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Special Event: Live Broadcast of Congressman John Lewis 11/27 7:00pm

John Lewis is a civil rights leader and an American politician, serving Georgia’s 5th district since 1987. A member of the Democratic party leadership, Lewis has served as Senior Chief Deputy Whip since 2003. Born the son of Alabama sharecroppers, Lewis’s childhood was filled with deeply inspirational moments, including the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. heard on radio broadcasts. As a college student, Lewis’s inspiration fueled his commitment to end legalized racial segregation; he was chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and was one of the “Big Six” leaders of groups who organized the 1963 March on Washington. His dedication to the highest ethical standards and moral principles has won Lewis the admiration of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the United States Congress. Lewis has dedicated his life to protecting human rights, securing civil liberties, and building what he calls “The Beloved Community” in America. Lewis co-wrote his story with his then-Congressional Aid, now Digital Director and Policy Advisor, Andrew Aydin, in the form of the graphic novel trilogy, MARCH (2013). The collaborative work is illustrated by New York Times best-selling graphic novelist Nate Powell.

Join us on Monday, November 27 at 7:00pm, right here on 88.3 WCBN-FM.

Above the Static Newsletter: November

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Our November newsletter is out! Read it online, and don't forget to subscribe for monthly updates on WCBN awesomeness.  


Above the Static 8 November


Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile

The streets surrounding Royal Oak Music Theater in Detroit should have been empty on the chilly Monday night before Halloween but Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile’s show drew a large enough crowd to pack the sidewalks stretching between the parking structure and the theater.

Kurt Vile, originally from Philadelphia, released Walkin on a Pretty Daze in 2013. That same year, Courtney Barnett, from Melbourne, exploded into the music scene in with her EP How to Carve a Carrot into a Rose. Courtney and Kurt released their first single together “Over Everything” in late August and their album Lotta Sea Lice on October 13th. The album mashes American and Australian singer-songwriter styles and is Kurt’s seventh album and Courtney’s second.

Even though the duo mostly played new songs, the crowd bobbed their heads to them like they were old favorites. When one of the artists played an old favorite like “Dead Fox” or “Pretty Pimpin” the familiar tunes stole the show and turned the audience into a chorus of backup singers. They ended the encore with Courtney Barnett’s “Avant Gardener” whose witty lyrics and beautiful sound reminded us why she became such a sensation here in the States. - MB

Tonight: All-Female DJ Lineup at Club Above!

Crush Collision is a long-running WCBN specialty show in which DJs mix techno, house, and other electronic music genres live on Thursdays from 10 pm to 12 am. Recently, members of Michigan Electronic Music Collective (MEMCO), a University of Michigan student DJ organization, have been featured on the show. Since the start of the semester, four MEMCO student DJs have played guest mixes live from Production room A. The most recent mix features MEMCO's current president Laura (Lavici) and can be found on the organization's Mixcloud page linked below. Stay on the look out for more featured student DJs in the coming weeks, including a special rapid-fire back-to-back mixing session scheduled for November 30th. Outside of this new collaboration with WCBN, MEMCO organizes monthly "how to" DJ workshops and social mixing events. This Friday, November 3rd, MEMCO is also sponsoring an all-female DJ lineup at Club Above on Main Street. For more information, check out the MEMCO Facebook page linked below. 

 Mixcloud: Facebook:

Dustin Payseur is a Lizard Person (And other reasons Beach Fossils is so cool)

Somersault, released in June, is Beach Fossils’ first venture into collective writing and recording, but you’d never know by listening to it. Venturing beyond the instantly classic sun-washed, surf-via-Brooklyn sound of frontman Dustin Payseur’s earlier releases, the album effortlessly incorporates new elements like strings, prominent brass, and even spoken word contributed by Cities Aviv to create an incredibly well-balanced record.

The collaborative energy doesn’t just stay on the album, Beach Fossils is clearly enjoying their tour, playing impromptu bits of Oasis, The Beach Boys and a few more during their set.  On stage and in our interview at the Loving Touch in Ferndale, Dustin, Tommy, and Jack were clearly ready to crack a few jokes and talk about what makes Beach Fossils so undeniably cool. Below is a transcript of our interview.

