Sunday, January 31, 2016

Indie Web Radio is dead - Long live Indie Web Radio!

Live365's farewell message
Live365, a major innovator of internet radio, independent webcasting and music streaming, passed away early Sunday, the victim of changing royalty rules that smashed its business model and the probably-not-coincidental loss of its financial backing.

Like many of its member broadcasters, we at Birch Street Radio are trying hard to carry on. In our case, we've moved to another platform, Radionomy, where our future depends on our ability to build a big enough audience to justify commercial sponsorship. Which means, our future depends on LISTENERS.

If you enjoy musical variety, then please support independent webcasters like us who strive to present programming that you can't find on corporate radio.

We hope you enjoy our particular blend of rock, alternative, folk and other styles by bands and singer-songwriters, established and unsigned, from The '60s to Right Now -- and will tune in often to Birch Street Radio.

And -- like Live365 in its final message -- we encourage you to sample the many other indie broadcasters and their labors of love on the big old World Wide Web. It's where music of ALL kinds plays on!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Thank you, and good night: Live365 is signing off


There's been no further word from Live365 since the Jan. 15 email to its broadcasters announcing that it's closing:
"January 31, 2016 is the last day that Live365's streaming servers and website will be maintained and supported."
So will all of its streams, including ours, suddenly go silent at midnight California time on Sunday night? Or earlier? Or will the remaining Live365 employees, if any, simply let go and leave it to their internet/server providers to pull the plug? We don't know.

In any event, it's sad to see the venerable webcasting service, running since 1999, end with a whimper. Birch Street Radio has been broadcasting there since 1999, and it's been a lot of fun.

But - we move on. We've built a new home at Radionomy, and we're improving it every day. Our Marvelous Mixture of Music is sounding good there, if we do say so ourselves.

The challenge now is to see if we can build a big enough audience in the next several months to remain on Radionomy, which covers licensing/royalty payments but requires certain listenership levels because it's advertising-supported.

So we ask for your support -- not your money, just your ears! If you enjoy our particular selection of rock/alternative/folk-rock/indie/Americana/whatever music, please tune in often. And let us know what you like about it, and what you think would improve it. Thanks for listening!

TO LISTEN:
Use any of the players on this page or paste this link into your own player:
http://listen.radionomy.com/birchstreetradio

TO CONTACT US:
Email birchstreetradio@gmail.com
Find us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Farewell to Paul Kantner

More sad news in the music world: Paul Kantner, founding member and guitarist of the Jefferson Airplane, has died at age 74.

From SFGate.com, the web site of the San Francisco Chronicle:
The Airplane was renowned for thrilling vocal gymnastics by singers Marty Balin, Grace Slick and Mr. Kantner, the psychedelic blues-rock sound developed by guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bass player Jack Casady, and the LSD-spiked, ’60s-era revolutionary fervor of its lyrics.

The band was formed in 1965 in a Union Street bar called the Drinking Gourd, when Balin met Mr. Kantner and expressed his interest in creating a “folk-rock” band. It didn’t take long for the Airplane to attract a sizable local following, enough so that when fledgling promoter Bill Graham opened his legendary Fillmore Auditorium, the Jefferson Airplane served as the first headliner.
We're adding extra helpings of Airplane music to our mix to remember Kantner's big contribution to 20th Century music.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

More articles about the plight of indie webcasters

From ham-radio operators to webcasters, independent, do-it-yourself radio has a long history.

At Pitchfork, Mark Hogan reports:
The Webcaster Settlement Act of 2009, which allowed small online radio station operators to pay royalties based on a percentage of revenues rather than a per-stream rate, expired at the end of 2015, and it hasn’t been renewed. Without a new agreement, some digital music industry observers say, many low-budget online radio stations could be forced to shut down. Still others may never be launched.
Actually, many small webcasters already have been "forced to shut down." The expiration of the small-operators agreement caused the collapse of Live365, leaving many hobbyist webcasters without a way to continue. Some small operations that were making a little bit of income via Live365 also are throwing in the towel because paying the full royalty rate would more than swallow up their entire revenue.

Birch Street Radio is a labor of love that makes no money. Along with many others stranded by the closing of Live365, we've moved to Radionomy, which covers royalty and licensing fees in return for running commercials in our streams. But if we don't build a large enough audience to justify the sponsorship, our stations will be turned off.

