WUMB October Program Guide

From the Studio

The Science of Music (A Mystery to Me…)

Have you ever seen the cartoon “Dexter’s Laboratory?” Dexter is a 5-year-old science wunderkind. He’s got a big lab in the basement of his family’s house. The bane of his existence is keeping his mischievous older sister Dee Dee out of there so she won’t hit a wrong button, etc. Each show starts with Dexter waking up and saying, “Today is a great day for Science!Read More…

Top 10 of 2016-The Announcer’s Picks

Our Announcer’s top 10 album picks for 2016…. Read More…

‘Tis/’Twas the Season

In his “Mid Winter Folktale,” Scott Alarik brought us back to the ancient roots of many Winter holidays, their songs and customs – and how they still have a hold on us today.

[Funny how many holidays’ roots have to do with either food and survival (harvest) or surviving a military action]

Modern technology has rendered receiving a letter an ”ancient” form of communication. But during holiday time, that mode returns. Writing and receiving letters is still barely alive in the form of…cards. Isn’t it nice to get something in the mail that is not a bill or well-intended junk? These days, you generally don’t get much more than that in your mailbox, right? But to get a card in the mail from a friend or former associate – with something written that shows they thought about their relationship with you in particular — it’s like sipping a hot drink on a frosty day. “We think of you often.” “Barley the dog misses you.” Whatever it may be.

Like the roots of holiday songs and customs, it fills you with warmth and makes you feel closer together. Read More…

New Year and New Times!

I think it’s safe to say (for many reasons) that most of us are looking forward to starting a new year! So with that I’d like to remind everyone of a few changes that we have coming up in Programming.

Folk Tales with Scott Alarik has been deemed a huge success here. If you haven’t heard it yet, Scott does an amazing job of bringing music and artists from the past and explains why they’re still relevant today. I’ve heard from many of you asking if we could put this show in a better time slot and I’m happy to report that starting THIS SATURDAY at 12pm you can hear Folk Tales immediately after Highway 61 Revisited. Read More…

New Years Resolution

OK, let’s admit it. This is the time of the year when we break all of those New Year’s resolutions. For example, as I write this, it’s already 3 in the afternoon and it’s not looking good for me walking 10 miles today or, to be honest even 5…. Heck I’ll be lucky to walk to the parking lot to get my car. Oh well, maybe tomorrow, or next year….

Here’s on resolution that you can ensure you’ll keep all year: supporting public radio. Let’s be honest, while we can’t predict what’s going to happen this year, if history is any guide,  public radio is going to need your support more than ever.

Here’s how you can help. While you’re here just click THIS. Select a monthly amount that’s comfortable for you, fill in the blanks, and there you are.  Not only are you keeping your New Year’s resolution this monthbut you can be content in knowing that you’ll be acting on your resolution every month of the new year without needing to do anything else.

See, that’s a lot easier than walking ten miles a day….. hmmm…. I wonder if I can get somebody to drive me to my car……

Happy New Year!
Dave Palmater

Rainbow Quest

I didn’t grow up with TV, and certainly not Public Television, so all I know about Rainbow Quest was what I heard from Pete Seeger when I’d go see him in concert. When VCRs (remember them) became popular, many of the shows were released on video tape and I hunted them down as fast as possible. (Remember this was before Amazon, back when we had things called records, and record stores. But I digress)

It was a show like we’ll probably never see again, and not just because it was recorded in black and white. It was just Pete, on a simple kitchen-like set, sharing music with his guests and with us. And what guests he had…


Read More…

Two Big Changes

First off, I’d like to take an opportunity to thank everyone who attending our recent Mavis Staples concert here at UMass Boston. We spent a great deal of time putting that together and it was amazing to have the night unfold the way it did. I thought Mavis was just incredible. I hope you feel the same!

