Rice President David Leebron Plays a Painful DJ Set On KTRU
Disclosure: The author of this piece volunteers for KTRU.
On Wednesday afternoon, Rice University president David Leebron pulled up a chair inside of the KTRU Rice Radio studio and played some of those rooty-tooty, groovin' oldies.
In other words, music that KTRU has made a point not to play since its 1967 inception.
Leebron remains a scapegoat in the controversial gutting of Rice's radio station that sent Rice's broadcast tower, 91.7 FM 50,000-watt frequency and Federal Communication Commission license to the University of Houston.
After Leebron spearheaded the $9.5 million sale of (in Leebron's words) the "vastly underutilized resource," folks wanting to hear KTRU's free-form programming must do so via a high-definition radio or an Internet connection.
While hurt feelings remain, Leebron's set on Wednesday -- a bizarre "event" to begin with -- illustrated that the Rice prez doesn't own a lot of Jandek, Arthur Doyle or Black Leather Jesus records.
From Bob Marley's "Buffalo Solider" and Tom Lehrer's "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park" to Roy Orbison's "Love Hurts" and Don McLean's "Vincent," the 58-year-old Leebron is more in tune with post-dad-rock. (Or would it be pre-dad rock, like grandpa-rock?)
Leebron provided commentary after each number, coaxing crickets out of the corners after saying things like Port Arthur-born Janis Joplin "qualifies under the Texas provision" and Meat Loaf has an "incredible array of very interesting songs."
On a deeper and darker level, the conspiracy theory-minded of listeners probably screamed at their HD radios and smartphones when Leebron played two versions of "Money (That's What I Want)" and Edith Piaf's "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien," which Leebron said translates to "No, I Don't Regret Anything."