To anyone who has spent time listening to flagship programs on Album 88 like I Don’t Care and Velvet Morning, Alayna Fabricius’ voice is immediately recognizable. The soft spoken DJ has spent her college career digging through obscure punk and shoegaze music in an effort to challenge WRAS listeners with deep cuts and delight those searching for new tunes.
On October 17, Fabricius was found unconscious in her room and immediately brought to the hospital. For the first few days her liver was failing, her blood pressure was weak, and the medical staff was forced to put her on a breathing machine. According to the GoFundMe page her family set up, in her weakened state, it was difficult for doctors to diagnose the root cause of her health problems. Though she continued to struggle with fluid in her lungs, after constant care and monitoring, Fabricius’ health appears to be improving and she is now in a post-ICU room.
“She’s waiting on results from muscle biopsy, liver biopsy, and bone marrow biopsy as they’ve been sent off to Mayo Clinic,” Fabricius’ sister Kelsey explains. “After a few more weeks she will hopefully be moved to a rehab facilitation for physical therapy.”
Although her improvement and is much to be celebrated, the reality of medical care in America leaves her and her family with an overwhelming financial burden, even in the midst of her continuing recovery.
Enter Joshua Pittman, a fellow Album 88 DJ and friend of Fabricius. Pittman became friends with her while hosting the post-punk and new wave revival show Ceremony, and immediately gained a great deal of respect for his colleague’s motivation and confidence in the booth. “I looked up to her,” he says. “She had been at the station for a while and wasn’t afraid to voice her opinion.”
Pittman wanted to help cover some of Fabricius’ medical costs, but the plan for the benefit show didn’t come to fruition until Chris Daresta (DKA Records) approached Pittman and offered to help set up a show at 529. The show, which will take place on Dec. 9, features Death Stuff, Twin Studies, Pyramid Club, and Mannequin Lover, all acts that Fabricius is connected with in some way through her work at WRAS. All the proceeds will go towards her medical bills.
Jacob Armando, the drummer of Death Stuff and Fabricius’ roommate, was more than happy to help out with the show. He is quick to explain Fabricius’ importance to Album 88 and the Atlanta music scene. “After 4 years of living together, I’ve watched Alayna hold many positions at WRAS from a rotation DJ all the way to general manager (during the GPB takeover era mind you, not a fun time to be GM),” Armando says. “She’s a strong lady that has endured a lot and given more dedication to that station than anyone else I’ve known.”
Armando’s full statement can be read below:
I knew Alayna’s voice through WRAS long before I met her in person. Her deadpan played through my car speakers while I was delivering Chinese food when I was 17. A couple of years later, I met her in person at a Qurious show and I finally put a face to the voice that often listed off tracks and artists for the punk specialty show, I DONT CARE during my Friday night shifts. I had no idea that she and I would become such close friends. After 4 years of living together, I’ve watched Alayna hold many positions at WRAS from a rotation DJ all the way to general manager (during the GPB takeover era mind you, not a fun time to be GM). She’s a strong lady that has endured a lot and given more dedication to that station than anyone else I’ve known. I remember when she began doing Velvet Morning (the shoegaze specialty show) and asked for my input on sets. I was flattered, then felt excited when I was listening to the show a few months later and called in to find out who an artist was. She’s always digging and putting good music into the ears of the listener, even if those numbers have dwindled. Her drive in that regard is something I truly admire and I hope that the future DJs of WRAS will look up to how she modeled her time at the station. She’s a true lifer of that place and her impact should not go unnoticed.
The benefit for Alayna Fabricius will take place on Friday, December 9 at 529 and will feature performances by Death Stuff, Twin Studies, Pyramid Club, Mannequin Lover, DJ Mannequin Lover, and DJ Polar Pop. Doors open at 9 p.m. All donations go to Fabricius’ medical costs. 21+ to enter.