A Closer Look at RadioFlag’s Best Artist Winner, Nathan Roberts & the New Birds

Meet Nathan Roberts and the New Birds; the Best Artist winner for RadioFlag’s RadioStar Awards 2014 Spring edition. The DJ who nominated them was Kayla Marie Williams, a radio personality from WXUT, in Toledo. Williams hosts a live freeform radio show that plays “music across genres (indie, alternative, electronic, soul, local, shoegaze, punk, hiphop) and time (new & vintage)”.  She won the award for Best Music Show – Fall 2013 season of RadioFlag’s RadioStar Awards. Listeners can tune in to her live show, called ‘Radio Alchemy’ every Friday Night from 10pm – Midnight (EST). Listeners tuning in via RadioFlag can follow along with her live “flagging”, connecting with her in real time,  make requests, share links,  purchase songs from her playlist which she posts after the show, and basically have a “Connective Listening” experience. She continues to promote local bands turning the RadioFlag community on to up and coming sounds like ‘Nathan Roberts and the New Birds’.

Nathan Roberts and the New Birds are a 3 piece group coming out of Toledo, Ohio.  Their overall style seems more remote and non local, compared to the plentitude of gritty heavy souled indie talent that rock this part of the heartland’s music scene. Their sound is clean and lustrous with a consoling melodic classic rock undercurrent, giving them an air of distinction, depth, and refinement; which is confidently accentuated by perfectly timed out thrusts of edgy rock ’n’ roll vigilance. Stylistically they describe themselves as ”an indie rock outfit with an eclectic and full-bodied American rock sound.”  

Although Nathan Roberts originally did his songwriting unaccompanied, he made his move to include the ‘New Birds’ in 2012, after crafting music independently for a year. This current trio of musical mates, includes Nathan Roberts on lead vocals and guitar,  Joel Trzcinski on drums and Daniel Trzcinski on keyboard and guitar. The ‘New Birds’ happen to be brothers, which lends to the cool factor in some peoples’ eyes, based most likely on an ideal. It makes sense when people get idealistic or sentimental about siblings making musical magic together, after all the thoughts are, they probably hung out with each other in childhood,  know each other super well, and generally  ”bro out” together.  Seems like a paragon set up for creativity to thrive. When bros share the gift of a musical ear, ( like some of these famous siblings acts , you may or may not be thinking of)  dreams can seem even more attainable, as long as sibling skirmishes don’t get the better. Too bad for Oasis huh?

In the case of Nathan Robert and the New Birds, it feels like three is the number for balance, and from balance comes harmony.  After all, tripods and things of that nature, are perfectly designed to create a firm foundation to support many creative endeavors. As ears can attest, this triangle of songsters have created a nice nesting ground for hatching out some fervently soulful rock ‘n’ roll tunefulness. Nathan Roberts and the New Birds have kept on together like birds of a feather, going on three years now, and as every band start up comes to realize, keeping it together is an art in and of itself.

SOME BAND HISTORY 

Starting out in 2011 Nathan Roberts was flying solo as an independent singer and songwriter for the first year. During that course in time, he released his first solo album and called it “Beautiful Universe”, creating some inspiring  heart opening tracks that speak to our human condition. The Beautiful Universe album lends a nourishing vibe without the heaviness;  a musical mist of uplifting lyricism and mirthful melody, that feels as right as rain. A collection of contemplation and sincerity without the sappiness;  simple spoken truths with a realness that is so easily forgotten, and often readily denied. It feels like truly authentic sounding music, serving as a fresh cool breeze of sound current, blowing tenderly over a world of wandered, marred, and charred ears;  a sonic salve that reunites hearers that sweet spots of un-spun time dwell in the ” forever young ” parts of us. The “untitled” track on this album gets us aligned with messages like; we are the ‘fillers of our own titles’, acceptance is a key to love,  and just let go and know that it’ll all be okay. Tracks like “Beautiful Universe” remind us to see ourselves in everything, never give up, and discover the uni-verse (single verse) that is our own soul’s song. Another track called “Forever with You” is just so lovely and pure; sounds like a message about embracing the eternal moments within a spirit of unbounded innocence. Enjoy a listen:

 


After a year of doing a solo song making flight, it was time to bring some extra wings aboard. At that point,  Joel and Daniel joined this one man flock, and hence forth became Nathan Roberts and the New Birds. Since 2012 the band has been soaring through clouds of sound together, releasing their debut album in November of 2013. Their 10 track debut album is a successful merging of soul stirring lyrics and harmonious melodies as before, with additional highlights of keen sharp edgy rock ‘n’ roll veracity. Songs like “in stereo” has put out an almost hypnotically psychedelic groove with its chilled out repetitive pulse and mind shifting lyrics,  before it veers ears into a deeper “rocking out” state, as the sharp edgier parts get played up.  The musical compilation of this first song of the album, may be the newest sound method to clean up your state of mind, and wipe the slate clean so to speak, giving you the grips to rock on and on!  Just check out the rock ‘n’ roll trance this song induced in a hearer.

