For music fans, the rise of Internet radio has been a perfect way to stay well ahead of the curve on music from far-flung locations, be it Kimbra and Gotye on Australia's Triple J, K-pop on Korean Broadcasting's Cool Radio, or New Orleans jazz and R&B on WWOZ.
All well and good, but what may be less obvious is the around-the-clock opportunity to hear musicians from our very own ZIP code. When avant-guitarist Brian Elyo, who performs locally as Mobdividual, launched localfm.org last summer, it was a one-man campaign to expose the music of area artists to a much wider audience. In the process, he hoped, there would be a ripple effect that could spill over into increased attendance at live shows.
Despite limited resources, localfm.org has experienced a slow but steady evolution. For the last couple of months, local R&B/pop/rock songstress (and Lipstick Voodoo bandleader) Molly Boyles has been hosting a weekly jam called "Brutiful Music" that streams live at 8 on Tuesday nights. Years ago, Boyles hosted her own weekly variety show called Ms. Molly's Western Cabaret, so it's proven to be a perfect match.
And earlier this week, deejay Animus Invidious did an hour-long mash-up of ridiculously diverse local artists, an idea that was hatched during last September's Indy Music Awards, where Brian positioned himself midway between two outdoor stages: "I was standing where I could hear a live Edith Makes a Paper Chain and Bullhead*ded mash-up," he recalls.
To get a further idea of what you'll be hearing on localfm.org, here are a couple dozen tracks that were added this past week:
A Bad Night for a Hero, "Assassins in the Snow"
Abracastabya, "A Greater Responsibility to Put Things in Things"
The Changing Colors, "No Regret"
Charlie Milo Trio, "Wobble on Two"
Che Bong, "The Rooster"
The Classical, "Doc"
Cliff Letters, "Lights"
Cream Colored Cotton Candy Clouds, "Birds and Jellyfish 06"
Drug Flowers, "Track 02"
Egg Leggs, "Harbinger"
Enemyswim, "Perpetual Acquaintance"
The Ghost of Michael Clark, "Daniel, Charlotte & the Gypsy Davey"
The Great Hotel Fire, "The Sumop"
Haunted Windchimes, "There She Waits"
Joe Kuzma, "Nothing's Gunna Save Us Now"
Kali Spear, "A Brick Is a Brick"
Kove One, "I Love the 90s"
Made Up Minds, "Hard Heads"
Malakai, "Plague Halo"
Matterhorn, "Stage Three: The Currents"
Six Generals, "Forklift Party"
We Are Not Glum Lot, "Chandler"
While most of these artists have been featured in past Reverb columns, the opportunity to actually hear them — and all in one place — is definitely worth your time.
Meanwhile, a quick word about Sunday's James McMurtry gig at the Loft. Much to my surprise, the concert started right on time, which means I missed half of Jason Miller's opening set. Suffice it to say there's good reason for him playing three gigs this week, including the monthly Showcase at Studio Bee on Thursday (along with Murder Hat and Out to Dry, whose new self-titled album I'd definitely recommend) and at McCabe's this coming Saturday.
As for Mr. McMurtry, otherwise known as "America's fiercest songwriter," set highlights ranged from the caustically celebratory "Choctaw Bingo" to "Ruby and Carlos," an eloquent narrative about a Gulf War veteran-turned-roadie. "Holding back the flood just don't do no good," he intones in the latter. "You can't unclench your teeth to howl the way you should."
Actually, the Texas legend clenched his own teeth a fair amount, which — combined with his "suffer no fools" glare — made him look like the guy at the end of the bar you generally want to avoid. But none of that stood in the way of him expressing himself brilliantly, especially on the politically unforgiving "We Can't Make It Here."
"I'm going to attempt to play a medley of my hit," he joked, explaining how he'd wanted to drop the song from his set, but it's just stayed too relevant. "That kind of sucks," he added, "for everybody but me."
While McMurtry says he hopes he'll get a chance to come back and play the Loft again, that could take a while. In the meantime, feel free to go back and read last week's Indy interview with the singer-songwriter at tinyurl.com/indymcmurtry.
And finally, just a quick heads-up that Broken Spoke co-founders Tom Skora and Josh DeSmidt will be playing their debut gig as the Joy of Harm this Saturday at Front Range Barbeque. The new project was inspired by their recent recording sessions at Calexico's studio down in Tucson. But that's a story for another column.