You may have noticed the overwhelming list of artists scheduled to play at local Charlottesville concert venues like the Southern or the Jefferson. If you’re like me, you also may have realized you have no idea who many of the bands are. Given the sheer number of musical talent that passes through Charlottesville each year, not to mention the inexpensive tickets and convenient locations offered by these venues, this lack of familiarity can pose a big problem. A solution came to me when I met Anslem Gentle, the managing director at a website called GigDog. When Gentle sat down for an interview with me, he admitted that the problem I just described was one of the driving forces behind his site. “I was looking at a concert poster in a bar on the mall and realized that I would never go see that band because I had no clue who they were, or even the type of music they played,” Gentle said. “So I started GigDog to give people a way to know before you go.” GigDog is an online radio station that provides “music lovers an opportunity to listen to the music of up-and-coming musicians playing in their neighborhood,” Gentle said. Much like Pandora and Spotify, GigDog streams music. Listeners select what musical genres they want to hear and note where they live, and the website offers them access to tracks from bands that will be touring their areas in the near future. If an artist were playing at The Jefferson one Saturday night, for example, you could listen to them on GigDog the week before to decide if you’re interested in getting a group of friends together to attend. The site started in June of 2012 in the Darden Business School Incubator, where Gentle was one of the first ever community residents invited to participate with Darden students. Since its inception, the business has expanded to seven stations in eight different cities. “The response has been amazing,” Gentle said. “We have over 500 bands and over 450 venues that we promote daily.” Gentle said one of his biggest reasons for starting GigDog was to help emerging artists strengthen their fan base and make a living. With the widespread illegal downloading of music, unknown musicians are forced to rely on touring for income. “[GigDog] is a service that is needed by musicians to help them make the music that we all love,” Gentle said.