On Wednesday, Pitchfork posted an article titled “Does College Radio Even Matter Anymore.” If you haven’t read it yet, Kevin Lozano walks through the ins-and-outs of college radio history and finally decides: yes, there is still a place for college radio. Of course, we at Radio 1190 knew this all along. Radio 1190 gives us an independent voice to express what we love, how we think, and what we’re excited about. There’s so much content being created today–more than ever before. Staying on top of everything is an immeasurable challenge; one that no one is able to do alone.
We rely on all sorts of platforms to find content. Algorithms based on Spotify saves, Facebook likes, Twitter mentions, geography, the list goes on. The thing that separates college radio from these platforms is the thing that matters: the human element. I, for one, trust a friend far more than a machine. When you tune into college radio, you have a direct connection with someone relatable, someone interested in the same things as you, and someone living in the same world you are. This week, I’m highlighting “Interstellar Transmissions” and “Strike a Match” from Sacred Paws. One’s a much-beloved weekly radio show on Radio 1190, and one’s a soon-to-be-loved release from a British long-distance group. Both are hallmarks of college radio in all its glory.
Grace Cho hosts “Interstellar Transmissions” Saturdays from 8-9. She’s a self-described alien girl traveling through space, listening to earth’s music for the first time. Do you remember the first time you heard The Beatles? The Velvet Underground? The show happens through “log entries” wherein Grace floats through different sounds, concepts, poems, and ideas as though she’s never encountered them before. Tuning in is a transcendent experience. The listener joins Grace in outer space, finding things for the first time and discovering classics in a new light. It’s an exploration of this world we live in, what we’re surrounded by, and what’s come before us. Last week, she played Laurie Anderson, Slint, and Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra. What will she play next? You’ll have to tune in to find out.
My favorite thing we’re spinning on Radio 1190 right now is “Strike a Match” from Sacred Paws. They’re a group that stretches from Glasgow to London, long-distance transmissions of pure joy and excitement. “Strike a Match” features polyrhythmic vocals and jubilant guitar melodies that surround and caress the listener with tenderness and warmth. It’s an idiosyncratic record which doesn’t quite sound like anything else. Listening is truly an experience, and you can hear it all the time on Radio 1190.
These two things are both unique to college radio. Experimental audio projects and underground releases are the norm. College radio is a place of unwavering creativity and expression, a place set apart from all others. Find it. Tune into Radio 1190 on 1190 AM in Denver or 98.9FM in Boulder.