Meet Hometown Sounds
Hometown Sounds is a 24/7 internet radio station that exclusively plays music made by DC based musicians. It is run by Paul Vodra who sat down to talk with me about his passion for music and his reasons for starting this radio station. The Pink Line Project will be posting Paul’s daily videos once a week but be sure to check them out every day. Whenever you want to hear some great DC based music tune into hometownsoundsdc.com. You are certain to hear a band you have never heard of and can’t wait to learn more about. You should also tune into to his weekly podcast when Paul DJs live on Sunday nights. Keep reading for the Q & A with Hometown Sounds DJ and founder.
Q. How would you describe Hometown Sounds to someone who has never heard of it?
A:Hometown Sounds is a 24/7 Internet radio station playing only music made by people living in the DC area. The station plays six different groupings of music during the day: lounge, punk, rock, twang, dance and urban. Every weekday the website also features a DC music video. And once a week I make an hour long podcast of the DC music that's got me grooving.
Q: When did you start Hometown Sounds?
A: The Hometown Sounds station launched on December 15th, 2011. Before that, Hometown Sounds was a monthly DJ night at the Argonaut on H Street NE from 2009 to 2010.
Q:What was your motivation?
A:I'd been a fan of various local bands over the years, but the first time I went to a show at Fort Reno and learned that they only booked local bands, I realized there was something special about the music scene here. I threw myself into research and found out about all sorts of great stuff I'd missed out on, as well as new stuff that was really exciting.
Q:Tell us a little about you.
A: I was born right here in DC and raised in Northern Virginia. I've played drums forever, and about 10 years ago I learned how to DJ. Hometown Sounds started out as a monthly DJ night at the Argonaut on H Street NE. They had an open wifi router, so I started broadcasting my DJ sets to my friends online who couldn't make it to the bar. That inspired me to set up the 24/7 station.
Q: Does Hometown Sounds have a mission?
A: With the music industry fragmented by technology and changing tastes, it can be hard for people to find new stuff that they like. With Hometown Sounds, I want to make it as easy as possible for people to hear all the great music coming out of DC. The station has a huge library of almost 10,000 songs, so you'll always hear fresh, new stuff that you just might love. And the weekly podcast gives you a concentrated hour of great DC music hand-selected by me.
Q: What type of music do you play and how does one listen to it?
A: DC has always had a very broad diversity of sounds, and I want to try to capture all of it. From twangy music you might hear at Iota to house and moombahton at U Street Music Hall, indie rock at the Black Cat or hip-hop and go-go at Ibiza, and everything in between, there's so much to hear. I group stuff together that I think fits, like jazz, downtempo and dub music. I hope people tune in for the stuff they know they like, and also stretch their boundaries a bit too.The podcast is in the iTunes Store under the name Hometown Sounds. The station is available at our website, HometownSoundsDC.com and on the free TuneIn app for iPhone & Android.
Q: What sets Hometown Sounds apart from other internet radio stations?
A: Internet radio is a rapidly growing market, because it's not bound by FM frequency limitations. A lot of it is big business with frequent ads and limited playlists. Hometown Sounds is completely DIY, no one owns it but me. And no other stations that I know of give you the diversity of sound with the only limiting factor being geography.
Q: What are the key things that you have learned about operating a radio station?
A: The main thing that I have learned is that there are a LOT of bands and musicians here. It's impossible to keep up! Now that Bandcamp lets bands be their own labels, it's easier than ever to get heard. Obviously some of it is rough, demo quality, or needs more maturity, but there's so much that's great and worthy of an audience too. I just love finding an exciting new band that I know will break out big.
Q: It will be your one year anniversary in a few months. Where would you like to see Hometown Sounds on year two?
A: There's always plenty more I'd like to do with Hometown Sounds. I'd love to book some showcases of some of my favorite DC bands who put on great shows. I think it'd be cool to simulcast and podcast some live shows to folks who can't make it out to the club. I'd love to grow the audience for DC music, and Hometown Sounds in particular.
Q: What is your favorite part about operating Hometown Sounds? A: My favorite part about running Hometown Sounds has been meeting all the musicians and other industry folks. As a musician (well, drummer) and DJ, I love seeing live shows and nerding out about music, and it's been fantastic getting to know people who are doing what they do not for money or fame, but the simple love of music.
For a dose of DC music be sure to tune into Hometown Sounds.
Short URL: http://bit.ly/NqEG3C