the 2009 WTJU Rock Marathon

April 21st, 2009 · 1 Comment · By

As I’ve mentioned before, the annual WTJU spring fundraiser Rock Marathon is one of my favorite things about Charlottesville. I grew up listening to it (still have my tape of Patrick, Noah and Waldo doing the REM show from 1994), and WTJU did a whole lot to encourage the broadening of my musical horizons while I was growing… Heck, it’s still doing that. I remember in High School, staying up until 4am on school nights to tape various themed shows (Meat Beat Manifesto, Aphex Twin, Sonic Youth) and then trying to figure out how to tape the ones that were happening while I was falling asleep in History class the next morning. When I came back to town between semesters of college, I always kept my car stereo set on WTJU, and soon enough I had the station’s call-in numbers memorized and pre-programmed into my phone, because I was calling the station more and more often to bug the DJs and ask for more info about songs etc.

I finally got involved in the station myself after last spring’s marathon, after having spent enough time hanging out with Helvidious and Juan Bailar and M Bison and DJ Atom and Lincoln Doolittle that it basically became inevitable… actually I think it was just after last spring’s Tea House dance party that DJ Danger Dimples e-mailed me and said “I’m giving you a show, when do you want it?” … and I’ve had the late Sunday time slot ever since. It’s truly an inspiring thing to be involved in, and there are so many kindhearted and absurdly knowledgeable folks at the station, all with mind-blowingly diverse tastes. Plus, I just love supporting non-commercial community radio, for the same reasons that I enjoy listening to independant and underground bands, eating at local restaurants, supporting local businesses, etc. But it doesn’t hurt that the programming itself is legitimately excellent. It’s yet another thing that helps to make Charlottesville great.

Anyhow, this year’s marathon schedule looks really exciting and awesome, and I’m absolutely thrilled and honored to be a part of it. It’s a 24-hr/day, 5-day marathon with themed shows about bands and genres as diverse and excellent as the Microphones, the STAX label, Radiohead, Frank Zappa, Brian Eno, Negativland, Tangerine Dream, Orange Juice, Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly, punk from the Pacific Northwest, punk from Virginia, the Minutemen, Broadcast, the Velvet Underground, Prince Buster, David Bowie, Parliament-Funkadelic, the Cold Chillin’ label, Fleetwood Mac, 60’s psychedelia, the Beatles, the Fall, Merge Records, the Silver Jews, and Sonic Youth.  Phew!  That’s not even counting the five shows based around songs from 1959, ’69, ’79, ’89, and ’99, nor any of the four different marathon shows that I’ll be hosting myself. Actually, I’m pretty much taking most of the week off from work to help answer phones, hang around the station, and fully immerse myself in the wonderfulness that is the WTJU Rock Marathon.

Keep yr eyes glued to Nailgun (and your ear dials on 91.1FM) over the next several days, as I’ll be doing daily updates for what cool things are coming up on the marathon each day… starting with tonight’s WTJU Dance Party at the Tea House!

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Sean Tubbs // Apr 21, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    I’m so very excited I checked cvilleblogs today, as I would not have known about this.