March 18, 2002 02:00am
He Watches Pornos for the Music
Source: Wired News
by: Brad King
(AUSTIN, TX) -- John Dial is an unassuming sort, the type of guy youíd walk right by in a bar.
Heís an affable, 34-year-old, Web-interface designer, stocky with straight black hair migrating towards the back. He wears a collared, lime-green shirt over a black T-shirt and blue jeans.
Itís the smirk that gives him away.
See, Dial is also DJ Vanyanovich. Heís not just another electronica DJ spinning tub-thumping tunes to mesmerized masses. Heís got a better gig than that. He spins songs from adult movies at Fluffertrax.
Right now, he broadcasts on Live365.com, an Internet radio station, and through IM Networks. Traditional radio shied away. He contacted Sirius and XM Radio, the two subscription satellite stations that launched this year, but neither was interested.
"Why not a porn radio show on the radio? Itís too controversial I guess," said Dial, answering his own question. "But Iíve been collecting this music for 10 years, and itís a lot of fun."
Dial hatched the idea in the '80s when he was working at KTSB, the student-run radio station in Austin. He couldn't sell it to anyone though, so he just collected soundtracks with the help of his friends. Digital music changed all that.
Will Muntz, who owns the Lucky Lounge, helped Dial resurrect the concept in 1998. Muntz introduced him to MP3s, taught him how to download files, and even helped him get set up on Live365.com, a streaming radio service that allows anyone to broadcast their own music streams on the Internet.
Within weeks, Dial was broadcasting to anyone with a WinAmp or MusicMatch player. He also has a station on iTunes, a Pc-free Internet radio tuner that connects directly to the Internet.
"Internet radio should result in a renaissance of broadcasting where niche genres flourish," Dial said. "At least, that's my pipe dream. I'd like Fluffertrax.com to grow to a point where I could spend more serious time on it, giving me an excuse to attend ridiculous events in Las Vegas. For now, I'm just happy to see where this adventure takes me."
But the new webcasting royalty rates do have Dial concerned his dream might get nipped in the bud, since companies like Live365.com will be on the hook for millions of dollars. However, his show doesn't make any money, so he can secure a license for $500.
Despite his shoestring budget and a lack of radio exposure, Dial hasnít gone unnoticed. Mary McCann, aka Bone Mamma, contacted Dial shortly after he began broadcasting his show. McCann, a music and talk radio host for 20 years in Arizona is now the vice president of radio at IM Networks. She encouraged Dial to develop his show.
After four years, he's about to go global. Heís working on a deal with IM Networks and Panasonic that would allow Dial to broadcast his show through a cable network using a set-top box. With encouragement from his wife of 10 years, heís also started hosting parties and soon heíll be spinning weekly at Austinís hip Red Fez lounge.
His main tool is a Titanium PowerBook laptop filled with hundreds of MP3 files ripped from LPs and CDs heís tracked down in record stores around the country. Itís small enough to sit on top of a stereo and be stored in a converted beer cooler.
He kickoff for his new live gig happened during the South by Southwest Interactive festival, where Web designers and technologists converge once a year.
The party is a tech, hootenanny porndown, replete with Shannon Tweed movies running on three televisions, Fluffertrax girls (actually his wife and her friends) in skimpy white T-shirts tied off at the midriff and a bar full of revelers who left Austinís main bar scene to hang out at the Lucky Lounge with Dial.
At last year's party, noted porn star Ron Jeremy showed up with a gaggle of people from Wicked Pictures, one of the more prolific adult movie companies.
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