There is no better time than right now to be a music fan

There is no better time than right now to be a music fan. Thanks to the internet, there is a wealth of music available at your fingertips whenever you want it.

The days of sitting by your radio waiting for your favorite song to come on are over. A simple Google search will take you directly to your favorite song. Don’t want to buy the whole album? No problem, just download the song you want for $0.99.

The music industry has been turned upside down by the internet. And while the record executives may be losing money, it’s the music lover that is ultimate winner. The internet has opened doors that never existed. Especially for the musicians who don’t have the luxury of having a major record label behind them. The indie artist today has more ways to reach the consumer than ever before. And the Charlotte duo of Jamie & Steve are taking full advantage of it.

Jamie Hoover and Steve Stoekel have been making and creating music for over 30 years. They make up one-half of the long-time Charlotte pop band, The Spongetones. Jamie & Steve are hard at work completing their second project as a duo. And even though the Spongetones have dialed back their musical commitments the last few years, Jamie & Steve continue to play and record and new music. They even perform live from time to time – on an internet browser near you.

That’s right. Jamie and Steve have been organizing mini- concerts online through a website called bills itself as “an online venue for live and interactive virtual concerts providing fans with a front row seat to a backstage experience”. As longtime members of The Spongetones, both Jamie & Steve have fans not just in their backyard, but as far away as Japan. In fact, a few years ago, they traveled over there for a brief tour. Plane tickets can be expensive, but jumping online to watch and hear your favorite band doesn’t have to be. Each band that uses performs a 30-minute set of music with an optional 20-minute encore.

Evan Lowenstein, of the 90’s pop duo Evan & Jaron, launched to give musicians another way to interact with their fans, as well as give them an additional revenue stream that they had not had before. Lowenstein was looking to raise a family, and that meant he’d have to reduce his touring schedule as a result. That’s where the idea came from. And in a short time, the website has over 3000 bands signed up using their services. And if Jamie & Steve have it their way, this will be a great way to cultivate a new fan base, as well as continuing to interact with their long-time Spongetones fans – all without having to load up the tour bus.

To learn more about Jamie and Steve, and to find out about their next scheduled performance, visit them online at

Article by Ben Dungan [email protected]