Bluegrass Special with Bluegrass Erwin

Bluegrass Erwin

Bluegrass Erwin in the WOBC On-Air Studio - November 30, 2011

Tune in every Wednesday from 2-5PM for Bluegrass Special with Bluegrass Erwin, longtime radio personality and WOBC DJ. Featuring the “best bluegrass in the State of Ohio,” Bluegrass Special has been a fixture of WOBC’s programming since 2001. It was then that Erwin took over for a fellow bluegrass expert, longtime DJ Freeman Morgan who had hosted Bluegrass Express on WOBC since 1982. Since then Bluegrass Erwin has filled Lorain County’s airwaves with bluegrass every week, rain or shine.

I visited Bluegrass one Wednesday afternoon during his show. I found him perched in the on-air studio sorting through his collection of CDs for the next song he would play. I was there to take a picture for this post and to ask him a few questions. But there is hardly a spare moment with Bluegrass at the controls and the request line ringing. After snapping the Polaroid above, I asked him if he ever plays folk music on the show. He replied with a grin, “yeah, sometimes–but not that often.” Then he put on a bluegrass version of the country song “Honey Won’t You Open That Door” by Ricky Skaggs. “You can tell ’em I play country too,” he joked.

Bluegrass Special has been surreptitiously re-broadcast in states other than Ohio by radio DJs who just couldn’t match Erwin’s selection and passion for the music. According to Bluegrass, his show has been heard on college stations in Nebraska, Texas, and California.

Listen below to the beginning of an episode of Bluegrass Special originally broadcast on October 19th. -Will Floyd

Bluegrass Special, October 19, 2011 – 1:10:42


OB Teen Radio

OHS junior Megan Tuckosh sings live on the show, 11/7

One of WOBC’s new shows this semester is OB Teen Radio, a program recorded and produced at The Backspace at The Bridge, Oberlin’s community technology center. During the week, middle school and high school students record their show, which airs on Mondays 6:30-7:00pm. Students DJ collaboratively, record station IDs, and record original vocal recordings over a favorite song instrumental. The show is a forum for the youth of Oberlin to share new music, opinions, pertinent news, school events and humor.

Check out the back episodes of OB Teen Radio, below, and be sure to tune in Mondays at 6:30!

OB Teen Radio 1

OB Teen Radio 2

About The Backspace :: The back computer lab at The Bridge, The Backspace, provides a more relaxed atmosphere open to teenage patrons (grades 6-12) weekdays, 3- 6 pm.  The space is equipped with 10 computers with Internet access, couches, tables, TV/DVD, school supplies, and resources available to help students prepare for the SAT/ACT & OGT, learn how to type, and receive help with homework through our free drop-in tutoring program.  The Backspace is also equipped with digital music and film editing programs as well as a digital keyboard, mixer,and a microphone.  Throughout the school year, we also offer various educational and recreational programs in which students can participate.  In the past, these have included activities such as crafts (pumpkin carving for Halloween or mural painting in the Backspace, etc.), software education (Photoshop, Garage Band, Microsoft Office, etc.) or movie late nights.

-Stella Byrne


Shahida Nurullah & Oberlin Jazz Ensemble Live on The World Famous Meeko Show

Shahida Nurullah (right) accompanied by Shea Pierre on piano - Zach Jamieson courtesy of the Oberlin Review

On November 13th, Shahida Nurullah performed live in front of a full house in Afrikan Heritage House’s Lord Lounge. The event was organized as a part of Kuumba Week, a celebration of the arts and culture of the Oberlin Africana community organized by the MRC. Shahida Naurullah, a veteran Jazz vocalist and native of Detroit, was accompanied by the Oberlin Jazz Ensemble directed by Dennis Reynolds. The two-hour event was hosted by longtime WOBC DJ Meeko Israel and broadcast live on The World Famous Meeko Show. The event was the first live broadcast on WOBC this year. -Will Floyd

Shahida Nurullah and OJE with Meeko Israel – Part One 50:09

Shahida Nurullah and OJE with Meeko Israel – Part Two 1:04:11


a tuesday track (for you!)

Friends - My Boo

tuesday is a generally nasty day of things, so here’s something to clear your main mind-thing. it’s a cover of ghost town dj’s classic hit, “my boo”, off of the college sampler by friends. this was one of our top 5 adds this week, so when you’re trying to figure out how to play it on your show (which, trust me, you will be), grab it from the digital library. i’m feeling tranquilized by these horse-diva vibes. check it out for yourself, and stay strong for wednesday!!

