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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The World Cup’s Gift to Us All is Brazil’s Beautiful Musical Soul

It’s so awesome to be able to witness the omnipresent power of music; the way it weaves its sound-ful influences into seemingly every fabric of our human existence, in today’s world more obviously then ever. Music highlights and accentuates every colorful human emotion, and seems to walk along our side throughout our lives, like our very own emotional advocate and activator. Emotions are energy + motion right? So as most of us live, breath, move and groove to the pulses and beats of everyday life, both outside and inside us, music acts as a constant connector, whether we are continuously aware of its companionship or not.   With the World Cup, it’s been much more apparent how sports has become even more heavily engaged in partnership with the music industry; probably realizing the impact it has to magnify and amplify the emotionally laden peak experiences we have as human beings. Sports can be considered one of those “biggie” experiences, and has become a significant satisfier in many people’s lives throughout the world, a welcomed escape, a way to engender feelings of unification with others, and although some may have a general disinterest or dislike for sports, it is abnormal to find anyone who has an overbearing natural aversion to music. Ask yourself, do you know anyone who naturally detests music? Therefore, music acts as a bridge or catalyst to connect cultures, people and nations, and drives people into participating in events (or use a product, brand, or service etc.) they normally would not gravitate to. After all,

“Music is the Universal Language of All Mankind”.

Brands like ‘Beats by Dre’, shows us the very powerful and electrically emotive connection sports (in this case World Cup soccer i.e. futebol) has with culture and music. Have a look and listen at how they represent that in the video, “The Game Before the Game” showing Brazils beloved soccer star, Neymar Jr. and others, listening to “Jungle” by Jamie N Commons & The X Ambassadors.

As in the case of the World Cup, a sporting event more massively popular and globally unifying, than any other sporting event, you can be sure that our ever present escort ‘Music’, wouldn’t dare miss this show. The show being, the opportunity to illicit “energy in motion”, remember?Kinda like an amuse-bouche served at the onset of a fancy din-din, meant to stir up your senses, elevate and enhance your appetite, and get you wanting (what ever it is you are wanting) much much more. This “Motion” begins stacking up to create a surge of human emotional electricity that expands by feeding off all the kinetic Co-motion, kind of like friction creating fire; and in us, that fired up feeling we get in our gut. When we all get going in this together, it can be quite an exhilarating and fiery vibe!

So, it all starts with a spark right? Sure, and in a culture as exuberant, vivacious, and passionately inflamed as Brazil, sparks are natural and ignite brightly, and easily. FIFA’s  decision to highlight the pageantry of the 2014 World Cup with a duo performance by American artists;  Pitbull and Jennifer “Jenny from the block” Lopez, also featuring brazilian born Claudia Leitte, seemingly as a side note, was ample fuel to fire up a united musical protest. In an ironic sort of twist, “We are One” (Ole Ola), did create oneness and unity, perhaps just not in the way the performing artists and record company backers intended it to. The following statement was highlighted as the general Brazilian sentiment according to the associated press,”

“Although Brazilian Claudia Leitte is also featured in the official theme, critics say they don’t understand why Cuban-American rapper Pitbull and Bronx-born Puerto Rican singer Jennifer Lopez were chosen for the song when there are so many other great musicians in the land of Bossa Nova.”

Brazilians where also put off that the song is mostly in English and Spanish, leaving only a few seconds at the end for Leitte to sing in her native Portuguese. Watch the video yourself, to see if you share this opinion.

American Pop Star, Shakira is no stranger to controversy as she sparked some up herself when her song ‘Waka Waka -This Time For Africa’, was the official FiFA (the sport’s governing body) World Cup song hosted by South Africa in 2010.

Interestingly enough, in the midst of this year’s FIFA music controversy, Shakira stepped up and took the opportunity to work it out in her favor, releasing her own unofficial 2014 World Cup song. When Brazilians where given a choice between American performers, Shakira seems to have come out on top; with a vibe, background, and artistic influences that seem to share more synchronicity with the people of Brazil than say ‘Pitbull’ or Jennifer Lopez did. Your own ears and hips will have to be the referee on this one.

