Thurs Jan 8
"Somebody came in and broke the cords on the headphones, and jammed stuff inside the outlets, and cut the cords on the speakers and monitors in the booth. And a bunch of CDs got stolen. Just typical stuff that happens every year at Christmas time."
ETERNAL SHAME on the bitter bastard who dare tread upon KPSU's sacred space, ruining equipment mindlessly, sullying the spirit of the season of giving. The PSU-based radio station, located on your dial at 1450 AM, is the only free-format college radio station in Portland broadcast off-campus. And, along with KBOO (90.7 FM), it is the best music alternative to the Infinities/ Clear Channels of our town, offering eclectic mixes of local bands, indie hiphop, electronica, metal, Latin American rock, and "everything but emo." (Check for a full schedule at kpsu.org.) Says Programming Director Angelo De Ieso, "You might get jazz or rap and that might suck for you if you only like one style of music, but there's just no other free-format station, other than KBOO."
Because it's essentially ad-free, KPSU is funded through student fees and sponsorship from underwriters; when underwriters are scarce, a benefit, to help replace and repair aforementioned vandalized equipment, is necessary. Through the benefit, De Ieso also wants to spread the word that KPSU is indeed up and running for Portland's personal enjoyment. "We've been a station for ten years, and I think that it's time for KPSU to have the kind of exposure that KEXP has," he said. "We don't have the funding of Bill Gates, and Paul Allen isn't helping us cause he has other interests." Allen bought KCMU, the University of Washington's popular community radio station, in 2001--renamed KEXP, the move enabled the station to expand its wattage and purchase better equipment. A similar move with KPSU is unlikely in Portland, because Allen owns Jammin' 95.5 (Portland's rap/R&B station) and KXL (talk radio on 750 AM). This year, the FCC halved KPSU's on-campus FM wattage, purporting the station was exceeding their allotted half-mile radius.
However, the AM station is still going strong. What's more, station volunteers need not be PSU students; they just need to do a little underwriting, attend some meetings, learn some stuff and voila! You're involved in community radio. Until then, support KPSU by attending this benefit with local bands you won't hear on Clear Channel's narrow outlets.