Webbed Feat

This is not your father's radio

Visitors to EyeQRadio's Website can expect to hear further delightful acoustic hodgepodge, including comedy, interviews, and performances by visiting musicians. All of EyeQRadio's shows are listed and religiously updated on its Website. The site, which sports a discombobulated eye as its logo, also touts technical support (with a handy RealPlayer icon available for immediate downloading), contact information, an announcement site for upcoming events, and related links so that local musicians can promote recordings and merchandise.

"We play local bands; we give them dignity," says Alvin. "If they have the wherewithal to produce a CD on their own, we don't even call them a 'local' band. Alex Diaz and Ho Chi Minh get played between Guided by Voices and Pavement without being tagged as 'local.'"

Besides offering local music a rare shot at regular airplay, EyeQRadio welcomes nonlocal independently produced recordings (musicians should send tunes to their DJ of choice) and has also invited bands to play at benefits for the station. Each show is recorded and later played online during EyeQRadio's Tuesday-evening spotlight on South Florida music. Listeners can expect to hear groups like the Avenging Lawnmowers of Justice, Trophy Wife, and Ragamuffin Soldier, among others, during the station's locals show.

Steve Alvin, a.k.a. the Beast, lined up the station's DJs, "who believe in what we believe in," he says
Melissa Jones
Steve Alvin, a.k.a. the Beast, lined up the station's DJs, "who believe in what we believe in," he says

Because the benefits usually book about eight bands, eight hours of live local music is available for anyone who's tired of the drivel offered by FM stations, most of which "regard music and culture the way manufacturers regard tires and Dial soap," observes Alvin. "Why would anybody cool listen to a dumbed-down, homogenized entity when they can listen to all of these cats running hogwild?"

Despite its abundance of creative élan, EyeQRadio lacks something that commercial mainstream stations don't: money. To date the fledgling station hasn't procured a single advertiser -- the lifeblood of all media -- and is relying strictly on anonymous backers to cover its operating costs. But landing accounts might not be as hard as it appears. A few years ago, after Webcasting for only three months, GoGaGa (gogaga.com), a similarly eclectic outfit in Boulder, Colorado, landed KSwiss athletic-shoe company as its initial sponsor.

Like GoGaGa, EyeQRadio has the advantage of affecting listeners -- or, as advertisers would perceive them, consumers -- across the globe, with hits already coming from all over the United States and from as far as Pakistan and Japan. Of course, selling ad space to big boys like KSwiss might lead to the kind of creative cowing that the station shuns. For now, however, EyeQRadio is focusing its energies on content and all of its unregulated and glorious options.

Back inside the station's DJ booth, Mr. Entertainment clears his throat and introduces the next track, "Chattahoochie Coochie," a song he cowrote with a friend and one that he'll now be singing a capella for Sunday-night listeners.

"It's more interesting to play music that causes trouble," he says.

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