Category Archives: Music / Lyrics

Introducing The Softer Side of Indie 2019 Spotify playlist

I’m running a playlist on Spotify trying to highlight soft rock and easy listening by indie artists that aren’t well known. The UnderexposedSoft Rock and Easy Listening playlist is just shy of 6 hours in length as of this writing and the sound holds consistent with some songs going a little stronger than others. That’s been soft rock radio for decades though, hasn’t it?

That playlist compiles songs from over recent years of the indie and small label variety. I’m announcing a new playlist that will focus squarely on 2019.

TheSofter Side of Indie 2019 will highlight soft rock / soft pop / blues /folk / country and other songs that fit the listing, all released by indie artists. Some may be well-known others may be enigmatic… Whatever, the playlist is open to song submissions for songs published on or after December 15, 2018. Submissions start this early for 2019 simply because it’s unfair to count out songs published this late in the year.

While the intent is to take a variety of songs and offer them to the public for listening – and that’s a catch:  actually having people listening to the playlist — one thing I’m not looking for is the “chill” sound with drumbeats and a slowed-down dance jive. I’m looking for the more traditional sound of music. I’m also not looking to add a multitude of foreign languages; if what you have isn’t in English, it’s not appropriate to submit it as a song.

I’m also not looking for songs with explicit lyrics. Think of it as a general-audience appeal I’m going for here, not the 18+ year old adult segments who accept that stuff.

I’m posting the playlist itself below. It’ll remain barren or mostly empty for I-don’t-know.

If you want to submit a track for consideration, please use the contact form. Make sure the subject reads “Softer Side 2019 Submission”. If you’re on Facebook, you may also try contacting me through the Johnny Fonts Facebook page.

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Filed under interweb, Music / Lyrics

The indie music scene and Lonely Oak Radio

Are you into the independent music scene or do you have curiosity into what’s currently going on in that music realm? Perhaps you’d like to discover a new flavor of rock/alternative/pop music? I’d like to recommend a radio stream for such.

I’ve been listening to Lonely Oak Radio for about two years since promoting the Pretty Voices on the station. In that time there are a multitude of songs that I’ve taken an interest to and even more that I’ve posted on my Underexposed Soft Rock and Easy Listening playlist (Note: Don’t take that as a sign everything Lonely Oak plays is on the softer-sound side because it’s not, its only a fraction of the sound cache the station produces). Not many of the acts on the station are widely known, that’s the life of the indie artist – the chase for exposure

This link will take you directly to the radio stream of the site. No, it’s not a bare-bones audio stream tool but shows the song currently playing as well as the artist and the next artist. There are links to AmazonMP3.com so you can get the song playing if you’re interested in as much. It’s just really integral to have knowledge of what’s playing (without a DJ yammering at length before and after the song plays). It’s also integral to actually hear music without having to deal with advertising (or pay a monthly fee for ad-free radio).

If you’re an artist, you can submit your music to Lonely Oak Radio here. If you’re a fan or supporter of an artist featured on the station, you can donate money to Lonely Oak Radio to get a song to play a few days in a row (the quirk is knowing if you’ll actually catch the song on-air, but I digress).

There are more indie stations out there than I know of, providing more music y little known artists they world over… This stream is just one sampling of what’s out there.

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Filed under interweb, Music / Lyrics

“The Playlist Exchange” is a promotional avenue for content on Spotify

Just a heads up for musical artists who are looking to promote their tunes on Spotify as well as for people running niche playlists who want to promote that list, there’s a place for that.

The Spotify Community is a message forum area devoted to the Spotify platform, covering a lot of areas of the field including playlists. The Playlist Exchange is the specific forum in the community where playlists are promoted and curators look for new songs to add to their lists. Many music genres get covered, but so do many niche areas such as topics, moods, musical arrangements and what have you.

Mind you, the Exchange may be an avenue for promotion but it doesn’t guarantee songs getting added to playlists or people actually following a playlist you post. I’ve submitted music by little known groups to playlists (songs by artists I am not associated with, I’m just a fan of) and got passed over while I’ve also posted my Underexposed Soft Rock and Easy Listening list with little gain.

Marketing is a chore. The Playlist Exchange is simply a potential contributor to goal achievement.

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Filed under Entertainment Industry Thingies, interweb, Music / Lyrics

Like all history, this “Revolution” remains relevant

The world has changed quite a bit in 50 years but a song has regained immense relevance. It’s a song that societies around the world and pop culture has found relevance time and time again during its existence. Sometimes it’s just figuratively relevant while other times it’s very much directly relevant.

In the United States of America in the fall of 2018 we’ve seen mass shootings (several times) with political ideological history tied to the gunmen. That’s not as literal as the #MAGABomber that attempted assassinations of political and public figures through mailed pipe bombs.

That’s what makes Revolution by The Beatles extremely relevant at the moment.

For the record (and those who don’t know history), “Chairman Mao” is a reference to Mao Zedong, former Chinese emperor.

With the 2018 election having set in just days ago, the requests for a contribution has been common (a norm in US politics). All-too-common for this election cycle was ”minds that hate” looking for cash.

There’s a healthy form of politics and then there’s what is occurring in America at the moment. Political ideologies always contrast, but it’s when society works in cohesion that America can thrive. Society thriving isn’t the driving factor of “Make America Great Again” and those using death and destruction to show support toward it are proving it.

