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Hanson Records: Oberlin’s Secret Record Store

Hanson Records

Located in Oberlin, Hanson Records' small private record shop is open only by appointment.

Originally published by The Oberlin Reivew, May 20, 2011
by Adrian Rew

Oberlin, Ohio is somewhat of an anomaly. Despite being home to a world-class conservatory of music and allocating more than $100,000 each year to student organizations devoted to booking bands, the town is — at first glance — not home to a single record store. However, with a little searching one reveals itself. A simple Google search comes up with a mailing address only: Hanson Records, MPO Box 73, Oberlin, Ohio, 44074.

Started when he was still in high school in Brighton, Michigan, musician Aaron Dilloway has been running Hanson Records, primarily as a distributor and record label, since 1994. Hanson was initially birthed out of frustration. While waiting for another label — Bulb Records — to release a record by his band Galen, Dilloway decided to fund the project himself. Bulb ultimately co-released The Heroin Bench with Hanson, and there has been a steady stream of releases ever since. Notable releases have included albums by Baltimore’s Nautical Almanac, Dilloway’s own successful industrial band Wolf Eyes, noise overlord Kevin Drumm, sound poets Blood Stereo, power electronics creep Prurient, Cincinnati violinist C. Spencer Yeh, avant-dementoids To Live and Shave in L. A. and Cleveland kosmische droners Emeralds. Although the label focuses primarily on noise music, there are also some surprises. One Andrew Wilkes-Krier got his start releasing weirdo sound collages with little indication of the party metal he would later coin as Andrew W. K.

Another significant artist on Hanson’s roster is Oberlin resident Robert Turman. Turman is an accomplished solo musician, working primarily with tape, electronics, noise, guitar and, most uniquely, the electric fan-driven rotoguitar. Turman was also a founding member of pioneering industrial band NON with the controversial High Priest of the Church of Satan and renowned prankster Boyd Rice in the late ’70s. In addition to touring, Turman plays frequent shows in Oberlin both as a solo artist and in collaboration with other musicians such as Aaron Dilloway.

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WKCO Kenyon visits Oberlin, WOBC for historic softball "death-match"

WKCO Kenyon visits WOBC for softball "death-match"

After a fierce game, only a few are left standing.

Last Wednesday, members of Kenyon’s WKCO traveled to Oberlin for a softball “death-match” against WOBC’s Rohirrim. After a fierce battle in which many souls perished, the game ended in a stalemate. Both sides, of course, will return another day to finish what was started.

WOBC would like to thank everyone from WKCO for coming out! It was a beautiful day for a game of softball. Click here to visit WKCO on the web.


WOBC News: A Year in Review

Oberlin College Student Union Wilder Porch

While WOBC News takes a summer hiatus, here is a compilation of all of the in-depth coverage produced this year.

Starting in the Spring of 2010, news returned to WOBC with the creation of the WOBC News Corps. Editors Max Rivlin-Nadler ’10, Caroline Lewis ’10, and a team of correspondents produced community-based news pieces twice weekly. Each edition was played on-air during a period of three to five days, 12 times per day, at the top of every other hour.

Stay tuned to WOBC 91.5-FM this Fall for new editions of WOBC News!

WOBC News :: February 19, 2010
This edition covers the upcoming Oberlin College Student Senate election and features a report on the increase of foreclosures in Oberlin and what the organization Helping Oberlin Maintain Equity is doing about it.

WOBC News :: February 23, 2010
This edition explains changes in the Oberlin College student housing selection process and features a report on the proposed bottled water ban on campus.

WOBC News :: February 26, 2010
This edition reports on the first Apollo Mini-Fest film festival and features a report on the architectural significance of the renovation of the Lormet Credit Union building on Main Street, Oberlin.

WOBC News :: March 1, 2010
This edition reports the planned May visit of Bill Cosby, Camille Cosby, and Stevie Wonder to receive honorary degrees and celebrate the opening of the new Jazz building and features a story on the bicycle initiative 4000 More.

WOBC News :: March 9, 2010
This edition reports on the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association‘s relationship with a farmer’s union in Nicaragua and features a story on the creation of a new student group, the Prison Justice Project, and their series of lectures, “Bars, Walls, and Bodies: Rethinking Incarceration.”

WOBC News :: March 13, 2010
This edition reports on the cancellation of the 19th annual Drag Ball and features an interview with Theresa Desautels ’10 about the production of the documentary, “Hungry for Health: A Journey Through Cleveland’s Food Desert.”

WOBC News :: March 17, 2010
This edition features an interview with Sam Cassanos, member of the student group Students for a Free Palestine, about Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur‘s campus visit and lecture on U.S. foregin policy in the Middle East.

