Concert for KTRU, This Saturday!

While I’m on the subject of benefit-type shows, I can’t help but mention this one, near & dear to my heart as it is… This coming Saturday, August 28th, supporters of venerable, well-loved Houston radio station KTRU will be rocking the house up at The Mink in an effort to draw attention to the station’s plight, raise money to fight the looming sale of KTRU’s 91.7FM frequency, license, and transmitter by Rice University to the University of Houston (where it’ll apparently become either an all-classical station of an all-NPR station, not sure which’ll be which), and just generally celebrate KTRU’s staunch support of local music in this city.

Seriously, without KTRU, the music scene in Houston wouldn’t be half what it is now. Not to sound like Grandpa Simpson, but back when I was in a band, KTRU’s Local Show — then run by sometime SCR contributor Justin Crane but now ably run by the duo of Ian Wells and Kirston Otis — was pretty much the only Houston “media” that would give us the time of day, much less let us play our lame-ass songs for everybody in the Houston metro area to hear.

Back then, there was no Free Press Houston, no {29-95.com}, no Indiehouston.org, none of it. The only local coverage any H-town band but ZZ Top ever got was a once-a-year one-sentence filleting by HP music writer Hobart Rowland of any band or musician foolish enough to send him a tape. (CDs? Yeah, right, like anybody could afford that…) So for a dumb little proto-emo band like ours to get played on real-live FM radio…holy freaking wow.

Over the years, KTRU’s been responsible for helping out a ton of bands, both local and non-, by giving ’em a forum in which they can be heard. The station exposes its listeners to stuff you literally WILL. NOT. EVER. hear on the big-ass radio-conglomerate stations that clog our airwaves — and no, all you naysayers out there, that’s not code for “unlistenable noise.” KTRU plays anything and everything, from bluegrass to hip-hop to punk to jazz and beyond. It’s a bona fide treasure, both to this city and the people here who love music.

And Houston’s bands, evidently, recognize that, because there’s a killer lineup for this Saturday’s show: Buxton (who I hear took the house down at the HPMAs this year), soul-psych rockers The Tontons, destructo-hip-hop dude B L A C K I E, mind-blowing multi-instrumentalist Benjamin Wesley, raw-boned indie-rockers Giant Princess, glam-y retro-’70s outfit Roky Moon & BOLT, quirky indie gang sIngs (who I really need to get more familiar with, to be honest), avant-garde flautist Michelle Yom, and local jazz/funk/soul/ska icons Free Radicals are all going to be playing, starting around 7PM or so and running ’til who-knows-when.

Oh, and the whole thing’s free, I believe (I’ll post an update if I hear different), but the Save KTRU gang will be selling both t-shirts and posters of the cool-ass Uncle Charlie design over there on the right, as well as copies of the excellent, limited-edition KTRU Live Vol. 2 double-CD release KTRU put out this summer. Get on out, buy some stuff, and support actual independent music radio in Houston, not to mention the hard-working students and volunteers who make it happen.

Side Note to Bands, Labels, Etc.: If you’re in a band, run a label, do promotion, or manage/book a club, I’d like to ask you to please help fight the sale of KTRU in any way you can. If you or one of the bands you manage/promote/whatever happens to be playing soon, esp. near Houston, ask ’em to mention this fiasco on stage, talk about how much it’ll hurt them to not have somebody playing their music on the radio anywhere around H-town once KTRU’s gone (because, c’mon, let’s be honest: any band who reads this little blog on a regular basis probably doesn’t get airplay on The Buzz), and spread the news far & wide — the more visibility we can get, the more both Rice and UH will start to think that maybe this wasn’t such a smart deal after all.


Post by . This entry was posted on Thursday, August 26th, 2010. Filed under Posts.

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One Response to “Concert for KTRU, This Saturday!”

  1. Josphine Esterly on August 27th, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    neat post. I am going to add this page onto my facebook hopefully

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