Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Comboland Radio New Music for June 30th

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Got busy this past weekend and a bit caught up on adding new music to Comboland Radio, most from artists/bands new to the station.

I freely admit that I am not an expert of any sorts about all of the different bands/artists in North and South Carolina. What little I do know is from the time I spent going to see bands in my High School/College years and for a period of time thereafter. And those years were some years ago: let's say 1973 through about 1990. Even then I focused on the bands I liked so I missed a bunch even then. So trying to catch up on this ever changing music scene is challenging! People seem reluctant to make suggestions... except when I see them in person somewhere. Then I will get a few suggestions. But that is rare too as the day job keeps me busy and away from the places most of these bands are playing. So, again, if I am missing a band/artist that would fit on Comboland Radio please make the suggestion!

It is fun discovering artists that are new to me. It's seems a bit weird how and where you find them these days too. I have found quite a few by mining the Myspace friends and seeing who I con connect with. I found several current bands through Jason Adamo's friends, a couple from Parmalee's page... you know... their friends who are also bands/artists. I also like to search by location at CD Baby. The downside to that is there are 5149 Cd's available from North Carolina artists!!! They are categorized but still appear in no particular order in the search results. Some newer Cd's may be at the top of a search but other new releases are mixed in all the way through. I probably miss a lot of music that would fit on the station! But eventually if it fits I seem to find it.

James Deem would fit into that "I finally found it" category. He released the 10 song collection titled "jamesdeem.com" in 2007. He recorded it at Jamie Hoover's studio with Jamie producing and plying some of the instruments and singing background vocals. It's got a nice Power Pop feel to it with some neat songs that sound great in the mix on Comboland Radio. I am a bit embarrassed because I just noticed today that James is a Facebook fan of Comboland Radio. I've got 3 cuts from it in active rotation now on Comboland Radio.

There is a cool blog some of are are no doubt aware of called Power Pop Criminals. So much of the music that comes out of the Carolinas get classified as PP I have had good luck finding bands I missed along the way on blogs like this. This guy WOULD be an expert... unlike me! I found several nuggets on this site including Bullwinkel Gandhi. Produced by Mitch Easter this CD came out in 1996 and is out of print but absolutely worth tracking down!!! I have put 6 songs from this CD in active rotation. Now that is a bunch of tunes from 1 CD... and I may cull a couple out later but this one great PP CD!! They also have a 1994 release which I will begin tracking down.

Bullwinkel Gandhi spwaned several other bands which shared members here and there. Poppy Nosh, Clone Farm Carnival and Wonderwall are 3 which I have Cd's from and need to process and get into my system. I'll try to get them in this week.

Yet another spin-off band is Stratocruiser. This is where I sort of say to myself how did I miss these guys!! More on that in a minute. Some really fun tunes, good melodies and hooks... what's not to like!?! They have a newer single aimed at the "Guitar Hero" "Rock Band" crowd called "Kids Today Hate Rock And Roll". Love it!!! What WOULD those kids do with guitars with strings?!? (I've been told that those who actually play guitar do terrible at these games. True or not?) Another more recent single release is "Crazy Horses". Both of those go into Current rotation with a slew of their older tunes going into active rotation, with another one of their Cd's yet to process.

I already had cuts from The Saving Graces second CD in rotation but had somehow missed the earlier EP release called "These Stars Are For You" Some good stuff here with three cuts from it now on Comboland Radio!

Mark Kano popped up while doing one of those CD Baby "By Location" searches narrowed to Power Pop. He is no stranger to the music scene having had some success with his band "Athenaeum" which some of you will remember from the late '90's. Well he's back with a solo release "Walking On Broadway". This is a CD with several hits on it, 2 of which I have put into Current rotation: the title cut along with "Sad Songs". listen for them on Comboland Radio. You will like them and then want to go buy this CD. You could just go ahead and buy the CD... but why not listen to Comboland Radio anyway. You might discover some tunes you have missed!

In many ways the Internet has really helped independent artists. However there is so much out there it is also hard to sift through all of it to find just what you are looking for. It is challenging for an artist too as with so much out there it can be difficult to break through. That was part of the original mission for Comboland Radio; To give a voice to the local scene in the Carolinas and a place for fans to listen to and discover new music.

I have had questions about the difference between "Active" and "Current" rotation. Newer releases are played more often, older tunes less often. It is one of those old radio equations that has always worked. The question is how often to rotate new music? Current Hit Radio stations (CHR... today's Top 40) varies from once every hour and a half to once every 45 minutes in some cases. The turnover on the currents on Comboland Radio is a bit longer that 45 minutes! On Comboland Radio each artist in the two current categories has 2 songs in the rotation. One category allows 3 plays per day for each song, the other 2 plays a day for each song.

For example The OAK Team's "Goin' Or Comin'" (which is on as I am writing this) got played 23 times in the past seven days. "Indy 500" also got 23 plays. That's 56 plays for those 2 songs alone. Terry has a bunch of other OAK Team and solo songs that are in the other active categories so in total The OAK Team got 104 spins last week! And that doesn't count the Woods, Knobs and Yayhoos tunes.

104 spins is a bunch for sure but there are a ton of tunes here from 6 Cd's. A newer band like Hammer No More The Fingers would obviously have fewer as there is less material to choose from. However HNMTF got 52 spins for their 2 currents, "Shutterbug" and "Nobody Knows", plus 12 spins from cuts from their first CD. Where else did they get their songs played 64 times? It does benefit bands and artists included on the station to support it. It also helps the region as a whole. Everyone benefits!

I chose those 2 bands as examples because both have been supportive of Comboland Radio. Terry has gone as far to include links on his blog and on the Doublenaught Records website. I assume both believe a venture such as Comboland Radio is not only beneficial to them but to the scene as a whole. And as the regional scene as a whole is successful all of the bands/artists benefit. If you're an OAK Team or Hammer fan you are likely to find other music on the station you like enough to go see the band or buy a download or two. That is what a radio station like Comboland Radio can offer. If you are one of the bands/artists being played on the station I hope you will help promote this effort. Tell folks at your gigs, give it a link on the social network page of your choice, anything helps. Help spread the word about Comboland Radio! The more you help the station the more the station can do for you!

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