So there really is no remaining option for the thousands of personal webcasters who provide outlets for out-of-the-mainstream music, serving small niche audiences, and can't afford to pay full royalties from their non-existent income.

The Pitchfork article also discusses the impact on innovation in digital radio.
Deborah Newman, founder of digital music consultancy MusicStrat, says ...without a more favorable rate for small commercial webcasters,"I don’t see much new development going on in that world, because I don’t think anybody can afford it, and they’ll just end up getting clobbered."
At Huffington Post, arts journalist Thomas Gladysz writes about his own labor of love, a Live365 station called RadioLuLu that played music associated with movies of the 1920s and 1930s, including many rare recordings.
There is a lot of great music on Live365, as well as a lot of passion behind its many stations. I will miss the niche stations like mine and like those that play only Tiki music. I will miss the chance to discover new music.
If you have an interest in the future of indie web radio - as a listener, a broadcaster or a musician - we suggest you visit www.radiodiversity.org - a site set up by Future of Music Coalition, a national nonprofit research, education and advocacy organization for musicians and composers, to organize "in support of a fair solution for small webcasters."

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Latest adds: New music from new (and not) artists

As we've said before, we not only play new music by today's artists ... and familiar music by veteran artists ... but also new music by the "classic" artists.

So we're happy to add the latest single by Graham Nash, "This Path Tonight," to our mix. It's a thoughtful song about making big choices in life.

Also added this week to our New Music bin: The Great American Canyon Band, a duo out of Baltimore that recently released an EP and has its debut album, "Only You Remain," coming out soon. Check out their unusual dream/folk blend in the song "Crash."

... And we have the latest from Tedeschi Trucks Band - the title cut from their uncoming "Let Me Get By."

... And another track from Boy & Bear's "Limit of Love" album, this one called "Where'd You Go."

... And a fun new single from Ray LaMontagne called "Hey No Pressure." It's the first taste of his new album, "Ouroboros," produced with Jim James of My Morning Jacket.

As always, we mix new sounds and classics - and new classics! - on Birch Street Radio. Tune in!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Help us build our new home just by tuning in!

With the imminent shutdown of our former host, Live365.com, we're working hard to make the new version of Birch Street Radio sound even better at its new home on Radionomy. We're adding new music every day and trying to hit just the right balance with our mix of new and old, rock bands and singer-songwriters, and especially, new artists.

It's easy to tune in! Use any player on this page
or enter this URL in your favorite player:
http://listen.radionomy.com/birchstreetradio

And all YOU have to do is tune in! We need your support to continue - not by giving us money, just by lending us your ears.

Our future depends on building up a sufficient audience to justify our sponsorship at Radionomy. So please listen, early and often! We're sure you'll enjoy the great variety in our Marvelous Mixture of Music.

What's going on with Live365? Here from Radio Survivor is another good article on the shutdown of Live365 and the plight of small webcasters. There's also an article about it at betanews.com. And here's what we wrote earlier this month.

If you have an interest - as a listener or perhaps a musician who benefits from airplay on independent radio stations like ours - we suggest you sign up at radiodiversity.org which is trying to bring affected parties together for action.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Bands We Play: Crack the Sky

Unless you were a rock music fan in the Baltimore area in the 1970s, chances are you're not familiar with Crack the Sky. Which is a shame, because they're a terrific band that, thanks to various record-company screw-ups and personnel changes, never picked up the momentum needed to break into the big time. Radio airplay in Baltimore, Pittsburgh and a few other cities brought them a devoted audience that has followed them ever since.

The band's debut album was released in 1975. Forty years later, Rolling Stone included "Crack the Sky" in its list of "50 Greatest Prog Rock Albums of All Time." The magazine's Ryan Reed wrote:
Crack the Sky ... created an outright classic with their kaleidoscopic debut. Led by singer-mastermind John Palumbo, the band expertly navigated chunky hard-rock riffs ("Hold On"), barbed art pop ("Surf City"), fusion funk (the wicked breakdown in "She's a Dancer") and long-form balladry ("Sea Epic"). Yet they never achieved more than a faithful regional following, despite a glowing Rolling Stone review: "Like the first albums of Steely Dan, 10cc, and the Tubes, Crack the Sky's debut introduces a group whose vision of mid-'70s ennui is original, humorous and polished. . ." Bolstered by the fans they do have, Crack the Sky have kept at it: Their 15th studio album, Ostrich, was released in 2012.
Crack the Sky's Rick Witkowski and John Palumbo, circa 2011
And indeed they're still at it. The band released a new album, "The Beauty of Nothing," in October 2015. The title cut is in our current rotation at Birch Street Radio and it demonstrates that progressive rock can still sound fresh and new. It's available for purchase and streaming on the group's Bandcamp page. The band also has some live shows coming up. Learn more at Crack the Sky's website.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

