Pledge-O-Rama is on NOW!

Pledge-O-Rama is on NOW! Call 204-474-6610 or visit (although if things aren’t lining up or working, we’ll find another way), or let me know how to get to you so you can make your pledge and support UMFM!

Here’s my spiel:

That damn Internet is ruining everything.

Hi, I’m that cranky old guy who tells the kids to get off his lawn. Around the station, they call me The Mudge. I guess I’ve earned it. You’ll have to insert your own cranky old man voice when reading this message.

Anyway, I am a dinosaur, and I know it. You see, I grew up in the olden days when music was something you went to a store and bought. You could hold it in your hands, show it to your friends, read the liner notes on the couch, and just generally interact with it. Those kids these days just don’t get that experience any more. Everything’s streaming now, and nobody except us old farts go to stores to buy music. The kids I teach don’t even understand the concept of buying a CD. They look at me like I have an extra head when I tell them about buying CDs. The most common statement I hear is, “you can download (or stream) that for free on the Internet, you know.” Yeah, I know.

While there are legal ways to stream/download music, and the artists do see some form of royalties for that, it’s not nearly what it should be. Every once in a while I see the stats about how many thousands of times something has to be streamed before the artist makes a few bucks. Let’s just say, not many people do.

I want to support great art, because it means so much to me. Songwriters have the gifts that I don’t have and are able to put my feelings into words far better than I ever could. Whatever mood I’m in, whatever ails me, I always know that there’s a song that reflects exactly what I’m feeling. I can’t even tell you how much that’s meant to me and how much it’s helped. For most of you, I guess I don’t have to.

Another thing that seems to be rushing headlong for antiquity is real, live radio. Yeah, sure, you have your local rock jocks yelling at you and telling sex jokes in the morning, and as much as I grew up on and enjoyed that stuff, I continued to grow, and wanted something a little more real and meaningful. I want to hear passion and engagement with music, not just the same set playlist day after day. “Quality” radio seems to exist only on some big impersonal satellite station, or an increasingly boring entity like the quickly shrinking and sinking CBC.

I also need to be challenged and exposed to new things. Maybe it’s the raging ADD, but I need to be kept on my toes a bit – experiencing new songs, styles, and ideas. I don’t necessarily like everything new that I hear, and I will still turn to the familiar, but without exposure to things unfamiliar, how can I experience the thrill of a new discovery?

There’s something electrifying for me about seeing or hearing music that really excites me, for the first time. I get that tingly feeling and I feel my heart rate going up when something really grabs me. It’s an amazing experience. And when it does, I can’t wait to share it with others in hopes that they, too, will experience the sensation, the excitement, the joy.

All of these are things that I try to bring to your radio each and every week. I genuinely want to give a platform to artists so that they can reach you, and you can support them and keep them doing what they’re doing. Without you going to live shows and buying a souvenir at the show (alas, my beloved CD has become just that, a souvenir trinket,) musicians couldn’t make a living making music, and there would be far fewer out there. Sure, there will always be a Nickelback or Tom Petty clone who can crank out the familiar and make a living at it, but I want to encourage people who push the boundaries and think for themselves, not just feed into what marketing analysis tells them will sell.

And that’s where my passion comes in. When I get excited about these things, I try to get that across to you, in hopes that by hearing how much I enjoyed something, you might want to experience it for yourself. I also try to tell you how I’m feeling and what’s going on. I want you to know that there’s a real person behind that microphone, and that real person has a real life just like you.

UMFMCKUW, and precious few other outlets provide an opportunity for people to come on the air and share their passions, their ideas, and their talents with anyone, whether people do or want to listen or not. These outlets are the wellspring that brings new life and growth into arts, culture, and life.

That damn Internet is assimilating culture more and more. People go online to see and hear the things that are familiar. And although there is access to more ideas and styles than ever before, and more readily and easily that we ever would have imagined, I honestly don’t believe that people are taking advantage of that power. People just go on Youtube and watch the things that they know they already like, or the things that are most popular. (Maybe I’m spending too much time in high school. Or maybe I am just a cranky old man.)

Perhaps because of the mass homogenization of popular culture, it seems less and less likely that anyone would really care to listen to the kinds of things that I do, or want to access the same sorts of new stimuli as much as I do. But over the years, I’ve been blown away by the kind, generous, passionate support that you, the listener, have shown me and UMFM. It’s convinced me that, as Corin Raymond so brilliantly said, “There Will Always Be a Small Time.” There will always be you and me, who aren’t looking for the popular and the same, we’re wanting to grow and learn. We want to be moved and inspired, not just entertained.

