Dan Herman bio

Thank you so much for your support. Honestly- I wish there were more like you.” – Garrison Starr, via Facebook, 6/29/2013


Debussy: “There is no theory. You have only to listen. Pleasure is the law. I love music passionately. And because l love it, I try to free it from barren traditions that stifle it. It is a free art gushing forth, an open-air art boundless as the elements, the wind, the sky, the sea. It must never be shut in and become an academic art.”

Satie: “Postulez en vous-même. (wonder about yourself)”

Radio Crystal Blue is primarily a podcast program. This program is the collection of sounds that are generated by top indie and touring artists that are not major-label…just everyone else.  I strive to connect one song to another by way of a chord, a lyric, a sentiment based on the time of the month, the year, a season, a common association between 2 artists or labels, a band or songwriter I booked, etc. You really do have to listen to the show to understand what I mean, but, once you do, you’ll feel the flow of this lost art of radio called freeform.  I record on Tuesdays, and eventually the show gets uploaded and presented on Big Contact (podcast provider) and the Web at large. I never know how it will end…the songs are chosen spontaneously, tho in advance I’ve chosen as much as which artist from which album…putting together segments generally by degrees of loudness.  The middle stuff I put in the beginning…the louder in the middle, and the quiet at the end. Listen at various times of the year and you will pick up on songs I spin once a year as traditions.

I strive to play original music, as new as possible, from artists that currently promote their gigs and news. I stray from playing ‘singles’, ‘covers’, ‘standards’ and the like unless absolutely unavoidable. I believe in playing cuts that don’t always get aired.

My future aspirations for the show includes  a real studio to work from…so that I can host  interviews, drop-ins and calls and interactivity with you all.

I also have a portable recorder with which I record live events and also do audio based interviews. I’ve since purchased a great Fuji camera and now I do some photos of events. Lots of these are on Facebook

You want to know my favorite artists ever? Here we go:
Bettie Serveert
Velvet Underground
The Pixies

There are satellite acts I will also put in this list, both directly related acts to the above and sound-alikes. I’ve mentioned Suede, Oasis, the Breeders, but there are more. Iggy Pop (punk began here; no question) the Sex Pistols (from whom all modern punk dost borrow and steal from), the Ramones (the 70′s glamorization of the fun 60′s, all dressed dark and ‘d-u-m-b’), Primal Scream (dance rock personified) and you know my love of The Orb.
I’m a fan of everything Kristin Hersh, from the Throwing Muses and related sounds to the Top 4 I listed above. I saw the band with a gal I had just met, one summer at Summerstage, in Central Park, NYC.

Getting personal:
I’m 43, born and raised in Brooklyn NY. Currently in Philadelphia, PA. My earliest memories include hearing contemporary rock, oldies (what passed for oldies in the 70′s, country and the classic ‘beautiful music’ format from several FM radio stations in NYC.  Without many luxuries in life as a youth I longed for some amount of self-expression and meaning to life, and my life in particular.  Along the way, WPLJ was a constant soundtrack to my 80′s days.
Soon I would move along to a station I would faintly pick up from Eatontown NJ, the former WHTG, 106.3 FM and learn from the voice of Matt Pinfield about great indie artists at home along with breaking artists from around the world.
I was among those to first see a band rise and fall by the name of DGeneration.   The first cassettes I bought were ones of Hendrix (“Smash Hits”), Neil Young (“Freedom”), Pixies (‘Trompe le Monde”), and some European techno compilations. Scouring trade magazines (Spin, Alternative Press), I quickly linchpinned my interests to other bands that drew from the sounds I enjoyed most (My Bloody Valentine, Catherine Wheel, the Orb, to name a scant few).

In 2000, while redefining my career goals for the umpteenth time, I stumbled upon the medium of Internet radio. I had already gravitated to the world of Web in 1998, and truly it opened my eyes and ears to new appreciation of the world about me, as I am sure any of you can understand. Voice chat in particular became one of my hobbies (remember Mplayer?), building friendships and acquaintances worldwide. In August 2000, I discovered that with my connection, as well as a slew of CDs, mp3s and the like, I could finally produce something more tangible and virtually ‘broadcast’ my thoughts, interests and love for music and related areas.  After a minute’s thought, I realized that this just might be my calling. I would be on Live 365 from 2000 to 2009.

