March 14, 2013
A Charlottesville man has created a new way to listen to music, through an internet site called GigDog. This site is different than Pandora and Spotify, in that you search music by location, to find new local bands or hear music from groups performing in your area.
"It's pretty simple," said GigDog founder J.R. Gentle. "It's an internet radio station that plays local music and bands coming to town."
Gentle came up with the idea after seeing a poster advertisement for a band coming to town he had never heard of. His curiosity turned into a business venture. GigDog doesn't just benefit music fans, it's also for bands.
One up-and-coming band based out of Charlottesville featured on the site is The Hill and Wood. The group recently released its first album, and band members say it's a part time job just to get their music heard.
"Every city we go to, we try to contact press and radio and try to get as many people hearing the music for the first time as possible," said Sam Bush, a member of The Hill and Wood. Bush said for every 20 emails or calls, he will only hear from one or two people about his music. GigDog takes the middleman out of the equation, delivery local music directly to listeners.
"We have a Charlottesville station," said Gentle. " You just press play and music from local bands not playing on the radio will start streaming."
You can search the site by city, band, or venue to see what's playing in your area. There are also different "stations" set up with GigDog to search music festivals like Tom Tom Founders Fest or South by Southwest Festival.
"If you buy tickets to a music festival, you can sample the band's music beforehand," Gentle said.
Bush and The Hill and Wood like GigDog because it helps them connect with fans. "What separates GigDog from things like Pandora or Spotify is it connects with people on a personal lever," said Bush. "Rather than introducing a new band that you never heard of, it's a new band that's visiting your city next week or it's a local band."
Gentle agrees the site is a great way to introduce people to new music in their town, and for bands traveling on tour, it gives people a chance to hear their music before buying tickets to a show.
"Everybody wins in that situation," Gentle said. Both the band, who wants to get to know people on the road, and people who like listening to new music."
Eventually Gentle said listeners will be able to download songs and buy tickets to performances straight from the website. To check out the site, visit www.gigdog.fm