this nice bit on former indy whfs dj damien conjured(sp?) up great memories of what real alternative/college radio was like in the mid to late 80s. my college wonder years included a 1-hour commute each way and you had to tune into something after the traffic report and sports scores to get you through. whfs was great because it was never about some idiot dj trying to ‘entertain’ you, nor was it a tool of the evil record labels to saturate you, nor did they even have a real advert program … the djs really had control of the play list and that was the hook that got you to program them into the 1st fm button on your radio. only damien could play traffic’s +12-minute ‘low spark of high heeled boys’; only weasel could play the rem’s ‘superman’; only neci would play the clash’s ‘strait to hell’; who else could broadcast live james brown’s first words after he got out of jail? to boot, they usually re-broadcasted live concerts on sunday nights and i’d always have a 90-min cassete ready to record. i enjoyed grunge and so-called alt music yet i think the industrial boom they both ushered in pushed whf$ into its current commercial biz … although whfs still retains some uniqueness, it’s a shell of its former self. i was working the 2nd shift when i turned 30, and after getting home at 0-dark-30 i got thru to neci and requested the feelies’ rarely-played cover of patty smythe’s ‘dancing barefoot’ (and taped it) – she immediately knew i was old school/pre-fab, and obliged me by broadcasting what i inexplicably feel is a really powerful song and what proved to be both a great birthday gift and a fitting segue(sp?) out of my 20s and into (sigh) my 30s …

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