Except for when you're trapped in the car, there's less and less reason to listen to traditional radio -- especially when there's so much cool stuff online. We've already got the free-form taintradio.org, which debuted back in June; and now there's Comboland Radio, which went up on Friday with a playlist devoted to music of the Carolinas. The bulk of what you'll hear is stuff from way back when: Pressure Boys, Bad Checks, Connells, Nantucket, dB's, PKM, Fetchin' Bones and lots of stuff from the Don Dixon and Mitch Easter orbits, alongside the occasional current act (I've heard both The T's and Bleeding Hearts within the past hour).
While it has a name similar to Steve Boyle's "Return to Comboland" video project, Comboland Radio is a separate undertaking. It's the project of Mike Smith, known as "Moose" on the air at WTRG/Oldies-100.7 and other Triangle stations during the 1980s and '90s. Smith lives in Kill Devil Hills nowadays and works for Max Media, which owns 37 small-market stations. The impetus to start this came with David Enloe's death last year, which inspired Smith to pull out his old albums.
"I'm a fan and a packrat who saved a lot of albums and CDs over the years," Smith says. "So I dug all that out, started listening to it and digitizing it, and I decided it still sounded really good. I decided to go out on a limb and put this out there, see if anybody else cares."
Eventually, Smith hopes Comboland Radio can generate revenue from banner ads, in-stream ads and maybe the occasional product-placement sponsorship from nightclubs.
"I'm not sure it will ever make any money," Smith says. "But if I can just get it to sustain itself, I'll be very happy. It will be up for at least a year, because I had to sign a one-year contract with live365. So we'll see how it goes."
ADDENDUM (8/6/08): A treasure trove of local video, shot by Craig Zearfoss.