Outgoing Local Shakedown host Amy Moore-Shipley on how to improve Denver's scene
Amy Moore-Shipley was the host of Radio 1190's Local Shakedown program from January 2012 through April 2014, but she's been in Colorado music a lot longer than that. She came to Colorado from her home state of Iowa as a music major at UNC before transferring to CU in Boulder. She had been raised on classical and jazz and was not necessarily the most knowledgeable person about popular music, but she got a job at Albums on the Hill and with it a crash course on multiple genres and styles of music. She became a DJ at 1190 and was quickly approached by the then program director Hannah Warner about filling the Local Shakedown slot vacated by Tiffanie Taylor. From there, Moore-Shipley was at the helm for a period where the show added an eclectic but carefully curated variety to its offerings as well as more in studio performances and compilations.
Nathan Dvořák Amy Moore-Shipley and Moki
Moore-Shipley has become a fixture in the Denver music community. Her confident on-air personality continued the program's strong tradition of hosts. A few weeks after she handed the reins over to Bree Davies (who is also a Westword contributor), we spoke with her about her tie on the show, what bands struck `her as the most interesting and impressive, how the local scene could be improved and her future plans.
How did you go about selecting stuff to play outside of what was suggested to you?
It had to be good. I would listen, but I think it was also about learning the networks -- this band likes this band, and that band likes that band...I would give it a try, but also my quality standards were still there. I think I do have a good ear...I played things that deserved to be shared, and I tried to not get stuck in one genre at all.
I think I could have probably done a lot better at that and maybe spent less time on media darlings. I could have gone more experimental, but it's also radio and you can't do that too much.
I had a band on almost every week, and my knowledge grew a little bit more and I was finding out about someone else to check out or whatever.
Who was your first guest?
I didn't book them, but Carbon Choir was already booked and they played. When Carbon Choir's final album came out, they invited me to Silo Studios and that was my first time at a studio. The first band that I think I booked was Le Divorce. That's when I first met Mike King. And it snowed that day. I think classes were canceled, and the UMC was closed down and they still came.
You have at least a semi-well-maintained archive of shows.
I have a lot to catch up on. In the past they tried -- Keegan Warner had a website he designed. Tiffanie Taylor had a Tumblr. Attempts were made, but what I pushed was the performance. I really love the studio performances and the interviews, and [I worked to] make that something that was a product.
So you did an interview with Carbon Choir that first time?
Yeah, I remember being really nervous and being at Abo's on the hill and prepping for it and thinking, "Whatever!" Because one thing Hannah always told me was, "The less you care, the better you'll be." That's something that stuck with me, because a lot of times my attitude was, "No one's listening." We didn't really know how many people do listen, and it could literally be two people. I was kind of sloppy and not always very prepared. And to do something consistently? I missed only a handful of shows that whole time -- if I get sad I'll give up on something. It forced me to not do that each week. I felt this commitment to the station, and I felt a commitment to the bands.
What did you do that you felt you did especially well?
Artist hospitality. You know, being someone who is down to earth and just appreciating what they're doing. Showing them a good time and having fun. When I lived in Boulder, a lot of times there were beers, and there was a certain vibe, and it was fun. I wanted bands to feel like they were coming for a good purpose and for something that wasn't an inconvenience for them.