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Serious about music

Cassie Pence
AE Minturn Radio1 SM 8-10-06
ALL |

MINTURN – Patrick Cassidy was sick of the music on the radio. Seeking an escape, he walked into a record store, paced up and down the Latin section, until finally picking at random Tito Puente’s “Dancemania Vol. 1.”The album sparked a Latin fire in Cassidy. From Puente, he discovered mambo and salsa and began exploring the side projects of Puente’s band members. With Cassidy’s ears wide open, the music web continued to expand, braiding merengue, vianato and cha-cha-cha into the weave. “It changed my life,” Cassidy said. “I feel like it filled this giant hole in my heart.”His passion quickly became an obsession, which threw him behind the turntables at dance clubs hosting Latin nights. Now DJ Patricio is sharing his love over the airwaves on Radio Free Minturn, hosting “Latin Persuasion” every Monday at 9 p.m. “When you go to a record store and see all these unfamiliar faces and names in Spanish, it’s hard to know what to buy,” Cassidy said. “I’m glad to have this format because I can play the music and explain the music in English.”Radio Free Minturn officially hit the airwaves June 23 on 107.9-FM (call letters KLNX). One of the station’s main goals is to play music that represents the community – not the corporate sponsors and big record labels.

The commercial-free, nonprofit station had been in the works for nearly eight years. After an arduous application process, fundraising, building a studio, installing tower equipment and wading through the final Federal Communication Commission’s licensing process, the handful of dedicated volunteers have the station up and running. Now, instead of dead air space, local personalities are broadcasting their favorite music to listeners in Minturn, Avon, Eagle-Vail and Vail from a tiny studio in downtown Minturn. In between songs, DJs give background on the artists and make public service announcements on traffic delays, weather andcommunity events.When there isn’t a live person in the studio, an automated system plays carefully selected playlists from a database of about 40,000 songs culled from personal collections. The station’s goal is to fill every time slot with a live person, and RFM is currently looking for more DJs. As RFM Board President Leo Spaziani said, commercial free should translate into 10 times the amount of music played.”In the grand scheme of things, this valley could be a lot worse off with what it had,” Spaziani said. “There was an element of corporate playlists going on, and what music the average person is interested in was not being represented.”On any given day, listeners can tune into RFM and hear more than a dozen different styles of music from rock ‘n’ roll to reggae to Americana to indie pop. Spaziani, aka DJ Skillboy, plays a little bit of everything, he said, on his show “Revolutions 33 and a 3rd.” This week, one might have heard hip-hop, Spear Head, Jurassic-5, new music, singer-songwriters or Black Sabbath all in the same hour.”It’s all very loose. It’s stuff I’m comfortable with. Stuff I enjoy. Stuff I am turned on to. It’s new and interesting and should be shared with people,” Spaziani said.DJ DW Washburn said spinning music in the 4-foot-by-8-foot closet studio reminds him when he was 13 years old. He would take his entire allowance to buy 1960s’ psychedelic rock albums, sit in his room with the lights off and candles burning and just jam out. His musical taste has evolved to love the lesser-known indie bands, and he plays them Monday through Wednesday at 4 p.m. on his show “Indie Indeed.””I have this habit when an artist becomes popular – and this is a horrible habit – I stop listening to them,” DW Washburn said, whose full-time job is with the Vail Daily’s marketing department. He mentions Creed as a band he had to turn off, and now he’s into groups like Apples in Stereo and Neutral Milk Hotel, among many, many others.DJ RadChad hosts a similar show, “Rock and Roll and The Truth,” where he plays “stuff people aren’t hearing anywhere else.” “Commercial radio is all crap,” RadChad said. “If you want to hear Tom Petty at the same time every day – then tune in. But that isn’t for me. (Radio Free Minturn) gets people listening to a ton of new music, and that’s big for me.”RadChad said he has about 160,000 to 200,000 songs on his laptop – and that’s just his digital collection. Addicted to live music, he’s spent time touring with Phish, but his latest three favorite bands are Tapes ‘n Tapes, Jim Noir and Bishop Allen.”I love music so much I just can’t get enough,” RadChad said. “I thrive on going to live shows and stinky clubs.” The feedback from Radio Free Minturn’s first month has been overwhelming, Spaziani said. People call the station all the time to find out what song was played and who wrote it so they can go buy the album.”It’s really bringing together the music community,” Liz Campbell said, who with her husband, Tim, have been a part of Radio Free Minturn since the very beginning.The RFM community doesn’t want to stop with the music. Its long-term goals include on-air musician interviews, community news and most importantly education.”One of the premises of our mission is education,” Spaziani said. “To give experience not only to people in the studio, but to outreach to schools, young people with an interest in broadcasting, to teach classes in high schools. It’s a very high priority for us. It’s a multi-faceted asset to the community.”On Saturday, RFM is throwing a party at the Minturn Saloon to raise money to help achieve more of the station’s goals, but the event is also just pure celebration.”We’ve been stopping and starting, stopping and starting for the last eight years, and it’s finally here,” Spaziani said. “It feels a little anti-climactic. We want to have a throw down to invite the people who supported us and just have fun. Come celebrate the launch and amazing resource that belongs to everyone in the valley.”Listen up, radio landWhat: Radio Free Minturn On-air CelebrationWhen: 8 p.m. Saturday Where: Minturn SaloonCost: $10 donation, includes two beer ticketsInformation: Local band Schwing Daddy and All Strung Out will perform.There will be giveaways and a silent auction throughout the night. Call the studio at 827-9079.What is Low Power FM?Radio Free Minturn operates on Low Power FM (LPFM) radio service, which was created by the Federal Communications Commission in January 2000. These stations are authorized for noncommercial educational broadcasting only (no commercial operation) and operate with an effective radiated power (ERP) of 100 watts (0.1 kilowatts) or less. Radio Free Minturn operates on 28 watts. Vail, Colorado

