, I also allowed for influences from other movie soundtracks like cheesy B horror films, spaghetti westerns and teenage surf flicks.
In other related news, It was a pretty legendary week at Monty Hall with the Thurston Moore Band playing the space on September 17, as you may have seen on the BV Instagram. More pics from The Feelies at Monty Hall, below...

Continue reading "The Feelies played WFMU Monty Hall (pics, setlist), gearing up for a new album; Glenn Mercer releasing instrumental LP"

by Klaus Kinski


I don't know how I found it or who forwarded it to me, but many moons ago a video of a Fort Worth, Texas-based band called Complete playing their original tune "Hoogie-Boogie Land" live and in concert entered my life and I haven't been the same since. The video, posted below, is simultaneously impossible to watch the whole way through and yet impossible to look away from. Singer Curt Low energetically sings, wails, growls, and cackles with the stage presence of a lethargic Roger Daltrey while his three bandmates seem 'complete'ly out of sync; each member of the rhythm section look and sound like they are individually playing different songs. Add to that the fact that the bass player is wearing a Cat In The Hat-type hat and you've got yourself a full on aural and visual nightmare that even Tim and Eric couldn't have conjured.

And yet, there is something achingly endearing about the whole video. They are giving 110%. They are being videotaped and subsequently interviewed for a (probably) Fort Worth based (probably public access) TV program. You can tell that these guys feel like they are on the precipice of greatness. And yet, they were destined to be a footnote in the annals of oddball youtube videos, though they still gig (and play SXSW almost every year) but rarely outside of Texas...

...That is, until WFMU stepped in, presenting numbskulls like me with the opportunity of a live-time. I am beside myself to report that on Saturday August 22 and Union Pool, as part of the venue's 2015 Summer Thunder series of free outdoor afternoon jam-sessions, you can catch  a headlining slot from the one, the only, the now a three-piece, COMPLETE!! Prepare for copious doses of classics like the aformentioned "Hoogie-Boogie Land," as well as  "Hot As Hell," "Beautiful Sunrises," "Into The Night", and MORE. This will be their very FIRST NYC gig. If you've got the patience, if you've got the ear plugs, if you've got what. it takes. Then I will see you in Hoogie Boogie Land I mean Union Pool on Saturday August 22, 2 PM doors. FREE!

To complete WFMU's Summer Thunder: Octagrape, the current band from onetime Souljunk and Truman's Water dude Glen Galloway, and Indiana's Honey Radar (who play with Radioactivity and Flesh World at Baby's on 7/22).

Complete videos below...

Continue reading "Texas cult band Complete playing first-ever NYC show at Union Pool's Summer Thunder w/ Octagrape & Honey Radar"

by Bill Pearis

Feelies Ork Records

NJ indie rock greats The Feelies don't so much tour as play shows in small clusters. One of those will happen in later this summer with a trio of dates, including two not far from NYC: Jersey City's WFMU Monty Hall on September 19 and the previously mentioned show at New Windsor, NY's Storm King Art Center on September 20 with Alex Bleeker & the Freaks. Tickets for Monty Hall go on sale Friday (7/10) at noon. The third date in The Feelies show cluster happens at Boston-area club The Sinclair on September 18. The Storm King show is free with park admission.

As mentioned, some very early Feelies material is being released as part of the Numero Group's Ork Records Box Set, including a ripping, punkier take on "Fa Ce La" which saw the light of day at this year's Record Store Day. Someone has uploaded the full version of that "Fa Ce La" to YouTube and you can stream it below.

Continue reading "The Feelies playing Boston & WFMU Monty Hall before Storm King show ++ stream their Ork Records single"


One of the premier music festivals in the world, the 2015 edition of Primavera Sound is just underway in Barcelona, Spain. If you can't make it, they're streaming many of the fest's performances live via two video channels on their website and below. Today's sets (5/28) you can watch include James Blake, OMD, Spiritualized, The Thurston Moore Band, Mikal Cronin, Baxter Dury and more. The fest's streaming schedule is listed below.

