Radio Days — Reunion 10

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

Around a decade ago, an idea struck one of my fellow alumni of the student-run radio station at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. The station was approaching its fiftieth anniversary, which meant there were decades worth of talented individual who’d passed through the studio doors. Maybe enough of them would like to like to come back and spin records again. Like the university itself, maybe WWSP-90FM could have a Homecoming Weekend.

This past weekend, the tenth iteration of 90FM’s Reunion took place. It felt a little extra momentous, that timeline odometer clicking over an extra digit means the annual pilgrimage of nostalgic old-timers has its own storied history now. Many of the people who flicked on the microphone and reminisced have come back for Reunion every year. Their celebration of history has its own history.

Me, I’ve been back about half the time, basically ever since I moved back to my home state, making the trip north a reasonable one to make for the privilege of steward those airwaves. As usual, I pleaded for and received a 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. slot, mirroring the Soundstreams shift that I held down for my first couple years as an undergraduate student. Like last year, I held my playlist to songs released during my five-year tenure at the station, from the fall of 1988 to the spring of 1993. There were two aspects of the radio show that were unique to Reunion 10, both of which cause me outsized delight: After years of agitating to do so, I finally took advantage of the fact that no one followed me to stay on for an extra hour, and because the station’s automation system is currently not working, I was charged with shutting down the transmitter and reading the sign-off statement. The latter was special because I read basically the same statement so many times back in the day that I had it memorized. And the script is still stuck in my memory enough that I stumbled on the one detail that’s changed. When I started at the station, WWSP broadcast at 3,610 watts, and when I finished, it was at 11,500 watts. These days, it’s at 30,000 watts. That familiar three at the beginning of the number tripped me up.

For posterity’s sake, and my own record-keeping, this is the playlist from my Reunion 10 shift on August 11, 2022:

R.E.M., “Orange Crush”
The Sugarcubes, “Tidal Wave”
INXS, “Disappear”
Juliana Hatfield, “Everybody Loves Me But You”
Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, “Kill Your Television”
Robyn Hitchcock ‘n’ the Egyptians, “Madonna of the Wasps”
Gear Daddies, “Stupid Boy”
Royal Crescent Mob, “5 More Minutes”
Jesus and Mary Chain, “Halfway to Crazy”
De La Soul, “A Rollerskating Jam Named Saturday”
World Party, “Put the Message in the Box”
The Lightning Seeds, “All I Want”
The Primitives, “All the Way Down”
Will and the Bushmen, “House of Mirrors”

The Soup Dragons, “Pleasure”
Syd Straw, “Think Too Hard”
Nuclear Valdez, “Where Do We Go From Here”
The Lemonheads, “Kitchen”
The Grapes of Wrath, “Do You Want to Tell Me”
King Missile, “I Wish”
Paul Westerberg, “Dyslexic Heart”
Indigo Girls, “Galileo”
Neneh Cherry, “Money Love”
Trip Shakespeare, “Bachelorette”
All, “She’s My Ex”
Matthew Sweet, “Girlfriend”
The Pursuit of Happiness, “I’m an Adult Now”
Melissa Etheridge, “No Souvenirs”
The Saints, “Grain of Sand”
An Emotional Fish, “Celebrate”

Fishbone, “Sunless Saturday”
Live, “Operation Spirit (The Tyranny of Tradition)”
Field Trip, “Bleach My Soul”
Meryn Cadell, “Sweater”
Voice of the Beehive, “I Say Nothing”
Billy Bragg, “Accident Waiting to Happen”
Kingmaker, “Really Scrape the Sky”
Crickle, “Tell Me”
Nirvana, “In Bloom”
A House, “Call Me Blue”
The Proclaimers, “Then I Met You”
Big Audio Dynamite, “Champagne”
Fairground Attraction, “Perfect”
The Wonder Stuff, “Size of a Cow”
Christmas, “Stupid Kids”

The Waterboys, “And a Bang of the Ear”
The Black Sorrows, “Hold On to Me”
See Dick Run, “Boy Meets Girl”
Edie Brickell and New Bohemians, “Woyaho”
Blue Rodeo, “What Am I Doing Here”
Joe Jackson, “Stranger Than Fiction”
Saint Etienne, “Only Love Can Break Your Heart”
Mazzy Star, “Halah”
Throwing Muses, “Counting Backwards”
Gunbunnies, “Put a Tail On Your Kite”
U2, “So Cruel”
10,000 Maniacs, “How You’ve Grown”
Jack Frost, “Thought That I Was Over You”
The Lilac Time, “American Eyes (acoustic)”
The Replacements, “The Last”

The Sundays, “Here’s Where the Story Ends”
Maria McKee, “I’ve Forgotten What It Was In You (That Put the Need Into Me)”
Johnny Clegg and Savuka, “Cruel Crazy Beautiful World”
Arrested Development, “Tennessee”
The Smithereens, “A Girl Like You”
Fetchin Bones, “Love Crushing”
Sidewinders, “Sara’s Not Sober”
The Chant, “I Don’t Ask for Much”
In Tua Nua, “All I Wanted”
Blake Babies, “Take Me”
Luka Bloom, “Over the Moon”
Concrete Blonde, “Someday?”
Pogues, “Lorelei”
The La’s, “There She Goes”
The Judybats, “Native Son”
Bob Mould, “Last Night”

Previous entries in this series can be found by clicking on the “Radio Days” tag.

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