In Jeffrey Lewis’s immortal jam, “Cult Boyfriend,” the indie folk singer croons, “WFMU is a cult radio station/Always tuned to by a few devoted fans around the nation.” Well, those few devoted fans better hit the Web, because said cult radio station is in jeopardy following Hurricane Sandy’s devastating descent.
For those of you just tuning in, WFMU’s Beware of the Blog was nominated for an O Music Award last year (Beyond The Blog). The station is non-commercial and has the distinction of being the longest running freefrom radio station in the U.S. Although it’s based in Jersey City, NJ, the station also streams online and has an extensive online archive with more than eight years’ worth of content.
Now, it seems, the future of the station is in jeopardy. Brooklyn Vegan has the following statement from WFMU:
The aftermath of Frankenstorm (actually Frankenstorm was the name of the doctor, it really should be called Frankenstorm’s Monster) left WFMU with no electricity in our Jersey City studios, and at BOTH of our FM transmitters (91.1 FM and 90.1 FM). We tried rubbing many balloons on our heads and holding it near the equipment, but no dice. For two days, we streamed WFMU in Exile from various DJs’ homes, or the shanties and mini-vans that they call their ‘homes’. Despite that shanty crack in the previous sentence, our DJ’s are just the best and we perpetually salute their dedication. On Thursday morning, we resumed (semi-)normal programming after electricity was restored to our studios. And then reality started settling in, as we discovered tons of critical equipment that was fried by the electrical chaos that Sandy hurled our way. And both of our FM transmitters are still down.
Fortunately, everybody from the WFMU staff is safe, and miraculously WFMU’s basement did not flood, despite the Hudson River coming within 50 feet of our front door… The environment around Hudson County, Staten Island, Rockaway, lower Manhattan and Brooklyn is akin to the film The Road. Or The Walking Dead. No, it’s Road Warrior.. Wait, it’s actually a bit more like The Road… But with your help, we will make it feel like Herbie Goes Bananas real soon. Please help!
WFMU is currently taking donations to restore its operations to working order.
Image courtesy of Flickr, Muffet