Category: interweb

 

A noteworthy conversation about spreading music with indie rockers Novus Cantus

While making music is art and self-expression, ri be ab independent musiciab abd get your completed works out into the soundscape is a different kind of personall forray han planned when recorrding. It’s also a business necessity to complement production and distribution.

The word is marketing. Public exposure to audio creation. It can be a heavy investment of tine and emotion. Success can lead to a financial anbd social windfall.

“It’s incredibly important for bands to be aware of, and include radio outreach in their marketing plans,” said Christian Herasimtschuk. Christian and his brother Alex make up Novus Cantus, an indie-rocl duo based in Albany, New York. “And yes, sorry, marketing has to be part of your overall game plan, even if you don’t want it to be!”

I interact with Novus Cantus on Twitter regularly. They’ve long talent interest in radio and music submission options I’ve compiled over the years. lowing they spend time looking into radio stations that accept submissions, and how it’s an uncommon thing to read about, I asked the pair a few questions about thier experience with radio and submitting songs. Take this as insight and enciyragement to other independent musicians who have yet to go down this route with their music.

in general: What musicians influenced you two into music?

When we started out we had influences that were all over the place – Your typical rock groups like Jethro Tull, Metallica, and Nirvana, but also more eclectic groups like Deep Forest, Enigma, Muzsikas, and Rusted Root. We would say that hearing Rusted Root was one of those major moments that we realized a sound similar to ours could be popular and successful.

When did the notion radio airplay was an option come to mind?

Back in 2004 when we recorded our first demo, we already had in mind that we should try to reach terrestrial radio stations in our area (Hudson Valley in downstate NY). We were a tad on the, how do you say, nieve side, however. It was a strange time. CDs were still popular, even though MP3s and digital music were on the rise, but people had to hear us to be interested, and on a larger scale that still meant brick and mortar radio. But terrestrial radio was already being carved up by companies like ClearChannel. We even brought a press kit with our demo to an affiliate station in Poughkeepsie. We had no idea that ClearChannel and its affiliates had no interest in local bands with no following. That’s not their business, to discover new bands; just play what brings in revenue. We had no clue, so that didn’t work out.

When was Novus Cantus’ first accepted, by what site/station, and for what song?

Our first CONFIRMED station acceptance didn’t come until many years later (we know, not the positive note y’all were hoping for). It was not until 2017 that our song Storm was played on a local (Albany NY) station, 97.7 FM, for the Local 518 Show” It really put some wind in our sails. Shoutout to Andy Gregory for his willingness to give us the time of day.

How has ‘Net radio airplay paid off directly for the band?

We have to say that internet radio absolutely motivated us to, at times, keep going when things were looking bleak. The internet really opened up a world of opportunities for us; we went from spending time printing CD labels, burning CDs, printing press packets and sending out via snail mail (and maybe hearing back from a couple of stations), to now having a consistent presence on certain indie radio stations online. The payoff hasn’t been monetary (sorry) and any band should be prepared for that. Sure, we’ve made maybe $20 in the past year in streams, but most of the indie stations that will consider you will ask you to waive your royalties. Our benefit has been purely through exposure, networking, and gaining a trickle of new followers with every acceptance. Plus of course, it looks great when writing the next station to show you have a reliable track record of being accepted.

What should a musician keep in mind before submitting music anywhere?

This is such a great question… and it’s a huge topic! But we’ll try to keep it short. Maybe the most important thing, is to actually see if that station is active. Life is hard – the people running these stations are human beings. This isn’t iHeart radio with computerized playlists that run 24/7. Check their social media, check their recent posts, and see if their streaming service is working. The same goes for truly indie terrestrial (land) radio – I’m looking at you college radio! These are STUDENTS running this thing. There are some semesters when station leadership all graduates, and boy, that ball gets dropped. If you don’t read any other part of this paragraph, read and remember this. It’s OK to contact stations directly!!! Are they on Twitter? Great. Follow and shoot them a message asking if they are currently accepting submissions. Are they ‘old school’ and only have a phone number? Call. Don’t hesitate, just call.

The second thing to do is check to see if you can contact a show’s DJ directly, especially if their show is in your genre’s ballpark and the music director is MIA or non-responsive. For us, because we decided to make music that’s a cross between Last of the Mohicans and Metallica, finding shows that match our sound has been super challenging, but we still try. Last of the Mohicans is an amazing movie, by the way (theatrical version only, please!).

What information have you learned to keep on standby for a submission (stuff to include in an email/form)?

Another great question. We, first of all, have a shared Google Drive folder with all radio submission materials (organizing your materials is a must) and in there are little nuggets we’ve prepped. This includes a short AND long version of our bio, AND an elevator version (super short) that a DJ can read on air when introducing our song. We also include, believe it or not, a 1-pager fact sheet about submitted songs. This is typically used for terrestrial stations as it give detailed information about each submitted track, including intro time before lyrics begin, max peak sound levels, and overall tempo/feeling. For internet radio, this isn’t AS needed but it doesn’t hurt to have prepared for a curated show. The last thing is a bit technical, but we also export various formats of our songs. By that we mean we export our song files in both WAV and MP3 format, with variations of the MP3 in bit rates of 320 kbps and 128 kbps. Stations sometimes specifically ask for one or the other… Lastly, TAG your songs – there is great freeware called MP3Tag.

What has been the most intimidating factor you’ve had in a submission?

Certainly listening to other artists on a station can be intimidating, especially if their songs sound more “produced” or radio ready. Our sound is niche as is, so hearing a song of ours like “Moon” and then hearing a really intense modern rock song makes us feel like fish out of water – but that can’t stop us, and it shouldn’t stop anyone in a similar situation who is reading this. Music sounding different is a GOOD thing, it just may take a while to catch on, and maybe not even get a lot of traction. It cannot stop you from casting a wide net… it’s actually even more important that you do so.

And the biggest disappointment?

The biggest disappointment was the lack of response from local DJs at the independent stations where we grew up. After repeated contacts, sending physical and electronic demos, we pretty much “gave up”. And I know, you’re not supposed to do that. But we are talking about TIME to put packages together and do research. We could be doing something else with that time. It doesn’t mean we won’t circle back again. But come on, how many times can you play the same Phish song.

Has airplay on out-of-town stations ever led to in-person performance requests?

Unfortunately, no! . 🤨

What station do you find as a must for submissions and why?

I would say that Lonely Oak is a great station for every radio campaign. They have a ranking system as well where they’ll note the quality of the track, so you get some feedback (I believe it’s a star rating) and even if it doesn’t rank high they give it a chance and add it to rotation.

How about the ones to avoid?

Yikes! We don’t want to make too many enemies but consider avoiding “pay-to-play” scams – particularly if there is no free option. It is different if an indie station is willing to play you for free, BUT also has a paid option for a longer rotation. Lonely Oak has a system like that, and it’s very reasonable. MPG Radio also had a system like that, but I’m currently unaware if they are still operating.

