Representational radio comes to Carbondale: CPR station with a focus on Colorado artists begins streaming on Roaring Fork airwaves
Colorado Public Radio’s Indie 102.3 FM station went live on May 26 to listeners in the Roaring Fork Valley. Now whether you’re driving to work or just want to get a taste of new artists local to Colorado, you can tune in to Carbondale’s 96.7 FM station, which will broadcast programs previously exclusive to the Front Range.
Program Director Will Carlan said the primary goal of Indie 102.3 is to give local artists a platform to share their work.
“We’re the youngest member of the family. … The brand of Indie 102.3 is just over two years old,” Carlan said.
When cultivating sets of music to go on air, Carlan said he and his team are conscious of the identities of the bands and artists they feature. They try to be as representational as possible when sharing their platform with local musicians.
“We try to check a lot of boxes. Our music mix, we think, is the best in the state. Like I said, we’re dedicated to the mission of showcasing Colorado artists and musicians,” Carlan said. “One of our missions is to offer diversity and inclusion to artists that might be marginalized. You know they won’t get played on a lot of radio stations. A lot of other radio stations don’t pay attention to race and gender equality. We really put a lot of thought into the mix of music that we play here.”
The station was previously under Colorado Public Radio as OpenAir, and while the style of the station changed drastically in the rebranding, Carlan said they do have longtime listeners from that era who continue tuning in.
“The station used to be called OpenAir. It was formatted very differently. … We rebranded as Indie 102.3 two Julys ago. … There are longtime listeners who’ve been listening to Colorado radio’s 102.3 frequency who have stuck with us all through the rebranding and the change, and they seem to love what we’ve been doing,” Carlan said.
The station’s Assistant Program Director, Bruce Trujillo, said she grew up in Glenwood Springs and is excited to join the public and community stations already present in the Roaring Fork Valley. She also said she hopes their station serves as a way for more Western Slope residents to hop on the train of new music discovery.
“(We play) at least one Colorado artist every single hour every single day. And that is from all around Colorado. Obviously a heavy focus on Denver bands, but we also play bands up and down the Front Range and are always looking for bands on the Western Slope to support,” Trujillo said.
Especial, one of 102.3 FM’s many shows, is hosted by Trujillo on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. and Sunday nights at 6 p.m. She said on top of playing new music, she looks to encompass all kinds of genres from individuals of Latin American descent.
“There’s this conception that indie is dominated by white males, and that’s simply not the case. I am a huge proponent of making sure we are playing as many femme bands as possible, as many Black, indigenous, other people of color on air as much as possible,” Trujillo said.
Some of the bands listeners can expect to hear if they tune into Especial are Chicano Batman, Y La Bamba, Helado Negro and local acts like Los Mocochetes (who have performed in Basalt and Aspen), Pink Hawks and Lolita. While a lot of the show is in Spanish, Trujillo said she’ll speak Spanglish while hosting, and anyone can listen in and find something they’ll enjoy.
“There’s a little something for everybody, and we do have some songs that are in Spanish that are in regular rotation. Which is very exciting. It’s really an invitation to discover and learn more about what’s happening in our communities and beyond. Because this music is being put out there, it’s still really good, it just happens to be sung in Spanish,” Trujillo said.
For musicians and bands interested in being featured on 102.3 FM, Trujillo and Carlan said it’s a simple submission process that can be done on their website. Carlan said he’s ready to expand their listener base and looks forward to the response they’ll get from the Roaring Fork Valley.
“I hope the Roaring Fork folks embrace us as we’ve been embraced here in Denver,” Carlan said.
Reporter Jessica Peterson can be reached at 970-279-3462 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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