The 100 block of North Market Street is tucked just away from the brighter lights and bustling activity of downtown Champaign. Not surprisingly, this portion of Market Street is desolate on a cold January night at 11:45. Yet warm-sounding music is being released into the world via community radio station WEFT, 90.1 FM, which is located on North Market Street and has been operational since 1981.
Just minutes before his shift, forty-one-year-old WEFT DJ and Champaign resident Baub Alred waits in the station’s Great Hall area, where live bands play every Monday night and thousands of CDs are stacked tall on shelves that reach the ceiling. A hefty guy who stands almost six feet tall, Alred has a cherub face with a light beard adorning it. He sports round pinkish glasses and has a full head of orange-blonde hair that’s reminiscent of Scott Weiland’s look during the Stone Temple Pilots’ Purple era.
Sal gets to know WEFT DJ Baub Alred by chatting about the life experiences that led up to his profession, and the change he hopes to make through his art and musical curation.