Speaking of pay… What about pay-to-submit? Some stations – locals – do that to cover costs…

[Christian]. I am okay with SOME pay to play situations. More so if they are a legit indie radio station, who will consider playing your music anyway but will boost plays in exchange for support of the station. Like, once again, Lonely Oak. I ALSO think it is wise for bands to open their minds to paid advertising on major platforms, such as Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, Youtube, etc. I start to draw the line when it’s just a promoter who claims “10k plays/streams for $50”, or joining this corrupt BS of profit-sharing between radio and labels. Pay to SUBMIT, we are even LESS open to, but would consider for a truly indie station that has accepted non-mainstream sounding bands. Yes, we have been burned by SumitHub several times. Overall “play to pay” as a concept… seems wrong. It should be about the art, right??

However, I also am trying to walk a line here because in music… promotion and marketing has become synonymous with “airplay”, which essentially is the definition of “pay to play”. Radio is so consolidated by the industry, and frankly corrupt, that one hand is just washing the other, and they pay to get their music on rotation 20x more times per day. Just imagine all the millions of indie artists in a metal trash can, while major labels are sitting on the lid, screaming at and handing gold bullion to radio conglomerates passing by. And we scratch the lid like “but we have talent!” while radio stations are like… “but… we are making record profits this way” as they take the gold to the bank and nominate Taylor Swift for 30 more awards.  And in the trash we are hoping by networking enough and getting a few spins on sympathetic indie stations we can “break out” of this galvanized echo chamber. Does that sound realistic? I know I make it seem hopeless – it’s not – but it is incredibly difficult and disheartening at times. It requires real PLANNING and bands do have to be careful not to, as a principle, avoid putting resources (money) toward promotion, which may include radio. It’s the only way we can get any sound outside of that damn echo chamber of a trash can to real human beings and potential FANS on the outside, away from the noise. And sadly, yes, some of these efforts will just be a waste of money and time. But I know from our experience that we wouldn’t have (almost) ANY fans if it weren’t for paid promotion. This of course does tie into the need to also perform live in combination with these online efforts… 

OMG this is better than therapy

And have any fallen into your listening habits?

Yes! We will turn on Lonely Oak, as well as the Local 518 Show, which is a program local to Albany, NY. Believe it or not, MOST of the time I listen to terrestrial radio in the car, and try to tune into the local indie stations.

***

To learn more about Novus Cantus, click here. Their latest EP album, “O Thou Man”, was released \ Thursday, December 1st for the 2022 holiday season. Their music is available through Amazon Music, Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify, and YouTube / Youtube Music.

A Classic Spin of the Song “The Piano Man”

I think most can agree that Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” is a classic song. As a kid, I would hear the tune and think of it as a st9ry of bar life. Hell, it was the 1980’s and “Cheers” was dominant. I didn’t associate “Piano Man” with Billy because his hit songs and music videos were the pop music of the moment in sound. Songs like “Uptown Girl”, “Pressure”, “Tell Her About It”,, and the song that really made me a Billy Joel fan: We Didn’t Start The Fire. Unless you know the career and life of Joel. you wouldn’t associate that music with “Piano Man”. You wouldn’t know the true autobiographical story behind the tune and Billu.

I love that song. I also love a classic blog post that puts a humorous spin on the song.

Clark Brooks is a long-time online presence in the Tampa Bay metroplex – from his own blogs since the 2000s, to his Tampa Bay Lightning coverage with me at Raw Charge in the 2010s, to his comedy coverage on The Identity Tampa Bay. His post, Everybody Hates the Piano Man, takes the song and puts a for-humor spin on them. I’m not saying parody a-la “Weird Al” Yankovic but in literal meaning.

It’s an old post that’s not sowing up on search engine results at this point That’s why I’m writing about it – to share it (clicky-clicky!). Like Billy Joel with music, Clark Brooks has shown a thorough ability to write and joke over time.

“The Piano Nab” (above) and the blogger/comedian (below).

The (Forced) New Look of JohnnyFomts.com

This blog needed a theme upgrade… Partly due to look, partly because it was not properly compatible with WordPress – and not been for years.

But…

Sunday night, I was casually messing around in a potential theme upgrade and I accidentally activated it. That would not be a big deal, just switch to the other theme, except the out-of-date blog theme was/is no longer available for use. Oops.

So… The blog’s look is changing, ot must be configured and la-de-da. Mind the dust as I reconfogure the site.

A personal ramble at my milestone in Blogging

Writer John Peter Fontana II, also known as Johnny Fonts (who is aka John J. Fonts Esqyuew) – the dude writing this. Me. Hi. – has been a weblog author for 20 years now.

What I am connonly known for, hockey and the Tampa Bay Lightning, didn’t start for another year and a half. My start in blogging began during the forced end to a static web site devoted to the Beatles. It will be 20 years on Thursday since the feature on that incident was published by the St. Pete Times.

I am not proud of everything in this blog’s archives (most of whicj was written on “The Stibegauge”), and I also don’t know what stands out in my career in general. I just know this is the avenue I took and it gave me a place to vent, ramble wxpress, inform, and share.

Physical hardsjo[ makes it tough to do this now… Oh, I say so much about THAT. It’s a tough job to even know what is going on in sports, movies, politics, and the world around me, let alone the challenge to type it out.
NF2 is a bitch.

Johnn0y Fonts lacks new content, but I am on here daily updating TunedQuest… It’s a listing that grows a!d must be tended to. I spend ample time looking into stations and sites that accept music submissions. * get thanked… That’s something.

So…! Utilize and the words if Cassie McClellan: reader continues to take advemture and entertainment in what I put out.Typing remains an adventure for me, I hope an0

An Open Letter to Tampa Bay’s Pulse Radio

/Hello;

My intention was to send this to you through your contac and found out it was tong. This is business and not intended to offend

Take what I say here as 697 will:Each point is relayobely short… As I said, this was intended as email:

  • TBPR is unknown in Tampa Bay. If things are too averse to operating an ONLINE station right now, shutting the PulseRadioTampaBay.com site and focusing on the media magazine would not be wrong.
  • The FCC-license idea needs to be held off. Get online operations going again, and build a local reputation. Then consider an FCC license.
  • It is HIGHLY recommended that TBPR explores LoneLonely Oak Radio for ideas on finance. I iss also highly recommended charging for submissions immediately cease. this site/station is unknown and not broadcasting… What are artists paying for? A potential Spotify playlistb spot? T That is wrong.

Social media involvement is a must. TBPR is uninvolved on Twitter. Following 13 accounts and rarely*posyomh has gotten the station 11 followers. That is not an agency or networking with other stations/media in Tampa Bay. Artists that TBPR picks up ship’d be followed – they may promote your Tweets, especially when you mention th4em.

All of this is written by a man on the outside. I don’t know staff of Tampa Bay’s {ulse Radio, or if this is a one-man show. Nor do I know personal challenges you face (mine arephsical; mind the typos). This is still a nnickel’s worth pf free advice.

Good Luck,
John Fontana

WBPM NetRADOP: A Living Relic of Internet Radio

An Internet Radio Relic Wxists With WBPM NetRADIO

Net radio is common, major companies and independent hosts with varying ambitions are out there. They stream all you may like ifro, the audio soundsca[e… You just need to find the right one..

Many took a footing in recent years, and all too many fell apart and failed due to lack of popularity or real-life issues. Shit happens, we all know that.

Yet some little-known sites are out there, unseen, widely unknown, and have been for decades. Decades. They have thier niche and are content with it.
WBPM NetRADIO in Tampa is an example.

