In downtown Carrboro, the unassuming little building across from Weaver Street Market is broadcasting live radio from its shiny, converted bank teller window. WCOM 103.5, the low power FM station started as a community hub of live and recorded music in a bilingual format, is kicking off the new year with live programming and a fundraiser.
The station has been running a 30-minute loop, as an introduction to the station, since September. One of the WCOM's organizers, Indy columnist Bob Burtman, gave us a status report: "We're rolling out our first round of music shows as we speak--right now we have five weekly shows on the air, with about 20 more to be added in the next couple of weeks."
The current schedule has shows running from 7 p.m. to midnight or 2 a.m. weekdays, and on weekends, 8 a.m. to midnight or 2 a.m. "The shows are formatted by the DJs, almost all of whom have previous radio experience. Though no two shows will be identical, many are drawing from contemporary world music and American roots music styles." Work on local and syndicated news and public affairs shows is underway, and the focus on Spanish-language programming remains strong. Check the station Web site for schedules and individual show info (see below).
On Monday, Jan. 31 at Panzanella, the station hosts "Listen Up!" a benefit co-sponsored by the Indy, with local authors Lee Smith, Hal Crowther, Daniel Wallace and Allan Gurganus at 6 p.m. Jazz artists Robert Griffin and Tim Smith will perform. Tickets are $45. "Listen Up!" will broadcast live on WCOM. They are also hosting a fundraiser on March 19: "Que Noche!" a Latin dance party with Saludos Compay.
Station organizers are still looking for volunteers in certain areas. Immediate needs include a volunteer coordinator and workers for the fundraisers. The station would go silent without DJs, however, and in early November, the programming committee began training broadcasters, providing them with DJ contracts and a station manual. To learn more about volunteering or the status of the station, go to www.communityradio.coop or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The Web site has a forum to voice your opinions about programming the types of shows you want to hear, or following up on volunteer opportunities. You can also leave phone messages at 929-9601.
Soul Dojo Keeps It Movin'
A Queens, N.Y. production company is releasing King of Kings, a documentary film on two New York gang members-turned-activists, the Feurtado Brothers. Chapel Hill hip-hopper Kaze's track "Destiny," produced by Bionik, will be appearing on the soundtrack alongside cuts from 50 Cent, R.Kelly, Black Child and others. Go here for a trailer for the film:
Resonated Records partnered with Soul Dojo on SD Radio, an Internet hip-hop radio show. The launch of the program is set for this week. New Year Means More Local Rock Records The melodic acoustic pop group The Tain Collins Band just released Use It Up, a collection of songs they've been working on in local clubs and parties in Chapel Hill. Look for it at their shows or at www.taincollins.com.
Dissonant rockers Monsonia just finished an EP with Nick Peterson. Look for them in January and February in Raleigh, Chapel Hill and Wilmington, and the EP out in the coming months. Stay in touch: www.monsonia.com.