Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Nashville Rocks LaLa & WOXY!!!

I'd read a little about LaLa, this service that allows you to trade in CDs that you don't want for discs that you might want, at a minimal cost of $1.00 or something like that. Since I have a few promo discs laying around that I've reviewed and just don't have room on the shelves for, I figured that I'd check LaLa out and see if I could trade 'em in on the couple of new releases that I want but can't currently afford to buy.

After listing a half-dozen discs on the service, and quickly trading five of them (which gets you points to use against future trades), I decided to look around for a while. I looked up the discs that I wanted to try and score copies of and, sadly, nobody had copies to trade right now. I went ahead and placed them on my "want list," hoping that somebody will come up with a copy of the new Patti Smith covers album, but while digging through the site, which – with the addition of a digital download store – seems to be trying to be all things to all people, I ran across the WOXY sessions page.

Best I can tell, WOXY-FM was a "Modern Rock" radio station launched back in the early-80s in Oxford, Ohio. The station broadcast an alternative format, with an emphasis on indie rock, which earned WOXY all kinds of kudos from the likes of Spin and Rolling Stone. In the late-90s they began simulcasting programming on the Internet. When the station's ownership sold the broadcast license and assets to a Texas company in 2004, the idea was to take the station online full-time, and a group retained the "intellectual" assets (i.e. call letters, web site) and music library with this in mind. Lack of funds caused them to close up shop, but investors cropped up the day after they closed the doors and, in July 2004, WOXY-FM became WOXY.COM, the first terrestrial radio station to reinvent itself online.

Anyway, WOXY is hooked up in some sort of deal with LaLa, providing free mp3 podcast downloads of short-performances by a wealth of indie rock and Americana artists. Each session "in the lounge" runs 20-30 minutes in length and there are some pretty cool people who have dropped by the WOXY.COM studios to perform, including Frank Black, Gomez, Heartless Bastards and French Kicks.

Nashville's current rock scene is strongly represented, perhaps more so than any other city. Of the nearly 100 podcasts available on the site, eight or nine of them are by Nashville bands, some of 'em twice! If you want to get a good idea of what Nashville rock is all about these days, check out LaLa, click on the "discover" tab at the top of the page and scroll down to the bottom right corner where it says "Download free MP3s." Scrolling through the pages, you'll find sessions by the Features, the Hotpipes, De Novo Dahl, Forget Cassettes, the Carter Administration and Apollo Up! All of these are very cool Nashville bands and I've downloaded all of their sessions for frequent future listening. The Rev sez "check it out!"

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