Welcome back, LASR

Brooke Thames, A&E Writer

Dozens of Pacific Lutheran University students gathered in the CAVE on Feb. 6 to help PLU’s student-run radio station, Lute Air Student Radio (LASR) celebrate its official reappearance on the airwaves with a night of food, fun and karaoke.

Anyone brave enough was welcome to get onstage and sing their heart out to their favorite tune. Crowd favorites included songs such as “California Girls,” by Katy Perry, “Rain Is A Good Thing” by Luke Bryan and Beyoncé’s “Crazy In Love” — the latter sung by sophomore D’ajah Johnson.

It was by accident that Johnson ended up becoming a part of the karaoke party.

“I was on my way to Foss and I saw the doors open,” Johnson said.

After watching some of her fellow students take the plunge, she decided to sing a little song herself.

“I feel like I can do anything now,” Johnson said.

The party in the CAVE was organized in order to celebrate the return of LASR, a student-run internet-based radio station that broadcasts to PLU students from online. LASR arranges for bands to play at PLU, hosts open mic nights, DJs at campus events and even compiles a CD that contains original music by PLU students.

An issue with streaming caused LASR to go on hiatus last semester. Listeners could not observe the names of the songs, albums, and artists that they were listening to, which is against compliance with the Recording Industry Association of America. LASR was forced to shut down in order to fix this problem.

LASR’s general manager, senior Olivia Ash, doesn’t necessarily view this complication as a bad thing.

“It turned out to be a good problem,” Ash said. “We have a much better streaming player that works great with mobile devices, so you can listen from wherever.”

In order to celebrate the re-boot of LASR, Ash and her fellow radio operators decided to throw a party and welcome PLU students to join in.

“We chose the most celebratory activity we could think of – karaoke” Ash said. “It’s a celebration of sharing music, so we felt like it was the perfect fit.”

So, what can be expected of LASR this semester? According to Ash, there are some exciting changes brewing.

LASR is now part of College Music Journal (CMJ), which means that the station is now on distribution lists to receive new music. LASR will now be playing the most current up-and-coming artists.

“The college music market is where many bigger artists start out, sho LASR as an exciting opportunity to introduce the PLU community to music that may be on the cusp getting big,” Ash said.

The “LASR Zine” is also an exciting new addition that reaches listeners in ways beyond radio. The mini-magazine is a way for the radio station to promote events and performances in the Tacoma/Seattle area, as well as showcase the station’s DJs.

Ash is hoping to produce several issues of the “LASR Zine” every month, and anyone is welcome to send submissions to be printed.

Both the LASR radio station and the “LASR Zine” aim at connecting to the PLU students and connecting students to each other through music and friendship. LASR can be listened to 24/7 at www.plu.edu/lasr, and submissions for the LASR Zine can be emailed to the station at lasrgrm@plu.edu. 🅼

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