Good news: Colorado Springs musicians are getting a long-overdue boost in exposure thanks to the June 11 debut of LocalFM.org, a new 24-hour station launched by Brian Elyo.
"I was just thinking, 'Why doesn't something like this exist?'" says the local musician, who met up with me at the Grant Sabin/Flumps/El Toro de la Muerte show in Acacia Park this past Saturday. (More on that show later in the column.)
Over the course of a month or so, Brian researched the finer details of how to launch an online station through Live365, and ultimately took the plunge by purchasing a license to play unsigned artists.
"The first test broadcasts were created with my collection of about 30 [local] CDs," says the musician, who himself plays out under the name Mobdividual. "Then I spent a weekend searching the 'Colorado Springs' and 'Pueblo' tags on bandcamp, downloading free stuff that I liked."
The station currently has about a thousand tracks in rotation. "I need more music, lots more," says Brian. Meanwhile, listeners who hear something they like can click on links to purchase tracks directly from the musicians themselves.
The online station helps fill a void created last year when Jeannette Hohman discontinued her local music show on KRCC. And as LocalFM continues to grow, Brian expects its listenership will as well. "Hopefully local businesses and cafés will start playing this, and maybe venues can play the station for their between-band music," he says. "But the real magic will come when people that listen to Internet radio daily give this station a chance and then, once they are introduced to the music, hopefully start getting out to venues and shows.
"My hope is that people will start to think of music the way they are starting to think about food: Local is better. Why import your music when your locale is so fertile? Why let Pandora decide what you listen to and hate them for it?"
Meanwhile, here's the current programming schedule:
7 to 10 a.m.: Country, Folk & Bluegrass
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Rock, PostRock
6 to 9 p.m.: Hip-hop
9 p.m. to midnight: The Heavy Metals
Midnight to 7 a.m.: Free-for-All
As for the preceding week's live shows here in town, I survived the swelter at two of them: The first was Wednesday's Black Sheep appearance by Foxy Shazam, which drew 300 sweat-soaked fans to witness the band's over-the-top theatrical rock antics. Especially impressive was keyboardist Sky White body-surfing through the crowd along with his keyboard, while playing it the whole time. As a finale, frontman Eric Sean Nally actually appeared to swallow 10 burning cigarettes. Why, I have no idea.
On Saturday it was the aforementioned Acacia Park show, where I caught the Flumps playing their highly infectious and seasonally appropriate "Sunshine" — whose bouncy rhythm, drummer Alex Koshak tells me, was inspired by Quincy Jones' work with Michael Jackson. Also great: El Toro's rendition of "Old Habits," which was the first song the band ever wrote, and a new track called "Clouds," which featured an extended interlocking guitar duo reminiscent of seminal New York band Television. Look for it on the band's forthcoming split EP with the Flumps.
As for the days ahead, MadTrees are getting back together to play the V Bar's Thursday Night Hype with tons of other emcees, including Stoney Bertz and Kris Harlow. And don't forget the SOCO Sweet Dudes Fest, featuring 15 indie bands this Friday through Sunday at Zodiac. Find more details in last week's column and at facebook.com/SocosSweetDudesFest.