It was founded in 2004. It ,ay use a four-letter lead in its name but WBPM NetRADIO isn’t an FCC-licsense station (WBPM FM is up in New York) I, personally, remember things about the site because of my own long-time writing history and my friendship with prominent Tampa Bay bloggers with prominent status and social connections.

In fact, WBPM NetRADIO’s web site is quite nostalgic in its design: It’s arcane; old. Site security is high in (in an HTML-basics fashion of the 2000s) within ab old-school, frame-based lavout. Right-clicks don’t work, no text copyinght, and email contact links are encryptions… or was in response to a click.
With an older design, the site is still a step above all too many radio stations using the Wix platform.
UPDATE: I never noticed the displayed email at the bottom of the left menu. No response at this time.


It’s old. The music submission page tells a tale of malicious s 0agubmissions that forced WBPM NetRADIO to cease taking email submissions. Music must be mailed-in on CD.

They have their niche though. Something works as-is with an ancient site design, an off-site, third-party broadcast, and a complete absence from, social media. Yet the site’s copyright is fated as 2021. That’s likely a manually typed date and not a produced by a content-management program (with an update to come).

WBPM NetRADIO is still out there and humming along in one fashion or another in its 18th year.

It’s in need of an update and upgrades though. The internet and online music scene has vastly changed and always evolves. Yhose involved within it should do what they can to evolve with it.

A minor adaptation on-site can help: Be more direct. From page titles to stating music genres played, it helps people find what they are looking for. I say “music genres” because WBPM NetRADIO says they play a variety of music on their submission page, yet I only heard pop/dance music when I listened. Oh, if MixCloud isn’t truly the station feed (if there is one at all) a “listen live” link pointing to the station’s feed would be beneficial.

In the end, an older general Internet radio station that calls Tampa home is (still) out the. I have no clue if these words will entice curiosity and site visits or lead to a much-need site evolvement from WBPM NetRADIO… They’re content in their as-os rhythe, or there would have been a change in beat long ago.

An Opinion on the Best/Top Radio Stations that Accept Submissions

So…. You can find a sheer ton of radio stations and sites on a listing here on Johnny Fonts, offering so many options for listeners and artists seeking to promote their songs. Seeing so many stations is intimidating… Plus the “Notes” with listings don’t go in-depth about station reach and acceptance speed and other detail that would make someone WANT to submit.

To cut to the chase: What are the best stations and sites?

The answer is: There isn’t a “best”.

If you do web searches, you can find plenty of articles that say “top” or “best” stations for musicians. That immediately hurts things as it will encourage more artists to submit music. It makes it more of competition just to gain acceptance… And lets not even think about airplay.

That’s not faulting the stations. I’m trying to say that thw heralded stations have a tough job. All stations and sites playing music have this tough job.

So…? Should you submit music anywhere? Oh, hell yes! Everywhere your genre fits! Bulk is better than holding out hope on a hyped “top” station. While some stations will offer few listeners, having music played on multiple stations is better than holding out hope on one or two “big” stations.

I’d offer more advice on music submissions, but that advice varies from person to person… Just like “top” or “best” stations vary too. Just get your tunes submitted to as many stations as you can.

Something’s Been Improved At That College Radio Station…

I didn’t have a hand in this, I swear. Or did I?

Last month I wrote a criticism of the University of Florida’s student-run radio station GHQ.fm. In short, I said the station’s web site was lacking as a broadcast entity. It lacked contact info and was a step down compared to other student stations in Florida.

Well… The got the Contact Page done. It’s a start.

Now if I may recommend, ladies and gents, work on search engine optimization. A meta description tag is a basic tag that can be ubfluential in drawing web traffic.

And opening or closing the door on music submissions takes nothing more than a few sentences on the “About” page.

Something’s Wrong With This College Radio GHQ Online

Web sites tied to broadcasting and publications are themselves media entities and major entities involved in the media entity they represent, especially now as society is tied to life online.

Universities are well aware of this… Well, most of them. That includes the student-run stations that let students further hone their skills on- and off-air. 0It’s broadcasting, it’s publishing, it’s a web design and site management, it’s public relations. It’s a voluntary thing and it’s practice for the career path that lays ahead.

I have crossed many station sites in my time researching music submission options. Many sites are big-time, others are static web sites. Simplicity is fine too as long as you make information clear regarding contact info, operations, perhaps about the publication.

So many students and schools have it right. The University of Florida‘s student-run GJQ.fm gets it so very wrong.

(Author note: Any U. of Florida students who read this – I’m not out to attack, I am saying there’s work to do.)

While Florida State University’s WVFS comes out pretty prominently in various general college radio searches. I’ve needed to be more direct with the University of Miami’s WVUM. In both cases, the sites are information tools you’d expect from such prominent schools. WUCF, WPRK, WIKD, and plenty of other station-site or official stations in Florida and across the country accomplish the simple tasks and having basic self-representative out there along with search engine optimization so they can be found, contacted, informative and entertaining to the general public..

It’s web management and a publication’s responsibility.

How did I find GHQ.fm? Through an article from the University’s main site. GHQ had never shown up or stood out when I searched for Florida college radio. The article came up in a direct search for UF’s campus radio station. That doesn’t mean GHQ doesn’t show up in search results in general, but unless you know the station, the results look like jargon.

There isn’t a contact page on GHQ which is not common with media – commercial or non-profit/community. WUFT (GHQ’s sister-site) does and is a good example of why a station would have one GHQ’s site provides links to their Twitter and Facebook pages though. After searching the site thoroughly and not finding info email contact means I reached out on both social platforms…

I got no replies through Twitter. My Facebook message (after disclosing that I’m a blogger) asking about the music submission policy got “GHQ.fm” as the response. There’s been no response to the follow-ups I sent. including a PR email contact request.

I know that music submission question is common for college radio. I wouldn’t have asked if it was clearly disclosed on GHQ.fm. As for any social-media messages: Wither answer the question, or don’t reply.

One may cite the coronavirus or summer as a key cause of GHQ being poorly self-representative. Neither hindered general web management basics for many student-run radios across the continent. Some were responsible and said they had issues while others have gone offline (for the season or since 2020 when the pandemic muted campus life).

A porous web site – information, accessibility, management, and oversight – is an issue that’s been part of GHQ longer than COVID-19 has affected the world, or the summer of 2021 has reduced the University of Florida’s student body. The station’s public arm slights the summer excuse too0

In short and aimed at the web 0roperty in general: GHQ represents one of the most prominent public schools in Florida and the US. Bring the site up to grade in management and presence in the 2021-22 college year, please. GHQ is a media entity, voluntary or nott, and has online responsibilities to fulfill.

No schema found.

The College radio/Music Submission Quest

Instead of blogging regularly my focus has been on researching radio stations and sites and adding them to the listing of where musicians can submit music. That listing is above 350 and the queue of sites to review/add is well over 200!

It’s work. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I’ve been fixated on stations/sites that are tied to colleges lately. This comes in part as a preparation for the fall college semester… The fact society is breaking from social distancing and more students will be on campuses makes college radio an important target for those in the music field.

There are nearly 90 US colleges listed as of this writing and plenty to come… In fact, it’s a lack of stations/sites in states that has me pushing ahead.

And when I say “lack”, I mean “I can’t find friiggin’ options” for some states.