Meanwhile, WFMU will be broadcasting performances live on Friday (5/29) and Saturday (5/30) from 3PM to midnight. WFMU's broadcast schedule, below...

Continue reading "Primavera Sound fest begins (webcast streaming live, WFMU broadcasting it too)"

by Bill Pearis


Music legends The Fall will release their 31st album, Sub-Lingual Tablet, on May 12 via Cherry Red. The record runs the gammut from Stooges-style punk to dancey electronics. You can stream "First One Today" (complete with semi-inteligible intro by Mark. E. Smith) below and you can listen to higher fidelity samples from the whole album over at Amazon.co.uk.

The current lineup of The Fall has held together since about 2006 and now features two drummers (a configuration the band has had a couple times in the past). They haven't played North America in about 10 years, but UK and European dates are listed below.

In other news WFMU DJ Brian Turner will be hosting an all-Fall edition of his show on April 21 from 3-6PM. It will feature call-in interviews with former Fall members Brix Smith-Start, Stephen Hanley (who released a book about his time in the band) and Marc Riley, a live set of Fall covers by Spectre Folk, and rare live recordings from Turner's own collection.

Album art, tracklist, song stream and tour dates, below...

Continue reading "The Fall releasing 'Sub-Lingual Tablet' in May (stream); WFMU airing an all-Fall special w/ cover set by Spectre Folk"

Sarah Records

NYC Popfest hasn't announced the lineup for its ninth edition, but the 2015 dates will be May 28 - 31 at various venues around the city. For those in the area that need an indiepop fix a little sooner, WFMU and DJ Trouble are presenting a special screening of new documentary My Secret World - The Story Of Sarah Records at Jersey City's WFMU Monty Hall on April 17. If you're unfamiliar with Sarah Records...

Sarah Records was a truly independent record label founded by Clare Wadd and Matt Haynes in Bristol, England. Active between 1987-1995, Sarah Records set out to be different from other record labels. My Secret World - The Story Of Sarah Records is the first feature length documentary to explore this legendary, influential and often misunderstood label.
Sarah Records was home to such quintessential indiepop bands as Field Mice, Heavenly, The Orchids, and Boyracer. You can watch a trailer for the film below and tickets to the screening are on sale now.

Along with the documentary trailer, an Rdio stream of Sarah Records compilation There And Back Again Lane is also below.

Continue reading "Sarah Records documentary screening at WFMU's Monty Hall in April ++ 2015 NYC Popfest dates"

photo: Ex Hex at MoMA Nights in 2014 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Ex Hex

Mary Timony's power pop trio Ex Hex announced a new string of dates last December, including two NYC shows, and they've since added a third in the area. While they're already scheduled to hit Le Poisson Rouge (tix) and MHOW (tix), they'll also be playing WFMU's Monty Hall on April 22 in Jersey City the night before their LPR show. Tickets for that show are available now.

Update dates are listed, with their recently-released "Don't Wanna Lose" video, below...

Continue reading "Ex Hex playing WFMU's Monty Hall before LPR & MHOW"

Kim Fowley

Rock n' roll impresario Kim Fowley lived to shock, and apparently he wanted to do it after he was dead, too. According to TMZ, Fowley (who died last week), had a last wish: to be featured in corpse fetish mag Girls & Corpses:

According to emails Kim sent the publisher, a photog, and his then-girlfriend -- the singer/songwriter wanted a full spread featuring a group of fetish models violating his corpse.

Kim said, "Snow [his GF] and her fetish friends, could mutilate the body, providing real blood & guts and set my bones and blood on fire." He also said he'd fund the whole thing.

The publisher passed on the really gory stuff, but agreed to shoot his dead body with girls on top for the cover.

But here's the snag. Kim moved on, found a new girlfriend who he married, and she has control of the body. But they can't find her to allow them to shoot the body.