New artists bring retro rock sounds to our mix

Musical styles go in and out of fashion, but good ones have a way of coming back. The past several years have seen artists like Mumford & Sons, the Lumineers and Fleet Foxes update sounds that hearken back to the folk-rock of the 60s and 70s. In recent weeks we've come across two new artists that are reviving old rock-and-roll sounds.

Jason Wells is quite direct about that: His new self-released album is called "Rock n Roll Revival" and his previous collection was "The Modern Vintage Movement." Jason is from Frankfort, Kentucky. He's been playing guitar since he was a kid, but after years spent working and raising a family, decided to take a chance on doing what he always really wanted - make music full-time. He put out an acoustic CD in 2010, then shifted gears and assembled an electric-guitar-driven, full-tilt rock-and-roll band. It's currently playing venues around the Midwest.

We first happened to hear "Step and a Stumble" from "The Modern Vintage Movement" and were hooked. Jason and his band have a strong blues-rock sound that might remind you of The Black Crowes or The Fabulous Thunderbirds. We've got a few of his tracks now in our big mix at Birch Street Radio. And you can find more at jasonwellsmusic.com

We've also added the Ruen Brothers' new single, "Aces." How did these two young Brits learn to sound like this? The Ruen Brothers -- siblings Henry and Rupert Stansall from Scunthorpe, England -- seem to have taken a trip back in time and space to study the music of the 1960s, picking up ideas from Roy Orbison, the Everly Brothers, Johnny Cash, Frankie Valli and the like. After they made a splash in England, Rick Rubin brought them to California and produced their debut EP, Point Dume, released last year. They haven't really "broken out" in the States yet, but they've got a place in the mix at Birch Street Radio.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Fighting against the demise of internet radio

UPDATE 1/21: Future of Music Coalition, a national nonprofit research, education and advocacy organization for musicians and composers, has started a website - www.radiodiversity.org - to organize "in support of a fair solution for small webcasters." So far it has information about the crisis and a sign-up form. The site says: "Soon we’ll have opportunities for you to take action. For now, please sign up to be notified of the latest developments."

Wikipedia photo
Webcaster John Michaels of BullsEye Radio, an oldies station that's been streaming for eight years, is one of the many small internet broadcaster who's shutting down due to new royalty rates imposed in the United States by the Copyright Royalty Board.

He's also started a website - savenetradio.info - explaining the plight of independent webcasters in the wake of the CRB ruling and seeking petition signatures.

The CRB ruling also is also forcing the shutdown of Live365.com as of Jan. 31. Live365 was Birch Street Radio's host for the past three years.

We're pressing on by joining Radionomy, an international streaming service that pays royalties and sells advertising that's inserted into our program. But there's a catch: We have nine months to build up a large enough audience to justify the sponsorship. Otherwise, we'll be faced with either shutting down or finding a way to pay our own fees - a difficult path since we're an indy outfit with no revenue! We're just in it for the love of music.

We're not going to ask for money or ask you to write nasty letter to the CRB. All we ask from you is: LISTEN! Listen a lot! Tell your friends and get them to listen! Help build an audience for the Marvelous Mixture of Music on Birch Street Radio - so we can keep on playing!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Artists we play: Phila. singer-songwriter Hemming

Along with the "stars" we play on Birch Street Radio -- from the 60s to today, Beatles to Black Keys, Dylan to Dawes - we like to mix in some of the many less-well-known artists that are out there inventing new music every day. On this blog we'll occasionally highlight bands and singer-songwriters that we think you oughta know.

