Radio Days — 90FM Reunion 8

This series of posts covers my long, beloved history interacting with the medium of radio, including the music that flowed through the airwaves.


Several years ago, an idea came to a fellow alumnus of the college radio station WWSP-90FM. He looked back with great fondness on his days at the student-run broadcast outlet of the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, and he was certain others carried a similar affection. Working longtime community volunteers and student leadership, he conceived of and orchestrated a reunion weekend, inviting bygone members of the station’s on-air staff to come back and take to the airwaves once again.

The summer of 2020 brought the eighth iteration of 90FM Reunion, and the times demanded a different approach. The camaraderie that was a major component of previous reunion weekends — people piled into the studio reminiscing and gatherings outside the station, often at local purveyors of adult beverages — needed to be largely set aside. Radio in a time of COVID meant strict rules about keeping the broadcast booth free of guests, and surfaces were cleaned furiously between shifts. One thing absolutely wasn’t different, though: It was an unqualified joy to back on the air at this extraordinary outpost of quality programming in smack in the middle of America’s Dairyland.

And I was there. Indeed, I wouldn’t miss it. As I’ve done the past couple of years, I pleaded for a time slot that ran from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m., hours of the night-into-morning once reserved for a program we called Soundstreams. A printed playlist is a wholly inadequate substitution for a radio show, but, for the sake of posterity (and, I will admit, my own record keeping), here’s what I played during my four hours at Reunion 8:

Pacific Gas & Electric featuring Charlie Allen, “I Hear the Trumpets Calling”
The War on Drugs, “Nothing to Find”
The DBs, “Big Brown Eyes”
The Go-Betweens, “Was There Anything I Could Do?”
The Replacements, “Little Mascara”
Siouxsie and the Banshees, “Hong Kong Garden”
The Jam, “Pretty Green”
Belly, “Feed the Tree”
Courtney Barnett, “Charity”
Sleigh Bells, “Infinity Guitars”
Pulp, “Like a Friend”
Stone Roses, “Waterfall”
Jellyfish, “Baby’s Coming Back”
The Clique, “Superman”
The Smithereens, “Behind the Wall of Sleep”
The Damned, “Generals”

U.K., “Nothing to Lose”
Echo and the Bunnymen, “The Cutter”
Fine Young Cannibals, “Blue”
Voice of the Beehive, “Adonis Blue”
Husker Du, “Visionary”
LCD Soundsystem, “I Used To”
Jesus and Mary Chain, “April Skies”
Interpol, “Slow Hands”
Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, “The Evening”
World Party, “Way Down Now”
10000 Maniacs, “You Happy Puppet”
The Primitives, “I’ll Stick with You”
Blondie, “Do the Dark”
The Verve, “Lucky Man”

The Sisters of Mercy, “This Corrosion”
Fishbone, “Ma and Pa”
Best Kissers in the World, “Miss Teen USA”
Too Much Joy, “The Otter Song”
The Sundays, “Can’t Be Sure”
Frances Quinlan, “Your Reply”
Will and the Bushmen, “Moosehead”
Jay Som, “If You Want It”
Joy Division, “Isolation”
Grimes, “Genesis”
Love and Rockets, “Here on Earth”
Paul Kelly and the Messengers, “Forty Miles to Saturday Night”
John Hiatt, “Thank You Girl”
Waxahatchee, “Lilacs”

Fiona Apple, “I Want You to Love Me”
Anna Calvi, “As a Man”
Hole, “Malibu”
Kacey Musgraves, “Somebody to Love”
Steve Earle, “I Feel Alright”
Phoebe Bridgers, “Chinese Satellite”
Savages, “I Need Something New”
Stars, “Your Ex-Lover is Dead”
Allo Darlin, “Crickets in the Rain”
Kitchens of Distinction, “Drive That Fast”
The Triffids, “A Trick of the Light”
‘Til Tuesday, “Coming Up Close”
Elliott Smith, “Tomorrow Tomorrow”
Ani Difranco, “I Know This Bar”

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