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Archive for the ‘WRSU 88.7 FM–New Brunswick, NJ’ Category

pride-zombiesSOUNDTRACK: The Core: WVPH, 90.3 FM.

coreThe Core is also from Rutgers University.  How do they have two radio stations?  Interestingly, the station is shared with Piscataway High School.  For several hours a day Piscataway High School takes over the airwaves.  Although I admit that I have not listened to any of the PHS stuff because the first block is at 6 in the morning, and the other block is from 1- 3PM.

The college folks, however, play a pretty excellent selection of alternative music.  They’re not quite as indie and out there as WRSU, but they’re not commercial either.  To me, they’re more of the kind of college station I’m used to from my days as music director at the University of Scranton.

In the few days that I listened, I heard a lot of familiar alternative artists, with a nice focus on new bands.  What I especially liked about the station was that they didn’t play too much in the way of commercial alternative (your U2s and R.E.Ms who were once alternative but are now mainstream).  Rather, they played bands like Art Brut, The Decemberists, Portishead and Neutral Milk Hotel: bands that many people have at least heard of, but that you won’t find anywhere else on the dial.

This is the station that I would turn to most if my CD player busted permanently.

The only thing I didn’t like about it, but which also reminded me of my days as a DJ, was that college DJs tend to talk A LOT.  We all think that we are imparting precious wisdom to the masses.  And often, that is true.  Although in this one case, the DJ said that the name of the band was Art Brut Vs Satan, which is in fact just the album name.  (See, I’m still a pretentious music snob!).   However, when I’m having dinner and reading a book, I don’t need a seven minute update about that last concert that you went to.

[READ: May 19, 2009] Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

When I first heard about this book (as a punchline on Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me at my brother-in-law Tim’s house), I couldn’t believe it was real.  I was so intrigued by the concept, and then so impressed by the reviews, that I couldn’t wait to read it.

And this book does not disappoint.

For those out of the loop: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is, as the title suggests, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice with good old zombie action thrown in.  Elizabeth and Darcy… What?

Yes.  Zombies.

Seth Grahame-Smith has taken Pride and Prejudice, changed a few details and then added an entire…well, subplot is not right…more like an underlying condition to the story.  It turns it from a story of love and marriage into a story of love and marriage amidst zombie brain-lust. (more…)

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juiceSOUNDTRACK: WRSU 89.7 FM.

wrsuComing straight out of Rutgers University in New Brunswick (my grad school alma mater), this was the first station that I happened upon while I was scanning the lower numbers on the radio station.

The brief set that I heard was amazing.

I heard the end of a song that I didn’t know, but which I found very intriguing. It was followed by Les Claypool’s new track “Mushroom Men” (which was wonderful) and then the 180-Gs doing an a capella rendition of Negativland’s “Christianity is Stupid.” I had heard about this band but never heard one of their recordings.  First, if you’ve never heard Negativland, then you’re missing out.  They are a surreal band of audio collagists, playing with sounds and samples and all kinds of weird things.  To have an a capella rendition of a five minute song, the bulk of which is a spoken loudspeakered voice saying “Christianity is Stupid” goes beyond bizarre into the sublime. I have tuned to this station from time to time and each DJ plays his or her own weird and often wonderful thing. What a great experience.

[READ: May 14, 2009] Alphabet Juice

My mother-in-law gave me this book for Christmas because she heard about it on NPR and thought I’d like it. And boy was she right.

waitI hadn’t heard of this book, although actually I’m sure I had–but I ignored it.  Roy Blount Jr is on Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me, NPR’s news quiz, almost every week.   We love the show because it is funny and it tests your awareness of what’s going on in the world (both serious and ridiculous).  And we try our best to get our kids to let us listen to it each week.  (more…)

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