Even with so much stunning production value invested, Brazilians seemed generally dismayed by the simple fact that while their country is overflowing with so much zest, lushness, and flamboyantly flavorful music culture than almost anywhere, no native Brazilian performance acts where selected to represent at this spectacular sports occasion. It makes little sense to many, when there is such an over pouring of auditory sunshine in Brazil, to fill up all the ‘ear cups’ in the world.

Brazil has always had an abundant of music and entertainment culture, bursting forth with intoxicating beats, that intersect perfectly among the fantastical exotic displays and voluptuous eye feasts. Even the most stagnant of hips must move to ‘wiggle it just a little bit’, in the throng of such musical magic, majesty and amusement. It takes more than a collection of samba dancers, capoeira performers, or South American drum masters, to woo the discerning ear of the Brazilian people, a culture steeped in a deep luxurious richness of natural rhythm and colorful diversity; one that seems to mirror its very own fertile Amazon, full of its own deep flow, mysteries, magnificent sound creators, and passionate protests. In fact, Brazilian people are so entrenched in a sort of “collective vibe” that even when they protest they must “dance it out”. And during a sports victory, …well that’s a given

Just take a look at Brazil’s national team SuperStar – Neymar doing the Tchu Tcha Tch

So, if there is a silver lining to the official FIFA song controversy (and there always is), it’s that it will light a spark in all of us to move, to “explore the more” and go beyond needless boundaries, musical or otherwise, and to not forget to dance to the beat of our own drums along the way. What may have come off as just another example of the commercial music industry, attempting to connect to “place and people”, and perhaps coming off as culturally out of touch instead, can actually be an invitation to work through the controversy, and discover the essence that brings us all closer to some sort of victory, connection, and real “oneness”. We have got to venture “outside the box” to get there, and that may be the only rule to really follow.

In a shift to do just that, and in honor of the opportunity this music controversy has created, here is a collection of songs by Brazilian artists (an alternative World Cup playlist ). After fully diving into the local culture; it’s pulse and authentic music creations, I discovered amazing exotic sounds from some of the most legendary, to some of the freshest emerging Brazilian music creators ever heard. Enjoy, or as I believe they say in Portuguese, Desfrutar!

This is the Classic of Classics. ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ was inspired by a real Brazilian girl, and is the 2nd most recorded pop song in music history. So, you’ve probably heard it, but this timeless (100 % Brazilian) sonic beauty never gets old.



Authentically lovable Brazilian artist, Roge, expresses beautifully the interconnectivity of soccer, music, dance and Brazilian culture, in his recent interview with ESPN.

“I love soccer and I’m looking for the art in soccer, like I do in music”

“The samba and the way the Brazilian people are moving, it’s like playing soccer”

“I’ve been watching life, my words, through my lens, ‘The Music.’ All my words come from music.”

Cheating here a bit, but if it made hips move and grove, I’d say it’s in line with the spirit of Brazil. ;)

I’m sure there are many artists left to discover and share with the live Radio DJs on RadioFlag, so if I’ve missed some amazing ones, please let me know. For now I will probably tune in to 2 local Brazilian radio stations that I have recently found: MPB fm and Beat 98, and most definitely spend time exploring the best South American music blog I’ve found so far. It’s called sounds and colours. There are actually a lot of Brazilian music lovers on RadioFlag, who love to find new emerging artists from all over, to share with a worldwide audience. Just check out some of the Live Radio DJs who do Bossa Nova and Brazilian music themed radio shows, and play song requests for their listeners via RadioFlag.

Now that Brazil has gone undefeated in the World Cup games thus far,  we should keep our ears open for a fresh harvest of beats and ballads to come pulsing out of the hearts of energized Brazilian futebol (soccer in Portuguese) fans; ones that will do honor to the local vibe perfectly. So go, make music, and take notice of how music never misses out on the energy and motions of Life, because it is Life!

@Airambrosia on RadioFlag

@AirAmbrosia on Twitter

‘Got Airplay?’  ‘Because Air Should Always Be Free’ 

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