Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Dream Come True

Just about everyone has their own unique musical taste. Some people have a wildly-eclectic music collection encompassing everything from 1940's polka to avant-garde industrial, and some have more defined boundaries to their listening habits. Some people MUST wake to heavy-metal, work to light jazz or make love to a backing soundtrack of the BeeGees. You know who you are (and so does your ex-girlfriend). There do exist people who seem to get by just fine without much music at all in their lives, and then there are those who are permanently attached to their music player through the little white cords in their ears. As with everything in life, there is a wide spectrum of dedication in the populace of the planet to specific music and bands, and for some reason Cure fans worldwide seem to veer a little bit more toward the more passionate side than most.

All Cure fans have other favorite bands and music, but then there are those days when you just want to listen to the Cure. ONLY the Cure. Maybe you're having a bad day, and just need to go to your happy place for a little nostalgic comfort, but your iPod is broken and the only radio station in town plays adult contemporary rock. What is a Cure fan to do? Well one enterprising fellow named Rob set up an online Cure radio station called Dreamland and it is a Cure fan's dream come true.

There are some critical differences that give Dreamland a great advantage over automated services streaming Cure music such as last.fm or others, and those lie in the dedication and personal touch that only a fellow Cure fan can provide. Streaming 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all Cure, all the time, this station offers anyone with an internet connection a direct pipeline into the enormously broad world of Cure music and information, from rarities, demos and live recordings to remixes and radio interviews. Pulled from a vastly extensive collection, the Dreamland stream is Cure bliss. Rob is happy to accommodate requests when he is near his computer to fill them, and seems to truly enjoy interacting with other fans through the Shoutbox on his site. I thought it would be interesting to find out a little more about the history and behind the scenes activity that surrounds Dreamland, and so I asked Rob if I could interview him for my blog, and he graciously agreed to let me pick his brain a little bit.

So without further ado, may I present to you the official Dreamland Interview:


Please tell us a little about yourself
Hmm, a bio, well ... I am not the best at articulating my thoughts into words.... My name is Rob Gaver and I was born in Los Angeles, California in 1973, so that makes me 35. I now live just north of Tampa, Florida with my beautiful wife Tracey and our dog Kailey. I am a musician (keyboards) and engineer and have spent the last 15 years or so producing and recording various local acts, no one major , a lot of hiphop music! Now that I am older and settled down, I mainly just create music for myself, its my way of "getting away" from it all. I am currently a manager for an Office Supply store, mundane for sure, but it pays the bills. A few other notes about me. I am a magician (started close up magic at 14) , a science junkie (physics / The Universe), a computer technician, and a smart ass to the fullest, and I would love to do stand up comedy one day~ and yes you can post Kailey's website.

How long have you been a Cure fan?
Since around 1986 or so, Just before Kiss Me.

What or who introduced you to their music?
... I met this "little black haired girl" and was mesmerized. Naturally she listened to The Cure and introduced me to them. Head on the Door was my first taste, what a great record! Then I discovered Seventeen Seconds and that settled that.

What do you enjoy the most about the Cure?
Wow where to begin? Of course at first it was the obvious stuff like the music, the lyrics, the look. as time went by I always kept The Cure with me. Life has its ups and downs and the whole time, I had The Cure with me. So now when I listen to The Cure I feel like I am home, I feel comfort. It becomes a part of you, you know? It Sounds corny I guess but I'm sure you get what I mean. (I know exactly what you mean! -ed.)

What's your favorite Cure-related memory or experience?
This actually happened recently. My wife Tracey didn't really know much about The Cure when we met. She instantly loved them, so taking her to a show for the first time, Ultra Music Festival 2007. The look on her face when Robert walked on the stage. I'll never forget it.

What inspired you to start Dreamland and when did you start it?
I started a members only music hub called The Bassment in 2003. I ripped all my vinyl and cds , collected mp3s and built a collection of Cure music that I am still adding to. Then I started toying around with the idea of a Cure only radio station, I tried peercast for a bit, but it didn’t really take off because it required that a client program be installed on the listeners computer. Too much hassle. So started using Winamp Shoutcast in 2005 and built Dreamland... So far 3 years and still going.

How many listeners do you have on an average day?
Currently 90 listeners with an average of 15-20 listener peak a day. This covers several time zones.

How big is your collection?
I currently have 125,000 mp3s in my main library, about 1,500 cure tracks, (a lot of bootlegs). I usually have around 600 songs that I rotate in and out on Dreamland.

Have you met a lot of people through your station?
Actually no...

What are the biggest challenges you face in running Dreamland?
Bandwidth is my biggest challenge, because this is all in my home. So I have to stream at 56 kb/s ....would love to be at 128 kb/s at least. Looking for options currently.

Can you tell us a little about the equipment or software you use?
Equipment is a computer dedicated as the server with several external drives. As far as software I use Shoutcast by Winamp in conjunction with Evil Lyrics. I also have a home recording studio so I run the stream through a Ramsa mixing board and a compressor/ limiter. I use Protools for any announcements like the Intro to Dreamland.

Do you take requests or set up special playlists often or do you mostly just push the "shuffle" button and let it go?
I love taking requests. I really enjoy seeing what other Cure fans enjoy. I will always play a request unless of course I am not around to fulfill it, lol.
Actually I mix it live a lot of the time, but I do have several playlists that I have created, you know the Happy Cure, the heavy Cure, the dim the lights and listen with your favorite poison Cure. I also do at times shuffle and let it ride.

You mentioned bandwidth issues. Would you ever consider something like a subscription or donation program to help you with the costs of running the station? If not, what other kinds of options would you look at?
I have given this some thought and have decided against subscriptions. There is a legal issue here and I want to be careful not to cross the line. I would not want to offend The Cure by what I am doing. Part of me likes to think that Robert wouldn't care , but I want to be careful. Donations would be helpful and I may go that route at some point. For now I am looking at a 20 mb/s upload service and that would do the trick but the problem is getting a static ip address which will cost me about $100 additional a month. So yeah, for now its status quo, lol.

Would you share a small playlist with us of your current favorites?
This is a hard one. This is what I've been playing lately... of course that will change with state of mind. (ed. note, I tried to find these on playlist.com so that you could hear them, however most of them are not available, so you'll just have to listen to Dreamland to hear them)

Please Come Home
Ching Chang Chong
Sirensong
All around us the mermaids sing
Your so Happy
A Night Like This (Smashing Pumpkins cover)
Give me it (Concert LP)
Don't Believe a Word
Lost Flower 4
This Morning
Truth Goodness and Beauty
Strum
Closedown
Dressing Up (Paris)
Sluvy
All of This

Is there anything else that I have not asked that you think people need to know about you and your station?
Feel free to stop by the site http://www.bassmentradio.com/cure/dream.htm and give it a go, download the toolbar to get the most out of it and remember no adware or spyware and its free. also it is important to me to express the hope that any listener of Dreamland supports The Cure by purchasing their music and seeing their shows.



Many thanks to Rob for his dedication to the Cure and the many fans who enjoy his station on a daily basis!

1 comments:

dj scribbles said...

just checking my blogger updates, and was very pleasantly surprised to find this.

first off, youre one of the people who this would come naturally to. ive read alot of muscician interviews over this year, but this has got to be one of my favorites (obviously, its rob from dreamland after all!)it sounded like an easygoing interview, a friendly discussion between cure fans, that quality made it all the more enjoyable. i especially like his description of his wife when he took her to a cure show for the first time.

hopefully some will get to meet him next tour!

btw - the title is very befitting