At WCBN [FM Ann Arbor: we put radio on the internet], we like to start things off with a light icebreaker.  Did Lee Harvey Oswald kill JFK, and why or why not?

Jack: I don’t think anybody will ever know.  Because I wasn’t even there, so like . . .

Dustin: Yeah, nobody will ever know, mysteries of the universe.

Lindsey (of Snail Mail): That’s like basically asking are you a conspiracy theorist


What’s your favorite conspiracy theory?

Dustin: That I’m a reptilian humanoid.

WCBN: Not just the New world order, but you in particular?

Dustin: Yeah yeah, like someone literally wrote a book [David Icke’s The Biggest Secret about how my family is reptilian humanoids.  Like my specific family.

WCBN: On that note, we should get actual questions in

Dustin: No these are more fun, everybody asks about the music but you can find that shit on Google in twelve seconds.

Jack: What’s your sign?


What is your sign?

Jack: Taurus.

Dustin: Aquarius, but I don’t believe in it.

Tommy: Peace. Choose love.

Dustin (using pentagram ring to melt pentagrams into ice cubes): This one’s gonna be so sick! The ice started bubbling up underneath it, look at that one!


We noticed some clout goggles on Instagram, who in the band has the most clout?

Dustin (immeditely): Me.

Jack: Clouty with a Chance of Meatballs.  

Tommy: I think it’d have to be . . .

Dustin: No it’s me.  I’m head clout master.

Tommy: Well here’s the thing, is that I have the most MySpace and Livejournal followers of the group.

WCBN: Okay but who has the most Datpiff followers?

Jack: Wait what’s Datpiff?

Dustin: It’s for mixtapes, it’s the s**t.  It’s sick.  There’s a lot of good s**t on Datpiff.

Tommy:  I’ve never heard of it.  Our clout’s too high, Datpiff’s beneath us.  We’re stratospheric, Datpiff’s down in the subterranean, we don’t frick with them.


What are your current phone backgrounds?

Dustin: Mine’s fire.  It’s a self-portrait. [It’s a plastic skull with a pretty metal black wig on it, both featured here] Pretty enchanting.

Jack: My outside one’s infinidog.  Then the inside is dick [shaped fishing] lures.  Like dicks, with hooks on them.

WCBN: Any experience using dick lures?

Jack: No, but I wish I could just like hang them on my wall.

Tommy: Mine is stock.  The aesthetic is Windows XP hillside sunlight Teletubbies background.


What’s your favorite meme of the moment?

Dustin: It changes every twenty seconds, but Post [Malone] memes.

WCBN: Post memes as in beyond memes? Postmodern memes?

Tommy: I think the next level is just going back to the first meme, the origin of that, and then the genuine humor you get from that is the second level of Post.  They’re gonna come back genuinely and that’s the new irony.  It’s always binary, it’s irony and then it becomes genuine and that’s the second level irony but then the odd number again of irony is going re-ironic.  You keep on going, it’s a binary situation, it oscillates.


So you all just got back from your European tour, how was that?

Jack: It was good, it was a long tour, like five weeks.  We went a lot of places, did a lot of things, I got punched in the face.

WCBN: Where and why?

Jack: In Amsterdam, I was just drunk and walking, he was on a Vespa with his friends.  They were trying to go through us all aggressively.  I got out of the way but I was like hey that’s crazy and I went like this [slapped] at the Vespa and he didn’t like that.  He was also like twice my height.  Cheap shot.

WCBN: So just a punch or the whole group got in on it?

Dustin: I would have but I wasn’t there.

Jack: Yeah we’re probably lucky he wasn’t there because he would’ve gone in on him.


If you could pick a name what would it be?

Jack: I wouldn’t want the name S**thouse.

Dustin: I could make any name work.

S**thouse: Your first name could be Privates.

Dustin: If Tommy could pick a name it’d be something really long, and it’d be like the thirteenth or something and it would sound super 1700s.  Or he would just say Chip or something.