Whether Fowley was serious or just trying to get a final 15 seconds of media spotlight, the jury's still out.

In other news, WFMU will be airing a couple tributes this week. Tonight (1/20) from 6 - 7 PM, "Arial View with Chris T" will feature guest Miriam Linna of Norton Records for an hour tribute. Then on Thursday (1/22) from 9 PM - midnight, Norton's Billy Miller joins WFMU host Dave The Spazz for his show. Norton Records has released four volumes of Fowley series Lost Treasures which culls recordings from 1959 - 1969.

Check out Kim's classic 1977 appearance on Tom Snyder's "punk" episode of The Tomorrow Show below...

Continue reading "Kim Fowley apparently wanted his dead body on a magazine cover; WFMU airing Fowley tribute shows this week"

Sex and Broadcasting

New Jersey's WFMU has occupied a unique position as an independent, commercial-free, listener-supported radio station since its inception in the late 1950s. At its heart is the dedicated station manager Ken Freedman, committed to an unstructured, free- form broadcasting model which has won WFMU acclaim as the best--and perhaps weirdest-- radio station in the tristate area, if not the country. Facing a budget crisis, can Ken rally both his volunteer staff and his listeners to keep the station afloat?
Find out by watching Sex and Broadcasting, a new film about one of our favorite radio stations. It makes its world premiere this Saturday (11/15) at IFC Center in NYC, and then plays again at the same place on 11/17. On 11/20 you can catch it at SVA Theatre in Chelsea. Get your tickets. Filmmaker Tim K. Smith is expected to be at two or all of the screenings, and film subject Ken Freedman should be around too. Watch a clip at Indie Wire and the trailer below.

All three screenings are part of DOC NYC which kicked off yesterday and runs through 11/20. As mentioned, the film lineup also includes a "Sonic Cinema" series with films about Elliott Smith, the DC punk scene and more.

Indie Wire also lists 5 (non-music) must see documentaries. The NY Times has a fest preview too.

Continue reading "Sex and Broadcasting is a film about WFMU (premiering this week as part of DOC NYC)"

Fred Pessaro

Ex-BrooklynVegan metal writer Fred Pessaro went to New Orleans to creat a 7-part Noisey Youtube documentary on the "people and culture that helped spawn bands like Down, Eyehategod, Crowbar, Acid Bath and so many others." We mentioned when the first episode was released. They're now up to number four which you can watch with one, two, and three below.

One of those "other" bands featured in the movie is Goatwhore who are playing three shows with the reunited-sort-of Samhain at the end of October (Philly, DC and NYC). Goatwhore also play a bunch of shows before and after then including a pre-Samhain headlining show at the Bug Jar in Rochester (with Mortals and Wolvhammer), and one before that at Cobra Lounge in Chicago (also with Wolvhammer). In November they tour Europe with Dying Fetus, Malevolence, and Fallujah. All dates are listed with those videos below.

Samhain recently played Riot Fest in Chicago (and was joined by Randy Blythe of Lamb of God).

Entertainer Dave Hill is not in the documentary or on tour with Goatwhore, but he did have special guest Phil Anselmo on his first-ever WFMU "Goddamn Dave Hill Show", and he had Mike IX Williams from Eyehategod on the most recent episode. Every episode can be streamed at at WFMU.org. Catch Dave live and in the flesh and telling secrets and playing with his band Valley Lodge and with Mike Doughty (who probably has absolutely no ties to New Orleans metal) and others at Union Hall on Friday (10/3).

Continue reading "Episode 4 of 'NOLA' doc released (video); Goatwhore touring around Samhain shows (dates); Dave Hill doing stuff too"

The *other* Monty Hall...
monty hall

WFMU's performance space, located in the ground floor of their Jersey City building, is now open and has a name fitting the radio station's spirt: Monty Hall. It was christened last month with a show featuring Doug Gillard, Pampers, Spectre Folk and Watery Love. Watch some videos below.

