WCBN FREE Night at the Movies: We Jam Econo

Tue, 04/08/2014 - 9:00pm

This 2005 film features interviews and archival concert footage telling the story of the influential 1980s San Pedro, California, punk rock band The Minutemen.

Sun Ra 100th Birthday Concert

WCBN 88.3FM Ann Arbor and SEMJA Present Planet D Nonet: Sun Ra 100th Birthday Concert

Thanks to Jerusalem Garden for providing the band with food!

Friday, April 4, 7 – 10 pm

In honor of jazz legend Sun Ra’s 100th Birthday and Jazz Appreciation Month, WCBN presents an evening of space jazz at UMMA featuring award-winning Detroit band Planet D Nonet. Founded by drummer RJ Spangler & trumpeter James O’Donnell, two eastside Detroit based musicians who’ve been playing together for over 30 years. The Nonet features players from such venerated groups as the Sun Messengers, Bon Ton Roule' and Johnnie Bassett & the Blues Insurgents as well as some talented young veterans. This phenomenal group can transition from scene to scene, playing the classic swing music of Ellington & Strayhorn, Fletcher Henderson, Count Basie & Benny Carter as well as more modern jazz by Sun Ra and Pharoah Saunders, and always with a Detroit twist and an eye toward turning people on to jazz music.

This event is co-sponsored by UMMA and the Southeast Michigan Jazz Association (SEMJA).

We Made It!


That was a long day, huh?  What began as a harmless April Fools joke brought together our community of listeners like nothing we've seen in a long time.  Even our most successful fundraiser in history back in February didn't see the level of interaction this brought on.

It's impossible for us to say how much we love you, our listeners.  The fact that our format change elicited such violent reactions from some of you is a testament to what the WCBN community of listeners and volunteers has made the station.

While we won't be changing formats to New Adult Contemporary Smooth Jazz Variety Top 40, we can rest assured if we ever do, we have the DJs for the job!  Tyler, Marvin, Reid, Moomeyman, Pan, Brian, Del, Liz, and Greg did an incredible job today.  And we know if we're ever picking teams for the All Integrity Pro Bowl, Rob will be the first guy picked.

Music is a funny thing.  We love all of it, and we'll continue to give you the weirdest, wildest, and, of course, smoothest mix of tunes we can.

Thanks to the hundreds of people who called in, emailed, Facebooked, Twittered, and otherwise sent us nasty or just confused thoughts today!

See you at the Sun Ra event Friday at UMMA!

Still not too late to fill out our Smooth Jazz survey!


- WCBN Exec Staff

Immediate Release: WCBN to Switch to Smooth Jazz/New Adult Contemporary Format

We know that our great listeners will stand by us during this transition.







For Immediate Release


Ann Arbor, MI

The University of Michigan’s student & community radio station, WCBN, broadcasting at 88.3 FM and online at wcbn.org has announced today that it will be changing formats from freeform music to New Adult Contemporary/Smooth Jazz.

“We would be foolish to ignore market data,” said General Manager James Griffiths, “we’ve been exploring options for a long time, and it looks like this change is all for the better.”  

WCBN, long known for experimental and “difficult” programming, is not concerned that listenership will be affected.  “We had our greatest fundraiser in history this year, and with all that excitement, we thought now was the time for change,” Publicity Director Karl Seibert stated in a release.  

Smooth Jazz, also called New Adult Contemporary, is a form of music derived from jazz fusion, R&B, funk, and pop.  The radio format has proven successful across the country, and management at WCBN hope that Southeast Michigan will react positively to the switch.

With this change comes the introduction of several new practices.  DJ Michael Newmeyer said, “One thing I’m really excited for is a playlist;” - the current freeform radio format allows DJs to choose whichever songs they want - “it’s always a struggle to pick songs, and now I just have a list and I double click stuff.”  Which refers to another change to the WCBN station - exclusively digital music.  

“Vinyl takes up space, it smells bad, and the quality is terrible,” said DJ Rob Goldey, “Digital is so much easier.”  DJ Fiona Clowney said, “I can never find what I want in the stacks, records are old and hard to read, and it seems like most of them are by Frank Zappa.”

The station's staff are looking forward to the change and believe that the listeners will love it.  “We have some of the greatest listeners in the world; with the change, we’ll probably lose a lot of them, but we hope we get new greatest listeners in the world," said Griffiths.  For more information, contact our Publicity Director at karl@wcbn.org.

Ann Arbor Film Festival: The Decline of Western Civilization I co-sponsored by WCBN


Penelope Spheeris: “The Decline of Western Civilization”

Documentary, Feature Length, Filmmaker in Attendance, Historic Film, Special Presentations

Penelope Spheeris’s cult documentary on the Los Angeles punk rock scene. Filmed throughout 1979 and 1980, Decline features concert footage of legendary Los Angeles punk bands Black Flag, Germs, X, Alice Bag Band, Circle Jerks, and Fear. Interviews with band members, the publishers of Slash fanzine, and with the punks who made up their audience offers a look into a subculture that was largely ignored by the rock music press of the time.

Michigan Theater (Main Auditorium)



WCBN is proud to present something special: Our new couch! Station members Josh Bay and James Griffiths carried this couch through tough conditions and over long distances to make it a new special addition to the CBN lobby. 

You are invited to stop by our lobby and sit on it sometime. We can assure that your tush will not be disappointed. 


Please direct all publicity requests to newcomfysofa@wcbn.org

Thank you for donating during Fundraiser 2014!

Our ten-day fundraiser was our most successful ever! We surpassed our goal of $42,000. Everyone at the station is super-excited and hope y'all are too -- we had to stop ourselves from giddily running about the station in order to post this. Our new t-shirts have arrived and we'll be shipping them soon to paid pledgers. For those who pledged by check, we have mailed out a pledge letter to you. Just return it with your check and accept our heartfelt thanks!

Enema Squad live in the WCBN studio

Sean Westergaard brought special guests to the Friday night Funk show, What It Is! PFunk alumni and drummer Gabe Gonzales fronted the Enema Squad, featuring guitarist Piraña Head and others.Sounds a little like raw funk to me… check out slipstreamradio for more pictures and sound file.

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