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The official Space City Rock Blog, featuring news on local Houston musical happenings and occurances, random venting about various things, and fervent ravings on the wonders of music, art, film, and anything else.
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A Thing of Beauty: KTRU, in 1992 [12/18/2008 01:30:00 AM]:
A few days late, I know, but still this YouTube video unearthed by Ramon over at Free Press Houston has me giggling with delight, so I feel compelled to spread it around:

It's a brilliant little snapshot of life (the local PBS affiliate's take on it, anyway) at Rice's own much-loved/oft-hated radio station, KTRU waaaaaaaay back in 1992, and it makes me both feel old and proud to've been part of the place for a few years. I started in '92, if memory serves -- Ramon actually trained me as a DJ, although he probably wouldn't admit to it now -- mostly on a joint dare with my friend Marc. Neither of us thought our musical tastes were weird enough to be DJs (yes, the station had that rep even then), but somehow, they took us both on and stuck us in early-AM weedout shifts.

It was a blast, seriously. It was strange, because I never really felt like anybody was actually listening -- I suspect that happens to a lot of newbie DJs -- but at the same time, I tried to cater to the freaks who'd call in in the wee hours. I once had a guy call from somewhere in Nevada, claiming he could hear our station and wondering where the hell we were. Then there was the guy who called me up at 2AM to ask if I could play something ultra-bassy so he could test out his new stereo system. I think I played some Earth, and then he called back to say it sounded great & wondered if I could play something really trebly, too...

Along the way, I got to meet (and in some cases, be friends with) a bunch of the people in the video, so seeing them all there takes me on a long, long trip down memory lane. (Sixteen years? Fuck...) JJ Heldmann happened to be at my college (and apparently posted this YouTube video in the first place -- hey, JJ!), Team Wiess, and was always just all-around cool. HK Kahng played in the legendary Gut Logic (and later in Buddha on the Moon, one of the first bands to make me realize how good a "local" band could really be); so did Kyle Bruckmann, who moved on to Lozenge, Chicago, and now SF, and who I did what I think was my first-ever interview for the Rice Thresher.

I never knew Dave Chaffin real well, but he always seemed like a nice guy the few times I met him. Heidi Bullinga, I remember, scared the living crap out of me for reasons I can't recall. And yes, that's a kid-ish Larry "PRKL8R" Pirkle, longtime DJ & accountant to The Scene, and Local Show guru, sometime SCR contributor, & jaded teddy-bear Justin Crane in there, too.

My absolute favorite cameo, though, has gotta be my old freshman group advisor, Dr. Stan Dodds, one of the driest, most sarcastic men on the planet, who the PBS interviewer with the creepy doll smile gets to walk her through how sound magically comes out of a speaker and turns itself into music. It's fucking beautiful and totally nonsensical (as is, I should mention, the bizarro picture-in-picture spiel the guy with the hairdryer gives on low-power broadcasting). Stan, you rock.

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