Now, onto two big changes we have coming up in Programming:

Once again, you have spoken and we have listened…our new show Folk Tales with Scott Alarik has been receiving tremendous feedback and we’re happy to announce a new time change. Starting Saturday, January 7th you can hear Folk Tales immediately following Highway 61 Revisited with Albert O at 12pm. With that, we’re also moving Guest Mix, another locally produced show down to the 1pm hour (instead of 7pm). Read More…

Oh Well….Just Start Over…

It’s only the second time in many years this happened. It certainly wasn’t planned to end that way.
It started as kind of a maintenance project…then went out of control. When that happens, that’s when you throw your hands in the air like you just don’t care and say, “oh well, just start over.”

I wonder how many album projects have developed like that. There’s Greg Brown’s album, Freak Flag, that started as a different record – one that was all digitally ready to go on the hard drive when a lightning strike hit the studio and wiped nearly all of it out. Talk about “the warmth of recording to analog tape” by contrast… Well, it’s hard to duplicate your own inspiration. And rather than try to re-create his, Brown came up with ten new songs.  Oh well, just start over.

Mark Charles Heidinger of the group Vandaveer had written a new album he was keen on. He brought it to his band-mate, singer Rose Guerin, and producer Duane Lundy. They were not into the same approach. Along with the extra musicians brought in for the album, they brought in different ideas. Significant gears were changed in the approach.  And the album – this year’s The Wild Mercury – came out in ways different from Heidinger’s initial vision. But an album you like is an album you like…even if you got there opposite of the way you expected to.

Maybe that’s even so with your list of Top Ten favorite new songs or albums of the year. Could you have some that started off doing nothing for you; but then maybe you heard them in a different setting or in a different context, and then…the magic happened? I know it wouldn’t be the first time for me.

Either way, I hope you heard many new songs on WUMB this year that connect you to a feeling or experience.

–Perry Persoff.

Oh, that thing I mentioned at the top of the article that hadn’t happened much in years? The last time I traveled I forgot to pack a shaving blade. After a few days my mustache took on the appearance of a wild tumbleweed. When at last I got a pair of shears and a blade, I hacked off too much stuff…and so for only the second time since I was 14, I simply shaved off the mustache. SIGH…
“Oh well, just start over.”

2016 Album of the Year!

2016 has seen new releases from Lake Street Dive, Bonnie Raitt, Andrew Bird, Dawes, Wilco, Amos Lee, Bob Weir, Aoife O’Donovan, Norah Jones, Lucinda Williams and so many others. We were also impressed by collaborations from KD Lang/Neko Case/Laura Veirs, Sam Beam & Jesca Hoop, and Shawn Colvin & Steve Earle just to name a few. We’re asking YOU to choose your 5 favorite albums of 2016. We’ll tally your votes and do a countdown on-air as the year comes to an end!  Keep an eye on your email, and on WUMB.ORG for more information on how to cast your vote!

WUMB Live At the Burren – Samantha Farrell

Our series of LIVE broadcasts from The Burren in Somerville continued last week with singer/songwriter Samantha Farrell. Sam is a local artist whose voice drips with soul and emotion…she truly draws you in with her unique sound. I got a chance to talk to her before she took the stage, and I was excited to learn more about her latest album, September Sun. Turns out she bought a quality microphone and recorded a lot of it in her shoe closet! She also told me that the album was directly inspired by autumn in New England, so it makes sense that it’s got the perfect vibe for this time of year. Sam had a bunch of killer local musicians join her on stage to recreate her new songs, and she threw in some fun tunes from her earlier albums too.

For me, it felt like another night of live radio magic…complete with a mad dash to make it to the venue on time in the traffic and the rain! Big thanks to Tom Bianchi for making things happen at The Burren, I know he’s just as excited about these live broadcasts as we are. Props to Jay Moberg for making it sound flawless back at the station, and to our engineer Grady Moates for making the technical setup so streamlined and problem-free.

We’ve got more to come!

Thursday, November 17th with Ian Fitzgerald
Thursday, December 15th with Miss Tess and the Talkbacks

Hope you can join us at The Burren or tune in as it happens!