And that’s why the world needs people like Corin Raymond, and why we so desperately need avenues like UMFM for people like that to find an audience. We’re the whisper in the crowd, but that whisper gets passed around and grows, and we are the grassroots who can help people and ideas to become louder, more prominent, and more prosperous.

I contribute to UMFM because having this kind of access and information means a lot to me. I will give as much time and money as I can to show UMFM how much it means to me, and how much I value it.

UMFM needs my help to keep fighting against the tide of “progress” which seems to dictate that low budget, alternative radio like ours shouldn’t exist any more. We don’t want to get swallowed up and assimilated. We want to keep moving forward. And to do that, we need your help.

Times are tough, and your time and money are in greater demand than ever. I get that, believe me. But I genuinely hope that you’ll consider showing UMFM your support and doing what you can to help out by making a donation to Pledge-O-Rama. Every donation, no matter how small or large helps, and shows us that you’re out there and that you value what we’re doing. To make a donation in these expensive times is a commitment and a sacrifice, and we know that and genuinely appreciate that. We try to pay it back to you by giving you what you wand and need us to share with you.

We also make it pretty darn easy. You can take your pledge and break it down into smaller chunks at intervals of your choice. If you can make a small donation once a month or once every two months or twice a year or whatever, we’ll be glad to do that. And those add up. By pledging 10 a month for a year, you’re giving us $120, which would be hard for most of us to come up with on short notice, but spread out, you hardly even notice it.

And we’ll give you so much stuff in return, you won’t even feel like it’s a donation. For $25, you can get our Friends with Benefits Card, which can easily save you that much money in a short period of time PLUS we’ll give you an exclusive double CD of amazing live performances, which is well worth $25 on its own, PLUS I’ll throw in my “Best of” compilations, where you can choose from all or some of 4 CDs plus bonus downloads. As usual, I’ve got a big box of CDs and records to give away as well. So you could walk away with a huge prize pack and incentives, and it’ll only cost you 1/3 of your monthly cell phone bill. And it’ll help a great non-profit organization support quality music and ideas the whole year ’round. Think about that.

I won’t even get started on the bigger prizes, like the grand prize Golden Ticket. Dietmar won it last year, and since he has trouble getting to the Park Theatre from Germany for shows, he offered to let me fill his seat this year. His ticket has saved me well over the $250 it takes to get into that draw in the first place. Maybe I should buy the guy a beer or something. All he has to do is win a plane ticket now, and I’ll do it.

And there is a wide range of great incentives available! Check out for details. It’s kind of amazing, really.

Pledge-O-Rama is on NOW! Right now you can pick up your phone and call 204-474-6610 and a real person will be super happy to talk to you and take your pledge. You can go online and make a donation quickly and easily (so long as you use Firefox as your browser, it seems… we can talk about that if it’s not working for you). Heck, I’ll even come to your house or work or favourite coffee shop and collect your donation in person.

I’d love to hear from you. You can email me now or visit my website and fill in the contact form.

I’ll be answering phones at UMFM on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 2-4pm during one of my favourite shows, Planet Mainstage with John Prentice.

I’ll be on air Sunday, Oct. 20 from 2-5pm. Call me or the phone volunteers then. Drop on by and join in the fun! We’ll have exclusive live performances, prizes, and all the fun we can scrounge up. Special on-air contributions may include Del BarberChris CarmichaelJohn K Samson, and/or other big name stars!

After my show, I’ll stick around and answer phones on Waxie’s Dargle and Comfort Cafe until 7pm.

And Thursday, Oct. 24, 6:30 – 8 pm, it’s Steel Belted Radio‘s Pledge-O-Rama Celebration!
After that, I’ll stick around and answer phones until 10:00 or so.

You don’t have to support my show, although I get a real sense of pride if you do. Whatever you do to show your support, even if it’s just to forward this email or the information to someone else, helps.

Thanks for all of your support thus far!

Jeff “Mudge” Robson

host of:

Tell the Band to Go Home
Sundays, 2-4 pm central

Steel Belted Radio
Thursdays, 6:30 – 8 pm central

Winnipeg, Manitoba

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