Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Still Updating

Well, the new software is up and running, but I'm still working to get all of the music that was on the old system up and running on the new one. And there are plenty of little things to fix. I'm still trying to fine tune the segues (especially the IDs) and getting the rotation of new music to work right is going to take a little time. And of course, the new music is piling up big time. I've got a huge stack of CDs that I've already listened to that need to be imported into the system. We'll get there. The good news so far is that I'm starting to hear indie artists that I haven't really heard in awhile, as the Indie rotation now has more priority. Speaking of which, if you are an indie artist that I play on The Promise and you'd like to have an ID thrown into my rotation, contact me and I'll give you the parameters to record it.

Thank you all for your patience. This work in progress, will hopefully continue to get better and better.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New Software

What the hell am I doing? The Promise is celebrating 8 years on the air (or through the tubes we call the Internet) this year and it has always been delivered to you via a wonderful software package called OTS. Although OTS has great sound and the BEST segue engine in the business, it was never really designed for Internet radio stations. You may have noticed that there was never album info or that all the songs ran 5 minutes in length. Well, that is all changing now.

Starting today I am slowly bringing up the new software, a program called SAM 4 from Spacial Audio (and no, for those of you who know me, it has nothing to do with Sam Phillips). There are over 5000 songs that need to be brought into the system and I am nowhere near that yet. But I'm hoping to get most of the play list up by the end of the weekend. All of the current music is up though. All of the old intros to sets are gone. I have replaced them for now with short IDs. Hopefully, when I have time, I will slip in a few words live, just to keep you all on your toes.

The changes... you want to know the changes? Well, I am abandoning the creation of sets for now. In its place I am attempting to make sure the current music gets more airplay and that the core songs from the play lists, which hopefully you want to hear more than once or twice a year, will get more airplay. The website will be changing soon also. You will soon have more access to all of the songs played on The Promise and if all goes well, the chance to request songs from that database. I am also hoping to make it easier for indie artists to get their songs to me. I know when this is all set up, I will be able to push the new music out to you much faster than I am today.

So, sit tight, cross your fingers, light a candle and pray that this all works out well. And please, by all means, after listening for awhile, let me know what you think.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Three Guitars and their Cello

McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica continues to add to my "great shows" list and last night was right up there with the best. It was Alejandro Escovedo's return to that stage after many years and he completely owned it.

Amy Cook started us out with a short but shining set of classic Austin Singer/Songwriter music. Her style actually reminds me a lot of David Garza. I really enjoyed it and will be looking to buy her new CD when it comes out. David Pulkingham, Alejandro's guitarist, came out and played a couple of songs with her. It was a wonderful pairing.

After a short break, Alejandro came down the stairs joined by David, and Matt Fish (on cello). They started with older material, with Alejandro often telling the stories that went with the songs. First came songs from Gravity. Then, the twin songs Juarez and Rosalie. The three of them burned through these songs with hot solos by both Matt and David. They finished the early part of the show with a great story about "Dearhead on the Wall" from Boxing Mirror, followed by another potent rendition. Then came a big surprise for me: Alejandro introduced his co-writer for Real Animal and long time friend, Chuck Prophet. Chuck brought his own guitar (thus my title, 3 guitars and their cello... And yes that is a play on the title of the Emmylou, Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin and Buddy Miller tour) and joined the band for a long section of songs from the latest CD, "Real Animal". Now remember, this is all acoustic. But the four of them rocked the place like the three guitar army that they were. And this wasn't just Chuck strumming along and singing some harmony. He did some guitar solos and sang some lead on a couple of songs. He even told us a great story about buying jeans in Europe. Near the end, Amy came out to join them on "Sensitive Boys". The harmonies were beautiful. But there was more to come. They returned for their encore with Amy, David, Matt and Alejandro, and instead of playing on stage, they walked out to the center of the room. Now understand, this is not a big hall. It only seats 125 or so and we are cramped in there. So, this move turns an intimate show into more of a living room type show. They did several songs, but finished with a couple of covers. First, "All the Young Dudes". Amy's interpretation was sooooo good and the audience eagerly joined in for the chorus. They then finished the night with the Ian Hunter song, "I Wish I Was Your Mother". It was a beautiful ending to a perfect evening.

Music Hall Link - Alejandro Escovedo listen