This album effects your inner vibe the longer you listen, with a conquering positivity that becomes that first thing your humming when you wake up in the morning. And it’s no wonder, with songs like “Step into the Light”,  that are filled to the brim with consciousness shifting questions, insights, and self redeeming outpours of soul. The musical epiphanies keep unfolding in tracks like “Walk On”; about keeping on, keeping up, and keeping calm in the eye of life’s many storms. On a more lush and physical level there is the ultimate break up /make up ballad, “Please Don’t”, with vocals that make being vulnerable cool; accented by a permeation of pensive guitar elevations, amid sensuously clamoring drum cymbals. Songs like “Dead on Arrival” bring on an upbeat kick backed 70′s vibe, with a seamlessly executed “Chicago-esque” layered brass sound, with honest lyrics about the frustration of communication, and limitations of words to express true feelings.   One could go on and on, but just know every single song on this album is worth spending time with. Listen on :

After listening for a while, the musical influencers the band mentions seem fairly easy to pick up on.  The most recognizable were the Beatles (especially in tracks like “Heaven Knows”) , Wilco, My Morning Jacket, Ryan Adams, Oasis, Neil Young, John Lennon, George Harrison, (“Step into the Light” especially)  Fleetwood Mac and Jack White.  The credible classic rock band Bread, with their low key 70′s soft rock vibe, is something Nathan and the New Birds seem tuned into on some level; coming through especially in Bread’s song “Guitar Man”.  Of course, the Jack White’s influence peaks in with the Americana classic he covered called,  “Wayfaring Stranger”. Listen to it done up wonderfully by Nathan Roberts.

These three bandmates deserve recognition for bringing forth a very balanced and polished  album with their first release (in collaboration with Rewire media); comprised of 100% original compilations. Although the quantity may be an amuse geule like tease on time, the quality makes up for it, with a perfectionistic flavor and presentation that makes these tidbits of sound something to sit with and savor.  The band seems satisfied with not going against the grain, or taking giant provocative leaps into new experiments in music making at this point. Instead they seem to have opted for going in the direction of meticulously reflecting on the music and music creators that have become legendary, and then adding onto that greatness with their own soulful sound signature.

So in a final contemplation, I regress back to the whole balance thing, and growing in harmony as a result. Harmony begets flow right? So then, once in the flow all directions seem to become more accessible it’s thought. It feels like Nathan and the New Birds are migrating along this course, flowing in and between water and air, because of their soulfulness (water), and connected communication (air). All things besides, with a first album that is phenomenally well done, we can only anticipate to hear more of their signature soulful rock ‘n’ roll sounds, in the seasons to come.

Speaking of seasons,  here’s a “way to early” Christmas song, by one of Nathan Roberts’ earlier solo works. The rule is it can’t be listened to until after Thanksgiving please! That would just be obnoxious, okay. ;)

RadioFlag is currently accepting nominations for the Fall Season RadioStar Awards, so keep on nominating radio hosts and local artists, to to get spotlighted on a global stage. The world is waiting to listen, so get heard the ‘Connective Listening’ way!

 

@Airambrosia on RadioFlag
@AirAmbrosia on Twitter

Radio DJ’s and Artists Read about the  ‘Got Airplay?’ collaboration campaign.  “Because Air Should Always Be Free”

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A Closer Look at RadioFlag’s Spring 2014 RadioStar Awards ‘Best Music’ and ‘Best Variety Show’ Winners

RadioFlag just kicked off the Fall 2014 edition of The RadioStar Awards, so nominate those radio shows and local artists, for a chance to get spotlighted like these Spring 2014 winners.

The 2014 Spring edition winners for The RadioStar Awards include three domestic winners in the ‘Best Music Show’ category, and one international winner for the ‘Best Variety Show’ category. The ‘Best Music Artist’ RadioStar winner, Nathan Roberts & the New Birds, are from the States and will be highlighted in a separate blog piece, to follow.