Now more shows are beginning to appear. The next performance at Monty Hall is September 7 is the previously mentioned Sir Richard Bishop and Tashi Dorji show which will be recorded for Brian Turner's show on the station:

Tashi Dorji is Bhutan-born guitarist absorbed a childhood full of shortwave radio before moving to the US and discovering Derek Bailey and Albert Ayler and incorporating all his musical loves into a truly varied and forward-thinking vocabulary. In this era some may have chalked up the guitar to have exhausted itself as a means of breaking new boundaries in expression, yet Dorji, now in North Carolina, has wowed such advanced axemen as Bill Orcutt, Ben Chasny, and Sir Richard Bishop of the Sun City Girls who is part two of tonight's bill, making his second appearance on Brian's show.
The other upcoming show happens September 13 and features People Like Us (aka Vicki Bennett) who is presenting "two performances of audio and moving image." She'll be first performing solo and then People Like Us will be joined by M.C. Schmidt (Matmos) and Jason Willett for a collaborative performance. Tickets to both shows are on sale now. Flyers below.

The space will also be hosting a quarterly variety series called Prove It All Night. The first installment took place earlier this month with Joe Jack Talcum from the Dead Milkmen, PUNK magazine creator John Holstrom, and stand-up comedian Sean Donnelly. Host/organizer/WFMU DJ Pat Byrne told NJ.com, "We'll eventually be streaming live video of the series to the web...we have four cameras set up in the studio, and it's a theater but everything can be broadcast on the Internet as well as the airwaves."

Show flyers and those videos from the first show, below...

Continue reading "WFMU's performance space in Jersey City is called Monty Hall (upcoming shows & videos)"


Onetime Sun City Girls guitarist and Sublime Frequencies founder Alan Bishop is back in NYC with his Alvarius B project, playing -- as he's done before -- tonight and Friday (8/14 & 8/15) at Union Pool. Both shows are with Egyptian-Canadian composer and improvisational musician Sam Shalabi, The Byron Coley Trio and DJ Mike Wolf. It's the start of a short East Coast tour (dates are listed below). Tickets are available at the door for tonight's show and if you buy online for Friday's you get a free tour-only Alvarius B 7" and a chapbook of Byron Coley poetry with purchase.

Meanwhile, Alan's brother and fellow Sun City Girl member, Richard Bishop, will soon be on tour with Bhutanese guitarist Tashi Dorji and those dates include a stop in NYC at Issue Project Room on September 6 (tickets), and a show one day later (September 7) at WFMU's new performance space Monty Hall. It is a:

Full public live performance, recording for air for Brian Turner's radio show on WFMU. Tashi Dorji is Bhutan-born guitarist absorbed a childhood full of shortwave radio before moving to the US and discovering Derek Bailey and Albert Ayler and incorporating all his musical loves into a truly varied and forward-thinking vocabulary. In this era some may have chalked up the guitar to have exhausted itself as a means of breaking new boundaries in expression, yet Dorji, now in North Carolina, has wowed such advanced axemen as Bill Orcutt, Ben Chasny, and Sir Richard Bishop of the Sun City Girls who is part two of tonight's bill, making his second appearance on Brian's show. Open to the public at WFMU's ground floor performance space, Monty Hall. Set time is 8pm on Sunday, September 7th, at 43 Montgomery Street in Jersey City (near Exchange Place and Grove PATH stops).
Tickets are available for that too.

All tour dates for Alvarius B and Richard Bishop are listed, along with some song streams, below...

Continue reading "Alvarius B (Alan Bishop) touring, playing Union Pool tonight & Friday; Richard Bishop touring too (dates)"


Last fall, WFMU reclaimed the ground floor space in their building at 43 Montgomery St in Jersey City, NJ with plans to turn it into a performance space. That's finally happening with the grand opening on July 12 featuring performances by Pampers, Watery Love, Doug Gillard, and Spectre Folk. Tickets are $12 and all proceeds go to benefit WFMU.

