When Boulderites need a fix of local and independent music, they turn the AM dial to 1190.
First and foremost, Radio 1190 is what locals get when they tune into 1190 AM or radio1190.org. It’s the best bet for a wide variety of musical genres on the local dial, broadcasting everything you want to hear along with their picks for best music you’ve never heard of. The programs are all DJ’d or hosted by CU students and local personalities.
The station is literally underground, located in the basement of the University Memorial Center, and in a radio market saturated with Top 40 and country, the music selection is relatively underground, too.
Just glance at their programming schedule provides the proof. They feature blocks of underground hip hop (Basementalism), rockabilly (Sock Hop), bhangra (Beats From The East), garage, punk and psych (Psychotic Reaction), and vinyl obscurities (12 x 33). And that’s less than half of the themed programming.
There’s also a thrice-weekly, hour-long news broadcast, called News Underground, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6 p.m.
Though the station is at the heart of what Radio 1190 does, it’s certainly not the only thing. The words “Radio 1190 Presents” can be spotted on concert listings all over Boulder and Denver, and radio1190.org offers playlists and album reviews.
Heading into the 2013-14 school year, CU’s independent radio station is turning up the volume with upgrades and remodeling. The CU Student Government approved $25,000 for 1190 that general manager Mikey Goldenberg said will help bring the station “up to a point that mimics or mirrors the professional world of broadcasting.”
“One of our biggest goals is to — along side of plugging into the community and the music scene — expand our educational opportunities to CU students,” Goldenberg said. “Being on the air, social media, engineering, journalism, photography, videography that will allow students to have a real world platform in which to showcase their talents.”
This year’s remodeling is just one phase of the improvements the station has been making in the last few years. In 2012-13, Radio 1190 rolled out a redesigned website with a strengthened focus on the station’s web content — more music reviews, blogging, SoundCloud posts, and videos of in-studio performances. The idea is to connect all of the content. Something heard on the radio can be linked to a video of a performance and/or a Q&A on the site, for example.
All of this is accomplished with tons of hard work from CU students, who get the opportunity to learn hands-on in a professional environment. The skills they learn, whether they’re on the air or behind the scenes, are many. Goldenberg said they’re working with musicians and venues, keeping blogs active, highlighting community events, putting a spotlight on local and national artists the station plays and educating listeners and readers with concert and album reviews.
“Our biggest goal is to get more involvement from students and to create a bigger footprint and presence in Boulder and Denver, and letting people know — both our existing listeners and those not familiar– that we’re a big independent resource,” Goldenberg said.
This article was originally published on the Colorado Daily.