Both sides of the political fray should take some comfort in the chorus of “Revolution” though it seems distant at the moment. You don’t need to go extreme, life works its way out:

Don’t you know it’s gonna be
All right

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Filed under Donald Trump Presidency, Music / Lyrics, Politics

2017 Music Tampa Bay Top 100 — now a Spotify playlist

Music Tampa Bay‘s annual Top 100 lists (which ran from 2008 through 2017) featured a wide swath of music — we’re talking genres and time-of-publication. Some of the songs were relatively new releases, some were much older. All of them were from artists derived from the Tampa Bay and west central Florida area.  I use that as a lead-in to the 2017 Music Tampa Bay Top 100 playlist on Spotify because only 54 of the 100 songs were on Spotify (or at least that’s the amount I found).

While some of the songs are very much available online, others aren’t and some are on select sales and streaming avenues and not on Spotify. Another issue I’ll cite here is that the Top 100 list for 2017 was hindered with thanks to Hurricane Irma’s effects on the Tampa Bay area. While that has nothing to do with only 54 songs on this list, it does explain why some of the songs on this list were also part of the 2016 Top 100 list (…a playlist with only 57 of 100 songs).

I very much intend to add the 2008 Top 100 listing to the Spotify playlists, but if these more recent lists are getting just over half the list songs, I don’t expect 2008 to do better. We’ll see about that.

One other thing — if you’re a Music Tampa Bay listener or a musician featured on Music Tampa Bay, I encourage you to donate to the station. They are a non-profit station trying to promote music created by local musicians. It costs to broadcast and stream online, though. Every bit of supportive income helps.

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Filed under interweb, Music / Lyrics, Tampa Bay

A new Spotify playlist of Tampa Bay musicians and music

In spring of 2017, I took to the task of taking a graphical list of songs by bands and performing artists and turned it into an interactive list. Indeed, the Music Tampa Bay Top 100 list of 2016 post was an attempt at exposure for the artists and their work that went further than the hyper-local radio broadcasts and its online music stream.

I’m taking things a step further though I don’t know if this will lead more people to check out this music or what. I’ve created a Spotify playlist of the 2016 Music Tampa Bay Top 100 list.

In trying to aid the exposure of the artists and their music, I don’t know if it did the job so much. Let’s see if a Spotify playlist can help things along.

From my experience researching three different Top 100 lists, I’ve learned it’s a tradition for not all the songs to be available through online streaming. In this case, only 57 of the Top 100 songs from the listing were available… They represent a mix of music genres: Rock, Reggae, R&B, Folk, Pop and Country. The performers herald from the Tampa Bay and west central Florida area and while their sound may be taken as unique, they are all very much of the genres they are derived from in music.

I have intentions of also posting the 2017 Top 100 list and perhaps ones that came before it too. That’ll come in time. Right now, first things first and the 2016 list is here.

 

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Filed under interweb, Music / Lyrics, Tampa Bay

Wordiness and a would-be song; “Cool Dude, Loose Mood”

Poetry and I are not strangers, the evidence is here on the site in the “Creative Writing” section and elsewhere if you look around. I’ve been penning prose of one variety or another since the 1990’s.

Yeah, I’m old. Deal with it.

There are some that have inspired musicians to actually put the words to music. That’s a longer story than I can tell at this time (wink wink, nudge nudge) but my point is that songwriting is something I’m dabbling in. It has created a plight, though.

See, early in the summer I had a friend send me a guitar riff he recorded. He was looking to build a song around it. Now, this idea was garage-rock in caliber. Do-the-job, verse-chorus-verse simple and straight. The riff is the base and the center for the song in melody and what has to be done is to give it some words to finish the product. The problem there was… well, maybe I’ve been exposed to too much Alternative over the years or maybe I’ve seen too many rock songs that have been larger tellings than Keep It Simple Stupid? Then again, maybe I’m a poet and lucky if my words ever go to a finished song… Continue reading

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Filed under Music / Lyrics, Personal, Poetry

Spanning the world and united in melody, the music of Lucy, Racquel and Me

The Internet is the land of opportunity for musical artists. Any artist/group of any music genre from any location who has access to the Net can communicate with producers and other artists to hone and refine their work. You can see this playing out daily on Reddit’s WeAreTheMusicMakers subreddit message board. They’re able to offer their art to the masses with thanks to distribution companies who will place finalized music copies on major digital-sales web sites (such as Apple Music, Amazon MP3 and Google Play) along with putting the tunes on streaming services utilized by the general masses (Spotify and YouTube).

Indie music can be an art form in itself with thanks to the basic element of the Internet in the form of communication. It’s like I already said – you can talk to others in music, hone and produce songs with others from all over. And certain recording artists are just that – groups comprised of elements from different places. They may have never personally met and yet they’ve created by working together.

An example of this is the pop music c work of Lucy, Racquel and Me. Continue reading

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Filed under interweb, Music / Lyrics

Underexposed indie soft rock and easy listening playlist on Spotify

This is an ongoing playlist build of songs by indie musicians that are unknown or not widely known of in pop culture. It’s also a variety of music – pop and rock of a more casual variety – that doesn’t get the kind of exposure it once did in music.

Click above to go to the playlist. If you are an indie musician who would like one of your own tunes considered for the list — either leave a comment or contact me and send a link to your work. You have to be listed on Spotify to get included on this list (though another version of the playlist is on YouTube).

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Wishful thinking: A cover of a song that can never happen

Two aged songs and performances in music have crossed my mind this morning and then blended together to make me think what if? It’s not the music exactly that gets me wondering as-so-much a performer and how a song would be covered if said-performer got a go at it.

Both songs are classics and stories of their own. Both performances I’m thinking of and linking together are classics too. One from 30+ years ago (that gets little focus at this time) and the other from 25 years back. Continue reading

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Filed under Music / Lyrics