 Selecting the ‘Best Music Show’ and ‘Best Variety Show‘ winners was a collaborative decision made by our panel of  ’Connective Listeners’ here at RadioFlag Inc.–  comprised of radio and music industry professionals, former college radio DJs, local music artists and music minded interns. The ‘Best Show’ selections were based on a combination of the following criteria :

50%  -    Show content / presentation quality / talent

25%  -    Introducing listeners to new local artists / helping launch new local artists 

25%  -    Audience size / fan base  / social interaction / ability to generate new                          listeners  

First up, RadioFlag presents San Diego’s  ’Best Music Show’ winner “Progressive Nights”  hosted by Chad Fox from KSDS, San Diego City College’s radio station. The nomination was ‘flagged’ by user @dajules, a listener  on RadioFlag from San Francisco, California, and user @blackbeard, from Searsport, Maine.

 

 Progressive Nights takes listeners on a journey to the outer realms into unexpected sounds of jazz. The sounds you will encounter on his Jazz-centric show lie within the free form,  improvisational, avant-garde, electro-acoustic spectrum.  It’s quite likely that this ‘free to roam’ style will stretch some ears to experience some axes and jams that are “crazy baby” and out of the ordinary, knowing what is normally thought to be known about jazz that is.

Recently played on his show include artists Marcus Rosario, Rob Mazurek Octet , Joshua Redman, Ben Allison, Steve Lehman, Anthony Braxton, Rodrigo Amado Wire Quartet ,Nathan Hubbard,  ZEC, Steve Coleman, & Nels Cline to name a few.

As the future of jazz minded music continues to evolve, might as well take some time to lay low, sit back, stretch out and welcome the opportunity to be surprised, or better yet, “jazzified” out of any current “jazz comfort zone”. Once there, take time to sink into the unknown, tap into the night, glide a ride onto a star where new jazz sizzles and stirs, and have a listen to what emanations are burnin’ and bouncing forth out of this dynamic, forward moving, mad music making creative “genuineness”.  Go into the night and “get booted” into some hip jazzy play! Progressive nights will take you there every Monday – Friday 10 pm- midnight (PST). Tune into San Diego’s Jazz 88.3 presented by DJ Chad Fox.

Up next, RadioFlag presents North Dakota’s  ’Best Music Show‘ winner “Americana Alleyway”  hosted by David Breitback, AKA Ramblin’ Dave,  from KNDS, North Dakota State University’s radio station. His show attracts listeners from all over the nation, from California to Seattle and New York,  to supporters internationally from the UK and as far off as Lagos, Nigeria.

 

Ramblin’ Dave’s Americana Alleyway serves up a heaping helpin’ of eclectic root music, with styles ranging from Americana, bluegrass, folk, global folk, old-time, acoustic, alternative country and more. You name it, he’s cookin’ up those tunes, to accompany that “flapjacks for dinner” mood. Americana Alleyway is a weekly detour for those roaming hearts, helping to get them through the week and outta all that hustle and bustle BS.  DJ Dave welcomes his listeners to retreat into a cozy country cabin of wholesome down home tunes,  where that foot loose fancy free barefoot and happy side can come out and freely frolic and let it all go with a ‘hoedown throwdown’ and some tasty knee slaps to boot,  or just totally mellow out and kick it with some harmonious little ditties.

Some examples of Artists featured on Americana Alleyway include Shakey Graves, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Pete Seeger, Over the Rhine, Dawes, Ha Ha Tonka, Emmylou Harris, Patsy Cline, Harry McClintock, Steve Martin and Gram Parsons just to scratch the surface. Most recently played artists on the show are Natural Child, Willie Watson, David Johnson, John Fullbright, The Barr Brothers, Puss N Boots, The Friendly City Playboys, Jeff Bridges, Ben Miller Band, Don Reno, Roosevelt Dime, and Israel Nash.

So tune in every Thursday Evenin’ from 6-7pm (CT) to get an earful of nutritious and delicious organic American grown music. Savor sonic flavors from the past, present, and future of folk and roots inspired sound, wrapped up in one expertly curated knapsack filled with tasty tracks; ones that will keep listeners ramblin’ and rockin’ on down those highways, byways, and alleyways. After all,  nearly everyone recognizes that the greatest trips are often those adventuresome detours, venturing off the beaten path to discover a gold rush of hidden gems.

Next up, RadioFlag presents Nor-Cal’s ‘Best Music Show’ winner,  Electronic Hi- Jinks”hosted by Matthew Romero, AKA DJ Scrawny,  hailing from KSCU, Santa Clara University’s radio station. DJ Scrawny is a long standing member of the RadioFlag community, and has a loyal fan base of old and newbie fans. A nomination was ‘flagged’ by user @etherbunny3 , listener from Mission Viejo, California, who seems to dig DCD–otherwise known as the mesmerizing and un-categorizable duo, Dead Can Dance. Cool!

