OpenAir Digital Producer
Twitter @OpenAirCPR
Daniel Mescher

Daniel Mescher is the digital producer for Indie 102.3. He has produced Inside Track and contributes to CPR News’ Colorado Matters program.

Education:
Bachelor’s degree in psychology and statistics, Northwestern University.

Professional background:
Daniel joined CPR in October 2013 as digital producer for OpenAir. Prior to that, he interned for WXRT in Chicago and also served as business manager and student DJ for WNUR in Evanston, IL. More recently, Daniel was a Blueprint Math Fellow in the Denver Public School System and also provided support as an OpenAir volunteer.

Q & A

How did you become interested in music?
My first foray into rock music came via the Beatles. “Breakfast with the Beatles,” hosted by Terri Hemmert on WXRT, became an unbreakable Sunday morning ritual. The Beatles led to the Stones who led to the Clash who led to Joy Division, and so on and so on. Somewhere in there I bought a guitar and taught myself to play along with Dad’s Neil Young records, sealing my passion for music forevermore.

How did you get into radio?
I remember staying up late listening to stations like WXRT in Chicago, eagerly awaiting song after song and recording my favorite tracks onto cassette tape (this was around the turn of the millennium, so I was a little behind the time with technology as a kid).

My older brother went off to college when I was in middle school. When he came back home to visit, he detailed how he became involved with his campus’ student-run station. So on my very first day of college I sought out the student radio station and found work as an apprentice on a show dedicated to the music of Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart, a program for which I eventually took over hosting duties. My radio story came full circle when I found an internship with XRT, the very station that sparked my interest as a rabid young music fan.

As a music radio employee, my goal is and always will be to spread the joy that I received on those late nights hunched over my stereo.

How did you end up at CPR?
I moved to Colorado after graduating college to work as a full-time math tutor. As summer approached and school would soon be out of session, I decided to reach out to CPR about writing for OpenAir. I worked as a volunteer for several months generating digital content and supporting the station at events like the UMS and Raise the Roof before joining full-time. I am so grateful and lucky to work at a station as remarkable as Colorado Public Radio and I am certainly glad for my initial decision to get involved as a volunteer.

Favorite music?
This is always a difficult question, but my stock answer is: whatever moves me, be it emotionally or physically.

