21 July 2008

101.5 FM Disappoints

Why write a blog post when someone else has already done it for me?

When I saw the giant biillboard on 6th and Speer advertising "DENVER'S NEW INDEPENDENT ALTERNATIVE RADIO," I couldn't reprogram my car radio's preset fast enough. Alternative? Independent? It's about freakin' time!

What a gyp.

I'm not really sure what this station is an alternative TO, since it's basically playing the same music you'd hear on 93.3. I'm also not sure what they mean by "independent." Maybe they're not owned by Big Brother... oops, I mean Clear Channel. I have no clue.

Anyhow, where I was hoping to get some cool Indie-Rock by bands I could l later say that I'd heard of, "way before YOU did," I just got the same old blah. . . .

Not painful, but also nothing I'd really consider "Alternative" or "Independent." Probably worth three stars, but I'm docking them one more for two reasons:

1. They have a morning show. Nothing irks me more than contrived "witty banter" in the morning. Just play some damn music and shutthehellup.
2. Every single commercial break leads off with an ad for Scalp-Meds, so you can regrow your balding spot, ol' chap. Kind of makes me wonder who they think their target market actually is.


Seriously. The morning show is made up of a bunch of dorks who belong on an easy listening channel, the reception is full of static, the mix of songs played is tolerable but neither terribly independent nor alternative, and while it is an improvement upon the failed format of its predecessor, "The Martini," (which, at least, was different, even if it wasn't my thing), 101.5 FM is nothing to write home about. Why listen when 93.3 FM and 105.9 FM are doing essentially the same thing, but better, with less static? Indeed, 101.5 is less alternative and independent in its playlists than 93.3 FM (which has positioned itself as the most modern and alternative rock station in Denver on the FM dial) and is less well executed (but more similar in play list) to 105.9 FM (a glorified top 40 station).

If they'd advertised themselves in a way that better represented what they were doing, maybe something like "a modern music station you won't be ashamed to play in front of your kids," I might not have had such a visceral negative reaction. After all, history has not been kind to bolder experiments in Denver radio like a Reggatone channel (which my wife loved), and a Techno channel (which I was addicted to). Nielson establishes clearly that Denver radio audiences aren't interested in pushing the envelope. But this is pathetic.

Their website is here. Owner Denver Radio Company also owns 107.1 oneFM with another cast of dorky DJs and a half tolerable playlist, apparently designed to compete with 105.9 FM in the way that 101.5 FM is designed to compete with 93.3 FM.

6 comments:

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

It appears from the FCC listing that the owner is in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings under Chapter 11.

Wikipedia describes the format of the station under its new post-Martini branding as triple-A which is the same format as KBCO, something the marketing for the station does not communicate.

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me? 93.3 the most modern? 1 song an hour from the last 8 years does not make them modern. I'm wondering if Rage Against The Machine owns the station. Denver has the worst radio stations in the US. LONG LIVE SATTELITE RADIO!!!!

Jenni said...

Hey ... why don't you try giving the new station a chance to actually mature before you decide to play radio music god and decide what sucks and what doesn't.

The morning show is a bit ... well ... needs some work. However, jocks working together have to form chemistry and that takes time too. I'm not sure that blasting people that are attempting to entertain their listeners is going to accomplish much other than make the blaster look like an opinionated a**.

And even a better idea is just don't listen to the station.

Andrew*
If you want the "all dance all the time" station back, give Michael Knight a call. I'm sure he could hook you up with some 10 year old CD's, copy them into your media player, set on random and enjoy.

Anonymous*
Where on earth did you come up with such a clever line? "I'm wondering if Rage Against the Machine owns the station?" My guess is there was alcohol involved and when someone's drunk, they think everything they say is clever. Uh .. not so much.

As for Satellite radio, it's a lot like cable television. 160 channels but nothing worth while is ever on.

Joelito Nava said...

My Name is Joel Nava, and I aproved this massage (I mean message)

Hey Guys, Dont you realize that this radio stations are missing the essential formula of what people wants and waht makes a radio station succesfull? And it is good music. Period. Nothing else. The Problem with Sassi, and Martini formats was all about the ugly music that they were broadcasting, and I dont want to be pesimistic, but the same is going to happend with this new fotmants: One and Independent pieces of garbage. Of you don't play the best music for your audience, you are over the hill. And by the way, thre is not even a single radio station playing good music in Denver. All of them are the results of a corrupt business governed by the Indies and by the by the reacord labels.

Since I arrives here 17 years ago, I have been dreaming fo the radio station that will play only the besto songs ever made. But, that's just a dream. They play one good song and ten ugly ones. I think that the radio programmers have bugs on their ears, or may be they have very deep pockets where it deosn;t matter if the song is goood as long as it has paid its fee to be hurting our ears all the time.

Again my name is Joel Nava, and it has been a pleasure the meet you guys.

Joelito Nava said...

My Name is Joel Nava, and I aproved this massage (I mean message)

Hey Guys, Dont you realize that this radio stations are missing the essential formula of what people wants and waht makes a radio station succesfull? And it is good music. Period. Nothing else. The Problem with Sassi, and Martini formats was all about the ugly music that they were broadcasting, and I dont want to be pesimistic, but the same is going to happend with this new fotmants: One and Independent pieces of garbage. Of you don't play the best music for your audience, you are over the hill. And by the way, thre is not even a single radio station playing good music in Denver. All of them are the results of a corrupt business governed by the Indies and by the by the reacord labels.

Since I arrives here 17 years ago, I have been dreaming fo the radio station that will play only the besto songs ever made. But, that's just a dream. They play one good song and ten ugly ones. I think that the radio programmers have bugs on their ears, or may be they have very deep pockets where it deosn;t matter if the song is goood as long as it has paid its fee to be hurting our ears all the time.

Again my name is Joel Nava, and it has been a pleasure the meet you guys.

Anonymous said...

101.5 FM Disappoints, but nowhere near as much as all of the other corporate stations have been since being bought and losing their independence and souls. This is the closest thing we have to a decent radio station in Denver and, although I can think of many ways to improve it, I'm loving some new music and a break from the 20 song playlist that stations like ktcl are slinging. Kudos to 93.3 for backing local bands over the past few years, but otherwise their playlist sucks.