INDIE 102.3 LOCAL MUSIC DIRECTOR ALISHA SWEENEY TALKS ABOUT DENVER’S MUSIC SCENE, THIS YEAR’S B-SIDE, AND WHAT LED TO HER CAREER IN RADIO
By Courtney Law
Published Issue 081, September 2020
This summer, MCA Denver and Colorado Public Radio’s Indie 102.3 partnered to present B-Side Music Fridays virtually. This is an excerpt from a recent interview with Indie 102.3 Host and Local Music Director, Alisha Sweeney.
We recently asked Indie 102.3‘s Local Music Director, Alisha Sweeney, about the B-Side artists selected, Denver’s music scene, and about her early musical experiences.
Each Friday in July and August, Indie 102.3 and MCA Denver premiered an exclusive concert video filmed on the rooftop of the museum. These videos can be found on the Indie 102.3 Facebook page, NPR Music Live Sessions, and MCA Denver’s YouTube Channel.
What was the first album you bought yourself? How old were you?
When I was in elementary school I proudly bought the cassette tape to De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising at Kmart as a way to impress my older siblings so that I would be allowed to go into my brother’s bedroom and use the cassette player. It worked for a short while; I still have the tape
What artists or albums influenced your desire to make a career in music?
By the time I was a college DJ I was enamored by many obscure indie bands that I would play on the radio. I loved learning about bands and sharing that knowledge on-air; it was exciting to go and see them in concert too. College radio also gifted me with a voice to connect with local bands and early on The Apples in Stereo, Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, Dressy Bessy, and The Czars were the biggest local celebrities to me.
What was your first music-related job? What was it like for you?
My first music-related job was Morning Show Host at the University of Colorado’s student-run radio station, Radio 1190, in Boulder. I was young and enthusiastic and I remember going to host my first shift and when I got back home, my roommates who were older than me and I looked up to so much were like, “You’re pretty good, I thought you would be laughing or giggling the whole time.
What’s your favorite part of Denver’s music scene?
Good people. I am inspired by the creativity that comes from every aspect of our scene from songwriters, bandmates, composers, label owners, engineers, producers, venue operators, record store employees, luthiers, bouncers, videographers, photographers, DJs, graphic designers, dancers, managers, bartenders, fans; our scene is collaborative and brings so many wonderfully good people together and no matter what the genre is, we are all connected because our love of music
Tell us about B-Side Music Fridays and why CPR partnered with MCA Denver this year.
I have been wanting to collaborate with MCA Denver for years and am so happy this is happening. Specifically, B-Side Music Fridays, has been a summertime series I look forward to attending every year. At Indie 102.3 we felt it especially important to partner with MCA during this unprecedented time to make sure the series happened and safely. What is cool is that it’s even more accessible for all to attend — both to watch on Facebook or listen to it on the radio
What kind of music can people expect to hear?
We’ve helped curate some exciting voices out of Colorado including emerging acts like Latin electro-pop band Neoma, singer-songwriter Ella Luna, indie rockers Orca Welles and exciting R&B performances from The Grand Alliance and Adiel Mitchell. You can also expect engaging sets from local powerhouses Esmé Patterson, Wildermiss, The Yawpers, and Ned Garthe Explosion. There’s a little something for everyone.
To read this full interview and find interviews with other artists, visit mcadenver.org/blog. To learn more about Denver’s local music scene and listen to live and recorded programming, visit www.cpr.org/indie.
Courtney Law is the Director of Communications and Experience at MCA Denver.