I have 38 states with at least one college radio listing. Of the 12 lacking states, I’ve be struggled with 11 of them:

  • Alaska
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Indiana
  • Maine
  • North Dakota
  • South Carollina
  • South Dakota
  • Utah
  • West Virginia
    and
  • Wyoming

It’s not that there’s a lack of college radio in these states, it’s the lack I can’t find ones who have a public music submission process or a generalized music-director-contact option. Social media posts from years ago don’t count; things change.

I’ve spent so much time looking for options in some places that I have neglected researching/adding stations in other states… Especially the midwest and great plains states. I’ll have to do a better job and not keep pushing listings in a scant few states.

In any case, if you know college stations in the above-listed states that accept music submissions, please let me know in the comments or through other contacts. Thanks in advance.

No schema found.

Underexposed Sort Rock % Easy Listening

Underexposed Soft Rock & Easy 0Listwning; I’m taking submissions for the Spotify playlist via Twitter

Blind and Anxious, an update on my status

I congessed in late 2019 how hand issues are affecting me and limiting my writing on Johnny Fonts. Late in the summer of 2020, I made another confession as I explained why this long-time Tampa Bay Lightning blogger wasn’t saying hit sd the Bolts ran the gamut and won Lord Stanley’s Cup: I couldn’t follow what was going on. I couldn’t see.

I still can’t, folks. And it’s getting worse.

Oh, it’s not the entire reason I have not blogged a write-up of substance or opoinion in forever; I’m neurotic and don’t finish posts all the time for opinion shifts on what I wrote, or I lose focus and just move on.

Scatterbrained or not, my participation online is being stopped by the cloudy, blurred vision that seems to worsen daily and make me further appreciate Al Pacino’s performance as Frank Slade in The Scent of a Woman.

Just one scene; Charlie.

I am not in the dark though. It’s a white blur. No carbon-freezering recovery involved.

So, I’m limited in multiple fashions, and my general online life is joining my stunted life participation. Writing, forums, streaming video, chat/instant messaging… It’s all in a hazr sent from hell with a little note attached (that I can’t read, but seem to include the letters “F” and “Y”).

My anxiety is also bubbling., I’m so lost in day-to-day life that my ignorance in what is going on can lead to me erupting, and certainly does when I’m pushed to partake in something I am not prepped for, or when I’m left to feel like nothing more than a rag doll. John can’t, so lets put him in that chair and thrn go do that living thing!!

I miss being, knowing, doing.

My eye situation likely needs a cornea transplant – replacing the eye lenses. I don’t know if other visual issues will ever be dealt with – cataracts and an astigmatism – I just know I need aid or else.

[It was tough writing this. While I can if typos, general editing, and rewriting are just too visually tough.]

My Concluding Remarks on the Year 2020 (via Twitter)

Radio.com working draft

Regional radio, music submissions, and the Radio.com challenge

The radio submission listing here now stands around 200 stations/sites/options, some being general, some being genre, some being collegiate, and some being regional. Many more are out there in all those categories,  it doesn’t mean all will be listed. This post is about one such group of stations I don’t include in the list.

There’s a major broadcast network of regional stations that has affiliates all over the United States. In fact, I don’t know how far Radio.com goes. I do know I’ve been aware of the network long before the radio/streaming post went live. I also know through experience that the network stations are not social figures who will answer emails of characters who want info before submitting. This is a business and they are pummeled by submissions as-is.

None of this is meant as a judgment against the Radio.com stations, this is more a message for independent artists who might wish to take a chance and send a track or an album to a station-affiliate or multiple members of the network: This requires a top-notch submission effort on top of a top-notch recording that is being sent in. If your music is just a hobby, look elsewhere for airplay. If you’re trying to make recording-arts your career…? This is a required effort.

Radio.com affiliates vary in how they take submissions, if at all, with some willingly going the digital route by way of email while others require physical submissions of CDs or vinyl. That aspect is a truth for all radio broadcast sites though, as I’ve crossed so many at this point. I have not seen Radio.com affiliates who take flash-drive submissions, nor do I recall seeing an affiliate who takes physical submissions in-person (though there very well may be in both cases). This is a business. You’re putting yourself in direct competition with the big shits of the record industry.

You may just try a bare-bones submission like you may have done with success to other sites and stations with mixed results or outright success… I don’t recommend that. I recommend a press-kit with any submission. Going by this site’s listing a kit is a lot less difficult than the intimidating name makes it seem. It is another example of how you’d be going pro, but high-quality versions of your logo and photos of you/the group are the biggest additions in a press kit to go along with routine content of a bio, links, and other relevant info., A press kit doesn’t mean Radio.com sites will be swayed, it is just said to push the fact you need to come off professional/top-notch in your submission. I’d encourage this effort and info with all email or physical mail-in efforts no matter what station.

Radio.com’s affiliates vary in genre and saying such doesn’t tell you what genres. I apologize for that. I’ve crossed Alternative/Indie, I’ve crossed Rock, I’m pretty sure Country is out there. You need to spend some time researching the affiliates.  I’d do it for you but I have a queue of 150+ sites/stations to review. I don’t know how many more would be added by way of Radio.com. Likely a lot.

If you have time if you have an interest, here are the Google search results for Radio.com affiliates taking submissions. Venturing to the sites will give you generally the same lead-in remark about music submissions before ultimately telling you how to do it.

[…] Policy Regarding Music Submissions and Programmer Access

1.  Programming decisions and music selections are made on a non-discriminatory basis.

That’s posted because if you explore submissions with them, you better get used to it and other constants you will notice..

It all comes back to putting your best foot forward and moving to other submission options after submitting to one or many Radio.com affiliates. This is a truth with submissions anywhere: Don’t get hung up on one station, waiting on acceptance. There are so many options out there and your quest with all music submissions to broadcasting stations and sites is ultimately the same: Airplay and exposure.

If you’re an indie artist who has gotten accepted to a Radio.com affiliate or many, post a comment below. Let everyone know which stations, what your act name is and what song(s) were you pushed. How easy or tough things turned out.

Regarding my absence ftom 2020 NHL playoff blogging and my social withdrawal online

Regarding my absence ftom 2020 NHL playoff blogging and my social withdrawal online

Here we are, deep into the NHL’s COVID-19 affected NHL playoffs! It’s sports-content when the world is generally forced to step back. The NHL’s system is proof of the step-back: Two host-cities for gameplay, no attendees, players/team personnel in a “bubble” to prebent catching the dreaded virus that has afflicted the globe.

The Tampa Bay Lightning are once again facing the Columbus Blue Jackets (last season’s series is a painful memory) and have taken two of three games played… Well, unofficially, it’s two of six games as the clubs had eight(!!!) periods of play in the series opener – regulation play and five overtimes.

In all the stories I just shallowly touched on with this, I haven’t said one damned thing in written content. The fact I’m writing this with a sudden personal turn is bad enough, but I was the original Tampa Bay Lightning blogger and this is my personal site so…

Why haven’t I said shit? That in itself is personal.

I have it upfront on Johnny Fonts that I have an issue with my hands which makes typing more difficult. I’ve also written on Raw Charge about my condition in general in a (failed) fundraising attempt. There’s stuff here too, but none of it speaks about the now. I haven’t gone public with this one – with friends on social media or on this site.

