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Internet radio app from Central Coast LIVE! tunes in on locals 

They say the best things in life are free.

You can now add something new to that list: a local gem for your smartphone that broadcasts exclusively local music livestream via a program similar to Pandora.

Central Coast LIVE! Inc. just launched their new Internet radio app that boasts a round-the-clock livestream of music from artists based on the Central Coast.

click to enlarge FAN CLUB:  Local musicians and dedicated fans participated in the Dec. 5 launch party for the new Central Coast LIVE! Internet radio app. - PHOTO COURTESY OF JP SAWYER OF JOHN PATRICK IMAGES
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF JP SAWYER OF JOHN PATRICK IMAGES
  • FAN CLUB: Local musicians and dedicated fans participated in the Dec. 5 launch party for the new Central Coast LIVE! Internet radio app.

The app is the creation of Brad Golden, a digital media artist who has worn many hats. Most recently, Golden and his wife, Jennifer, have been broadcasting live online concert videos and artist interviews through their company Central Coast LIVE! In preparation for their new venture, the radio app, Golden has scoured the area and sorted through music that local musicians submitted for consideration.

He didn’t ask for much, he said, mainly seeking recordings that had a superior audio quality.

“I’m just blown away,” Golden told New Times. “We have been really fortunate. The largest percentage of stuff that’s been submitted has been quality, not cheesy.”

To celebrate the Dec. 5 launch, Central Coast LIVE! threw a party at Tooth and Nail Winery in Paso Robles. Several local bands rocked out on the rooftop patio, offering a taste of what’s available on the app. Jennifer and Brad—who was decked from head to toe in an all-black Western-style outfit and sunglasses—greeted their local community of musicians and fans.

Golden founded Central Coast LIVE! in 2011 to broadcast livestreamed video of local concerts. Eventually, that became a tricky thing to keep financially sustainable. Then, as the popularity of smartphones and smartphone apps continued to grow, Golden saw his opportunity—to create an app that connects listeners near and far to local music.

They’re constantly seeking to build on their current database, bringing on new music from artists on the greater Central Coast, which Golden considers to span from Santa Cruz to Oxnard.

The area includes 2.5 million people, and a whole lot of musicians.

“What a perfect niche,” Golden said.

click to enlarge GET DOWN:  Members of the band Burning James and the Funky Flames (from left to right: Brad Hackleman, “Burning” James Scoolis, and Billy Baxmeyer) perform on Tooth and Nail Winery’s rooftop patio during the Dec. 5 launch party for the new Central Coast LIVE! Internet radio app, which livestreams local musicians exclusively. - PHOTO COURTESY OF JP SAWYER OF JOHN PATRICK IMAGES
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF JP SAWYER OF JOHN PATRICK IMAGES
  • GET DOWN: Members of the band Burning James and the Funky Flames (from left to right: Brad Hackleman, “Burning” James Scoolis, and Billy Baxmeyer) perform on Tooth and Nail Winery’s rooftop patio during the Dec. 5 launch party for the new Central Coast LIVE! Internet radio app, which livestreams local musicians exclusively.

Development of the app has been a mix of business and pleasure. Golden, who’s also a musician, has been a digital media artist for most of his career, where he’s worked on a long list of projects using a lot of different technologies. Turning his skills from the online video stream platform toward the mobile music-streaming platform was a natural step.

It’s also a bit of a leap of faith, because both Golden and his wife left their previous day jobs behind, going all in with this venture.

“As passionate as I am about it, I get really nervous,” he said.

Still, Golden is confident. Even in the app’s early stages, he’s already received an incredible response, he said. Hundreds of musicians have submitted their music. He’s joined the big professional agencies for musicians, including the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP); Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI); and Society of European Stage Authors and Composers (SESAC) so the musicians who are signed on to those groups are compensated in return. The company has also been working with Big Big SLO, a company that promotes music and other activities in the area.

Golden will continue to broadcast live in-studio interviews and performances, which will soon be available through the app, in addition to the existing Central Coast LIVE! website. As things grow, Golden is also mulling over opportunities to sponsor live music and music education programs.

The app resembles a basic version of other popular Internet streaming programs, and it runs a small advertisement banner at the top of the screen. What you’d download now is Version 1.0. Version 2.0, which is in the works for the future, will have a few added features. Golden is getting professional support to engineer and create the app, but because it’s a proprietary venture, he declined to say any more about that process.

Currently, there are enough artists so the radio stream is not repetitive, he said.

click to enlarge THE MAN (AND WOMAN) IN BLACK:  Central Coast LIVE! founders Jennifer and Brad Golden welcome local musicians and dedicated fans during the Dec. 5 launch party for their company’s new livestream music radio app, which features exclusively local musicians. - PHOTO COURTESY OF JP SAWYER OF JOHN PATRICK IMAGES
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF JP SAWYER OF JOHN PATRICK IMAGES
  • THE MAN (AND WOMAN) IN BLACK: Central Coast LIVE! founders Jennifer and Brad Golden welcome local musicians and dedicated fans during the Dec. 5 launch party for their company’s new livestream music radio app, which features exclusively local musicians.

The assortment is broad—and features quite the variety of groups from jam and bar bands to the more polished, well-known groups. As a listener, you might hear less-known groups like Sanity Capsoul, Mean Gene Band, or Super Vision. Those bands are joined by local favorites like Damon Castillo, Louie Ortega, Zongo All-Stars, and Truth About Seafood.

Justin Pecot, a local working musician who plays guitar for Truth About Seafood and has a solo project under his nickname Pakes (both groups have their music on the app), said that this could be a good way to help give local musicians like him needed exposure. 

“As long as it’s exposure for local musicians, I think that’s a good thing,” Pecot said. “Hopefully people tune in and listen to some of the bands around here.”

For Golden, the sky is the limit, and this project is just getting off the ground. This app currently is one-dimensional—it’s just like a radio, in that it’s only playing one channel, so those listening at any give time hear the same program. In the future, Golden hopes to give the listener the ability to chose what genre they’d like to listen to.

For now, as the word gets out and new listeners tune in, it’s playing without any major complications. Or, as Golden said, “so far so good.”

Contact Staff Writer Jono Kinkade at jkinkade@newtimesslo.com.

-- Melody DeMeritt - former city council member, Morro Bay

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