Hemming

This singer-songwriter from the Philadelphia area got invited to take part in producer Linda Perry's VH1 reality show, "Make or Break: The Linda Perry Project" - and won a recording contract with Perry's Custard Records. Her debut album, produced by Perry, was released last year, and soon she was traveling the country as the opening act for Chris Cornell's Acoustic Higher Truth tour. Hemming is the stage name of Candice Martello, who pours her heart into songs like "Hard On Myself" and "Vitamins" with raw, emotional vocals. She brings a much lighter touch to "Some Of My Friends," an ode to the importance of friendships, both lasting and fleeting, and the last line gets us every time: "Thank god they were there when I needed them." (See more at hemmingmusic.com)

Monday, January 18, 2016

Farewell to Glenn Frey

Frey performing with the Eagles in 2008. Photo by Steve Alexander
Don Henley on the passing of Glen Frey:

"He was like a brother to me; we were family, and like most families, there was some dysfunction. But, the bond we forged 45 years ago was never broken, even during the 14 years that the Eagles were dissolved. We were two young men who made the pilgrimage to Los Angeles with the same dream: to make our mark in the music industry -- and with perseverance, a deep love of music, our alliance with other great musicians and our manager, Irving Azoff, we built something that has lasted longer than anyone could have dreamed.

"But, Glenn was the one who started it all. He was the spark plug, the man with the plan. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of popular music and a work ethic that wouldn't quit. He was funny, bullheaded, mercurial, generous, deeply talented and driven. He loved is wife and kids more than anything. We are all in a state of shock, disbelief and profound sorrow. We brought our two-year 'History of the Eagles Tour' to a triumphant close at the end of July and now he is gone. I'm not sure I believe in fate, but I know that crossing paths with Glenn Lewis Frey in 1970 changed my life forever, and it eventually had an impact on the lives of millions of other people all over the planet.

"It will be very strange going forward in a world without him in it. But, I will be grateful, every day, that he was in my life. Rest in peace, my brother. You did what you set out to do, and then some."

Allmusic.com has a good biography of Glenn Frey.
Birch Street Radio will feature Frey's work, with the Eagles and solo, throughout the day Tuesday.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Bonnie Raitt ready to hit the road again



Bonnie Raitt has been a mainstay of American music for ... well, a long time now, and shows no signs of slacking off. Her upcoming "Dig In Deep" is her twentieth album.

The first single, "Gypsy In Me," is about enjoying an itinerant life - a theme she's touched on before, as in "The Road's My Middle Name" from her 1989's "Nick of Time" album.

And it would seem there's truth behind the words, because she told Billboard Magazine that she's looking forward to a two-year world tour after "Dig In Deep" is released Feb. 26. "Can't wait to hit the road!"

Two official videos of "Gypsy In Me" have been released: A lyric video and a live-in-studio version. Enjoy them both! And hear music from throughout Bonnie Raitt's career on Birch Street Radio.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

We keep adding ways to listen to Birch Street Radio

Birch Street Radio can now be heard via Streema:




The easiest way to find Birch Street Radio is right here at birchstreetradio.com. But you can also find us at Streema.com, TuneIn.com and Radionomy.com

You can also just plug this address into your favorite music player:
http://listen.radionomy.com/birchstreetradio

Whatever route you choose, we hope you like what you find at Birch Street Radio.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Live365 signing off, but Birch Street Radio goes on

The official word came Friday evening from Live365:
Soon to sign off
"We are sad that we are closing our doors at the end of this month. There are always possibilities that we can come back in one form or another, but at this point in time, January 31, 2016 is the last day that Live365's streaming servers and website will be maintained and supported.
"This is a surprise to us as it is to all of you. We are proud that Live365 was a pioneer in the streaming music business and have provided a platform to hundreds of thousands of broadcasters to have a voice over the years.
"Unfortunately, we have to say good bye."
The e-mail is titled, "Live365 - The End of an Era." And that it is. Live365 was launched in 1999, enabling anyone from professional broadcasters to amateur hobbyists to create their own radio programming and send it out to the world.

Now at a new home
Birch Street Radio is a relative newcomer, but has been webcasting on Live365 since April 2013 - first by uploading music to the site's automation, then by streaming live with the automated program standing by as a backup. It's been a great way to present our own unique mixture of music to the public, and we've been happy to see listeners tune in from all over the globe.

