Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Quest for Celtronica, Part I :: Radio Play

or Did Video Kill the Radio Star?

Oddly enough, in this world of Epic Technology, radio is still alive and kicking. When radio first gained popularity in the 1920's, if you had enough money you could buy the rights and put anything you wanted on the air. Baseball games and farm reports were among the first things to be broadcast. Radio has managed to evolve and stay a vital part of everyday life in any number of forms. Radio can now be accessed via satellite, like Sirius Radio, it can be an internet experience with sites like,, or any number of other great sites. Radio can be accessed through cable TV stations or other television add-ons like Tevo. Radio is still on airwaves, too, though I find that particular form less accessible. Mostly because I detest commercials, or more precisely, the sheer number of commercials I must endure to listen to the music. Honestly, how many times do I have to hear the same ad for that car dealership or new prescription drug? Most stations play the same handful of songs over and over which isn't apparent unless you listen to the same group of radio stations. Also, our garage door ate our car's antenna, so we don't listen as much as we used to even though our MP3 players have radio apps.

I have been moved to do quite a bit of research recently into what it takes to get a song played on the radio, in any of its forms. Most of the big, brick and mortar stations are strictly pay-to-play operations. They are paid by record labels, management companies, agents, and other music industry drones to get songs played. And we're not talking five bucks a pop here; we're talking thousands of dollars that are part of a major artist's promotional and marketing budget. Needless to say our pockets aren't that deep, so we are looking into local stations that play local artists. Another way to get radio time is to have someone who loves you and your music, who is well connected and can champion you. In contrast to champions are minions, or street teams; those are the people who call the radio stations and request your songs relentlessly. On a side note, we're hiring Champions and Minions if anyone wants to take up the mantle.

Another factor to radio time is location and genre. We live in Nashville, and we don't do country music, so our options have decreased by about 90%. In that final 10%, we have the Local Buzz (102.9 The Buzz), the Local Lightning (Lightning 100), and NPR.And those are just the ones we know about. I haven't made it as far as college stations yet, but that is next on the list.

To be fair, we have about an even set of odds to get airplay on any of those last three stations, but our genre might get in our way. We are a mix of traditional Celtic music blended with electronica and rock/pop/alternative influences. We don't really fit anywhere. Yet. We are creating a whole new genre that we refer to as Celtronica. There's no drop-down for that. I think we could be a great fit for the Local Lightning Spotlight, which is where we are starting, and we know someone who works for The Buzz, so that's a leg up. NPR is kind of a crap shoot. We did a record several years ago that we shipped off to them and never even got a response. I checked in with them several times and never even got a "no thanks" from them. But, you know what they say: try, try again. So I'll be doing another submission to a couple of substations at NPR. Here's hoping.

Internet radio, now that's a little different. It's much easier to get someone's ear, get your music to them and get a response from them. It's difficult to be accepted into their lists and streams, but that's understandable because most of them are free stations that rely on advertising from sponsors to keep the spins going. They have to play stuff that their listeners like so they'll keep listening and clicking on ads. I totally get it.

I have no idea if we'll get any airplay, but it's been an adventure so far, and very enlightening. So for any Champions or Minions out there, if we do get some radio spins, it is your job to request, request, request.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

New Review from IMR!


Here at the Indie Music Review, we've heard some cool musical hybrids before, but this one might have topped them all.  13B crafts a unique blend of traditional Irish music and electronica for acutting edge sound that they refer to as "Celtronica."

Friday, March 11, 2011

Casting Away.

Here we begin. We begin a journey, an idea, a creation. This journey was truly begun several years ago, but we have only just reached the jumping off point, the true casting away.

Here's a little about who 13B is.


Producer. Programmer. Drummer. Singer. Songwriter. Guitar and bass player. Made of General Awesome.


Engineer. Singer. Flute player. Bodhran player. Lyric and idea editor. Composer. Arranger. Made of Yoga Awesome. Oh yeah, I'm a yoga teacher, too.

So, this is but a beginning. I will write as often and as entertainingly as I am able.

Stay with us and experience everything we do. Hopefully we'll get out of our living room and out into the Wide World of Epic Musicness soon.