KXLU | It’s been 26 years since LMU’s KXLU 88.9 FM radio station became the first to give major airtime to Nirvana’s surprise crossover hit “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” It was 44 years ago when the station began its still widely popular Alma del Barrio Spanish-language weekend program for salsa, Afro-Cuban and Latin jazz. This semester, KXLU is proud to celebrate its 60th anniversary of continuous broadcasting into the heart of L.A.
As part of KXLU’s busy 60th anniversary calendar, the free-form radio station is hosting its “2017 KXLU Fundrazor,” now until Oct. 28. To help support KXLU’s continued delivery of 24/7, commercial free college radio, pledges can be made at their hotline, (310) 338-KXLU, or visit KXLU.com.
The “Fundrazor” has a variety of merchandise and potential prizes for listeners, ranging from KXLU fidget spinners and water bottles, to buttons, CDs, and custom T-shirts from favorite programs. People donating $100 or more even have the chance to guest DJ alongside one of KXLU’s seasoned hosts.
Tucked away on the fourth floor of the Malone Student Center, KXLU’s headquarters is generally packed with laptops, audio equipment, CDs, and, of course, students.
Getting to host a slot at KXLU is “the most liberating thing” said Devon Rosenberg. A junior film production major and KXLU office assistant, Rosenberg got a chance to substitute DJ one day during morning rush hour.
“I want to be a music video director, and I love that working at KXLU makes you look for more underground music.” Rosenberg hopes to find small artists and get his start making videos for them.
“It’s awesome how many people call into the station,” Rosenberg said. “There are people who call to ask, ‘what was that song you just played?’ because they’ve never heard it but they love it. And there are the loyal fans of people like Jess Makhlin [DJ Mishka] and ‘Part-time Punks’ with Michael Stock — they’ll just call in to say how much they’re enjoying the show.”
With a radiating power of 3,000 watts, KXLU’s mostly student-driven programming can be picked up within a 30-mile radius of LMU’s Westchester campus, and online. Its diverse and alternative programming of rock, jazz, indie, punk, reggae, oldies, Latin, and so many other genres has gained a modest underground following, both among students and the broader Los Angeles area.
In addition to Nirvana, KXLU is noted to have been among the first radio stations to play several acts that since made it big, such as Black Flag and Jane’s Addiction. Directors who’ve been with the station for decades say the list goes on to include Beck, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Guns N’ Roses.
Lydia Ammossow ’94, the advising director for both KXLU and KLMU, the school’s online radio station where students normally start out, has been working in her current position at KXLU for 14 years. She’s seen and heard a lot of talent during that time, from artists and the radio crew she manages. Ammossow said that she hopes the 2017 Fundrazor will help keep KXLU running for another 60 years of successful college radio.
Dylan Ramos, a second-year political science major, is a weekly contributor for LMU This Week.