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It's not often that we hear from DU's online student radio station, KVDU. But for more than a year now, the station has hosted a greatest-hits collection of local bands for an interview and in-studio performance series. Series curators Eric Peterson, of local bands Old Radio and Houses, and Whitney Van Cleave (who, in the interest of full disclosure, is a former Westword intern) hand-picked the best of the sessions and sent them to Chicago for mastering.
The resulting compilation is startlingly high-quality, given that it was mixed on the fly by Peterson on cobbled-together equipment. The lineup is even more impressive, and includes tracks from now-defunct bands Everything Absent or Distorted (a love story) and Hearts of Palm (who performed a previously unreleased track). Joining them are Blue Million Miles, Paper Bird, the Knew, the Kissing Party, Jen Korte and the Loss, Brothers O'Hair, Dualistics, Pee Pee, Old Radio, Vitamins and Widowers.
We spoke with Peterson about the comp, the musical disconnect between DU and Denver, and what makes the local scene tick.
Westword: What made you guys decide to do this compilation?
Eric Peterson: It was kind of the idea from the beginning. Basically, there's this huge cultural disconnect between the University of Denver and the city of Denver. So nobody at DU goes to shows of Denver bands, and Denver bands never come to DU to play shows. We wanted to bridge that gap a little bit and do the live shows where we'd interview the bands and have them do a set on air, with the goal of eventually releasing them all online to stream. But also a physical compilation that we could use for commercial purposes.
The joint release show with Mike Marchant should be a lot of fun.
Should be. Hopefully it will be good. We're going to be bringing a lot of DU students to the hi-dive, and they never get there. It's probably not music they've ever heard before, so I don't know if they're going to stick around. We'll see.
What do you see as the relationship between DU and the Denver music scene?
There are some connections. There are a lot of people in the music community who are from DU or have connections to DU, but whenever there are events on campus that campus organizations put on, there are three or four bands that they go to to have play those events, and those are all DU bands. What would be great is if Denver bands could get in on those DU events, and if DU students could see Denver bands. I'm just not seeing that happen very much right now.
What is it that you hope this compilation will accomplish?
At this point it's...maybe not a last-ditch effort, but a concentrated effort to get DU more aware of the Denver music community. It'll basically promote Denver bands to DU.
I don't think this happens consciously, but there is an almost clique-y culture to Denver bands.
I totally agree. It's because Denver is a small town masquerading as a big city. Everyone in the music community is basically friends. Which is how we book most of the bands. It's like, "Hey, do you want to play this thing?"