Art/ Music/ Recommended Authors

Best of LCD: the art and writing of WFMU-FM 91.1

I didn’t come of age listening to WFMU. As a matter of fact, unless it was on without my knowing it at someone’s place sometime when I was within the range of its signal, I still haven’t listened (a situation I intend to remedy asap). But Best of LCD: the art and writing of WFMU-FM 91.1 still fills me with delight and nostalgia.

The late eighties and early nineties were when I was first trying to grope my way into underground art & culture; going to Common Language Bookstore for Dykes to Watch Out For and Hothead Paisan, watching Spike & Mike’s Sick & Twisted Animation at the Michigan Theater, braving the casual contempt of comics and record store clerks, putting in my first several hundred hours of hanging out in coffeeshops reading zines — and there’s something about this anthology that takes me back. The graphic design, the colors, the deliberately unpretty art style of many of the comics, the overall insider outsider sensibility.

When I read pieces like the ones in this anthology back then, I always used to worry that I wasn’t really getting it, that there were codes and in-jokes I’d never decipher. And yeah, I still feel a bit of that, the feeling that if only I’d listened to the right stuff, everything would make some terrific, unprecedented kind of sense. But now I’m a little less concerned with whether or not I qualify for membership in the secret club, and more pleased that at least we can all read the meeting minutes.

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  • sdn
    June 8, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    thanks for calling this out. a friend of mine was very involved in it for a while. we all miss him.

  • Sara Ryan » Ellen Kushner comic, Nicola Griffith essay, Speakeasy, etc.
    July 3, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    […] When I blogged about the WFMU book, I noted that I had not actually listened to the station yet. I have begun to remedy that criminal […]

  • vj
    August 13, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    I had no idea that FMU has a book out. They have many many connections to A2. The guy who was program director when I first started at WCBN three thousand years ago, is now grand poobah at FMU. Arwulf had one of his shows syndicated at FMU. And my dear friend Rob has been on the air there since he left A2.

    Anyways. Just put the book on hold. Yay!!