Toronto Indie Band Uncle Seth Finds New Audience through Podcasting

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High energy pop-rock-roots artists Uncle Seth gain international exposure from the growing podcast community. After being featured on popular podcasts from Adam Curry and others, the Toronto band have recently launched their very own podcast.

When Toronto band Uncle Seth ( submitted a few of their songs to a website called the Podsafe Music Network in July of 2005, they didn't realize that in less than a year they would make friends and fans of podcasters as far away as Florida and the UK, not to mention be producing their own podcast.

"We knew very little about podcasting, except that it seemed to be a way to get some online exposure for our music," says lead singer Tara Thompson. "I don't think any of us realized there was this amazing international community we're now a part of."

The Podsafe Music Network is a part of, the company created by podcast pioneer Adam Curry. Uncle Seth's place in the network and other promotion has lead to plays on such popular podcasts as Curry's show Daily Source Code, Brian Ibbot's Coverville, Jason Evangelho's Insommnia Radio, and many others.

While Podshow is leading the charge to create a business model around podcasting, music artists and podcasters can join the Podsafe Music Network for free. The legal agreements each sign give the podcasters clearance to use any of the music on the network for their shows.

"Clearance is needed because podcasts are actually MP3 file downloads, so artists have to give permission to have their tracks included." explains Jay Moonah, who plays bass and harmonica with Uncle Seth. "The network gives the bands and the podcasts an immediate way to connect. Part of the agreement is that the podcasters must fill out a form that sends an email directly to the artist when they play a song. That means bands can instantly see when they've been played on a show. I often email the hosts back, particularly if they play us more than once. That's lead to us forming relationships with podcasters all over the world."

One podcaster, Phil Coyne in Birmingham, UK even devoted an entire 70-minute episode of his show Bitjobs for the Masses to Uncle Seth.

"That was when we really knew we were onto something amazing" says Moonah, "when a guy in England who we've never met talks to us on the phone for an hour, and dedicates a whole show to our music, we knew we'd become part of a really special community."

Moonah is also a freelance Internet consultant, and had such a positive experience with podcasting that he decided to start his own, the Toronto Independent Music podcast, a part of the site at

"Initially I saw it as a way to give exposure to my friends in the Toronto scene, but now I'm discovering amazing local bands that I'd never heard of before! And I'm sharing their music with thousands of people each week, which is a very cool feeling." says Moonah.

Buoyed by their success with the medium, Uncle Seth recently decided to launch their very own podcast. "Basically, it's us talking and being ourselves, and playing interesting live or acoustic versions of our songs that our fans won't have heard before." says Thompson. "It's a way for people to get to know the band, to hang out with us. It's really fun, and we had some terrific feedback on the first couple of shows."

Moonah is convinced that podcasting is becoming an important means for independent artists looking to build their audience. "What's great is we have exactly the same distribution channels for our podcast as established acts like Barenaked Ladies or They Might Be Giants. You don't need label support or big time marketing, you really just need Internet access and some basic recording equipment, which many indie bands have these days. There are lots of free software tools and sites that you can use to use to set things up for yourself. Podcasting lets a band find their audience no matter where in the world they live. If your songs have appeal to hardcore punk fans or modern jazz fans or whoever, there's probably a podcaster who will love your stuff. There's probably a bunch of them!"

The Uncle Seth website, including links to subscribe to their podcast, can be found at:

Uncle Seth appears July 9, 2006 at the Yonge & Eglinton main stage for the Celebrate Toronto Street Festival.

For high-resolution images and additional biographical information on Uncle Seth, please visit:

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