When NU 107 signed off last February 2011, I was asking myself (and most definitely other avid listeners), “what will be my alternative radio station now that NU 107 has signed off”? Well, thanks to the internet, listeners like me resorted to listening to NU107 Cebu’s webcast.
Suddenly, Pinoytuner.com came and offered a rock radio station called Dig Radio. Ever since then, this is where I usually get a dose of rock tracks as well as local rock music. It’s just like listening to NU107, hearing some familiar radio jocks such as Kim Marvilla, Cyrus the Virus, Francis Brew, Joystick Jay, Evee, April and Shannen. Instead of them having a show wherein the jocks talk in between 2 – 3 songs, I feel like I am getting to know each of their music tastes. There are specific playlists created by the jocks every day (refer to the screenshot above). Once you have listened to the entire playlist, it will just repeat from the beginning. I think an entire playlist is about an hour or two (if I’m not mistaken). The good thing about it is that there are no mandatory radio commercials in between 2 songs. Hopefully this will continue but not sure about it in the future. If you skip songs, it will automatically play the “sponsor” which is just a Dig Radio plug and it’s not annoying unlike radio commercial jingles being played in mainstream radio stations. Dig Radio also does live broadcasts of concerts. Most recent one was the Rock Rizal concert held in SM Mall of Asia By the Bay.
Dig Radio felt like home, but only this can be accessed with an internet connection.
Mayo Baluyut jamming with Johnny Alegre
Two weeks ago, I was able to get to hang out with the guys behind Pinoytuner.com. They had an intimate blogger’s night at Shift Bar and Resto (just opposite Cafe Saguijo). Thanks to Aileen Apolo – De Jesus for inviting us, it was truly an awesome night! The plan really was not to have a formal thing so everything was spontaneous. They fed us and made us drink Cherry Beer (YOU MUST TRY this!). Although I don’t have a gall bladder anymore, I couldn’t resist this awesome, awesome alcoholic drink. I only had 1 cherry beer which lasted for almost 3 – 4 hours. Francis Brew was consistently reminding me that I don’t have a gall bladder anymore and to avoid drinking beer.
Before the night ended, we had a tour around the offices and studio of Pinoytuner. There are recording studios wherein local bands can record their songs. The equipment there are new and state of the art. I assume that they are because people working in Pinoytuner are professional musicians themselves, therefore they know what equipment are good or not.
One thing I have noticed with these guys, like Vin Dancel, Francis Brew, Norman Bungubung and Ali Gonzales is that they are sincere in what they want to do with Pinoytuner. They want to fill the gap in the ‘mainstream’ radio airwaves and make a difference in their internet radio station. Currently, there are 3 stations in Pinoytuner.com such as Dig Radio (flagship station which plays rock and alternative tunes), Planet Jazz and Vintage Jukebox. A good point Vin Dancel raised that night, that it’s not only Pinoy rock bands who need more airplay but also the Pinoy Hiphop and Jazz groups (and many others). It was an eye opener for me because I never knew that there are other local music genres that are being neglected. Pinoytuner wishes to bridge the gap and give a “voice” to experts of these local music genres and let them run the specific station the way it should be.
I’ve seen how Pinoytuner has evolved a few months after it was launched in the web. I’ve noticed now that there are already communities within the music genre (there are already blogs and galleries!). Dig Radio has the most content, I guess because this is where most of the people from Pinoytuner came from. They are currently working with Mr. Johnny Alegre on the content and playlists in Planet Jazz. Everything is still in progress and I am quite excited on the next things that will happen with Pinoytuner. I couldn’t disclose that yet but it is really exciting! I just hope that Pinoytuner will not just be another internet radio portal for the sake of broadcasting music. I believe in the capabilities of the people behind Pinoytuner, their passion and commitment to break the walls of traditional radio airplay. One factor that could help them strengthen their website is to build on quality content that will become the “voice” of these underground / independent musicians. Also, interaction with the users of the website is important so that they can keep their audience.
According to Francis, the plans of having a mobile app (for Android and Apple OS) is already on its way before the website was launched. I had a couple of internet radio station apps based in the UK installed in my Ipod before but I did not pursue on listening on them because most of the time, they aren’t playing music and they do not show the titles of the songs that they are playing. Of course, I wanted to know the name of the artist and the song for future reference.
Me, Francis Brew and Karla
Even though I went home at 1:30 am on a Monday night (it was already Tuesday), that’s fine because I had an awesome time with the awesome people of Pinoytuner. When do you get to hang out with musicians that I idolize, not very often! After all the stories that Vin, Francis and the rest of the guys shared to us (most of them are unbloggable 😀 ), I would say that I am proud to get to know Pinoytuner at a closer level. As a Pinoy rock supporter like me, I am very excited on what Pinoytuner (or Dig Radio) can do to keep the local music alive again like it used to.