Oh, my silence has been influenced in part by the risk factor for the NHL that is at play with the virus. In May it made this writer turn up his nose at the playoff-system (so did the Lightning) but this isn’t the virus or politicking that has muted me…

Han Solo said it best in the Tatoonie desert in Return of the Jedi, “Instead of a big dark blur, I see a big light blur.” Subtract the daek and you have my silencing ailment, cornea scars that have rendered me blind.

It’s not total blindness or I wouldn’t be able to even attempt to write this. It is profound though and stops me from spending time reading coverage of the Bolts in articles or on social media. I struggle to read, I lose patience with thanks to pop-up elements on top og illegible text and give up. I also lack – and always have – the ability to keep up with the fast-fast pace of Twitter during games or events.

And then there’s watching games. I can’t. Or movies. Or news coverage. It’s blurred into discontent for me.

I pay attention to headlines I see; I follow news on Reddit specifically for that. I’m just not going deep in coverage as the die-hard sports fan that I am… And it sucks. It sucks that I am not invested in my passion covering the Lightning.

My general health affliction (paired with anxiety and insecurity issues) has always prevented me from much involvement with things. This vision issue continues that plight. The cornea scars are a result of eye-dryness which is a condition I’ve suffered for decades by way of tumors and necessary surgery. This explains why I’m always in sunglasses in photos: To hide the scats unsightliness.

To be visually impaired like this on top of my heating issues? It’s making me into a modern-day Helen Keller.

So, I’m not in the playoffs and coverage of the Coolest Game on Ice during this time of plight. I have been investing myself in music in a manner derived through my blogging days: Content management, promotion, and research. Oh, listening is a part of it too. It’s a step down from sports coverage as many independent musicians who are out there are only doing things as a hobby and I am and will remain irrelevant to them as I have no reputation in the industry. Having been part of Lightning coverage for so long made me relevant in hockey and Bolts coverage, especially seeing local media has never given the Bolts more focus and coverage which the franchise has earned through competitiveness.

So, uh, yeah… I’ve shut up. I suppose that makes some people happy. Perhaps this explains to my friends and colleagues why I’ve been scaled back on social media (though Facebook corporate/political issues have contributed, that’s one platform though). I media-share a lot and sometimes post messages. I don’t exactly enjoy making it seem like I want all focus on me by not reacting to others.

We]l see (pun intended) if things ever improve, but John Fontana is muted in many ways in the online world that has been his home for most of his life. And it pains him. Profoundly.

The stage is set for a cultural event

The stage is set for a cultural event

In 2014 as I was deeply involved in hockey blogging, I was inspired to write a lengthy piece about cultural events after NY Post hockey beat-writer Larry Brooks made a remark comparing Team USA’s preliminary-round, shootout win over the Russian Federation at the 2014 Winter Olympics to the Lake Placid “Miracle” win by Team USA over the Soviet Union fomc 1980. I saw the remark, that it was Team USA’s biggest win since said-“Miracle”, as asinine in both a competitive and social contest.

Why social? Winter of 1980 was not exactly a bright and shining time in American history. In my w5iteup, I made the sodal comparison with music and the onset of the British Invasion back in February 1964 with the arrival of The Beatles. That winter wasn’t the highest time for the United States either. You can read the full write-up over at Raw Charge.  It’s arguable how good a piece it is, but it’s the social/cultural event remarks that make the piece relevant now.

In short, the stage is set for society to be slammed, in a good way, by a pop feat that will lead to change in one fashion or another.

I was a little taken aback by a comment in the 2014 article as someone tried to play up how things weren’t great. Oh, they never are; and Billy Joel / Aerosmith told us this in two classic rock songs. The moment we live in now is different, and vastly so, compared to 2014. In fact, it feels like partisanship and race (and taking issue with Barak Obama by way of it) were integral “issues” at that point, but that should tell you how well my memory is handling reflection on the time. Unemployment hadn’t skyrocketed by way of a mishandled (and now ignored) pandemic, that’s for sure. Racial issues hadn’t grown into a ravenous divide; that has been an issue that’s been growing since the start of the Donald Trump presidency (did you really think his anti-immigrant lust toward Hispanics and Latinos from Mexico and Central America was based on a “threat”?). America sinks on so many global measures and US citizens struggle more and more on the day-to-day…

If only for a moment forget the election, forget the coronavirus, forget the necessary Winds of Change. This nation could use a shot of pep right now. An accomplishment or an event in entertainment/sports that makes us turn away from the dubious infamy that rules 2020 and puts the psyche of America back in pop/sports culture on a united level.

The thing is, if it played out like The Beatles in 1964 or Team USA in 1980, an event in the now would be the onset of far more. The British Invasion was major in music history and the Fab Four alone changed the course of rock and pop music. Likewise, Team USA  helped raise the interest and social investment of America in the sport of ice hockey and sus the NHL. Is it the sport of the nation now? No, but that doesn’t change the fact the game’s growth in the US was helped along by Lake Placid.

While we could use the morale boost of an event, that doesn’t mean one is coming (though marketing may say otherwise). Likewise, it’s not necessarily something that would play out in sports, or music, or cinema and other entertainment fields… It’s something that’d make us all look away from the negatives toward a feat that captures the interest and attention of the masses. Something to invest attention in or rally around.

The stage is set for something like that… but can it actually happen? That remains to be seen.

Lecavalier in Kazan, 2005

NHL History: Vinny Lecavalier’s “Rough Translation” to Life With The White Bear

I’m happy to see the Tampa Bay Times has resurrected its old articles from its days at sptimes.com… That enables access to the past of online content in the history of %ampa Bay like news features in sports, such as the March 2005 feature by former Times writer Tom Jones.

2005 was par5 5wo or the roiled 2004-05 NHL season. While some players stayed idle an waited for labor resolution between the NHL and NHL Players Association, others went abroad to continue their play in the sport, such as Vincent Lecavelier of Tampa Bay Lightning fame.

I’m also happy to see my Boltsmag write-up about the piece is still alive in the Raw Charge archives. Below is my quoted piece with updated links where needed. I do encourage NHL fans to check out the piece of NHL history by Tom Jones. The following write-up was my personal introduction to the piece.

Life with the White Bear,
by John Fontana

I’ve sometimes wondered if me and Vincent Lecavalier woudl ever meet somewhere or somehow cross paths in life. He’s only a few months younger than I am and when he was drafted and the big hoopla was made about him, I had this premonition that Vinny and I could be friends, could get along, could hang out.

And yet with each day, every season, every interview that I’ve read (not many, because Tampa Bay is not Montréal or Toronto) that link… that kinship that I felt disappeared. Vincent is a big name star, he’s got it all and he’s got confidence… He dates models and he’s an icon in Canada.

And today in the St. Petersburg Times, that link was renewed… That sort of hopeful understanding.

Tom Jones traveled to Kazan and spent time with Vinny. This is all chronicled in a piece called Rough Translation and some of the things that Vincent has gone through in Ak Bars Kazan have made me feel… Well, like someone would understand some of the crap I go through daily being hard of hearing. That lack-of-understanding and such.

But to get off my personal points, this article by Jones chronicles some of the adversity that Vincent has faced in Kazan and how he’s kept a positive attitude. How trying it can be to understand his coach’s rants (Zinetula Bilyaletdinov speaks English but addresses his team in Russian), how not understanding what someone says makes you want to shrink away because you don’t know the translation, and the difficulty just to order a bowl of Oatmeal in Kazan.