I was very briefly on the Folk-DJ mailing list and collective, where by pure association I would get folk-oriented CD from very credible artists and promoters. One CD, Kris Delmhorst’s Five Stories, was truly special. Signature Sounds, which represented Kris, was the first indie-label to take a chance on me.  After heeding the call of the independents, inspired by particular radio muses (Vin Scelsa for one, the late Pete Fornatale, another), I have turned my focus much more outward.   In May 2002, through the chance meeting of a few notable musicians (and one I followed from LA and back),I became immersed in the NYC downtown scene once again, this time to align with the C-Note music venue  in the East Village.  This association lasted until 2005, and I continued to promote artists with booking until 2009. I may get back into the game here in Philly.

Some of the influences I credit for my radio presence, apart from those I’ve mentioned are: Hearts of Space , and just about any old-time rock radio, such as what I’d hear on WNEW-FM. One of the secrets I learned was being personable, interactive with the music itself.

Public appearances include:  2004: *Debut appearance in a music video for songwriter Theresa Dante
Public-access cable TV interview on “Dave’s Space” in NYC with songwriter Dave Space

Performance of an Allen Ginsberg poem accompanied by the bowed guitar of Denise BarbaritaDenise and I reprised our role, me reciting “The Lion For Real” on 8/22/05.
2010: I recited a portion of Kerouac’s “The Railroad Earth” with a band behind me, a lovely band named Fellaheen
2005: Began formally podcasting.
In 2007 I have expanded my efforts in booking, bought a Behringer sound mixer and am happy to have more people check out the podcasts per day.

Also I’ve set some of my still camera work to music and narration:
A day at Belmont Park
A day at Aqueduct Racetrack

Three Kerouac Sketches

1/31/08 I met one of my radio heroes, the aforementioned Joe Franklin…at a celebration of Loretta Lynn’s music, with Jorma Kaukonen as the top star of the show. Joe says to me there really is no songwriter comparable to the writers of yesteryear “there was one Irving Berlin”.  He liked my voice right off, and suggested I keep doing what I’m doing,….and …in a couple of years…I’d be famous.

I appear extremely briefly in the beginning and end portions as an extra in a Bollywood film “Anjanna Anjanni”

As of 2012  I’m looking at entrepreneural activities involving elements of music promotion/marketing along with New Age work.  One area I’ve begun to explore is public-access TV.
In late 2012 I became certified as a producer at PhillyCAM.  I have 2 project ideas and want to work on these with a crew, and also get my hands dirty being involved in other productions.

Sabermetric study on baseball players and their true power and their ability to influence a game by themselves.  OK, so I’m a stathead.  I loved reading Bill James’s material since 1982.  
   As of this typing, spring training 2013 is underway. I plan to do an extensive look at MLB players through one original stat creation for  my other website   I also want to get the study published somewhow. 

I’ve completed a Class A subway run of riding every single subway line on the MTA in NYC, accomplished on 1/2/08. I’m up to doing such fun runs, and next time I’d like to get a small group going to share the adventures here in Philly. I’ve done 2 of these runs, both just under 7 hours 30 minutes.

Astrologically speaking: I’m an Aquarian with a Capricornian dry wit, Scorpio moon, Leo rising.  I am a serious student of this, and I love figuring people out through this means. I have similar interest in biorhythms, and also tarot to a lesser degree.  I am certified in a healing modality called Magnified Healing, tho I practice on myself more these days. In my move to Philly, I began to meet with this group that does energy balancing and meditations of different types.

I am a carnivore and very respectful of those who differ.

I’m an INFP.

I’ve cultivated a love of horse racing since my early years, and it was only last year I began semi-regular treks to one of the local tracks to actually wager real $. In late March 2012 I scored a $300 payoff in the Dubai World Cup.   I seem to do my best work with the graded races.   Breeders Cup 2012 wasn’t too kind to me, though. I have done well with the Kentucky Derby preps, the future wagers, and the big race itself over the years, so I am ever hopeful.