My parents almost named me Thorne, I kind of wish they did it.

(Tommy walks back in)

Tommy: If I could pick a name that I didn’t want it’d be like either Jackson or Desabaesor. Be a leper of society.

Dustin: See?

--> Somersault is available on Bayonet, and Beach Fossils continues their Eastern US tour this October.  


Above the Static October Newsletter

Our October newsletter is out! Within is news about sports broadcasts, info about our new journalism show The J Word, the new Living Writers website, and more. Read it here



And don't forget to subscribe to the mailing list by entering your email address below or by clicking here.



WCBN x Audiotree: Charly Bliss


It’s ninety-two degrees in the beating sun at Kalamazoo’s Audiotree Music Festival, and yet Eva Hendricks of the band Charly Bliss is energetically jumping and screaming as if conditions are perfect. By watching her and the rest of the band, the audience forgets about their sweat-drenched shirts and begins to jump along. In a battle against the sun, Charly Bliss decidedly wins.

The explosive New York based band played a selection of songs from their critically-acclaimed record Guppy before closing with a rendition of 2014’s “Love Me.” The band also played two new songs from their forthcoming record, which the band hinted was coming soon.

After the set, I sat down with Eva (vocals/guitar), Sam (drums), Dan (bass), and Spencer (guitar) to talk about the new record, Guppy, Weezer, and super powers. You can listen to the full interview below.

WCBN takes on Audiotree

   Last week, WCBN was at the Audiotree Music Festival in Kalamazoo, MI! The two-day festival was held at Arcadia Creek Festival Place in the midst of an intense heat wave (temperatures hitting 94°). Thanks to the Audiotree team, all the artists and fans stayed well-hydrated under the blistering heat. People were shooting water guns at the crowd, passing out water bottles and handing out fans.

Despite the heat, the festival provided a great experience for crowds of diverse musical tastes. The lineup featured a variety of talented up-and-coming and big name electronic, hip-hop, and indie rock artists that filled the vicinity with good energy. Transitions between all the sets were smooth, and every band had fantastic sound engineering. In addition, in case you couldn't make it, all the performances were live-streamed for all the fans back home. All around, Audiotree put up a great festival and we look forward to Audiotree Music Festival 2018!


While we were there, we had the chance to meet with some of our favorite artists who get some great airplay on WCBN. We are excited to have some exclusive interviews and content for you, our beloved listener! Check out our homepage for WCBN's coverage of #ATMF17. (More interviews to come)




Recap of Friday from WCBN's Aarthi:

Audiotree music festival was one of the most surreal, unique, and sweltering music events I’ve ever been to.  Our Friday began with SALES, whose soft, guitar-based pop enchanted the audience.  “Getting it On”, a fan favorite, was met with cheers and a swaying crowd.  After the set, we met with SALES (Lauren Morgan and Jordan Shih) to talk about their music and inspiration.

From there, I photographed Smino, whose commanding stage presence and futuristic funk rap excited the crowd.  Smino truly gave a stellar performance, and his crisp, boldly accessorized look against the Audiotree stage made for some pretty great visuals.  Noname, one of my favorite artists of the day, also gave a captivating performance.  Her songs “Bye Bye Baby” and “Diddy Bop” are full of sadness and emotion, and contrasted by her positive and playful rap.  She is smiling and laughing in between verses, clearly enjoying herself, and the audience feels it too.  The crowd was taken away by her, and so was I.  

Next up was the iconic Lizzo.  With her colorful, skin-tight bodysuit and her striking dancer duo, she gave quite a show.  Her newest release “Truth Hurts” was the highlight of the set.  The final show was SuperDuperKyle.  At this point, the heat and excitement of the day had gotten to me, so I was unable to photograph him firsthand.  However, listening to his music backstage was still breathtaking.  He covered his favorite song “Pursuit of Happiness” beautifully— the Audiotree audience agreed and held up their phone flashlights and swayed to his voice.  

Audiotree Music Festival was an experience I’ll never forget.  The heat, the sounds, and the stage stunned me and created a distinctly captivating show that will be difficult to recreate.

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