Time to Support WESU!

Dear friends, family, listeners, and supporters of WESU,

Hello and happy spring! In the coming weeks, as I wrap up my elected term as the student president of WESU, I will pass the baton to our next eager volunteer and I will be graduating (yikes) from Wesleyan. While I’m more than a little sad to leave the station, I can gladly say that my last year was a successful and exciting one as we kicked off our 75th anniversary. WESU hosted two concerts this spring that were free and open to public, and our Annual Spring Record Fair was our most successful to date. Plus, we have been working hard to lay the ground work for an exciting year of celebrations!

Speaking of records, in the coming weeks, we are poised to receive one of the coolest birthday presents ever! A family who loves WESU very much is about to bestow their beautiful collection of over 13,000 records to WESU. For those who’ve never seen it, our amazing record library is a rare treasure and in some ways, represents the heart and soul of WESU. This incredibly generous gift will enable us to replace many of the beat-up albums and fill in gaps in our collection.

We have been celebrating our landmark birthday, on air, since January with our oral history radio show “Welcome Back” as well as “75 Years Of…,” a program highlighting radio content that wouldn’t likely be heard without stations like WESU. And if you haven’t yet read it, check out the Wesleyan magazine Historical Row column, “WESLEYAN’S UNDERGROUND RADIO STATION,” chronicling the earliest days of radio at WESU.  You can a find links to that article and special 75th anniversary programming and events on our website.

We need your support to keep our unique free form music and public affairs programming on the airwaves. This spring’s pledge drive is especially exciting because it is the first of our 75th anniversary year. As such, we are asking you to consider giving us an extra-special birthday present to help raise additional capital funds to install a backup power system and update our studio equipment. If we raise enough funds by the end of 2014, we hope to also be able to kick off a film documentary project about the history of WESU.

Your support for WESU will honor a landmark anniversary and legacy of one of the first student owned and operated college radio stations.  You can donate by e-check, debit, or credit card online at www.wesufm.org or complete the enclosed pledge form!

I’ve had an amazing time in my years at the station and it would mean a lot if you offered your support so that student and community volunteer DJs like me can continue to broadcast alternative programming for years to come.

Sincerely,

Mary Barrett
President
WESU Board of Directors
(and host of This Southbound Train)

 

WESU Spring Record Fair This Sunday!

The spring cleaning season is upon us, which means all of the hip kids and old skool adults are going through their record collections; their loss could be your gain. Get excited for WESU’s annual Spring Record Fair! You’ll find dozens of vendors from across the Northeast, selling tons of vinyl, CDs, posters, T-shirts and more. There will be live WESU DJs and plenty of WESU gear and records, on sale to support WESU. Plus, the Whey Station food truck will (once again) be selling their signature gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches on site.

The record fair will take place on Sunday, March 30th from 11am-4pm in Beckham Hall, at 45 Wyllys Ave. on the Wesleyan University Campus Middletown, CT 06459.  

 Cleaning out your shelves but can’t make it to the event? Please consider donating your records for WESU to sell to aid in our fundraising efforts.

Come support the station and invite your friends! Why? You can’t scratch an MP3.

75 Years of Community Service: WESU Honors the Red Cross in CT

As WESU celebrates our 75th year serving the community through the airwaves, we want to give back to the region we care so much about by highlighting and bringing attention to other organizations who offer important community services.

WESU says thank you to the American Red Cross in Connecticut.

WESU says thank you to the American Red Cross in Connecticut.

This month we honor the work of the Red Cross in Connecticut.  The Red Cross has been serving Connecticut for 116 years, 41 more than WESU! They help organize blood drives, disaster relief, lifesaving training, and many other important services.

