Sunday, October 7, 2012

V/A - 91.3 FM WBNY Alive On-Air (1995)

For approximately five years during the Clinton-era, I dedicated three hours a week to hosting a radio show (in prime-time I might add) on an FM college station in Buffalo, NY peddling much of the same music I share on Wilfully Obscure right in the here and now (although my collection is far more endowed these days).  The left-of-the-dial outpost in question, 91.3 FM WBNY, is still going strong, and in fact, celebrated it's 30th anniversary this weekend.  While several prior obligations kept me from participating in the festivities, the three-decades-in-the-making achievement was not lost on me, and no shortage of memories were conjured up.

Wednesday night was the local artists thing, where "emerging" Western New York acts would come in for an obligatory interview and live-to-air performance.  Bands would usually set up in the sticker saturated-lobby of the station as the actual studios were inordinately small for ensembles.  Recordings of these "Glorified Rehearsals" (this would eventually be the moniker festooned to the local show) were a given, and a few months worth in early 1995 became the grist for this compilation CD.

I've championed a couple of the participants here quite fervently in the past, specifically milf and Tugboat Annie, both of the melodic, indie-guitar genus.  The likeminded, shoegazer-flirting Linus Box had mounds of potential, but few recordings to their credit (might have a tape somewhere).  Girlpope's "Single Girl" was a goes-down-easy slice of power pop that logged gobs of air time on WBNY, so a live incarnation was a no brainer for inclusion here.  Equally appealing were the doleful romantic strains of Tremendo's "Creepy Girl," while the unkempt noise-punk of Lollipop and the Rainbow Girls garnered these dissonant combos a modicum of national attention at the time.  Lotsa strummy acoustic stuff here as well, exemplified by Michel Weber and Ansley Court, and I would be remiss if I failed to tout the virtues of Desert Hum who came to the party bearing a breezy, 10,000 Maniacs-indebted lilt that didn't do much for me back then, but considerably more now.   The bands showcased within have long been put to pasture, and many, many more have come and gone in the past seventeen years, but Alive On-Air remains an accurate and often rewarding curio of the era, and something of a microcosm given it's diversity.  A live stream of WBNY is available at your disposal here.  Happy birthday, and here's to another thirty years!

01. Ansley Court - Ewe
02. Plaster Sandles - In the Sand
03. Desert Hum - The Memory Song
04. Snufflufugus - Christ Inc.
05. Jive Injection - I'll Be Allright
06. Michel Weber - Jealous
07. milf - Apples
08. Linus Box - The Smile Song
09. Tremendo - Creepy Girl
10. Rainbow Girls - Save Me
11. A Potter's Field - So Tight
12. Girlpope - Single Girl
13. Lollipop - Crinolyn
14. The Tails - Misery Girl
15. Tugboat Annie - Circus


Unknown said...

Thanks for the college radio memory lane. Its a shame that in my area, Hudson Valley NY that NPR & christian stations have clogged the left end of the dial.

spavid said...

There's always online radio. I would imagine there's a college station broadcasting from New Paltz or Poughkeepsie...

Dan Coffey said...

Wow! This brings back memories. I was good friends with most of the guys in Girlpope, and a member of MILF was my roommate. Do you happen to have any of Michel Weber's cassette releases available? I had one at the time and loved it... don't know what happened to it.

We may know each other, come to thing of it - backchannel me at if you want.

spavid said...

Hey Dan. I have nothing else by Michel. She was also in a band called Hula. Found this video for you:

Might drop you an email sometime. Thanks!

evr said...

doleful? :)

rmproute66 said...

For those who live in an area where the left of the dial is clogged with "Religious" and NPR. Don't get mad, invest in a Smartphone or Tablet. There are free apps like TuneIn Radio where there are Student Run Stations from all over the World waiting to be streamed to your ears in digital quality.

Dan Coffey said...

Thanks, spavid. You should! I have a few things you might be interested in...

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Jpb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jpb said...

Man, I remember seeing Linus Box's video for smile song on
Nickle City Scene way back when. Do have anymore info on these guys? I always thought that was a great song. Thanks for posting this!

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Anonymous said...


Buffalo Music Archive said...

Any chance you can please re-upload this? I would love to post it on my Buffalo Music Archive youtube channel.