A short film about University of Michigan’s college radio station WCBN was making its way around my social media universe today. The 12-minute documentary, “Just Listen,” by Brittany Burr captures the college radio world perfectly. A variety of DJs describe why the station is important to them (one of my favorite quotes: “WCBN is not for robots”) and the documentary is peppered with familiar-looking college radio staples.
You’ll see shots of the massive record library (complete with color coded spine stickers), hear from DJs describing their joy in playing 3 different records simultaneously, catch a glimpse of records in the station’s library of 78s, and learn a bit of station lore and history (it’s been around for 40 years). I was amused to see a long strip of paper hanging from the EAS machine in the station’s studio (shouldn’t that be taped to the log?) and was also comforted by the sight of a tattered radio station couch and a random Viking helmet and stuffed monkey. For someone like me, who is obsessed with college radio, this film is a lovely testament to the things and people that make college radio special.