New radio station opens its airwaves in Denver
Go on and breathe the Openair
Published: Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 01:11
Something rare has been going on this past month in Denver—and it isn't a sports championship or regular weather
It's actually happening on the airwaves, a place many of us might not have paid that much attention to recently. Last month, a new radio station started broadcasting for the ears of Denverites, playing a hodgepodge of local, indie, and alternative music.
At 6 a.m. on Halloween, Colorado Public Radio launched a new radio station called OpenAir, broadcasting on 1340 AM and online at openaircpr.org. The station opened up its airwaves with the song "Colorado" by Paper Bird, then continued with songs by Nathaniel Rateliff, Lykke Li, Sufjan Stevens, and indie favorites like Sonic Youth.
With many radio stations owned and operated by big corporations that don't always have local listeners in mind, few cities have the liberty to air local and alternative music, which makes this kind of radio station a rare treat.
Only a month old, OpenAir is doing what any newborn radio station would do: build up their library of music. What the station really aims to do first and foremost is broadcast new and local indie and alternative music. They will also play some material from the last 15 years, like Tegan and Sara, The Strokes, and Pixies. Just a handful of music will be from artists from deep in the past who have inspired modern music like Pink Floyd, The Stooges, and Van Morrison.
"OpenAir is a natural extension of CPR's mission to offer an in-depth exploration of music," said Mike Flanagan, the program director behind the launch of OpenAir. "So, in a given hour you might hear a mixture of rock, country, soul, folk, world, roots, and blues. It'll be a fun and educational destination, complete with interviews, performances from OpenAir's studio, vinyl classics, and much more."
All the citizens of Denver are welcome to listen to OpenAir, but with most of the staff being in their 20s and early 30s, the station is geared more toward Denver's younger adults. Since it is also online at openaircpr.org, it caters to the lifestyle many people have adopted in the last 10 years or so.
OpenAir is a part of Colorado Public Radio, which is made possible by the Denver community and its 38,000 members, 400 plus businesses, and several dozen foundations that support its efforts. With this new station, CPR has broadened its airwaves beyond the usual news and classical music stations. As hardcore CPR listeners might know, 1340 AM used to be a simulcast of the news station KCFR 90.1 FM, so it likely wasn't much of a budget stretch for CPR to create a new station.
OpenAir on 1340 AM is an opportunity for Denver listeners to form a relationship with local music, an opportunity many people in the rest of the country don't have. So, don't forget to tune in and support Denver's up-and-coming and talented musicians.