Unfortunately, new rules adopted by the Copyright Royalty Board make no provision for small webcasters, requiring them to pay music royalties at the same rate as big professional operations. That ruling effectively destroyed Live365's business plan. Meanwhile, the company's financial backers withdrew their support.

Birch Street Radio's new host
Fortunately for us, we've found a new home for Birch Street Radio, on a platform called Radionomy. It's a work in progress as we learn a new system, but we're rapidly reconstructing our "Marvelous Mixture of Music" on the new site. We surely hope our Live365 listeners will follow us there - and that we'll pick up new ones.

Our stream on Live365 will continue temporarily, perhaps until the final shutdown, but our efforts now turn to building up the "new" Birch Street Radio. Please join us there as our music journey continues!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Playing New Music from Classic-Rock Artists

A curious thing about U.S. commercial radio these days is that it's almost impossible to hear new music by veteran rock artists.

Classic Rock stations that play '60s and '70s Led Zeppelin won't play recent releases by Robert Plant. New music from Paul McCartney or Ringo Starr won't be played there either - nor on Oldies stations that still play early Beatles. The same goes for the likes of David Gilmour, Keith Richards, Jeff Lynne and the late David Bowie -- and for bands that have stayed together through the years, like Rush.

Meanwhile, stations that play current music by young artists mostly ignore the "dinosaurs" from the 20th Century. Commercial radio playlists seem to follow strict rules: They either play old music by old bands, or new music by new bands. But new music by old bands? It doesn't fit anywhere.

But it suits us perfectly at Birch Street Radio. We love to mix Classic Rock, Folk Rock, New Wave, Alternative Rock, Americana - bands and singer-songwriters from the '60s to this week. And when an old favorite artist puts out new music, we want to hear it!

So we're playing tracks from:
  • Jeff Lynne's ELO - Alone in the Universe
  • Squeeze - Cradle to the Grave
  • Joe Jackson - Fast Forward
  • Keith Richards - Crosseyed Heart
  • Elton John - Wonderful Crazy Night
  • David Gilmour - Rattle That Lock.

And yes: David Bowie's Black Star.

It's all good music, and it fits right in with both the classics and the latest sounds in our Marvelous Mix of Music.

Join us at Birch Street Radio!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Birch Street Radio now listed at TuneIn.com

Now there's yet another way to tune in Birch Street Radio: at TuneIn.

TuneIn has a wide collection of some 100,000 radio and webcasting stations from around the world. You can browse by type or location, or search by key words. Find us just by typing in our name: Birch Street Radio. You can listen through a web browser or a TuneIn mobile app.

However you choose to listen, we hope you enjoy the music! And we invite your feedback: birchstreetradio@gmail.com

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Follow us to our new home!

Make sure you know how to tune us in!
We're happy we have loyal listeners who are continuing to tune us in on Live365. But the outlook for that platform is not good. Most likely, it will shut down by the end of January.

That's why we're building a new version of Birch Street Radio on another platform, called Radionomy. It requires no subscription, registration or sign-in to listen.

And there are multiple ways to tune in:
  • Click one of the players here on birchstreetweb.com 
  • Or go to birchstreetradio.playtheradio.com 
  • Or go to radionomy.com/birchstreetradio 
  • Or go to listen.radionomy.com/birchstreetradio
We're moving our Marvelous Mixture of Music to our new home, and we hope all our listeners will follow us there! Stay tuned to this website for updates!

Farewell, David



We'll be playing David Bowie tracks scattered throughout the day Tuesday on Birch Street Radio's Radionomy stream. Click the player above or go here to listen.

Getty Images via NME
.

Monday, January 11, 2016

New from Peter Yorn, Brian Fallon, The Starting Line

Three new releases join Birch Street Radio's Marvelous Mix this week:

"A Wonderful Life" - Brian Fallon, frontman of currently-on-hiatus Gaslight Anthem, has his first solo album, Painkillers, coming out in March. It's produced by Butch Walker, who has worked with a wide variety of artists - including Frank Turner, and this particular cut has a touch of the sound of Turner's most recent album, Positive Songs for Negative People.