The commercial-free, nonprofit station had been in the works for nearly eight years. After an arduous application process, fundraising, building a studio, installing tower equipment and wading through the final Federal Communication Commission’s licensing process, the handful of dedicated volunteers have the station up and running. Now, instead of dead air space, local personalities are broadcasting their favorite music to listeners in Minturn, Avon, Eagle-Vail and Vail from a tiny studio in downtown Minturn. In between songs, DJs give background on the artists and make public service announcements on traffic delays, weather andcommunity events.When there isn’t a live person in the studio, an automated system plays carefully selected playlists from a database of about 40,000 songs culled from personal collections. The station’s goal is to fill every time slot with a live person, and RFM is currently looking for more DJs. As RFM Board President Leo Spaziani said, commercial free should translate into 10 times the amount of music played.”In the grand scheme of things, this valley could be a lot worse off with what it had,” Spaziani said. “There was an element of corporate playlists going on, and what music the average person is interested in was not being represented.”On any given day, listeners can tune into RFM and hear more than a dozen different styles of music from rock ‘n’ roll to reggae to Americana to indie pop. Spaziani, aka DJ Skillboy, plays a little bit of everything, he said, on his show “Revolutions 33 and a 3rd.” This week, one might have heard hip-hop, Spear Head, Jurassic-5, new music, singer-songwriters or Black Sabbath all in the same hour.”It’s all very loose. It’s stuff I’m comfortable with. Stuff I enjoy. Stuff I am turned on to. It’s new and interesting and should be shared with people,” Spaziani said.DJ DW Washburn said spinning music in the 4-foot-by-8-foot closet studio reminds him when he was 13 years old. He would take his entire allowance to buy 1960s’ psychedelic rock albums, sit in his room with the lights off and candles burning and just jam out. His musical taste has evolved to love the lesser-known indie bands, and he plays them Monday through Wednesday at 4 p.m. on his show “Indie Indeed.””I have this habit when an artist becomes popular – and this is a horrible habit – I stop listening to them,” DW Washburn said, whose full-time job is with the Vail Daily’s marketing department. He mentions Creed as a band he had to turn off, and now he’s into groups like Apples in Stereo and Neutral Milk Hotel, among many, many others.DJ RadChad hosts a similar show, “Rock and Roll and The Truth,” where he plays “stuff people aren’t hearing anywhere else.” “Commercial radio is all crap,” RadChad said. “If you want to hear Tom Petty at the same time every day – then tune in. But that isn’t for me. (Radio Free Minturn) gets people listening to a ton of new music, and that’s big for me.”RadChad said he has about 160,000 to 200,000 songs on his laptop – and that’s just his digital collection. Addicted to live music, he’s spent time touring with Phish, but his latest three favorite bands are Tapes ‘n Tapes, Jim Noir and Bishop Allen.”I love music so much I just can’t get enough,” RadChad said. “I thrive on going to live shows and stinky clubs.” The feedback from Radio Free Minturn’s first month has been overwhelming, Spaziani said. People call the station all the time to find out what song was played and who wrote it so they can go buy the album.”It’s really bringing together the music community,” Liz Campbell said, who with her husband, Tim, have been a part of Radio Free Minturn since the very beginning.The RFM community doesn’t want to stop with the music. Its long-term goals include on-air musician interviews, community news and most importantly education.”One of the premises of our mission is education,” Spaziani said. “To give experience not only to people in the studio, but to outreach to schools, young people with an interest in broadcasting, to teach classes in high schools. It’s a very high priority for us. It’s a multi-faceted asset to the community.”On Saturday, RFM is throwing a party at the Minturn Saloon to raise money to help achieve more of the station’s goals, but the event is also just pure celebration.”We’ve been stopping and starting, stopping and starting for the last eight years, and it’s finally here,” Spaziani said. “It feels a little anti-climactic. We want to have a throw down to invite the people who supported us and just have fun. Come celebrate the launch and amazing resource that belongs to everyone in the valley.”Vail, Colorado


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