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Thursday, July 26, 2012 10:16 am

Illinois Times radio arrives

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Hip Bone Sam

Yes, you read right. After 30 some years as a newspaper Illinois Times has it’s own radio program available directly from IT’s website. Never fear, the paper is still in print and online, but now you can listen to music artists performing in the area through the help of a new company based in Berkeley, Calif.

DeliRadio went live on the World Wide Web in Sept. 2011 and calls itself “Local Independent Social Radio!” offering music listening services tailored to certain locales. The Springfield area and Illinois Times is the smallest population center yet reached by DeliRadio services, because they focused on the larger metropolitan places as they got started. Our publisher, Sharon Whalen, heard about the service and pursued it, excited by the opportunities to promote local acts and in doing so setting up Illinois Times as a cutting edge presenter of live music listings.

For now just go to the Illinois Times home page and right under where you submit calendar listings you’ll see Illinois Times Radio. The music is divided into categories for your searching convenience and these can be adjusted from town to town to best fit the music popular in each area. If you click onto a variety of music, say, Rock/Indie, as I’m doing now, up pops Dear Creek, a band I’ve never heard of, playing at the Gramophone in St. Louis on Aug. 6. You can click on a button and go straight to any of the band’s social network sites, order tickets to the show and buy merchandise, as well as listen to music the artist has uploaded.

If you scroll down on the listed players for the category, up comes our friend Hip Bone Sam playing Tuesday, July 24, at the Koo Koo’s Nest and his song Color TV comes on with his logo, IT’s 2011 Best of Springfield award and several photos all alternating on the top of the page. When HBS is done, here is Carbon Leaf playing the Old Rock House on July 25 in St. Louis. It’s that easy to find out what’s playing around our area, including shows in Champaign, Bloomington, St. Louis, the Illinois State Fair, the PCCC, and on and on.

“I think it’s great for fans, bands and everyone,” says Kristy Hawkins, aka Hip Bone Sally. “I haven’t looked at it since we joined and uploaded all the photos and music. Wow. It’s all there. Very cool thing you guys have done.”

And now all that is left is for each of you original bands out there to go to blog.deliradio.com/consent and sign up with the program. You can have your own profile page that’s more useful than Facebook and more inclusive than Reverbnation or at the least, make a strong addition to your regular online promotion pages, including IT’s band directory, of course.

Some bands have refused the service because of no pay from DeliRadio for the use of their music, but that’s a personal decision to be weighed in terms of getting the usual fraction of a penny per hit versus letting people know where your band is playing. That ability to reach an audience at a venue seems to be at the core of what DeliRadio is trying to do with this offering.

“Music fans are all over this, saying where has this been all my life,” says Matthew “Smitty” Smith, vice president of marketing for DeliRadio and former touring musician. “Our core philosophy of the site is to bring all the parts of the performing music aspects together to make what we call an ‘active streaming calendar’ to connect musicians with audiences.”

So bands check it out, fans use it and we will all be better for it.

Contact Tom Irwin at tirwin@illinoistimes.com.

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