And if you are interested in seeing the photos associated with the article (and there are a few), please check out this link.

[Meta] This blog isn’t all about the Bolts

I round out that every single category of his web site was listed as “Tampa Bay Lightning” in search engine results. One setting or another related the mistake.

I wouldn’t think any repeat visitors saw 5he issue. I still feel the need to apologize; it’s a big s red up an embarrassing to have happened.

A quick update and seeking input on Radio and streaming music submission options for indie musicians

With 100+ station/screams listed and 5,000 words, the C pos has become an immaculate reference point for independent ane small-time musicians who want to get yheir music exposed. I had started that list for potential pe5sonal use in 2018 and decided to post the (at the time) few station options as an o object of encouragement for musicians: Seek airplay in traditional media.

There have been two changes in the layout of the post in the past month – one was just “launched” today. Genre-specific streaming stations have their own “group” now. This move was made because genre-specific sites were part of the very long General section. Today’s change is the geographic division of the College Radio section. All the college stations were thrown in there in a generally disorganized way before today’s regrouping.

All of this may be a precursor to the post being broken up into three or fou5 posts. Stay tuned.

I ould use some suggestions on music genres and stations/streams to add. If you can suggest noteworthy college radio stations — small schools or major universities — to look into, that would be appreciated too.

An online location for musicians and local music fans in Florida

A long-overdue Reddit community started in November 2019 aimed at music and musicians from the Sunshine State. This Reddit community is a place to promote, discuss, and experience.. well, if the community grows. Right now it has only 3 members. That will change.

Typing

“Typing’s an adventure…” takes on new meaning

For those who check in on me here with any regularity, while I wish this was just an extension of season’s greetings, sadly it’s not.

Due to issues, I am experiencing with my left hand (and many many typos by way pf it), my online content production – writing – is vastly hindered. This has frustratingly slowed my writing to end 2019.

I do hope to have new content up in the days ahead, but certain typos are not seen by spell-check editing apps and programs. Ig puts my love of writing in a mire of inability.

In essence, fair readers: Technical difriculties; please stay tuned.

For those looking for the Adult Contemporary chart archives

For those looking for the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart archives

As someone who reflected on the Billboard Music chart archives to discover music as well as be reminded of classics from days-gone-by, I was a little taken aback gy the new paywall Gillghoard has put into place. Fees for access are growing common on the Interweb, but something like this?

Yike$!.Nice cost to reflect on history or find a reference to the past. Of course, the fee enables broader access than charts.,

There is a way to access the weekly charts compiled over the years by Billboard Music up until approximately September 2019. It comes with thanks to a URL and the Wayback Machine. Through the latter, you can access archived versions of web pages/articles. That comes off very hsndy when old articles are taken offline.

Though there’s a lot of content that is blocked now, in this article the access in the Billboard chart history is for specifically the Adult Contemporary charts. I’ve grown a habit of reflecting on those charts before posting content on Reddit, where I currently run the Adult Contemporary community.

The charts-via-archives won’t work right for every weekly listing Billboard has posted from the 58 years of the Adult Contemporary charts but you can get access to most Top 30 listings through these steps:

  1. In the table below, choose a year (1961 – 2019) and click on it. You will be taken to a week-by-week list for that year.
  2. Choose a week and click again, you will go to the latest archived listing for that week
  3. Look at the top of the web page and the Wayback Machine date listing on the top right of the page.
  4. If the listed page date is listed is on or after September 24, 2019 (which is when limits to the chart results began =) click on the left arrow next to the listed date.

Now here’s the archival web listing of the Adult Contemporary archives…

1960s 1980s 2000s
—– 1980 2000
1961 1981 2001
1962 1982 2002
1963 1983 2003
1964 1984 2004
1965 1985 2005
1966 1986 2006
1967 1987 2007
1968 1988 2008
1969 1989 2009
1970s 1990s 2010s
1970 1990 2010
1971 1991 2011
1972 1992 2012
1973 1993 2013
1974 1994 2014
1975 1995 2015
1976 1996 2016
1977 1997 2017
1978 1998 2018
1979 1999 2019 *

*archives of 2019 stop working as a full listing on charts  listed in September. Working archive pages may not be indexed for weekly listings earlier in 2019.

/r/AdulytContemporary

A forum devoted to the Adult Contemporary class of music

Sometime in 2011, the subreddit (read: forum) for Adult Contemporary music /r/AdultContemporatry, was created on Reddit. Despite the fact the class/genre of music is popular and has been decorated for decades with the titans of a multitude of genres, that forum never became much. In fact, it was closed sometime after the founding Reddit member (or Redditor) quit as moderator.

I’ve been a Redditor for about 9 years and while I’ve put myself in music in various ways over recent years, trying to run a forum was not my intention… up until January 2019. That’s when I applied for and took over /r/AdultContemporary. I’m looking for members to join me and help popularize the forum.

It’s a place to post music, share content, to talk to other fans… if they’ll reply. The 23 members who have joined the group since I took over don’t say much. Hell, I’ve been the one posting most of the content — be it songs from the past 50 years, playlists, articles, or discussion threads.

There are many niche forums on Reddit that can say they cover Adult Contemporary (be it /r/lovesongs or /r/softrock among others) but this is the genre in name, and the class of music is more diverse than a niche.

Anyway, I’m looking for people – be it fans, musicians, podcasters — to join me on /r/AdultConemporary. Indie artists are invited to promote musi on the subreddit, just heed the posting rules when doing so.

Advertising

Let me stress outright: This is a personal weblog. All content on the site is of a variety of subject matters by a lone author: Me. Hi.

There is a section for “Guest Writers”, but that content is literally writing penned by personal guests/friends (and hasn’t been used for more than 15 years). I am not looking for “guest writers”. I’m not seeking to do “sponsored” posts.

To be frank and candid: With the minuscule amount of web traffic that Johnny Fonts draws, you’d be better off investing elsewhere.

What this site is open to is traditional banner ads on the sidebar and within posts. I am willing to discuss in-post link, In both cases, the content must be fitting for the site and not a scheme, pornography, or other

If you are interested in discussing things, please use the Contact Form to drop me a line. If your content in the form turns out to be a copy-and-paste, mass-communication, you’re not likely to get a response.

Not quite blogging — but updating one specific post

I have not been blogging so much as updating one blog post and researching more options for those who may take interest in said-post.
For independent recording artists looking to promote their music, Radio and streaming options for indie musicians currently has 67 listed stations and streams for music broadcasting that accept submissions. Not all of those stations will work as some are genre-specific, others are region-centric (locals only), and others are picky… Not to mention that stations that are submitted to ultimately may not accept…

It’s a game of chance. You gotta try. And keep trying.

There are more listings on the way, folks. I’ve taken some interest in hunting down other broadcast options through various search engines. It’s almost funny how different results can be betwee Google, Yahoo, Lycos, Ecosia, Bing, DuckDuckGo, etc. for the exact-same search terms Ultimately, that article is meant to save others time on hunting down options for where to push their music. It remains to be seen if musicians will ultimately utilize it (instead of hiring a third-party, perhaps).