"Lost Weekend" - Pete Yorn also has an album coming out in March: ArrangingTime. It's his first release in six years - not counting the 2013 record from side project The Olms. It's a little bit brooding, but with a good groove. In a San Francisco Examiner interview, he explained a line in the song's refrain: “Straight outta suburbia, straight outta the basement.”
When I grew up in New Jersey, my biggest musical moments were in my suburban basement, having my older brothers (Rick and Kevin Yorn, who became a talent agent and an entertainment lawyer, respectively) play Iron Maiden and Judas Priest covers in their band. I was seven years old, they were already in high school, and I was like, “This is the coolest thing, ever!”
"Anyways" - The Starting Line is also releasing music after a multi-year gap. This track is from a three-song EP coming out in February. The Philadelphia pop-punk bunch manages to sound true to its old style and fresh at the same time.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Top current songs on Birch Street Radio

Our Marvelous Mix includes music from the mid-1960s until this week. Here are some of the latest entries to our playlist - some from well-known artists, others a bit off the mainstream, because we like to mix it up!
  • The Wild Feathers - Overnight
  • Josh Ritter - Where the Night Goes
  • Seinabo Sey - Poetic
  • Half Moon Run - Turn Your Love
  • Ruen Brothers - Aces
  • Rebecca Pronsky - Snowing Sideways
  • The Chemical Brothers - Wide Open, featuring Beck
  • TGZ Band - Everything
  • Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, John Fogerty & Eddie Vetter - What's So Funny ('Bout Peace, Love and Understanding)
  • Little Hurricane - Heart Skips a Beat
  • Tedeschi Trucks Band - Anyhow
  • Foo Fighters - Saint Cecilia
  • Adele - Send My Love (To Your New Lover)
  • Lake Street Dive - Call Off Your Dogs
  • Beach Slang - Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas
  • Aurora - Running With The Wolves
  • Squeeze - Cradle to the Grave
  • Beach House - All Your Yeahs
  • Coldplay - Adventure Of A Lifetime
  • Mumford & Sons - Ditmas
  • Cage the Elephant - Mess Around
  • The Decemberists - Why Would I Now?
  • Elton John - Looking Up
  • Wild Ones - Dim the Lights
  • Jeff Lynne's ELO - When I Was A Boy
  • Heather Nova - Girl On The Mountain
  • Joe Jackson - A Little Smile
  • Moving Panoramas - One
  • Martin Courtney - Northern Highway
And a real find: A new track from Crack the Sky: "The Beauty of Nothing."
This progressive rock band won critical acclaim and a loyal following in the 1970s but, due to record company issues and the like, never got "Big" outside the Mid-Atlantic region. Still, they keep on keeping on, playing in and around the Baltimore area and occasionally releasing new recordings - and you can catch them on Birch Street Radio!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Artists We Play: James McMurtry

We've been huge fans of James McMurtry since first hearing his debut album, "Too Long in the Wasteland," in 1989. It was like picking up a book of short stories, filled with simple tales about complicated characters.

The music is great, but it was the lyrics that grabbed us. And when we heard this verse--
I'm not from here, but people tell me
it's not like it used to be.
They say I shoulda been here
back about ten years
before it got ruined by folks like me.
--well, we were completely hooked.

And so, James McMurtry is well represented in the music library at Birch Street Radio. In fact, we have to put a cap on how many times he appears in a day's playlist!

His most recent album, 2015's "Complicated Game," was called a "New Americana Masterpiece" by Rolling Stone.

We hope you enjoy hearing him in the Marvelous Mix on Birch Street Radio. When he starts to sing - be sure to listen to the words!

James McMurtry's official site

Listen to Birch Street Radio

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Is Birch Street Radio one station or two?

Things have been a little confusing here at the "world famous Birch Street Studios" since New Year's Eve, when we learned that Live365, our webcasting platform for the past three years, is in the midst of a crisis.

It all has to do with the Copyright Royalty Board's new rules about royalty payments for playing music on the web. There's a good explanation of the problem at DIYMedia.net

Perhaps prompted by the new royalty rules, some of Live365's financial backers have bailed out, leaving it scrambling for new funding sources. We thought our station might disappear on New Year's Day - but so far, it's still running, and there's no clear picture of what the future will hold.

Meantime, over New Year's weekend, we scrambled to launch a new version of Birch Street Radio on Radionomy, which is based in Belgium. Considering that it's only been running for a week, we're pretty happy with the way our Radionomy station sounds -- but we're still working on improvements, to get it just to our liking.