WOBC News :: March 19, 2010
This edition covers the Oberlin production of the opera Candide and features a story about the Center for Leadership in Health Promotion and its efforts to promote student interest in public health.

WOBC News :: March 23, 2010
This edition covers the visit of George Essl, founder of Michigan Mobile Phone Ensemble, and features a story on the Street Law class offered at Oberlin High School.

WOBC News :: April 11, 2010
This edition features a story about the Oberlin Street Photographers, a group of Oberlin High School students participating in a the creation of a collaborative photographic map of diverse experiences in Oberlin, Ohio.

WOBC News :: April 19, 2010
This edition reports on the Oberlin Green Dreams fashion show, a highly-produced showcase for Oberlin’s new line of apparel, and also features a story about the grand (re)opening of the Pizza Shack.

WOBC News :: April 26, 2010
This edition investigates the recent legislation that revamps Federal student loan programs, eliminating fees paid to private banks and increasing money for Pell Grants, and features a report on a recent educational event held by international students, “Myths and Truths About My Country.”

WOBC News :: April 30, 2010
This edition covers the Democratic Ohio State Senate primary debate for Ohio’s 56th district held in Oberlin on April 26 and features a report on the Student Finance Committee‘s decision to cut student stipends.

WOBC News :: May 3, 2010
This edition features coverage of student and community reaction to the passage of Arizona’s new immigration law and includes an update on Oberlin Track and Field.

WOBC News :: May 7, 2010
This edition features a story about the newly active Socially Responsible Investment Committee, a subcommittee of the Oberlin Board of Trustees and the Student Senate, and includes an update on the East College Street building project.

WOBC News :: May 10, 2010
This edition features a story about the Big Parade, a community art event held annually to bring together Oberlin residents of all ages.


WOBC at the US Social Forum in Detroit

US Social Forum Prometheus Radio Project
WOBC participates in a Prometheus Radio Project workshop entitled, “Making Waves: Radio as a tool to build and organize community.”

What is the US Social Forum? From the US Social Forum 2010 website:

The US Social Forum (USSF) is a movement building process. It is not a
 conference but it is a space to come up with the peoples’ solutions to the 
economic and ecological crisis. The USSF is the next most important step in our
 struggle to build a powerful multi-racial, multi-sectoral, inter-generational,
 diverse, inclusive, internationalist movement that transforms this country and
 changes history.

We must declare what we want our world to look like and we 
must start planning the path to get there. The USSF provides spaces to learn 
from each other’s experiences and struggles, share our analysis of the problems 
our communities face, build relationships, and align with our international 
brothers and sisters to strategize how to reclaim our world.


NEWS FLASH: Safety and Security Officers Totally Cash Bowl

WOBC Oberlin alumni Wilder Bowl

To most, April 20th is notable only as the birthday of master percussionist Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater. However, according to eyewitness accounts, many at Oberlin College consider the date a sacred holiday accompanied by several meaningful rituals and ceremonies.

Among the rituals observed at Wilder Bowl on Tuesday were the sale of beaded trinkets, grooving to reggae music, “sitting,” “chowing,” and “chilling.” Although many spiritual observers could be spotted in small groups participating in similarly strange rituals around the town of Oberlin, most congregated in Wilder Bowl, arranging themselves in elaborate interlocking circular patterns reminiscent of the crop circles depicted in the Mel Gibson biopic, Signs.

While participants in the spiritual ceremonies at Wilder Bowl seemed calm and at-ease, Oberlin College officials became concerned about the gathering when the sacraments reached a feverish height at approximately 4:20pm.

College employee, Tina Barnes, reported hearing “whooping, hollering, and howling” and alerted the Department of Safety and Security.

Responding to the incident, eight Safety and Security officers descended upon Wilder Bowl, confiscating personal vestments and other religious paraphernalia.

According to College Sophomore, Ricky Bailey,”it was just a bunch of dudes trying to have a good time.”

To Safety and Security officer James Gering, the matter was something else entirely. “[It was] a wholly irresponsible display of immaturity, hedonism, decadence, and lack of judgment,” Gering said.

College officials estimate the gathered swarm to be in excess of 500 observers strong.

Of the many participants who were cited for distributing peace and congregating happily, most have decided to fight the charges on the grounds of spiritual discrimination.

As of press time, no vestments have been returned.


WOBC News: 3/23

In this edition, Correspondent Allison Chomet presents a feature story on the the Street Law course at Oberlin High School, and News Editor Caroline Lewis contributes a story on Georg Essl, Conductor of the The Michigan Mobile Phone Ensemble, who visited campus this Monday.