While the sad state of radio held a mostly bleak outlook on traditional radio formats, this post provides some examples of where to turn for quality streaming audio.
As many may know, I spend an inordinate amount of time in front of a computer monitor. By choice. When I’m not shuffling through my ever-burgeoning song file collection (currently at 11,400+) or listing to talk shows, I’m usually tuned in to one of the following stations:
- KEXP — a non-commercial station from Seattle. KEXP has had more influence over my musical tastes and buying habits over the past decade than any other source. While their orientation is college rock/indie pop/indie rock, they’ve been know to throw a few curve balls. I’ve been contributing financially on a regular basis — at first with pledges, and more recently through their Amazon referral link. Aside: purchasing items at Amazon through an organization’s referral link is a passive and easy way to donate to a favorite cause. Highly recommended.
- Luxuria Music — self-described as
Exotica, Lounge, Space Age Bachelor Pad, Bossa, Soft-Psych, Go-Go, Latin Jazz, Sophisticated Rock and Surf.Often, I will find myself chuckling as I hear an impossibly cheesy MOR cover-version of a well-known oldie — or perhaps some kitschy French or eastern European pop music. Luxuria always leaves me in a good mood. The station almost folded a couple of years ago, so I’m thankful that they’re still around. Another station to which I’ve contributed financially.
- Radio Paradise — to someone with atypical tastes in music, Radio Paradise may at first come across as somewhat bland but still satisfying. To others with more mainstream tastes, the station will introduce them to established artists that they may have heard of, but haven’t actually listened to. And their Listen page is simply awe-inspiring in its breadth. And you won’t hear a single commercial.
- WFMU — a freeform non-commercial station from New Jersey. While certain DJs tend to talk a bit too much for my tastes, the musical payoff is more than worth it.
- dublab — while the name may suggest reggae and turntablism, that genre is only a small part of what dublab plays. Like WFMU, dublab is known for obscure, avant garde, and unclassifiable “material”, but also for lost 1960s/1970s soul gems, hip hop, indie folk, or just about whatever the DJs feel like throwing at us. I never really know what’s going on at dublab. And there’s this one DJ who always sounds as if he’s just moments away from a full-fledged ether high.
- WSM — the esteemed country station. Unfortunately, WSM recently redesigned their site; it’s now all but inaccessible. Every link off the home page opens a new window. It’s just … bad. It’s so bad that I’ve linked to their Wikipedia entry to spare you the horror. How to listen? Even though they have a live stream, I’d say your best bet is to get close enough to Brentwood, TN and then tune your radio to 650AM. Skip most of the pop country during the day, but listen to Eddie Stubbs in the evenings. Ok, I just realized that this bullet point could have been just for Eddie Stubbs.