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The Sound of Tacoma

UPS continues tradition

The Sound booth at KUPS, guarded by DJ Aligator. Photo credit: Jullysa Fox

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If you're from a small town you know the true value of traditions. Whether it be by your town football team, the undefeated dance team, or the annual block party lawn mower races. When you talk to someone that's from a big city, they might not understand the value of a showdown between a Cub Cadet and a John Deere. However, when it's discussed between neighbors, there's an equal understanding and appreciation. I would not describe Tacoma as a small town by any means, but there is some tradition in the city that can be easily overlooked. I think it's easy to get caught up in the city life, and the history of this town is easily forgotten.

University of Puget Sound started their own little tradition in 1968 that is still very strong in the Tacoma community today - the student-run radio station on campus, 90.1 FM The Sound. The Sound isn't much different then your average radio station. Your daytime show includes sports and politics, and they have a Spanish hour as well. The difference is the youth influence is a lot stronger than your average radio station, and in my opinion, a lot more relatable. You can listen to 101.5 and hear the same song you heard 10 times the day before, or you can listen to The Sound and hear a new DJ every week. The Sound has a sole focus on local artists, however, some of them do travel from across the world to be featured by the station. "Our last DJ was from Australia, but we have had them come from Canada, New York, Japan, a little bit of everywhere." Drew is the station manager, and majoring in Political Economy and Global Development. They also get a lot of alumni that come back with record deals and run their booth.

As a college radio station, they try to keep the station as educational as possible without feeling like you're sitting through a physics lecture. "Every time I tune in, I learn something," said Drew. I would have to agree with him. Tuning in you learn about the music and the artists coming from all different walks of life. The music could range anywhere from hard rock to reggae and everything in between. The Sound not only gives the DJs a chance to play their music, it also gives the DJs a chance to share their story with the public.

If you're driving within seven miles of the station, you'll be able to tune in, but they also have an online stream ( If you're an artist or know one, or just have a wide spectrum of music taste, tune in to The Sound.

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