Hi-Jinks literally stands for a festivity of noisy, boisterous, mischievous, undertakings. Add electronic hand crafted live ‘mood based’ mixing with old and new style influences, and in a nutshell that is what EHJ is all about. Ever since surfing the sound waves on RadioFlag, listeners have been seen from all over, raving to his mixes. As another blogger wrote about the show, “This ain’t no create a playlist and push play party”. This is rawer, livelier, and realer to be sure. DJ Scrawny mans up on the mix board, pounding out beats that will raise the rafters, and then land listeners into some downtime, blanketing his audience in a mind field of melodic chilllllllll…..for a bit anyways. So much versatility and eclecticism exist in his sets, an array of new music, old mixes, and unmixed; certainly anything but scrawny,  just dance ready concoctions where anything goes –loads of bass, breaks, drum, ebm, electro, goth, industrial, house, and rave styles mixed fresh and on the fly. Just what’s needed to boss up that next house party.

Check him out every Sunday night 5-7 pm west coast time. Give him a shout out, and if you want to engage him on RadioFlag for some VIP attention, just mention Chainsaw in your comment or flag, and then get braced to experience the  ’piece de resistance’, which may as well be the flagship track for Electronic Hi Jinks. Basically, the reaction to getting this hallmark song request seems more like a fix for this EHJ Lifer.


Last but certainly not least RadioFlag presents our international RadioStar from Instanbul, Turkey. Nilce Bıçakçıoğl is a relatively new to the RadioFlag community, but has already generated listeners who seem fascinated with her live on air cultural journeys. She wins the ‘Best Variety Show’ category for her show “Globetrotter”, which broadcasts from Istanbul’s Bilgi University’s student radio station, Radyo Vesaire. The nomination was ‘flagged’ by user @heat,  a listener on RadioFlag from Arizona in the U.S. A handful of supporters from Turkey @Hamdi2001 , @didemyalinay , @paoovz , @xeonrey also flagged their nominations for Globetrotter.


Anybody with a mild to severe case of wanderlust fever will want to hitch a ride and  go trotting around the globe with Miss Nilce B.; from Istanbul to where ever her gallivanting whim journeys next. Catch her live show and it will feel like a personal international travel guide has just arrived on the mic, packed and prepared to fly your ears to one cultural exploration and playful musical diversion after another. In Grand Bazaar Turkish fashion, Nilce B. likes to keep things spicy, so naturally her show is going to show off the fact that “variety is the spice of life”.

She does this by infusing music laden interludes between talk sets, that keep the ears of her jet setting audience stylin’ with some sensational sounds, as they roam the world over. Like short layovers without the jet lag, she takes listeners back to that really amazing music that they totally forgot about, then she takes them forward to their new favorite “never heard before anywhere else” regional and obscure ‘under the radar’ song and artist. Being that Istanbul is a cultural hub of sorts, there are so many people traveling to and from this colorful and vibrant piece of the world, and Nilce taps into these resources well, often having live studio interviews and talks with foreign visitors and seasoned travelers, which open minds to new cultures and societies;  guiding listeners to experience the authentic local vibe of far away places. As the world turns so does the theme of her show, rotating its focus to different global destinations on a weekly basis. Sometimes she focuses on a single country or lingers in one city, chatting with on air guests who have had intimate encounters with her theme destination.

Her guests have been fellow wanderlusters, and local music artists (like the fun and playful  band ‘Rubber Walrus’), and people from various places in the world. No matter what, fans can expect to learn really interesting things about various places. For example, did you hear that dying is not allowed in Longyearbyen, Norway and 3 other places in the world? On top of the really curious tidbits of info Globetrotter shares with listeners, her show is a wonder filled excursion into world cultures, global music, city secrets, as well as travel tips including current local hot spots by those ‘in the know’. Definitely worth mapping out some time to wander and roam long side Globetrotter next time she takes to the air. Tune in every Wednesday at 8 PM (GMT +2 ).

RadioFlag just kicked off the Fall Season RadioStar Awards, so keep on nominating your radio shows and local artists, for your chance to get spotlighted on a global stage. The world is waiting to listen, so get heard the ‘Connective Listening way’!

@Airambrosia on RadioFlag
@AirAmbrosia on Twitter

Radio DJ’s and Artists Read about the  ‘Got Airplay?’ collaboration campaign.  “Because Air Should Always Be Free”

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