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“Funky and fresh”: WXDU to host Record Fair for the first time since 2019

WXDU will host its first record fair at the Rubenstein Arts Center Saturday.
WXDU will host its first record fair at the Rubenstein Arts Center Saturday.

WXDU — Duke University’s student-run, non-commercial radio station — will host a Record Fair this Saturday, Oct. 22 at from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Join fellow music lovers from Duke and across Durham in the Rubenstein Art Center to shop records from sellers all across town and to enjoy Sister Liu’s food truck — all while jamming to the music from a WXDU DJ live on air.

Avid record collectors, niche music lovers, owners of an Urban Outfitters Crosley or those who like hanging records on their wall for décor: this event is for you. 

Eleanor Mackey, general manager of WXDU, described how the Record Fair epitomizes the aesthetic of the radio station. “Records are old, but they are collected by people our age … [this event and WXDU as a whole] has young, fun, quirky parts to it, but it is also rooted in a shared history and community in Duke and Durham.”

If anyone knows the local music scene, it is WXDU’s Viva Cohen. A Durham resident since 2001 who currently works for Duke’s art history department, Cohen came to the Triangle to help a friend run a record store. Since that experience, he has maintained connections in the local music community, setting up WXDU for a great spread of vendors at the upcoming Record Fair.

Carolina Soul Records, of downtown Durham, and Country Feedback Vintage & Vinyl, a mom-and-pop record shop from out in Tarboro, will be the two main vendors at the fair. Sundazed Records / Modern Harmonic, a reissue record label based in Hillsborough, will also be at the event with records for sale, as well as local individuals who are offering up some of their personal collections.

There will be lots of rock, jazz, funk, soul and disco on the market, according to Cohen, so get out to expand – or start – your collection of vinyls!

With volunteers, committee members, listeners and event-goers from Duke and the Durham community, WXDU exists as a bridge outside the “Duke bubble” many of us find ourselves stuck in so often. 

Students, faculty, alumni and local Durhamites all contribute to the station. WXDU brings together the Duke and Durham community through a shared excitement of underappreciated and underrepresented music. 

“It’s really refreshing to be a part of a group that, for lack of a better word, is about vibing with people in Durham, instead of focusing on service work or teaching, as community engagement typically does,” Mackey said.

Their mission is to educate and inform about areas of music that you wouldn’t hear on a typical Top 40 radio station or on Spotify’s “Today’s Top Hits.” As a college radio station, WXDU has freedom to play whatever music they want, according to programming director Mina Jang. So, with those liberties, WXDU aims to educate, inform and entertain. 

“But the education part is to not only educate our listeners, but also ourselves as DJs as we expose ourselves to different types of music,” Jang adds.

The most-played genre on WXDU is rock, but  there is also lots of jazz, CBGF (country, bluegrass, folk), RPM (like electronic music), world and a little classical.

With over 50 new DJs currently in training, WXDU is on track to have an absolutely stacked radio show schedule this semester. Be sure to tune in to all throughout the week to discover your favorite local disco junkie.

Everybody loves listening to music, but there’s always opportunities to expand your knowledge by branching out to new genres and artists. With WXDU’s revamped programming and their upcoming Record Fair, the Record Fair is the perfect opportunity to do so. So, whether you are passionate about collecting records, you are looking to connect with the Duke-Durham music community or you just want to enjoy free food while listening to cool tunes, be sure to visit the Ruby this Saturday for the WXDU Record Fair. The forecast calls for 70° and immaculate vibes. You don’t want to miss out. 

The WXDU Record Fair will take place this Saturday, Oct. 22 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the first-floor lounge and back patio of the Rubenstein Arts Center. The event is free entry and open to the public. Free parking will be available in the Anderson Lot, located across the street. All vendors are cash or check only. 

WXDU is on air 24/7. You can tune in at 88.7 FM or at wxdu.org. Tune into Eleanor’s radio show every Friday from 2 to 3 p.m.

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