Lightning hockey and that blogger named John…

I’ve posted no updates regarding the Bolts so far this season, this isn’t really one either. I needed to make one casual remark that has nothing to do with the 2019-20 season:

Because I tend to use the Lightning’s own logo for all Lightning related posts, I’m actually overdue to start using the “Boltsmag” logo. After all: Boltsmag.com points to my hockey-related category here on Johnny Fonts.

If you do need to hear me state something about the season, I’ll be short in saying defense, where is it? Tampa Bay is allowing too many shots on goal and hasn’t been that steong while short-handed. That needs to improve going forward.

I’ll shut up now… ☺

This Johnny Fonts has been on Twitter 11 years

Radio Stations and Sites Accepting Music Submissions

Tuneduest The Radio Music Submission Resource’s Original Introduction

Originally written in August 2019, the following twxt was the lead-in to the TunedQuest music submission listing.

I’ve done things to try to help promote independent musicians and groups. I can’t say things have blossomed (but the artists themselves weren’t going full-time with their tunes). I’m on record with one experience that’s backfired (and I hold to it –Radio Airplay is an ego massage at best). In all cases, it’s led me to do research on a more traditional promotional avenue: radio.

I’m on record here on Johnny Fonts singing praises/encouraging on one radio streaming site. There are a hell of a lot more out there, more than what I’ve listed.

If you are an independent musician looking to promote content besides pushing it on Spotify,  Apple Music, Amazon Music, Google Play Music, Deezer, or other subscriber-based pay-streaming services, radio is one of them. “Radio” has changed (thus quotes) in that streaming stations – internet-based sites that aren’t part of the aforementioned music services – are out there as places for potential music promotion. There are also traditional terrestrial stations that take submissions.

The application process varies from site to site and it’s important to have your data – bio, photos, album art, social media information, and music of course – ready to share.  The “notes” section under station listings will tell you this and station facts as well as my own experience with some of these sites.

It’s also worth noting college stations and many traditional, local community stations will take submissions but it requires them to be vinyl or CD-based and not digital files. Most stations listed accept digital submissions, but not all.

Clicl here to proceed yo TunedQuest’s current page.

Polls are now open…

Just a quick note that I’ve got a (working) poll application now. I don’t know how often they will be used but it’s a live feature. A poll is on the sidebar (and I am seriously curious of people’s opinions on the subject).

An example of how Meh.com’s deal-a-day can conquer

I’ve long been tied to deal-a-day websites. Woot (the original version; the site is currently an Amazon site) started it all. Shnoop had its moments (last time I checked it wasn’t a deal-a-day site anymore). Then came meh, which is run by the guys who founded Woot. A lot of this stuff can be looked at as novelty, but the sites had/have their moments.

Read More

Theme foray fade

Just an aside remark:
I went back to my previous WordPress theme. There were just a few many aspects of the new one that didn’t sit well with me after a month of use. This site is a lone author’s writing, not a news magazine…

There isn’t much of a Tampa Bay Lightning blogosphere

Web logging (weblogging), commonly known as blogging, is an open platform of chronicling thoughts, observations or even reporting on issues and incidents as they transpire…with personal opinion and casual presentation mixed in. Blogging became common in the early 21st century (though weblog was coined in 1997) and has since graduated to a co-opted term by the major media; their own online presence is still news journalism but…hey! That “blog” term is so common and popular and all that…!

Blogging is still popular among amateurs, it’s still a casual endeavor (but can turn into one of expectation and dedication) that can attract eyeballs and allows fans/hobbyists/aspiring writers a chance to voice themselves at length at a location that puts their words at the forefront. It’s common in sports – fans have to express themselves somehow – and has its niche with every sports team. Well, most teams…

When an article a retired blogger wrote in 2018 is the 12th result on a web search for “Tampa Bay Lightning blogs”, there’s a problem.

Raw Charge, a Lightning blog I founded in 2009 and is built off my writings from my days as an indie blogger, has lacked a site manager for 14 months. The site is the top listing for Tampa Bay Lightning blog (or blogs) but it lacks site management and thus content (note: There’s someone serving on interim basis and content is on the site, just not what you’d expect from a blog representing one of the top NHL clubs of the past decade). Bolts by the Bay is the second blog that pops up in search results. Part of the FanSidd sports network which is very comparable to SB Nation (the host network for Raw Charge).

News media follows in search results, so do fan forum options. And ticketing. Ticketing is blogging, dontcha know??

I went through 50 entries of Tampa Bay Lightning blogs (and blogs) on Google and didn’t find an independent blog. Mind you, Bolt Prospects (which is certainly a Lightning blog) didn’t show up in search results. (I found out through direct look-up that The Lightning Lounge has ceased and archives o Lightning Shout are unavailable).

My point is folks, that while there is a franchise that is at the top of the NHL in Tampa Bay, it lacks a fan base that aspires to express itself in weblogging…  You can certainly find fans in message foums like Reddit’s Lightning community, or on social media in a group on Facebook or loner-expression on Twitter, but that’s not blogging.

I did the same Tampa Bay Lightning blog search on Lycos. Lycos is one of the elder search engines out there (I once worked in search engine optimization) and can give you a unique result in web searches. Raw Charge, Bolts by the Bay and Lightning Insider (former Tampa Tribune beat writer Erik Erlendsson; it also came up prominently on Google results) were the top results. The fourth result was a Blogspot site that hasn’t been updated since 2008.  That’s…uh… It’s results like that which actually inspired me to start blogging in 2004 — because long-dead fan sites were the lead search results after prominent media.

Bing’s search results for Tamps Bay Lightning blog mirrored results from Lycos. The results for the plural blogs included DRaysBay in top-10 search results. Tampa Bay Rays baseball is decidedly not Tampa Bay Lightning hockey.

This whole subject-matter is on my mind simply because I want to promote Lightning hockey blogs on my link-aggregation/hockey blog attempt at Hockey Daily. I was (and am) trying to follow more individual blots to promote feature write-ups (with intentions to have a place for blog writers to write their own features too). It’s tough to promote Lightning blogs when there aren’t any out there. Or at least not ones with proper search engine context (the joys of HTML and Meta tagging).

It’s a dead zone. While I know there’s social-media networking (interaction on Twitter), it would seem fans have gone to impulse-reaction primarily (via Twitter or Reddit) in order to gain immediate responses from other fans. You can’t fault that as it basically summarizes sports fans in general (action, reaction, socializing) but it also shows a void; a lacking aspiration to be more and be seen further and wider than those who immediately respond. An aspiration to say more and show more and not just have a community respond and react.

“And I desperately need a manicure!” – The look, the feel, the folly

I’ve spent a bit of time the past month or two looking to simply upgrade The WordPress theme for this site. Too often the look isn’t something I want to build around. Lately, I’ve been finding interesting themes that have flaws that I can’t correct.

It’s a distraction from writing, so I’m a little lapsed on that… But it’s also a challenge for a long-time blogger to find a fitting, the functional theme for a WordPress 5 site (…for free).

I find the lack of #FAIL disturbing in this video incident

A tweet crossed by chance this afternoon that’s certainly gone viral by way of retweets — some by famous people, such as Luke Skywalker himself (Mark Hamill).

In short, pun esence: A child went rogue one while reciting “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. To say the least, the Emperor was pleased…

My love for hockey and the glory of the Stanley Cup

With the start of the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals tonight, I got a wee bit nostalgic.