UPDATE: the space is now called Monty Hall.

July 12 looks to be a busy day, with the 4Knots Music Fest and the Exploding in Sound's all day party happening as well.


As you may know, Brooklyn DIY venue Emet is likely shutting down but the people behind the venue have teamed up with Showpaper for an "Emet in Exile" show at Trans-Pecos tonight (5/23). The show, which doubles as a Showpaper benefit, features The Gradients (who also play next week with What Moon Things), Vows, Sunflower Bean, Onwe and Somewhere. $7-$20 suggested at the door. More info here.

Meanwhile, electro-goth duo Vows just played a live set for WFMU earlier this week (5/22) on a show with a genre-appropriate playlist of tracks by Sisters of Mecy, Bauhaus, Christian Death, Cocteau Twins, Siouxsie and the Banshees and more by DJ Nanase Hikaru. You can listen to an archive of the full show here.

Last week (5/14) Vows played The Bowery Electric. You can check out a video of them playing "Councillor" at that show, below...

Continue reading "Vows performed for WFMU, playing "Emet in Exile" show at Trans-Pecos tonight w/ The Gradients & more"

marquee from Toronto listening party & Tom's post-show Tweet...

If you had to estimate how much planning went into the final show, what would you be looking at?

It's hard to say. Jon [Wurster] and I talked about what the final bits would be for well over a month. And there were five people helping pull sound clips from the 13 years of the show for the audio collage. I have no idea how many actual hours, but it was a lot. I went into that show last night wanting it to be perfect, but that's an impossible goal. So I was kind of glad when I flubbed a cue on a record in the opening set and then had a technical problem with my headphones. Because after that it was impossible for the show to be "perfect."

Tell me about the decision to not include any in-studio guests for the final show.

As we were building up to the final show, I decided that we would have the second-to-last show be some version of the in-studio guest/all-star episode. But I wanted the final episode to be representative of what people would actually tune in to hear every week. If we did in-studio guests, it would've ultimately been a wake for the show, with everybody talking about what the show was to them. I wanted the final show to be an actual episode, not a retrospective. - [Grantland]

Tom Scharpling's much much much loved The Best Show on WFMU signed off last night (12/17) for good, and the final show was one that was so listened to it taxed WFMU's streaming servers (many people kept having their connections interrupted). And it actually even was trending on Twitter. There were also listening parties all over the country, and at least one in Canada -- check out the picture of the Toronto one above. In studio, meanwhile, it featured an appearance from frequent caller Philly Boy Roy who was on the run from the cops after crashing a helicopter into a sub shop. That, of course, is one of the many "Best Show" characters from Tom's comedy partner (and Superchunk drummer) Jon Wurster who also for the first time ever spoke on air not as a character.

Other highlights: Tom's headphones not working in a Murphy's Law moment ("of course this has to happen on the final show"); a crazy audio-montage of past hilarious moments while the heartbeat from Huey Lewis' "Heart Of Rock and Roll" beat throughout; and he closed out the show with Black Flag's "Gimme Gimme Gimme."

If you missed it -- or your connection cut out on you last night -- you can stream it below. In fact you can stream EVERY episode of "The Best Show on WFMU" at the station's archives. Ever heard the 2010 episode where Tom and John Hodgman drink soon-to-be-off-market Four Loko?

Dave Hill will soon be taking over the Tuesday 9 - Midnight slot on WFMU. Tom promises that he and Wurster will continue to work together. Meanwhile, stream the last "Best Show on WFMU" below...

Continue reading "Listen to EVERY episode of "The Best Show" (RIP)"

Dave Hill rocking out @ Bumbershoot (more by Melissa O'Hearn)
Dave Hill

Current.Org reports the exciting news!

New Jersey-based freeform community radio station WFMU will replace The Best Show on WFMU in January with a program hosted by comedian and musician Dave Hill.....