Very recently I began to gather the wisdom of one Derek Rydall, who shared his wisdom on a particular Webinar. I was moved by his idea of self-emergence, against the Law of Attraction and the ‘self-improvement’ idea.  I’ve signed up for his e-course and am very likely to purchase his CDs to further hone my vision, and fully execute my plan of world domination. OK not quite world domination. But some of the above interests I want to tie together in some way, and keep a day job at the same time. I’m sure it’s fully possible.

A few notes from musicians who acknowledged my 10 years of broadcasting Radio Crystal Blue….
BD Lenz: Hey Dan, happy 10th!!  You’re a true champion of underground radio and indie music and we all appreciate that tremendously.  I’m grateful for the spins throughout the years and I wish you many more years of great radio…Wendy Griffiths (Changing Modes):  Now that so much radio is corporatized and Clear Channelized, Dan Herman has struggled to help keep to the genre of free-form radio  alive and well at Radio Crystal Blue.  I am old enough to remember when DJs had actual personalities and played music THEY LIKED (see the  documentary “Save the Music” for more on this important topic) rather than what the the corporate machinery has dictated….fighting against

the banish the cloud of terrible sameness that seems to have descended on the music world, shutting out the weird, the innovative and the daring.  For music creators like myself, it is crucial that there are stations  like RCB that recognize the importance of what we do, many of us against all odds.

MJ Hibbett: According to the Old Media Outlets and miserable old so-and-so’s in general, the internet is keeping us all apart from each other, isoltating people in their houses in front of glowing screens, connected only to machines and mediocrity. This is pretty much the opposite to what actually happens, thanks in part at least to people like Dan Herman and Radio Crystal Blue who have, for over a decade now, been connecting music makers and music lovers all over the globe with an ecletic and exciting range of music which you’d never hear anywhere else, suddenly accessible to anyone who’s up for hearing it. As someone on the making music side of things it’s always lovely to know someone like Dan is there ready to

listen and then get other people to do so, and it’s brilliant to think that even on the rainiest greyest day in smelly old London there’s someone in the super glamorous skyscraper metropolis of New York listening to my tunes. Thanks Dan!

David Goldman: I’d like to thank Dan Herman and Radio Crystal Blue for his internet broadcasts over the years which have helped to promote myself and other emerging artists. He has also helped inform me about various artists with whom he felt I have a common musical interest or style.

Roger Silverberg: I learned about Radio Crystal Blue in 2002 or 2003 from Dan Herman’s posts to a music scene related Yahoo Groups bulletin board.  Having just gotten my first taste of a broadband connection around that time, this was also my first real taste of internet radio.  And I must say that what I heard coming through my computer’s speakers was a refreshing affirmation that there was a veritible torrent of interesting new music being written and recorded.  I think that it was then and there that I also began to appreciate that the Indie Scene was where nearly all the “interesting” talent was calling home.  Indeed, I’ve come to consider Dan to be the Indie Artist’s best friend.  I’ve listened regularly ever since.  

Dan’s love for, and knowledge of, music is obvious but never pushed onto his listeners. Rather, his free-form style is an invitation to explore the artists he spins. As a music lover who, like myself, doesn’t like to put walls around “genres” – not that the term really applies – he constructs extended sets of the kind you rarely ever hear any more on over-the-air radio.  Perhaps the closest legimate comparison style-wise to Dan would be Vin Scelsa at WFUV.  The art of the segue is alive and well!

Finally, I’m glad to count Dan as a friend and a long-time supporter of my music as well as being my guide to a number of artists that I’ve discovered and followed via the magic of Radio Crystal Blue.  It’s been a great 10 years.

2 Comments to “Dan Herman bio”

  1. Hi Dan! Thanks for accepting our submission! Looking forward to sharing our music with your listeners! Much love, Trish Blue Sky Drive.

  2. Dear Dan~ I am so looking forward to next weekend at sscapemay.com….it will be my pleasure to have you MC my Saturday night March 23, 2103 showcase @A;eathea’s Restaurant at The Inn of Cape May….thank you for ALL your passionate support for LIVE acoustic indie musicians of the world….Hugs2ya Kat~Tunes2ya.com….

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