  • Instant Empire took a unique approach to putting out new music last year. The Denver indie rock band wrote, recorded and released one new song each month of 2018. Now, the band members have compiled those tracks into the new album "Cathedrals." Instant Empire made its fourth visit to the CPR Performance Studio last month. The band members played four songs and spoke with Jeremy Petersen about the rationale behind their strategy last year, the challenges of writing to meet a deadline and how their lyrics became more personal.
    <p>Instant Empire</p>
<p>Instant Empire</p>
  • Flaural last visited us in 2017 with ambitions for a debut album. The Denver rock quartet's plan took a bit longer than anticipated, but after multiple U.S. tours and recording sessions, it released the aptly-titled "Postponement" last month. The album features the layered guitar and synth sound that has won the band praise from publications like Stereogum. Flaural returned to play three songs from "Postponement" in our studio. The band members also spoke with Jeremy Petersen about recording the album in Oakland and Denver, how fans like to listen to their music while running and why they love touring the West Coast.
    <p>Flaural</p>
<p>Flaural</p>
  • Get the scoop on UMS, Westword Music Showcase and more live music events coming to the Centennial state in the next few months.
    <p>Superchunk performs on the Main Stage at UMS 2018</p>
<p>Superchunk performs on the Main Stage at UMS 2018</p>
  • Extra Gold released its debut album, "High & Lonesome," late last year. Evan Holm fronts the Denver country-western band and draws on his experiences living in Kansas City and across Colorado on the record's eight tracks. Extra Gold stopped into the CPR Performance Studio to play four songs from "High & Lonesome." Holm also spoke with Alisha Sweeney about how the band came together from a weekly residence at Denver's Syntax Physic Opera, working with producer and former Paper Bird member Mark Anderson, and the band's busy summer schedule.
    <p>Extra Gold</p>
<p>Extra Gold</p>
  • Heavy Diamond Ring is a new project from Sarah Anderson and Paul DeHaven, founders of the Colorado folk band Paper Bird. The band finds the musicians continuing their 12 year collaboration after Paper Bird's split in 2017. Heavy Diamond Ring celebrates the release of its debut album with a June 7 show at Denver's Larimer Lounge, presented by OpenAir. Heavy Diamond Ring stopped into the CPR Performance Studio to play three songs from the album. The band members also spoke with Alisha Sweeney about why they love writing songs together, filming a music video in Ohio and recording with producer Mark Anderson, Sarah's brother and a former Paper Bird member.
    <p>Heavy Diamond Ring</p>
<p>Heavy Diamond Ring</p>
  • Before a solo show at the Bluebird Theater, he stopped into the CPR Performance Studio to play some acoustic music, including two new songs and a classic from his debut album.
    <p>Pete Yorn</p>
<p>Pete Yorn</p>
  • Knuckle Pups haven't been around long, but the band is already making waves beyond the Colorado music scene. Featuring former members of Denver band Mega Gem, the indie pop quintet released its debut EP "San Panino," last year. A gig at the Treefort Music Festival in Boise, Idaho, followed a few months later. Knuckle Pups stopped into our studio last week to play four songs. The members also spoke with Alisha Sweeney about how the band came together, their love for punk rock and their experience at Treefort.
    <p>Knuckle Pups</p>
<p>Knuckle Pups</p>
  • Black Belt Eagle Scout's "Mother of My Children" is the remarkable indie rock debut album from the Portland, Ore., band. At the time of its recording, Black Belt Eagle Scout was just one person: singer-songwriter Katherine Paul, who played every instrument on the album. She originally released it in 2017, and it soon caught the attention of renowned indie label Saddle Creek, who re-released it last year. Since then, the band has expanded to a quartet. Black Belt Eagle Scout visited the CPR Performance Studio before a show at Denver's Larimer Lounge with Julia Jacklin. The band played four songs, including a couple new tracks, and Paul spoke with Bruce Trujillo about why she started the project after playing drums in several Portland bands, the Pacific Northwest music scene and recording the album on the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community reservation in Washington where she grew up.
    <p>Black Belt Eagle Scout</p>
<p>Black Belt Eagle Scout</p>
  • Denver band iZCALLi recently released its fifth studio album, "Casa de Papel." Shortly before the album's release show, the Latin psych-rock band made its third appearance in our performance studio. iZCALLi played four songs from the new record. The members also spoke with Bruce Trujillo about consistently writing new music to "stay fresh," working with producer Tyler Imbrogno of Denver band Eldren and performing at a Colorado Rockies game last year.
    <p>iZCALLi</p>
<p>iZCALLi</p>
  • Roger Sellers has made electronic music for several years, first under his own name and currently as Bayonne. The Austin, Texas, musician released his sophomore Bayonne album, "Drastic Measures," earlier this year. The record finds Sellers singing about life on the road as a touring musician while adding pop-inspired choruses into his loop-based music. Bayonne stopped into the CPR Performance Studio before a show at Denver's Lost Lake. Sellers played four songs from "Drastic Measures" with drummer Ryan Heath and spoke with Alisha Sweeney about his love for musical repetition, his upcoming summer music festival gigs and creating his own hot sauce brand.
    <p>Bayonne</p>
<p>Bayonne</p>
  • Austen Carroll Grafa stays busy in the Colorado music scene as frontman for Grayson County Burn Ban and bassist for Bud Bronson & the Good Timers. The Denver musician just released his debut solo EP, "Do It While You Can." Grafa cites singer-songwriters who infuse humor into their lyrics like John Prine and Robert Earl Keen as influences on the record. Grafa and his band visited our studio last month to play some new songs from "Do It While You Can." He also spoke with Alisha Sweeney about his decision to go solo, writing about his home state of Texas and the country-western scene in Denver.
    <p>Austen Carroll Grafa</p>
<p>Austen Carroll Grafa</p>
  • Montview Presbyterian Church commemorates the jazz legend's visit with a performance of his "Second Sacred Concert" on Sunday.
    <p>Duke Ellington performed his Second Sacred Concert at Denver's Montview Presbyterian Church on Sept. 27, 1969.</p>
<p>Duke Ellington performed his Second Sacred Concert at Denver's Montview Presbyterian Church on Sept. 27, 1969.</p>
  • Aly Spaltro released "Even in the Tremor," her third album as Lady Lamb, earlier this month. The New York-based singer-songwriter takes plenty of musical twists and turns in her music, shifting from charming and lively pop to contemplative folk at a moment's notice. The connecting thread is Spaltro's poetic and reflective lyrics. Spaltro visited our studio to play four songs from "Even in the Tremor" on acoustic guitar with bandmate Marian Li Pino on backing vocals.
    <p>Lady Lamb</p>
<p>Lady Lamb</p>
  • The Copper Children formed in 2015 when frontman Zea Stallings booked a performance at the Gothic Theatre and needed a band to back him. Since then the Denver group has released three albums that blend jam, folk and psychedelic rock, the most recent of which is "Speaking in Spirits." The Copper Children visited the CPR Performance Studio before an album release show at Denver's Larimer Lounge. The members played three songs from "Speaking in Spirits" and spoke with Bruce Trujillo about the band's origin story, how they view their music as prayer and writing lyrics spontaneously during jam sessions.
    <p>The Copper Children</p>
<p>The Copper Children</p>
  • The members of Oko Tygra shared their hypnotic, '80s-influenced dream pop in our studio four years ago. Since then the Denver quartet -- led by singer and guitarist Joshua Novak -- has remained relatively quiet, playing intermittent local shows and working on new music. The band is back in the local spotlight this month with the release of its debut album, "Assistoma." Oko Tygra recently returned to the CPR Performance Studio. The band members played three songs and spoke with Jeremy Petersen about why they don't play as many concerts as some bands, the years of work that went into "Assistoma" and the themes of solitude and isolation behind the new music.
    <p>Oko Tygra</p>
<p>Oko Tygra</p>