For the time being, then, there are two versions of Birch Street Radio - "Original BSR" on Live365 and "New BSR" on Radionomy. They are running separate playlists, but based on the same library of Marvelous Music by bands and singer-songwriters from the 1960s to 2016.

The Live365 station is usually broadcasting "live" from our headquarters, with no commercial interruptions. At present, we're not able to do that on Radionomy, but we put up a fresh program every morning. Radionomy requires two 2-minute breaks per hour when it can insert commercials - but generally those two minutes are just filled with short songs, so you may not even notice!

Will we keep running two stations? We don't know! If you enjoy our Marvelous Mixture of Music, we hope you'll tune in to either or both -- and if one station goes away, you'll follow us to the other... or to whatever new home we might find down the road.

For updates on our station - and where to find it - check this blog ... or our Twitter feed ... or our Facebook page

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

What goes into Birch Street Radio's Marvelous Mix?

Here's a pretty average hour of music on Birch Street Radio:

Start with one of our 30 favorite Recent Releases:
* Beach House: All Your Yeahs

Next a blast of the 80s:
* The Cure: Hot! Hot! Hot!

Back to the 21st Century:
* MS MR: Ash Tree Lane

Now we wander off the beaten path:
* James McMurtry: Ain't Got A Place

A way-back trip to the 60s:
* Simon & Garfunkel: Why Don't You Write Me

Photo by Jacob Blickenstaff via Salon.com
A new song from a veteran:
* Joe Jackson: If It Wasn't For You

A pairing of songs we think go together well:
* Camera Obscura: Do It Again
* The Go-Gos: Unforgiven

More jumping around in time:
* Field Mouse: Tomorrow Is Yesterday

Another flashback trip:
* The Band: When I Paint My Masterpiece

A smooth sound from the 80s:
* Bruce Hornsby & The Range: Down the Road Tonight

A 21st Century singer-songwriter:
* Caitlin Canty: Get Up

A classic:
* The Beatles: Michelle

A "deep cut" from the 80s:
* Roger McGuinn: Suddenly Blue

Something really different:
* Afro Celt Sound System: Rise

What ties it all together - all these different styles from different decades? Only that it's all good music, in our opinion. We hope you agree!


LISTEN on LIVE365 ...OR... LISTEN on RADIONOMY

Monday, January 4, 2016

Small-scale web broadcasters seek new solutions

After broadcasting for nearly three years on Live365 (live365.com/dancpm), Birch Street Radio has branched out by adding a station at Radionomy (birchstreetradio.playtheradio.com).

Why? Well, not just for fun (although it kinda is!). The move was prompted by a sudden crisis at Live365 -- apparently brought on by new music-royalty rates for streaming audio services, announced last month by the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board.

DIYMedia.net has a very good explanation of what’s happening and how the future of small-scale web broadcasting is suddenly in doubt. 

The fact is, Birch Street Radio has been broadcasting commercial-free on Live365 - so the new fees shouldn’t affect us, since the rates for non-commercial webcasters haven’t changed. BUT most Live365 streams do carry commercials, so the new CRB rules threaten its business model. Presumably, that’s why its financial backers have pulled out, and the company is looking for a rescue.

We’re rooting for Live365 to find a solution and continue providing an affordable platform for independent webcasters. Meantime we’re trying out Radionomy - but it’s unclear whether that will work out for the long term, since that firm has minimum listening requirements we may not be able to reach.

Ideally, we’ll build an audience at Radionomy and be able to stay on Live365, too. If you enjoy our Marvelous Mixture of Music from today and the past five decades, please help - just by listening! And let us know what you think of our stations. 

Tune in: Birch Street Radio on Radionomy

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Email us: birchstreetradio@gmail.com

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Join us on a journey of musical discovery!

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Hello and welcome to Birch Street Radio!

We're an independent web-radio outfit broadcasting a wide range of rock and "alternative" music from the past five decades - from The Beatles to The Black Keys, Dylan to Dawes.

We enjoy mixing the new and the old, the familiar and the slightly obscure, and we're constantly adding new artists and new songs.

Birch Street Radio has been broadcasting for the past three years on Live365. But that stream may be ending soon, so we're building a new station at Radionomy.

Right now, you can tune into either one for a similar musical experience!

Listen to Birch Street Radio's Marvelous Mix!