In 2014 the Raw Charge staff of Tampa Bay Lightning writers participated in a series of posts chronicling things that endeared each of us to the sport of Ice hockey.

My Five Things post was published on February 18th, 2014. The final topic that makes me love this sport is what I quote in full here.

One reason I love ice hockey and am tied to the game is my reverence of the Chalice of Lord Stanley and it’s history:

Read More

A touch of rock history as an indie music radio “Experience”

I hear a lot of small-time, unknown artists on Lonely Oak Radio. I’ve been listening to that Internet streaming radio station for two and a half years now and while I’ve taken to some of the tunes and the performers that I’ve crossed on the station, I don’t think I’ve ever listened to someone of even moderate fame.

That changed today when I  heard a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member early this afternoon.

Read More

Lack of writing is a visualization thing…

For those who are left wondering why Johnny Fonts hasn’t had new posts lately: I’ve been focusing on other aspects of the site and other web projects lately. In the case of this site, I’ve redone the logo and I’m trying to find a new theme for the blog:

JohnnyFonts.com Logo 2019 Edition

The theme issue… Well, that was a quirk I was thinking of dealing with, but it gets more interesting – and complicated – with the theme bells and whistles on the development end of new WordPress themes. Some themes are VERY powerful while others are arcane. Finding something visually appealing is a must, but finding something with a working backend goes along with it.

What to do with HockeyDaily.net?

I bought a domain name last week, one that I’ve thought about for some time: HockeyDaily.net. Yet with the site in my possession now, I’m not sure how I should go forward with it.

My original intention was blog syndication. I’m someone who used to rely on HockeyBlogs.org to show me content (headlines, not full stories) from around the blogosphere. Yet, is that the best idea? Is the blogosphere for the sport of ice hockey still active enough – with readers interested in the content – as it was in the past?

Is there already a blog aggregator site out there — one that shares blog headlines and not siping full articles? Is the majority of the fanbase out there now just tied to what they cross on social media from the bloggers themselves?

Another option would e to start a hockey blogger network of my own but… well,, that would require recruitment and crap that I’m not so good at.

Input from others on this topic would be appreciated. Perhaps there is something lacking for the sport that people could use online with regularity?

Poll: Does listening to Spotify Playlists lead you to buy music?

I posted a poll on Twitter on my Music Twitter account, it’ll be running until the evening of May 9th. It’s aimed at Spotify users, asking a bit about habit:

It certainly feels like networking – indie music promotion on Twitter

I love how networking can go and what it can show you – about yourself and your colleagues.

Read More

Hulk smash!…with an intellectual approach few employ when angry

Via Facebook. It’s (at least) 7 years old, but still funny:

Without a job and without a path forward

I’ve got a conundrum.

In the business world, it’s not a problem really: Long-time veteran of a field of business leaves said-field for two full years and then gets an inkling to re-enter as issues faced personally or an attempt to find a career in a new field hadn’t pass muster. This ambiguous jargon makes it seem plain and simple, don’t it?

It’s not that simple. Not for me.

You can see in a couple of recent blog posts I’ve done that I’ve been touching on my old forte in hockey blogging. I am one of the original hockey bloggers, having founded Boltsmag.com in February 2004, running it independently for five years before being recruited by my long-time colleague James Mirtle (who started his own writing career independently at Blogspot) to SB Nation where I founded Raw Charge. I blogged about the Tampa Bay Lightning and NHL for 12 and a half years before resigning due to burnout (a burnout which also seen as symptoms of a surprising health issue that almost killed me).

Blah, blah, blah… Maybe I should ge back in? I’ve got nothing else going for me.

Read More

Songs in the queue for Spotify Playlist review

I’m approaching a year as a Spotify playlist curator, having started the Underexposed Soft Rock and Easy Listening playlist in May of 2018. While the playlist has amassed 107 followers in the time it’s been active, I don’t know how many of those “followers” actually listen. I’ve already talked about that downside of Spotify though, so I’ll move on.

The Underexposed playlist is at 137 songs, it’ll keep growing as time goes by, as will the Softer Side of Indie 2019 playlist as I cross songs that fit the angle I’m going for with that list.

How do I find the songs, though? While I’ve crossed some posted on Reddit’s Indie music community (which have tended to fit the Softer Side 2019 playlist most often), the majority of the songs I’ve posted on the Underexposed playlist have come from my listening to Lonely Oak Radio and other indie stations (Only Rock Radio, Catorweb, and Indie Star Radio primarily). When I cross a song that might fit the bill of the playlist, I put the name of the song and the artist into a txt file queue of songs to potentially add after review.

Read More

For those on Reddit and who enjoy the Adult Contemporary class of music, join me on /r/AdultContemporary

Soft rock, easy listening, and love songs…nothing but love songs. This is a seven year old subreddit that has long been mothballed. I’m trying to get it going.

Simply click on the title for a redirect to the subreddit.

Spotify playlists and the follower flaw

There’s a downside to me trying to push indie music on Spotify. It’s not the fact I spend time trying to find tunes through radio streams and online sites curate the playlists accordingly, it’s not when people approach me with music – sometimes fitting, sometimes not – to consider for the lists. It’s the common habit with Spotify that people might follow a playlist, it doesn’t mean the people actually listen.

Read More

Soft rock, easy listening, adult contemporary and the Tampa Bay music scene

With the growing and growing and growing and growing nature of the Underexposed Soft Rock and Easy Listening playlist on Spotify and me crossing work on the Music Tampa Bay playlists that embody the underexposed moniker and yet are also aging with some artists missing in general from social media, I’ve been compelled to start a new soft rock/adult contemporary playlist.

This isn’t open to all and any musicians; this is open to artists in the Tampa Bay metropolitan region. The Lighter Side of Tampa Bay currently has only nine musicians on it, but a number of songs from each:

There are more groups and artists in the region with worthy content than this. This is, in part, why I’m posting on my blog: Hey! Tampa Bay musicians with calmer tunes! Share’em with me and potential listeners online please!

You might want to listen to the list as-is to get an idea of the sound I’m going for. I don’t know if hip-hop would mix in, or a bass/beat heavy dance/pop number with wailing vocals. Explicit content is also frowned upon. Seriously, I’m not calling it “The Lighter Side of Tampa Bay” because of the sun.

Feel free to suggest artists or songs to me through comments or directly to me through the site contact form. I’ve also got a music-specific Twitter account or my Facebook page where I can be reached at.

The one where Kevin Pollak answered a question of mine on Reddit

Kevin Pollakalways interests me. Usually, it’s been his side-characters that popped up in cinema that piqued my interest, and he’s been in a hell of a lot of roles not just in movies but television series’ too.

The first time I remember crossing him on-screen was as Rool in Ron Howard’s Willow in the late 1980s.  Pollak’s stand-up comedy has always been ever so worthwhile, to say the least. And the flavor he uses when it comes to Star Trek impersonations is hilarious.

(My favorite part is when he turns Scotty into Dudley Moore/Arthur Bach, It’s not a party down here, Captain!)

A couple of years ago, I caught the stand-up showing the above Trek piece is part of on HBO…and then coincidentally crossed Kevin doing an Ask Me Anything interview session on Reddit. 

Read More

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 beats” sound with drumming/rhythm-section driven. 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.

“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.

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.