Friends – My Boo



TOP 30 11/15

Real Estate - Days

Real Estate - Days #2 this week

1    BUILT TO SPILL    There Is No Enemy
2    REAL ESTATE    Days
3    TORO Y MOI    Freaking Out [EP]
4    GIRLS    Father, Son, Holy Ghost
5    BEACH BOYS    The Smile Sessions
6    ST. VINCENT    Strange Mercy
7    M83    Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
8    ATLAS SOUND    Parallax
9    JAMES BLAKE    James Blake
10    BJORK    Biophilia
12    PURE X    Pleasure
13    KATE BUSH    Hounds of Love
14    COCTEAU TWINS    Heaven or Las Vegas
15    ZOLA JESUS    Conatus
16    CANT    Dreams Come True
17    WASHED OUT    Within And Without
18    TWIN SISTER    In Heaven
19    BEIRUT    The Rip Tide
20    DUM DUM GIRLS    Only In Dreams
21    FEIST    Metals
22    BONNIE PRINCE BILLY    Wolfroy Goes To Town
23    WISE BLOOD    These Wings [EP]
24    NEON INDIAN    Era Extrana
25    JOHN MAUS    We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves
26    BRILLIANT COLORS    Again And Again
28    OTIS REDDING    Dreams To Remember: The Otis Redding Anthology
29    WILCO    The Whole Love
30    EMMYLOU HARRIS    Hard Bargain

stay tuned for next week’s charts!



FROM THE VAULT: Pearl Jam – Binaural ca. 2000

Pearl Jam - Binaural

No one could really know what Pearl Jam would come up with next with the releases following their 1994 album, Vitalogy. Binaural, released in 2000, follows Pearl Jam’s tradition of attempting to explore new grounds with their music. Binaural was the first album to include the drummer, Matt Cameron, who at the time was a former member of Pearl Jam’s grunge contemporary, Soundgarden. The departure of Jack Irons inevitably lead to a change in the band’s music. However, albeit an amazing drummer, Jack Irons departure did not leave Pearl Jam in the dust. Matt Cameron brought a new ingredient, making Pearl Jam more focused and stronger than before. Cameron ultimately added a new back bone to the band without any sacrifice. At this point, Pearl Jam was ahead and matured from their grunge years during the early 1990s. Maintaining what makes Pearl Jam unique, they continued their string of experimentation with the introduction to binaural recording, which attempts to use 3-D stereo sound in order to place the listener in the same room as the performers of the music. Binaural recording is used for the intent of listening to it with headphones, rather than stereo speakers, hence the use of the technique, “Dummy head recording”. Pearl Jam also integrated sounds of psychedelic and post-punk sounds into this album. In addition to Pearl Jam’s progression to new grounds, bassist, Jeff Ament, and guitarist, Stone Gossard, contribute their own lyrics to the album, making it the second album that singer, Eddie Vedder, gives lyrics rights to other band members since their previous album released in 1998, Yield. Along with the new experimental sound to the instrumentation, the lyrics featured in Binaural are darker and focus on social criticisms. Lyricist and singer, Eddie Vedder explained that the album is about the importance of freedom in humanity and how people should be comfortable with their own existence. Risking the loss of fans, Pearl Jam wanted their audience to listen with new ears without any expectations.
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An Interview with Bobby Selvaggio

Bobby Selvaggio

I recently had the pleasure of catching up with saxophonist and composer Bobby Selvaggio. Bobby’s playing is well known in the Cleveland area for being fresh and innovative, as well as being highly emotional and athletic! I was beyond pleased to see that as of recent, Bobby’s music has begun to reach a wider audience through his most recent recording Grass Roots Movement on Arabesque Records.

What I have always enjoyed about Bobby’s playing is his deep appreciation for and understanding of the jazz tradition. I also admire his ability to capture the creative and courageous essence of jazz and his way of placing it within the context of his own personality and the whims of the present moment. Bobby does not play solely for his own enjoyment, though it is easy to hear and see the joy that can come from his music. He is a leader of numerous ensembles, a mentor to many students, and is also a good friend.

An Interview with Bobby Selvaggio

Aidan Plank: Is there anything you would like the WOBC audience to know about your music?

Bobby Selvaggio: Most everything I record is original music and very personal to me.  I’ve always been a composer and an improviser that let’s the music guide me, hearing shapes and sounds and reacting to those shapes and sounds.  The tag line in my email signature sums it up best:

Be soft in your practice. Think of the melody as a fine silvery stream, not a raging waterfall. Follow the stream, have faith in it’s course. It will go on it’s way, meandering here, trickling there. It will find the grooves, the cracks, the crevices. Just follow it. Never let it out of your sight. It will take you.- Sheng-yen

With Grass Roots Movement in particular, it’s similar to other things I’ve done, but from the standpoint of being electric in nature versus being acoustic.
AP: I really enjoy both your strengths as an improviser and composer, and I’m curious what your process of composing is like? Do you have a method to your composing? How does the process differ from your improvising or how is it the same?
BS: My composing process really varies.  I’m a big fan of letting the music guide you and letting it take you where it wants to go, both with composition and improvisation.  But, there are times I’ll start with a bass line, build a harmonic structure around it, and build a melody around that like with Return to Sender and Fish Food (from Grass Roots Movement).  Sometimes I’ll take a simple melodic theme like the first 4 bars of movement and build a whole tune around that.  I started Dust Bunnies with an opening vamp, with the harmonic progression, and the tune flowed from that.  I mostly compose at the piano, not my saxophone.  And rarely do I have a compositional technique in mind that I try to fit in.  Usually when I try and make something fit in, it doesn’t work.