About The Show


What’s This Called? features experimental and eclectic music of all genres. From John Cage to Sonic YouthMerzbow to AutechreCrank Sturgeon toAriel KalmaSun Ra to William Shatner. You shouldn’t be surprised to hear a classic electronic composition from the last century, played back to back with a droning wall of post-punk guitar feedback, followed by a saxophone improvisation from one of the giants of free jazz.

Beginning life in 1993 at KAOS in Olympia WA, What’s This Called? came over to KPSU after a two year hiatus on August 27th, 2005. September 22nd, 2018, some 13 years later was the last show at KPSU. The program and it’s host are excited to start a new life on alternating Saturdays 2-4 PM at KFFP-LP FM 90.3 Portland beginning October 13th, 2018!

Instrumental to the tenure of What’s This Called? at KPSU was Austin Rich (now host of the excellent Mid-Valley Mutations program in Salem’s KMUZ) as a live music soundman, preferred substitute, musical adviser and resource, childcare and refreshment specialist, and occasional sit down in the booth co-host.

While recorded music is the weekly focus, What’s This Called? has hosted semi-frequent live musical guests as well including: The Silverman (of Legendary Pink Dots) with SoriahAsian Women on the Telephone (from Moscow, Russia), Green Milk from the Planet Orange (from Tokyo, Japan), Santiago Latorre (from Chile), Zoe KeatingCrank SturgeonDaniel MencheBig City OrchestraKnotPineBoxEetJoy Wants EternityMattressMoodringDoug TheriaultBoyd Andersson & MukisMETALArgumentix with Kitty Midwife,Childhood FriendsIn Gowan RingShalloboiA: FrequencyMr. Pharmacist,Obe SkuplaL.A. LungsDerek M. Johnson (aka M.E. & Me)Eric and Ian OstrowskiPCRVStyrofoam SanchezSoup PurseOffset Needle Radius, Bob Bucko JR., The PassengersFrontal Lobe DevelopmentBlue Light CurtainMortal EnginesPaintings for AnimalsOctagon ControlThe VibrariansYour Drugs – My MoneyAbusive DelayMillion BraziliansNew Red SunJennifer Robin/Night of the Living TongueThat Stupid Love ExperienceHowlin’ Hounddogthe Easter Island ProjectIlima ConsidineAural Resuscitation Unit (ARU)Jackie An, Thollem McDonnas, Power CircusCallowMangled BohemiansPaco JonesToiletoothSky CHanceOverdose the Katatonic, and Boyband.

Guest artist/djs sitting in the booth for interview shenanigans include the likes of Chris McBeth from Beta-lactam Ring RecordsNoah Mickens, science fiction author and podcaster Douglas LainBig Tom the Lithuanian,The Tipton Saxophone Quartet, and probably others I’m forgetting.

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