...Hill and Ken Freedman, WFMU's station manager, are still discussing plans for the content of the new show, but it may also include interviews, according to Freedman. Like most other WFMU DJs, Hill will hold down his show as a volunteer.....

We couldn't think of a better man for the job. Congrats Dave! More info at Current.

Dave Hill's new show which will not be called "The Best Show" will air in the "Best Show"'s Tuesday night 9 p.m. to midnight slot that Tom Scharpling recently announced will become available.


The Best Show may be ending for good after 13 years, but WFMU's record show, after being cancelled in 2012 due to Sandy, is alive again. The 2013 WFMU Record Fair takes place at NYC's Metropolitan Pavilion (125 West 18th Street) from Friday November 22 through Sunday November 24. Regular admission is just $7, but we've also got a $2 coupon you can use, so you have more left over to spend on some rare vinyl.

Live broadcasts and special events at this year's fair include a screening of Miss Pussycat & Quintron's film The Mystery in Old Bubblebath; a live presentation on flexidiscs; screenings of vintage punk live footage; and a live performance from Jeffrey Lewis and the Rain. Visit WFMU for a full listing on 2013 Record Fair events.

by Klaus Kinski

best show

Ladies and gentlemen, last night the great Tom Scharpling announced that he will be shutting down the venerable Best Show on WFMU radio show after 13 incredible years. At the tail end of last night's episode Tom dropped the painful and, to many, literally tear-inducing shit-bomb of an announcement to his legions of admirers that The Best Show will cease transmission forever more after the December 17, 2013 installment. Tom has threatened a Best Show shutdown several times over the years; sometimes petulantly, sometimes jokingly. But there can be no mistaking the earnestness of last night's declaration. Most people who didn't hear the news live last night most certainly heard the news from Splitsider who seemingly broke the story first. Splitsider summarizes:

For the uninitiated, The Best Show is a weekly comedy/music radio show that Tom Scharpling started out of New Jersey in October of 2000 before the program grew a devoted international audience thanks to it being released online in podcast form. Clocking in at three hours each week, Best Show finds Scharpling taking listener calls, playing music, doing popular pre-written bits with his comedy partner Jon Wurster, and playing host to a slew of comedy and music elite as guests like regulars Patton Oswalt, Aimee Man, and John Hodgman.
Tom Scharpling is one of my personal heroes, most notably for his role as one of the key figures in bridging the gap between comedy and music. And the bits he and Jon Wurster spawned are without exaggeration some of the funniest moments of comedy I have ever experienced in any environment. I simply don't have the brain power to adequately tell you how important a show The Best Show is and on how many different levels it has played a role in the evolution of music and comedy. It's insane. And he did it all for free. And I am a card carrying Friend Of Tom and listen to his show as religiously as I can. Call-ins are a huge part of the show, yet I've never indulged. With 7 shows left, it seems I must surely seize the opportunity and make myself heard at least once before he's gone.

Meanwhile, while Tom says goodbye to radio, let's not forget that he is one of the more sought after music video creators of our time. He's also working with BV favorite Chris Gethard for something they're developing for IFC. Tom's future is wide open, and I predict only a preposterous amount of success.

Below find one of my favorite Scharpling and Wurster bits turned into a great song by Klaus favorite Ted Leo.

Continue reading "WFMU's 'The Best Show' signing off for good in December"

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion at Bowery Ballroom in Nov (more by Lionel Bergeron)
Jon Spencer

As you may know by now, Norton Records suffered much damage during Hurricane Sandy, and they've been getting a good deal of support form the community to help them rebuild. Jonathan Toubin did a benefit show in November and Obits have one coming up in January. A week before the Obits show, you can catch another garage punk crew, Reigning Sound doing a Norton Records benefit at The Bell House on January 11 with The Swingin' Neckbreakers. Tickets for that show are on sale now.

