Fordham University’s WFUV has been a mainstay on the New York radio dial for more than 65 years. These days, the non-commercial station is one of the only places to hear up-and-coming singer-songwriters and indie rockers.
Tuesday, some of those artists, including jazzy folk-rocker Iron & Wine, new wave legend Nick Lowe and southwestern band Calexico, will take part in the ninth annual Holiday Cheer for FUV benefit concert.
amNewYork spoke with Calexico’s Joey Burns via email.
What made you want to be part of this benefit?
I love community radio stations. I like hearing someone’s voice on the air and talking about music and passion. It feels good giving back.
Do you worry about the future of stations like WFUV in an era of Spotify and Pandora?
No. I think more and more people want to hear someone tell their story about the music they spin on air rather than listen to a pre-made program on shuffle play. Whether online or on a cheap car stereo in a traffic jam, people will connect to music and the stories behind the music.
Your last two albums were recorded in New Orleans and with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra. What's next for you?
I dunno. I suppose we could go somewhere off the beaten path or just follow someone like Anthony Bourdain around the globe and do some modern free "raw" music as his personal soundtrack.
How does the location where you record influence your music?
It's less about the literal and more about the intuitive. Going to a new place or heading out on tour opens you up and helps break the routine of writing and looking at your music or instrument.
As a southwestern band, what's it like for you to play NYC?
We love it. I can't wait to check out some new restaurants and hang out with friends. I've been delving more into the world of wine: wine makers, bars and people that are showcasing unusual varietals and styles. So.....the nights will be fun.
If you go: Holiday Cheer for FUV is at Beacon Theater Tuesday at 8 p.m., 2124 Broadway, 212-465-6500, $45–$300.