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If you build it, they will listen. A new Longmont radio station hits the waves

The 24-7 online-exclusive music station launched in August through Longmont Public Media
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Anthony Maine, LPMX station manager, works inside of the recording studio in Longmont Public Radio. LPMX is a new online music program for the non-profit media maker space. Photos by Ali Mai

A fresh radio station LPMX serves up music mixes with Longmont in mind. Its station manager 

Anthony Maine hopes that community members can find self-expression through the platform and not only be listeners, but also be participants.

The 24-7 online-exclusive music station launched in August through Longmont Public Media, or LPM, a nonprofit media makerspace. LPMX has playlists and pre-recorded DJ-hosted shows around the clock. On its daily schedules, listeners can expect a wide variety of music genres including classical, reggae, folk and ska.

Though LPM already routinely aired city government meetings, Maine, who also sits on the advisory board, said he wanted to add an audio entertainment option for listeners.

“At first they were just broadcasting the audio content from things that LPM already records for the city, like the city council meetings, and the commissions and hearings and so forth,” Maine said. “And when I found out about that I was like, wow, I think we can do something more interesting and something that would also be more interesting to the community and be a way to kind of raise awareness about Longmont Public Media in general.”

Maine said not enough locals are aware of the media makerspace located next to the Longmont Public Library. Inside the LPM building, members can access its educational services and learn about audio and video production. Its resources are free to the public with the community membership, with paid options granting greater access to equipment and studio hours. 

One LPMX show “The Daily Encounter” was curated specifically for Longmont’s storefronts. Maine describes it as easy-listening, retail-friendly music that airs daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. He plans on handing out small plaques with QR codes to businesses that use the playlist so listeners can check out the radio station.

Maine sees LPMX as a way to gain exposure for LPM and get involved. One avenue is producing a radio show for the station or submitting music. Interested parties are welcome to submit their broadcast idea to radio@longmontpublicmedia.org or using the submission form on LPM’s website.  

“If they're interested in creating their own show, either live or pre-recorded, or if they're musicians and they want their tracks to be played they can also email that. We're wide open as to what we can do,” Maine said. “Right now it's just about having programming up but we really are encouraging people in the community to get involved and to create their own shows and for it to be an outlet for their creativity.”

LPMX isn’t confined to one genre, with shows spanning the diverse spectrum of music. In its 24/7 programming, LPMX features daily playlists for every music listener. The early hours of the day are kicked off with the “Soul Food” playlist, full of 70s R&B tunes. It’s followed by chill acoustic songs in the “ManBun Coffee House” show and “90s at 9” before “The Daily Encounter” begins. 

Afternoon and evening listeners can expect jazz, folk and ska. The likes of Bach and Vivaldi can be heard during the “If It's Not Baroque Don’t Fix It” hour. Relaxing music in “Audio Quaalude” starts playing at 1 a.m. to lull still-awake listeners asleep. 

“I've always had a very wide, broad interest in different types of music. There's almost no music type that I don't like and I thought that this would be a great way to use that enthusiasm and that interest to increase LPM’s profile,” Maine said.

Besides daily music playlists, LPMX features pre-recorded DJ shows. Maine hosts “Sweet and Dandy” which explores the history of Reggae music and its impact on other musical genres. In “What I Listened to This Week,” which is also a video segment, LPM volunteers play a track before discussing the song.

“That's just made to spark interest in new kinds of music and show that there's an opportunity for people to participate in defining what's good music,” Maine said.

LPMX’s goal is to provide a great listening experience but ultimately circles back to getting the community involved in LPM. Maine hopes that new faces join him in the recording studio or another creative space inside the makerspace.

“For me, in general, the whole concept of a place for public access production is really critical to the ability of a community to thrive and to express itself,” Maine said. “Having that digital literacy enables citizens to be senders as well as receivers. And having the radio station having the podcast, and the TV studio and everything that we do, we see that as all going into that, that critical mission of creating opportunities for people to participate in their community, and to participate in the civic life of their community.”