Streaming Consciousness

Your guide to the Valley's Internet radio stations

These days, anyone with a Live365 account and a stack of CDs can run his own radio station on the Internet. The hard part is getting people to know about your quirky little station.

That's where we come in.

Every few weeks, Streaming Consciousness will search what's being streamed, uploaded or hijacked over the Internet from the little bedroom studios around the Valley and recommend what's worth your bandwidth.

This week, we check out Creamy Radio, a Tempe-based Internet-only station run by a couple of late-twentysomething computer whiz-bangs that specializes in offbeat indie artists mixed with a healthy dose of local talent and a few deep tracks from mainstream hitmakers, just for good measure.

"We call it, 'From mainstream to the local scene,'" says station co-founder David Gould, a graphic artist and Web designer who also creates the banner ads for the site, which typically Photoshop together pictures of the famed and the local -- like Foo Fighter Dave Grohl standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the Peacemakers' Roger Clyne.

Partner Derek Grimme, an IT consultant who calls himself an insufferable music critic -- "like John Cusack in High Fidelity" -- says he and Gould just know what fits and what doesn't, and they tend to handle aesthetically challenged requests on their site like the opinionated clerks in Cusack's record store. (If Creamy Radio doesn't play a certain artist, states the online FAQ, it's either because Gould and Grimme "don't like them," or "they are Creed.")

Fortunately, the G's have a combined (and legally licensed) library of more than 5,000 CDs they do like that encompasses everything from Two Cow Garage and Phantom Planet to Norah Jones and Johnny Cash. Their indie bent is belied by the slick look and feel of their Web site, which, in contrast to most shoestring music projects, can come across as just a little too corporate. The automatically refreshing "Currently Playing" list comes complete with album art, links to artist info pages, and even a "Buy" button that takes you to Amazon or CD Baby.

Such slickness is forgiven by the mere fact that the spiffy virtual storefront is also open to deserving local artists, who now get a global audience even the city's top terrestrial radio stations can't reach.

"The best thing is when I come home from a club after seeing a favorite local band and read an e-mail from someone in Germany wanting to buy their CD," says Grimme. "That's what's coolest about Internet radio."

 
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