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.