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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Local Music Spotlight: The Palimpsest Group expands its reach with TPG Radio

UPDATED: Thu., Jan. 20, 2022

Luis Mota and Norman Robbins, co-founders of the Palimpsest Group, recently launched TPG Radio as an outlet for local music.  (Brandon Vasquez)
Luis Mota and Norman Robbins, co-founders of the Palimpsest Group, recently launched TPG Radio as an outlet for local music. (Brandon Vasquez)
By Julien A. Luebbers For The Spokesman-Review

About one year ago, The Spokesman-Review asked Luis Mota, a co-founder of the Palimpsest Group – a local entertainment organization – why he had decided to make TPG his career: “I want to share my knowledge that I’ve gained through the years of being in the music industry,” he replied without hesitation.

That grassroots-driven philosophy has powered Mota and co-founder Norman Robbins’ group through numerous major projects and several smaller events. Just last November, the duo announced their latest escapade: the brand new TPG Radio.

An internet-based radio station, TPG Radio takes full advantage of the group’s assets and expertise, mixing live-in-studio sessions, podcast-like programming, radio DJs and hours of great music you probably haven’t heard before.

“For the most part, our focus is bringing light to what is going on behind the scenes,” Robbins said. Radio is a platform for which most artists don’t get access. With the exception of community-driven radio stations, such as Spokane’s KYRS, most stations do not play much local music. Mota and Robbins are expanding the local opportunities for airtime.

Running a radio station is not so different, in a way, from what the Palimpsest Group was originally involved with earlier in the pandemic: livestreamed concerts filmed in Neato Burrito downtown.

In fact, radio is a “way of maintaining the livestreaming community,” Robbins said. “We’re still able to do a very similar sort of thing by having performances on the radio and then featuring DJs and just running a radio station.”

Quality live sessions are a wonderful product in themselves, but what TPG provides goes beyond mere recorded sets. The programs get at the personality of the groups who are featured and offer a glimpse at these music-making people through interviews and fun moments.

“The last band that we had was Psychic Death,” Robbins said. “They’re a band just formed over the pandemic.” Through the interview and recording process, they learned a fun fact they might not have otherwise: “They all met on Tinder.”

“We’re learning the details, really little details of the bands,” Mota said. And while they’re forging connections with these artists, TPG are also helping them gain recognition. “We wanted to find another outlet to help promote bands,” Mota stated.

“Instead of relying on other people to grab (the music) and go with it, we can present it ourselves.” TPG can give valuable airplay to local and regional artists based on the quality of their tunes rather than the money a label uses to back them. Plus, through TPG, the songs can hit the charts.

TPG Radio is powered by a grassroots, community-driven approach that doesn’t stop with which artists they play. The station is partnered with organizations like Planned Parenthood, who sponsors the station’s program about medical questions pertaining to COVID-19.

TPG Radio isn’t just a 24/7 playlist of really cool tunes. Some of their content includes a poetry hour, lunch reviews and an advice hour. It’s a station with diverse programming and timely content, spreading information, opinions, culture and art through the internet.

While the contents of the radio focus on Spokane, Mota and Robbins envision TPG radio growing toward a more national audience. That’s why their fleet of radio DJs is so diverse, spanning from the West Coast in Washington to Texas, Illinois and New Mexico.

In the continuing story of the Palimpsest Group, TPG Radio is a big step forward. They are building on their physical infrastructure (a full recording studio downtown open to all artists) and experience (Robbins is a skillful audio engineer and member of local band BaLonely, and Mota is a music industry veteran across many areas) to bring the very best to Spokane music.

With a recording studio and an internet radio station, they can produce and spread local music to the whole wide world. To listen to TPG radio, visit TPGRadio.com, and follow the station @TPGRadio and TPG @ThePalimpsestGroup.

Julien A. Luebbers can be reached at julien.luebbers@gmail.com.

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