For more information on the important work that the Red Cross does in our region or to learn how to volunteer and give back, feel free to visit http://www.redcross.org/ct/

Top Five New Albums of the Week: March 4th

1    THE MEN    Tomorrow’s Hits    Sacred Bones

This ramshackle Brooklyn group has come quite a long way since their 2010 debut Immaculada, a gut-punch of fast, hard-hitting hardcore punk. In the past four years, they’ve experimented with Crazy Horse -esque fuzz rock, acoustic jangle pop, and even twangy pedal steel. Their latest, Tomorrow’s Hits, experiments with explosive, grandiose rock n roll akin to Bruce Springsteen, even featuring some killer sax licks. This album is massive and downright triumphant, a fitting release for the ever-evolving Men.


 

2    REAL ESTATE    Atlas    Domino

Real Estate’s sombre follow-up to 2011′s Days is an absolute treat, a relaxing and contemplative exploration of reminiscence. Their previous releases, though equally reverb-coated, found the band at a decidedly more “chill” moment, a place of joyful and summery presence. Atlas, however, seems to be a reflection of what comes after, the teary-eyed but necessary reflection of those perfect days that came and went.

3    ST. VINCENT    St. Vincent    Loma Vista

St. Vincent has always been noodly and always will be noodly. The Berklee-educated guitar virtuoso has a serious knack for licks and riffs that seems to take over a song and become a long lasting ear worm. Her latest self-titled record, however, finds her experimenting like never before, transferring that spirit of riffage to vastly new instruments and forms. It’s a fascinating exploration of unlimited pop possibilities of the synth, opening St. Vincent up to a whole new plane of musical experimentation.

4    AXXA/ABRAXAS    Axxa/Abraxas    Captured Tracks

Psychedelic pop is never just what it seems. Axxa/Abraxas, the solo-project of North Carolina’s Ben Asbury, proves this right off the bat on his debut album’s kick-off song, a rather vast and meandering musical field that begins with a spacey, asymmetric tonal atmosphere, only to evolve into the album’s catchiest tune. These spacey and distorted songs are sure to get stuck in your head, but it’ll be an absolute treat.

 

5    BLACK LIPS    Underneath The Rainbow    Vice

The Black Lips’ latest record, a follow-up to 2011′s Arabia Mountain, seems to have come right  out of nowhere. Though these Atlanta weirdos certainly aren’t at their catchiest, a plane reached back in 2007 with Good Bad Not Evil, they’re still got it, whatever it may be. Underneath The Rainbow‘s second track “Smiling” is a poppy head-nodder if I’ve ever heard one, and from the Black Lips alone, I feel I’ve heard many. Don’t let their seemingly never-ending career put you off; The Black Lips latest is exactly what it should be, which is rather great.

- Ethan Hill

 

Spring Record Fair!

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Get ready for our Spring Community Record fair and sale, where you’ll find dozens of vendors selling tons of vinyl and CDs from all musical genres.

The event happens on Sunday, March 30th from 11am – 4pm and will be returning to Beckham Hall, located at 45 Wyllys Ave. on the Wesleyan University Campus, Middletown, CT 06459

WESU DJs will be spinning the wax live all day and there will be WESU merchandise for sale. Plus, the Whey Station food truck will be in the house selling their signature gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and other vittles.

Limited vendor space is still available. Email Lee Berman (lberman@wesleyan.edu) if you want to rent a table to sell your merchandise.

Hope to see you there!

Top Five New Albums of the Week: February 25th

1    NATURAL CHILD    Dancin’ With Wolves    Burger

This follow-up to 2012′s Hard in Heaven has been a long time coming. At least it’s felt that way for me, a hopelessly devoted and childishly obsessed Natural Child fanboy. And goddamn if Dancin’ With Wolves is not every bit as groovy and hopped-up as you could hope for. From the angsty drunken twang of “Saturday Night Blues” to the downright Brazilian glow of the loungey “Bailando Con Lobos,” Dancin’ With Wolves is quite simply a pleasure. Who needs Kevin Costner when you’ve got Natty Chile?

2    TACOCAT    NVM    Hardly Art

These jangley palindrome and internet lovers are quite a bit more than meets the eyes and ears. Singing about everything from the surfy joy that can be your period to a quinciñera on acid, Tacocat seem to always find the perfect catchy melodies to fit their playful and distinct sense of humor. From overdriven riffage to playful lyrics about toxic shock syndrome, Tacocat have a distinct and endlessly enjoyable personality that the polished NVM showcases so well.

