The University’s student-run radio station, KLSU, will celebrate World College Radio Day on Friday at Barcadia Bar Restaurant Arcade on Highland Road. College Radio Day is an annual event that brings the community together to celebrate student media, radio broadcasting and local music.
Beginning at 7 p.m., the free concert will feature four local musical acts showcasing a variety of genres. The Daily Reveille sat down with three of them:
Local rapper Josh Henderson, also known as _thesmoothcat, is no stranger to performances celebrating college radio — he's headlined College Radio Day for the past two years.
“College radio is 10 times better than average radio,” Henderson said.
Henderson enjoys performing in Baton Rouge, as the crowd at his shows is always enthusiastic, making the experience more fun for him, he said.
“[My music is] hip hop, but I don’t want to confine myself to only hip hop though,” Henderson said. “In 10 years, I see myself not even making hip hop. I just want to make good music. I make music to leave something behind when I die, so I put a lot of emphasis on quality lyrics.”
He describes his discography as “chill, vibey” music. Henderson puts it as writing water, instead of flame, he said.
Within the past two years, Henderson released his mixtape, “Rhythm,” as well as a beat tape entitled “Loose Thoughts.” He is currently working on new music.
About two months ago Henderson added The 9th Life band to his shows. When Henderson heard bassist Paige Wallesverd, drummer Stevie Spring and Aaron Dupre on keys jam together, he loved it, and _thesmoothcat and The 9th Life was born.
He looks forward to bringing his velvety raps to the stage. Catch mellow lyricist _thesmoothcat joined by The 9th Life on the Barcadia stage Friday night.
Brothers Zachary and Ethan Douglas front local band Wimpsville. As sole members, Ethan plays drums while Zachary covers lead vocals and guitar.
The duo describes their sound as “fuzzy, heavy, nerdy noise rock.”
“We’ve also been described as a ‘doomy’ Weezer,” Ethan said.
After moving to Baton Rouge from other parts of the state, a few beers and a drum set were all it took for the band to begin to take shape. The brothers were inspired by their friends who were also in bands to form Wimpsville, with the unusual name stemming from a Pokémon reference.
They’ve been performing as a band for about a year, with shows around Baton Rouge at The Spanish Moon and 524 Studios, and a few gigs in New Orleans.
Attendees can expect a “really loud, fast, sludgy and sweaty” performance from the pair of brothers, with “doomy” riffs and almost evil undertones laced throughout their songs, which are all originals save for the occasional cover. Zachary attempts to make his guitar double as a bass by using strings so heavy he has to tape his knuckles, while Ethan aims for a high-energy, active set on drums.
Be sure to stay at College Radio Day until it ends, as Wimpsville is the last act to perform.
Up-and-coming local jam band Quarx has been on the local music radar since May. Alaric Fricke is the group’s “creative mastermind,” according to drummer Tom Periou, in addition to being the lead vocalist and on guitar for Quarx. Johnny Zeringue is the group’s bassist, and lead guitarist Keagan Soto is a recent addition to the band.
The band views playing music as a fundamental component of life, hence its name — Quarx comes from the word, “quark,” the smallest fundamental component of matter.
Each member has their own musical influences and different background, creating a variety of genres in the band’s overall sound. Elements of jazz, classic rock, psychedelia and funk are all incorporated into their music.
“We like to joke and say that we’re ‘wholesale rock and roll,’ sort of a gumbo of Southern rock,” Fricke said.
Fricke is the songwriter for the group, but doesn’t get his inspiration from anywhere in particular, he said.
“I don’t think of it as me writing, just me being in the right place at the right time,” he said.
A typical Quarx show is about 60 percent original material, as well as a few covers here and there. The group has covered Led Zeppelin’s “Communication Breakdown” and Buddy Guy’s “Midnight Train,” to name a few. Fricke says they try and perform a new cover every show, although they focus heavily on improvisation in their performances.
“We never play songs exactly the same way,” Periou said. “Every show has a different lineup of songs, making every night a little different.”