Speaking of Jonathan Toubin, two days after the Reigning Sound show, he'll be at The Bell House (1/13) to help another force in music damaged by Hurricane Sandy, WFMU. That show also features Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, The Relatives, Dot Wiggin, and Di Dionyso. Tickets for that show are on sale now.

As usual, Jonathan Toubin has many other NYC shows coming up.

For The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, that Bell House show is part of a US tour they'll be on in 2013. All dates on that tour are listed below.

Continue reading "Jon Spencer touring, playing WFMU benefit at Bell House, where Reigning Sound plays a Norton Records benefit (dates)"


We knew that the WFMU Record Fair was cancelled, but now comes word that he Hurricane did some damage to the radio station as well:

The aftermath of Frankenstorm (actually Frankenstorm was the name of the doctor, it really should be called Frankenstorm's Monster) left WFMU with no electricity in our Jersey City studios, and at BOTH of our FM transmitters (91.1 FM and 90.1 FM). We tried rubbing many balloons on our heads and holding it near the equipment, but no dice. For two days, we streamed WFMU in Exile from various DJs' homes, or the shanties and mini-vans that they call their 'homes'. Despite that shanty crack in the previous sentence, our DJ's are just the best and we perpetually salute their dedication. On Thursday morning, we resumed (semi-)normal programming after electricity was restored to our studios. And then reality started settling in, as we discovered tons of critical equipment that was fried by the electrical chaos that Sandy hurled our way. And both of our FM transmitters are still down.

Fortunately, everybody from the WFMU staff is safe, and miraculously WFMU's basement did not flood, despite the Hudson River coming within 50 feet of our front door... The environment around Hudson County, Staten Island, Rockaway, lower Manhattan and Brooklyn is akin to the film The Road. Or The Walking Dead. No, it's Road Warrior.. Wait, it's actually a bit more like The Road... But with your help, we will make it feel like Herbie Goes Bananas real soon. Please help!

The radio station is extending their silent fundraiser for a few extra weeks to help recover lost revenue and get the FM transmitters up and running. Donate if you can.

Record Fair

oh man:

The WFMU Record Fair is cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy. All dealers will be refunded their payments, and the Fair will return in the Fall of 2013. We're very sorry about this, but the Pavilion has no power, WFMU has no power, mass transit in NYC is still not working and there are no estimates as to when electric or transit will return to normal. Our apologies to anybody who is inconvenienced by this.
The record fair was set to happen from 11/2-11/4. Meanwhile, Other Music is also closed and their website is down.

Happy Halloween!

WFMU Record Fair
Record nerds should make sure to head down to the annual WFMU Record Fair to check out 10,000 square feet of LPs, 45s, CDs, DVDs, art, and the proverbial much, much more. The fair goes down at Manhattan's Metropolitan Pavilion ( 125 West 18th St.) on November 2 - 4. $7 entrance fee,  or you can fork over $25 for first dibs rights on Friday (4 - 7 PM).

In addition to getting your fingers dirty flipping through vinyl, there are DJs spinning tunes (like Jonathan Toubin on Friday night 11/2) and live performances and films being screened in the AV Lounge, including Amen Dunes on Sunday afternoon (11/4, 4 PM). For a full rundown on the events of the Record Fare weekend, click here.

In other news, we can all look forward to the previously discussed WFMU documentary, which exceeded its funding goal via Kickstarter.

Freeform or Die

FREEFORM OR DEATH follows Ken Freedman, the manager and leader of the world's oldest freeform radio station, WFMU, and his fight to keep the station afloat through an economic collapse, in a dying industry, with an increasingly Internet-addicted audience. At 51 years old, Ken's whole life is strapped to a station that faces crumbling infrastructure, encroaching institutional forces, and internal generational conflicts. Will his 25-year effort to keep WFMU alive be enough?

WFMU doc Freeform of Death is currently 80% of the way toward their $50k goal required to complete the film's post-production. Contribute to their Kickstarter if you can and check out a few videos on the documentary below.

Continue reading "WFMU documentary in production and seeking funding"