3    CHERRY GLAZRR    Haxel Princess    Burger  

There is something doubtlessly pretty and oddly spooky, it seems, about every song on Haxel Princess, Cherry Glazrr’s sophomore release on Burger records. Cherry Glazrr’s brand of guitar pop is uniquely unsettling, continuously shifting, and really really impressive. It’s impossible not to mention that these guys still have one more year left of high school. It’s certainly a part of their identity. But Haxel Princess is a seriously cool and great record regardless of any condescendingly “cute”  assumptions of age and talent. One thing’s for sure; these weirdos are here to stay.

4    ETERNAL SUMMERS    The Drop Beneath    Kanine

Equal parts shimmering and fuzzy, Virginia’s Eternal Summers are reminiscent of their good buds Bleeding Rainbow as well as a plethora of scuzzy ’90s guitar bands, all of which comparison with is purely flattering.


5    MICHAEL KIWANUKA    You’ve Got Nothing to Lose 7″    Third Man

Unfortunately for the clearly talented English soul singer Michael Kiwanuka, it’s quite impossible to mention a release like his on Third Man Records without talking about Jack White. Kiwanuka’s Richie Haven’s -esque spirited voice is undeniably sweet, reminiscent of the may rallying crys of singers of his musical ilk during the ’60s, but White’s production on both the A side single and the backing Townes Van Zandt cover is rich, spectacular, and absolutely necessary.

- Ethan Hill

Time for The Hartford Reader’s Poll

best-of-voting-page-graphicIn 2013 our dedicated listeners voted WESU the Best College Radio Station in CT.  We are counting on your support to do this again during our 75th anniversary year, 2014!

The polls are now open but close on Feb 5th. Please take a few minutes to sign up and vote for WESU as “The Best College Radio Station” in the “Media and Education” category.  If you keep scrolling down you can also vote for Best Radio Show, Best Radio Personality, and Best Radio station.  There are some WESU shows up there already but you can also write in your own candidates!

You can also find lots of other WESU friends and Family including, Wesleyan University, Wesleyan CFA, The Buttonwood Tree and more in other categories. You have to enter 10 categories to validate your ballot, so please time to look around and make your vote count!

ctn-best-of-hartford-2014-homepage-right-rail-graphic-20140110Click the image above to go to the ballot!

 

Thanks and Happy New Year!

happy radioThanks to the many listeners, donors, and volunteers who came together to make our 9th Annual Winter Holiday Pledge Drive a Success! Your support continues to illustrate the importance of maintaining and safe guarding community radio that matters!

Employing our “Kinder Gentler”  approach to develop community support in a world ruled by professional public radio fundraising has proved challenging.  Ultimately, it worked – thanks to our amazing audience and supporters.

2014 will be a busy and fun year at WESU as we celebrate our 75 year legacy as one of the original student owned an operated radio stations in the country. Highlights include special music and public affairs programming to physical and virtual exhibits of WESU artifacts and audio.

We are also launching a capital campaign fueled by a series of live fundraising concerts and events reaching out to our various listening communities. This capital campaign aims to fund some necessary station upgrades from installing a back-up power system to keep us on air during power outages to replacing our 25 year old mixing boards.We are also hoping to use this opportunity to kick off a film project to document the history and significance of WESU.

2014 Will bring many opportunities for us to engage with our listening audience and stay in touch with our various stakeholders around the world as we explore the rich legacy that is WESU.

Again, many thanks to all of the good people who came together to make this year’s drive a success.

Here’s hoping that 2014 brings more peace, more health, more prosperity, and more community radio that matters, to all in need!

Happy New Year from WESU!

_________________________________________________________
P.S.
The end of 2013 brought the end of our annual winter pledge drive but we could still use a few more donations to sure things up and hit our mark. Please feel free to get started on your 2014 tax deduction with a donation at www.wesufm.org/pledge