Center Stage on Live365 this week is LauriRadio – "The First All-Female Radio Station Streaming Live from Austin, Texas." We spoke with the station manager Lauri Pearson about their history with radio, their station's programming, and we got some music recommendations. Check out the interview below!
What made you get started in radio?
Music has always been my whole world. In 1992, I wanted to "do something in the music business," but at the time there was no Music Business degree. I took Radio, TV, and Film and Marketing classes instead. An on-air internship at KISS FM in San Antonio turned into a radio and record career. I have always made playlists and mixtapes for people, and when done properly, you can really change someone's mood, outlook, and trajectory. This is what I try to do with the station. Though I use MusicMaster scheduling software, every hour is hand-scheduled to create a great mix.
What brought you to Live365?
PlayoutONE said you guys were the best and had amazing customer service. Over a year later, I can say that's true!
What's your favorite part about running your own radio station?
I love every song and every artist I play, and I am able to give them the airtime they might not otherwise get. I am a meticulous curator of cool tunes and get so excited to bring these songs to new listeners and future fans.
Tell us about your station's programming. What can listeners expect when they tune in to your station?
You will hear mostly rock, alternative, indie artists, blues, and OG divas. Some you know, some you'll be glad you found. I play Joan Jett at the top of every hour, and primarily female and LGBTQ artists. Every song is strong in some way. It's not in your face, but it's a definite boost. I also play snippets from movies, comedians, and pop culture. I am on air from 10am-7pm CT every day. My goal is for you to leave the station feeling better than when you found it. Music has a way of clearing the air and making you more resolved: a more authentic version of yourself. I try to keep my programming as close to that vibe as I can get.
Name one artist that you play on your station that is underrated in your opinion.
There are so many more than one! But I would say Broken Baby from LA. The lead singer, Amber Bollinger, is a powerhouse. The band hustles on their social and are great responders to contact. They sound amazing live and have a really clean production quality, though they are gritty. I'd say "Manic Panic" is a good place to start. This band was one of the first new/indie artists I found, and they are a LauriRadio staple now.
What's your favorite music memory/moment?
I have a very personal experience with music, and there is a daily synchronous experience where the perfect song plays at the perfect time, or a random lyric will line up verbatim with a billboard or text on an email. It's like a crazy random/not random soundtrack for my life.
Please list your top 5 or 10 songs, with a brief reason why each song made your list.
There really are way too many to list! This is not a complete list and it's not in order of preference!
"Good Music" - Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Favorite song of all time: it just covers all the rock & roll markers musically and lyrically. She upholds a level of authenticity that has always been so inspirational to me.
"Manic Panic" - Broken Baby
They have a different sound and are just quirky and catchy enough to set themselves apart without overtly trying too hard. A really great band.
"I Am Her" - Shea Diamond
When you learn her story, this song cuts you to the bone. The song tells her story, and is either relatable or eye-opening.
"Whole Wide World" - The Prissteens
Perfect mix of punk and pop on this classic.
"Itch" - Fea
Rockin' tune about dying to get back out on tour. A real adrenaline rush.
"Take Back The Power" - The Interrupters
Any Interrupters tune is perfect. This band is so tight and meticulous in their execution of fuzzy ska pop rock. This song is exhilarating and empowering (and I hate to use that word, but in this case it is true).
"Diamond Studded Shoes" - Yola
Grammy-winning, straight-talking, unapologetic lyrics and music. Tough to categorize – as it should be. Rock, blues, Americana? Must listen.
"The Power" - Sweet Spirit
I don't know what to say about this band except that they are never short on surprises and unpredictability, yet their sound is solid and so well done. Lead vocalist Sabrina Ellis is an absolute bird of prey – precise, graceful, and powerful.
"Danni Gets A Piece Of The Action Down On Dirty 6th St." - Popecoke
A recently discovered song (though not brand new). The storytelling and build-up is alt-music glory. Without fail, I always smile at the end of that tune when Danni's hard work pays off.
"Bikini" - Caroline Rose
Tongue-in-cheek brilliance from an amazingly versatile and talented artist.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Honestly, anything she did. She preceded Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash with the electric guitar and sounds we use to define rock and roll today.
"Be Brave" - The Goldhearts
A band from the Gold Coast of Australia who combines alt/indie rock with some amazing harmonies. Another band I found at the very beginning whose music fits perfectly with everything else I play. They're working on new material and I am so excited.
"Undercover Secretary" - The Surfrajettes
They're an all-female instrumental surf rock band from Canada, and their tunes evoke the perfect amount of optimism.
"Blow Up" - The Beaches
Another Canadian band with such brilliant and fun arrangements, clever lyrics, and a very cool, controlled enthusiasm.
"Lying to My Therapist" - Imani Coppola
She knows how to seriously do a song that's just for fun. So many layers and so much fun.
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