On Air Now    09:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Up Next    10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Behind the Mic: Sebastien Wegeng of ‘Corduroy’

Written by on Monday, December 18, 2023

Corduroy is a term surfers use to describe a perfect, continuous set of swells into a bay; the water resembles corduroy fabric.

It’s also the inspiration for Sebastien Wegeng’s “Corduroy” music program, which airs every Tuesday from 7-9 a.m. on WSLR.

“It started as a neo-psychedelic surf rock show and has since evolved to feature a ratatouille of psychedelic fuzz, punk-friendly clatter and garage noise with occasional tangents into stoner rock and global groove,” Wegeng says. “Basically anything you’d need for an apres-surf activation.”

Wegeng begins each “Corduroy” with a tongue-in-cheek surf report highlighting the swell sizes (or lack thereof) and some commentary on the weather, followed by a promise of the music to come.

“We have some fast-paced fuzzy sounds in the back half of the second set to keep your beach bums warm on this quartz-heavy sand,” he said on a recent show.

WSLR programmer and board member Sebastien Wegeng

Wegeng, a designer focused on brand experience, information architecture and service design, and his wife, Cassie, a commercial surf and swim photographer, moved to Sarasota from Dallas 6 years ago. They recently became parents.

The Wegengs discovered WSLR when they were nowhere near the radio station.

“Cassie and I were finishing a hike in Myakka and were walking back to the parking lot, and I saw a car with a vintage WSLR bumper sticker,” Sebastien Wegeng says.

He started volunteering in 2021, went on the air in 2022, and soon after joined the station’s programming committee.

“I was curious about the operation of the radio station and the programs that are featured,” he says. “How are the shows chosen? How is the schedule adjusted? Now in my second year on the committee and chairing it, I am interested in advocating for the programmers and creating initiatives that improve their technical and operational confidence and skills so they can further amplify their shows.”

Wegeng has gotten even more deeply involved as one of the newest members of the Board of Directors of WSLR+Fogartyville, “whose mission is core to my being.”

“I see it being the common thread and throughline for those interested in making Sarasota/Manatee a more fair, equitable and sustainable place to thrive as individuals and families,” he says, “a space where we work collaboratively to create a better quality of life for our community and make it a fortress for creatives.”

As a programmer, Wegeng says it’s most gratifying when a listener calls into the studio to talk about a song he just played.

“It’s great to hear from people tuning in, and validates the hours spent researching the right mix of songs,” he says.

Sebastien Wegeng’s “Corduroy” airs Tuesdays from 7-9 a.m. on WSLR

Some “Corduroy” favorites are songs by punk and/or garage punk bands Viagra Boys, The Chats Squid and Eddy Current Suppression Ring; musical and multimedia collective Crack Cloud, rock bands Geese, Sports Team and IDLES; and singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett.

Wegeng in September took a deep dive into Australian rock band King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard with more than one show entirely dedicated to their oeuvre.

That kind of radio risk-taking is what sets his show apart from anything a listener would get on commercial radio.

“Corduroy” fan Joshua Horne, a Sarasota Orchestra musician, met Wegeng at a murder mystery dinner theater, where they connected over … what else?

“We both love music, especially of the eclectic or complex variety,” Horne says. “It’s great to hear Sebastien’s picks on ‘Corduroy’ so I can add more to my library.”

Wegeng estimates he spends 3-4 hours a week learning about new bands and songs for his show.

“I rely on Spotify’s ‘Fans Also Like’ feature, Last.fm’s ‘ABC’ feature, read online music magazines like NME and Pitchfork, watch KEXP Live, and look over concert/tour flyers of my favorite bands to see who else is being featured,” he says.

And he spends as much time as he can going to shows, most recently attending Lake Street Dive in Clearwater: “Rachael Price is unreal.”

When asked what concert was his most memorable, Wegeng looks to the future instead of the past: “King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard marathon show in Austin in November 2024. Although it hasn’t happened yet, the tickets have been purchased, the denim jacket has been fitted, and the patches have been sewn – there really isn’t another answer.”

(Feature photo by Cassie Wegeng)