Saving KTRU III: Free Radicals Throw It Down for Rice Radio

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Nick Cooper of longstanding funk/jazz/pop/world/etc. outfit Free Radicals is a big, big fan of KTRU, the beleaguered, possibly-to-be-sold Rice University radio station; his previous band, Sprawl, was comprised of Rice students/grads, and I think he DJ’ed at the station at one point.

Weirdly enough, if it weren’t for both KTRU and Cooper/Sprawl, I might not’ve ever attended the university myself. My mom drove me down during high school for a visit, and while we waited in the Admissions Office, I flipped through a copy of the previous year’s Campanile (aka the university yearbook). First I hit a section all about this wild-sounding band named “Sprawl” that was made up of students; I was immediately in awe: “hey, this place has bands that play actual shows!”

Being most recently from rural Central Texas, my only exposure to real-live bands was limited to my guitar teacher’s metal cover band (which did songs by Sabbath, Great White, & GN’R) and “Get Fucked,” the mostly-theoretical punk band the kids down the block had formed with an older friend of theirs. Seeing pictures of Sprawl rocking out in front of massive crowds of smiling, sweaty students was pretty mind-blowing.

Then I flipped to another section, and my jaw dropped further — “this place has its own radio station!” I couldn’t believe the pics of the grungy-looking control room and serious-yet-jaded DJs; it was something I’d only ever seen in movies. That visit pretty much sealed the deal for me, and that quick glance at the yearbook was a big part of it.

Flash-forward to now, and it feels perfectly appropriate to see Cooper’s “new” band playing a benefit tonight (Sat., September 18th) for the Save KTRU crew who’re fighting to rescue the station from Internet-only oblivion. They’re playing up at Mango’s on Westheimer, along with fellow good-hearted people Ellypseas and The Live Lights, and it promises to be a damn good show. (It’s also the third KTRU benefit I’ve heard about/been to so far, with at least two more planned for next weekend.)

I want to reiterate, btw, that the KTRU sale is not a done deal; there are folks valiantly fighting it tooth and nail, and from what I’ve seen, the two universities involved (Rice and potential buyer the University of Houston) are finding out that there’re a lot more people upset on both sides than they’d thought there would be. Fight on — see for info on what you can do.

Post by . This entry was posted on Saturday, September 18th, 2010. Filed under Posts.

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One Response to “Saving KTRU III: Free Radicals Throw It Down for Rice Radio”

  1. SPACE CITY ROCK » Yr. Weekend, Pt. 2: Bright Men of Learning (LP release!) + KTRU Benefit + The Small Sounds + More on January 6th, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    […] KTRU Benefit, featuring Free Radicals, Ellypseas, & The Live Lights @ Mango’s Already talked about this one a bit, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to point to it […]

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