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Farewell To The Alternate Side

The Alternate Side staffers: Russ Borris, Alisa Ali, Eric Holland and Kara Manning (photo by Jim O'Hara)

The Alternate Side staffers: Russ Borris, Alisa Ali, Eric Holland and Kara Manning (photo by Jim O'Hara)

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Nearly seven years ago, on December 1, 2008, The Alternate Side launched as an internet and HD radio stream powered by WFUV. And after a good long run — which included the program's tenure on 91.5 WNYE beginning in 2011 — the daily dose of TAS is coming to an end. We're sad about that, but also pleased that the scrappy TAS spirit remains a part of WFUV's programming. To kick off the fall, WFUV has made some lineup changes.

There will be a special final TAS show on 91.5 WNYE, also streaming online, this Friday, August 21, with Russ, Alisa and Eric from 10a.m. to noon.

Although TAS will end on WNYE, nightly on WFUV and as an internet and HD3 stream, TAS host and FUV music director Russ Borris will launch a three-hour version of "The Alternate Side" on 90.7 WFUV and WFUV.org, Friday nights beginning August 28, from 9p.m.-12midnight ET, following Rita Houston's "The Whole Wide World." He will also have a show Saturday mornings on WFUV, from 10 a.m.-1p.m.

TAS  host and FUV content producer Alisa Ali, voted Best FM Radio Personality in the 2014 Village Voice Readers Poll, will begin her new shift as FUV's evening host Mondays-Thursdays, from 6p.m.-10p.m. ET, starting on August 24.

Eric Holland remains a host of FUV Music Weekends (on WFUV.org and HD2) and he will still be a frequent FUV substitute host and an FUV Live session interviewer. Plus, he will also join the overnight shift, from 4a.m.-6a.m. ET, along with Sarah Wardrop and George Evans, beginning on August 24.

Kara Manning, TAS's website editor and writer, is now the digital editor for WFUV.org and remains the host of UKNY on Saturday nights and an FUV Live session interviewer.

The Alternate Side has meant a lot to Russ, Alisa, Eric and Kara—we were proud that bands and artists like Toro Y Moi, Palma Violets, Wolf Alice, The Antlers, FKA Twigs, Chvrches, Local Natives, Yeasayer, Cheerleader, Mac DeMarco and scores more got early Stateside support via our daily programming and TAS Sessions.

Some thoughts on The Alternate Side's seven-year stretch with Russ, Alisa, Eric and Kara:

Russ Borris:

It was truly an honor to spend the last four years on the radio in NYC on TAS on WNYE. The Alternate Side has always been about connecting exciting new artists to an audience hungry for new music. Throughout our tenure, I think we accomplished just that. Although it’s sad to say goodbye, I’m proud of the work we’ve done, the listeners we’ve reached and the bands we’ve given a home. Thank you for making us a part of your lives and being a part of ours. And I’ll see you Friday nights from 9p-midnight for The Alternate Side on 90.7 and wfuv.org!

Alisa Ali:

It has been my absolute pleasure and privilege to have been a part of The Alternate Side. We started off as just a web stream seven years ago and that was my first DJ shift. I was so excited about playing my favorite music. I would sit in the studio, playing songs and rocking out by myself. I remember getting the first email from a listener and thinking, "Oh my God, someone is actually out there! This is crazy!"

Over the years, I've been lucky enough to get feedback from many listeners and it has surprised and delighted me every single time. The Alternate Side has really been a life-changing experience for me. As a kid in the Bronx, listening to "new wave" or "alternative" music was not that cool of a thing to do. I kept guard over my Walkman so that no one would know what I was listening to. So many years later, that awkward teenage girl would be able to proudly play bands like the Smiths, the Stone Roses, Depeche Mode, and Sonic Youth—and there would be other people who would actually like it! That's actually the best part of this whole gig: being able to make connections with people through music.

I've met so many cool people through TAS: funny, smart, kind, creative, and unusual in the best possible way and all huge music fans. The in-studio sessions I've done were also amazing experiences. I got to meet some really great bands: Menomena, Phantogram, The Antlers, Dean and Britta, Mikal Cronin, My Brightest Diamond, Speedy Ortiz and so many others. Seeing them perform right there in our studio and then actually getting a chance to know them a bit during the interviews was a surreal experience. And as if is that wasn't enough, I got to work with some of my best friends: Eric, Kara, Russ, Rich, Demos and Jeff. It was almost too good to be true.

I would be completely devastated by the loss of TAS would it not be for that silver lining that is WFUV. I'm still on the radio on 90.7FM and WFUV.org beginning on August 24, Mondays-Thursdays from 6-10p.m! I'm really excited and happy about this great opportunity. I am also still really sad about letting go of The Alternate Side though. That show was my baby and it will always have a very special place in my heart. I'm so glad that it will still live on through Russ's stewardship. Be sure to tune in to his show Friday nights from 9p.m. to midnight. I hope I can do a good job on WFUV and that some of you will come with me on this next trip. As Camera Obscura says, "I need all the friends I can get."

Eric Holland:

It was a brilliant opportunity to work on The Alternate Side. It's one thing to be wildly adventurous with a radio station's programming, but another to combine it with top notch deejays like my cohorts Alisa, Russ and Kara.  I'm proud that we were New York City-centric in an era that was as musically fruitful as any in this town's history. At the same time, we pulled in bands from around the world. Not just onto our playlists, but the bands themselves to our Bronx studios for sessions. Let us not bemoan it's end but celebrate a great run.

Kara Manning:

I joined FUV in 2009 as a writer and editor for The Alternate Side's web page and as an interviewer for TAS In Session and FUV Live. The Alternate Side was a glorious, forward-thinking and unusual addition to New York radio, sculpted by a devoted team of music obsessives. It was through The Alternate Side that bands like The Joy Formidable, Happyness, Metronomy, Everything Everything, Real Estate, Courtney Barnett, Tame Impala and so many others got their first significant airplay in the New York area (sometimes before they were even signed to a label). Best of all, the TAS listeners were as besotted by music as we were ... it was a vibrant seven-year conversation that will continue on WFUV. And if you like discovering very new British music of all genres (plus some old gems scattered about), do please check out my show, UKNY on Saturday nights at 11 p.m. and also found in the FUV archives.

Thank you, all of our loyal TAS listeners over the years.

Also, thanks to former TAS staffers Rich McLaughlin, Demos and Jeff Kuprycz. Hearty huzzahs to Sarah Wardrop and Laura Fedele, for lending their TAS-pertise over the years and Janeen Shaitelman for the TAS ticket giveaways. And thanks to Ralph Jennings, Chuck Singleton and Rita Houston for launching The Alternate Side all those years ago.

Goodbye!