Music on the Palouse

ALEX SIDDONS | Evergreen columnist

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College is a time for expanding your mind, so why not expand your musical taste while you’re here? You’re more likely to woo your college sweetheart with a guitar, an awesome record collection and superb selection skills than the guy down the hall with the Bob Marley poster.

A handful of local stores sell records for your listening pleasure. Paradise Ridge CD’s & Tapes in Moscow, for instance, offers a small selection of vinyl as well as tons of new and used CDs that span a wide variety of genres.

Hastings might seem like a weird choice, but its vinyl selection is surprisingly deep. On my last visit I saw Nosaj Thing’s “Home” on sale for $12.99, which is about $6 cheaper than the album costs on Amazon.

If you’re looking for something in Pullman, head to Atom Heart Music. The store’s selection will appease fans of indie and classic rock, but the real draw is the instruments it sells. In addition to a wide variety of vintage guitars and other stringed instruments, the store carries a few soundboards and PA systems for producing live sound.

Atom Heart also offers rentals for those who want a temporary fix as well as lessons for those starting out. Keeney Bros. Music in Moscow offers lessons too, and has a bigger selection of instruments.

If all you want is a listening fix at the budget price of free, try one of the several great radio stations on the Palouse. In Pullman, your best source of Top 40 alternatives is KZUU 90.7 FM, a student-run station that plays underground music from a variety of genres, including indie rock, electronic, punk rock and more.

KUGR, an internet-only station also run by WSU students, features talk shows and live sports coverage in addition to music. If radio is your passion, consider applying to DJ at either station.

If you’re into classical music, be sure to check out KWSU 1250 AM, the classical music service of Northwest Public Radio, which is based out of WSU. The programming includes mostly classical music, but on weekends it’s a bit more diverse.

One must-hear show is “Inland Folk” with student involvement coordinator Dan Maher. It airs on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on KWSU and on Sundays from 9 a.m. to noon on KZUU.

If Top 40 music is your jam, Moscow’s ZFUN 106.1 FM is your best bet.

Want to get out and see some shows? There are a few local venues worth checking out. John’s Alley in Moscow hosts shows in all genres, and at the moment it’s the most consistent place to see live music.

Other sources of live shows include Mikey’s Gyros in Moscow, the BellTower in Pullman, and Stereopathic Presents, which has booked some great indie-rock acts in both cities. WSU’s Student Entertainment Board constantly brings musicians to Pullman, so keep an eye out for those concerts as well.

Take a walk around College Hill on a weekend night and you’ll hear DJs playing at parties and maybe, if you’re lucky, a small house show.  Pullman is small, but it’s still a college town, and college kids are bound to make things happen in the music scene. Keep your ear to the ground and you’ll surely find it.

In addition to his position as a columnist at The Daily Evergreen Alex Siddons is the general manager of KZUU. The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the staff of The Daily Evergreen or those of Student Publications. He can be contacted at [email protected]