KSLU Rush Week started on Tuesday, Jan. 15, with an open-mic night hosted in the studio. A stage was set up in the common room, complete with a rolling chair, a microphone and a desk lamp for lighting, suitable décor considering the college talent. The sundry performances included everything from prose readings to a song about zombie love, with hip-hop collective MME performing in anticipation of their show at The Plush next week.
A trivia night followed on Wednesday, hosted by Hannah Sabella and Luke Ducey. People could either call or walk in to the studio to answer trivia questions and “name-that-tune” challenges, in which the studio played a song and participants had to give the song and band names. Tickets, gift bags and music were available to participants who answered their questions, some of which had the rest of the studio stumped.
Thursday night KSLU hosted free a capella performances by Beyond All Reason, Bare Naked Statues and Decadence in The Billiken Club. Decadence opened the night with “Sorta” by Ingrid Michelsson and “Everybody Talks” by Neon Trees. BNS followed with “Help” by The Beatles, “Who You Are” by Jessie J and “Brokenhearted” by Karmin, in addition to a crowd-inclusive rendition of “King of the Jungle” from “The Lion King” movie. BAR closed the night with “Blown Away” by Carrie Underwood, “As You Turn Away” by Lady Antebellum and “Don’t Wake Me” by Toby Lightman.
“We had a blast up there,” Bare Naked Statues member Sean Binkley said concerning the performance. “Any time we can get people dancing and having a good time is a success.”
The performances were followed up by hot chocolate and cookies provided in the KSLU studio.
Rush Week is set to culminate in the Snow Ball Dance, a semi-formal dance to be held in the basement of the University Heights Lofts.
The event will feature live mixing performed by KSLU DJs Grant and Muz.
The station has been working to incorporate live mixing in to its mobile DJ program, one of many recent improvements for the station.
“We’ve got a crew of DJs now which can live mix,” general manager Grant Nikseresht said, “which is for people looking to have dances and cooler events like that.”
The mobile DJ events will be accompanied by K-Squad, a group of “crazy music geeks” who will help the events operate smoothly and work to promote KSLU.
According to Nikseresht, the Rush Week moniker isn’t meant to imply exclusivity for the group.
“I want to create the image of KSLU as sort of a music community,” Nikseresht said.
“We want to be able to introduce music trends through new music,” said Nikseresht. “We’re trying to bring [the DJs’] specific knowledge of music to people that wouldn’t necessarily be able to hear that music in another way.”
A revival of The Billiken Club is another item on KSLU’s agenda. In the past, The Billiken Club hosted live concerts on Salsarita’s stage, free to students. Previous acts to play the club include Wavves, Beach House and Ra Ra Riot. The venue stopped hosting shows in the spring semester of 2012.
The group recently published an updated website, meant to streamline the listening experience as well as broaden the group’s platform as not only a radio station but also a music hub.
In addition to live streaming, the website offers reviews of albums and concerts, interviews with artists and KSLU radio sports coverage.
There will be a website launch party at The Plush on Jan. 25, featuring performances by Acorns to Oaks, Saint Louis’ own MME, Golden Curls and Troubadour Dali.
Students can attend for a discounted price of $5 at the door, with drink specials for those over 21.
The station hopes this will be the first of many “KSLU hosts…” events with live shows at nearby venues.
Other plans for KSLU’s future include setting up more live shows and recording sessions with local artists. Pierce Crass is set to perform a free show in the studio on Feb. 2, which Matt Whitney, DJ and internal music director, believes will be one of many future studio shows.
“We’re hoping to make a KSLU mixtape of a whole bunch of local artists,” said Whitney.
The mixtape would be available for download as a showcase of St. Louis’ music scene.