Saturday, October 17, 2009

? (Modern Industry)

One of my favorite songs of the 1980s comes from the debut EP from the ska/punk band Fishbone. It's inexplicably titled "? (Modern Industry)" and consists mainly of radio station call letters being sung over a funky groove. Some nice logos start appearing at about the 1:16 mark, a few of which from stations that I'm sure never played this oddball song when it came out in 1985. Call letters scroll at the bottom of the screen the whole way through and most of them seem to be from actual stations, many of which still exist today.

The first call letters mentioned in the song are from WBRU, a Modern Rock station from BRown University in Providence, Rhode Island. WBRU was the first student owned-and-operated college station in the United States dating back to 1936. Today they are one of the few college stations that operate on a commercial basis. The staff is a mix of students and professionals and receives no funding from Brown University. This sticker is circa 1981 when WBRU was a freeform Album Rock station. A coupon from the old Strawberries Records & Tapes store can be faintly seen on the backside of the sticker.

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