KTRU's Final FM Local Show - Maybe - Goes Out With A Bang
Photos by Marc Brubaker
For more photos from Tuesday, see our slideshow here.
In what perhaps can best be described as a rabid celebration of local music, the KTRU studio at Rice University was mobbed with a host of DJs, local musicians and assorted friends on Tuesday night. Already a confined space, the small studio and the hallway leading to it were crawling with lovers of the station and its connection to the music community here in Houston.
In anticipation of what is likely the last installment of the Local Show to air on the FM band via the transmitter that Rice is currently trying to sell to KUHF, KTRU DJ Kirston Otis invited anyone and everyone who had ever played live in the studio to come on the show and play a song. Otis and co-host Ian Wells scrambled for the bulk of their two-hour set, ensuring that as many acts as possible got to play the event, yours truly included.
What resulted was arguably one of the singularly most unique shows on the eclectic station, with 14 live acts, supplemented by a hearty swath of selections from other local musicians, that bled over the show's allotted time slot and into the normal hours of the hip-hop show.
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It wasn't all fun and games, however, as we heard Otis mention to a caller that - despite the deal not being finished - KUHF is likely taking over the signal on Monday. KTRU supporters are still working some legal angles, and there is a chance that the frequency could still revert to KTRU's control, but if you tune in next week, expect to hear some decidedly different programming.
If this was indeed the Local Show's last FM broadcast, it went out with the proverbial bang - and a lot of other noise as well. Whether it was Benjamin Wesley's layered loops, Clockpole's swirling punk takeover for their "91.7 second" song, Joe Mathlete's ridiculously happy tune, or Travis Kerschen's wild manipulation of a Kaoss pad, much revelry was made in the tiny room.
Pain Teens legend Scott Ayers opened the night with a song from his Geltab project that swirled in what we can best describe as sonic beauty. Mlee Marie, aka Hearts of Animals, sat in for a tune, and the Linus Pauling Quartet took over with a thundering medley. Fiskadoro and Satin Hooks cranked out numbers, and as mentioned, we sat in for a quick Prairie Cadets song. Ralf Armin of Dead Roses played on a one-stringed children's toy, and it was one of the most punk-rock things we've ever heard.
Perhaps Rocks Off's favorite moment of the night was the one-two punch of self-described "grandpa punks" Anarchitex followed by new punk favorites The Energy. It was a whirlwind event that reminded us how much history this station has, and how much we'll miss it being on the airwaves if KUHF does indeed take over the frequency.
Darwin's Finches summed it up at the end of their show-capping performance: "If KTRU goes off the air, we won't eat." It was just one of many statements made in support of the storied radio station that started off in a dorm room some 43 years ago, and we're certain it won't be the last.
Rocks Off hopes you tuned in, but on the off chance you didn't, fear not: The entire night was recorded, and Wells assured us it would surface before too long.
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