Ruminations from Raleigh Court

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Internet Radio and the Quest To Stay Cool

Back in the day....I used to be the program director of a solid college radio station. Like those characters in High Fidelity, I was the ultimate music snob that knew all of the good music out from 90-94. 7" records, EP's , the more obscure the better. Saw a ton of good shows, the whole indie rock thing suited me.

Fast forward twelve years and it is much harder to find out about new and interesting music that I would like. I vowed long ago to never be one of those guys that talks about how much better music was when they were growing up. The problem however is finding the good new music that I once was so up on. When you find yourself looking to Entertainment Weekly and episodes of the O.C. for introductions, you've lost all your cool cred.

Enter internet radio as a source. The main problem is, of course, that there are a gazillion stations to choose from and some of them just plain suck. One station I stumbled upon once was actually playing a Phil Collins song. Ouch. Anyway, I've since stumbled on a few stations that I really like and thought I would share them. I'd love to get some feedback on any others out there that you good folks might know about. My recent faves:

WOXY: My favorite and the one that gets played by me a lot these days. Used to be a non commercial station out of Ohio, they went internet only a few years back. A great selection of new music on there and dj's that know their stuff. They also have an absolutely killer vintage station on the site as well (go here) In the way old school category of bands I had totally forgotten about, I heard a songs by Mary's Danish, the Judybats, the Screaming Blue Messiahs, Magnapop, Lotion....lots of stuff from the 90-94 period.

BBC 6 Music: Lots of good new British stuff here and a very eclectic mix of stuff. They are all over the place in a good and professional way.


Last.FM: This is one of those stations that allow you to enter an artist you like and then they create a station with music on it somewhat similar to the band you entered. You can create multiple stations this way and they seem to have a lot of music in their database.

Some new music that I have since downloaded that I think is worth a listen:
Rogue Wave: Some songs sound like Nick Drake, others power pop. Good band from the bay area.
The Decembrists: Very original and interesting pop ensemble from Portland, the coolest city in America.
Nada Surf: Sure, I knew these guys from the old school but their new stuff is way better than that first record with the popular song on it.
Kaiser Chiefs: Brit flavor of the month, good band named after a South African soccer team.
The Editors: They have this really cool song called Bullets that is quite the catchy pop gem.
Doves: I really really like this band from Manchester. Kind of hypnotic and reminds me of Ride at times.
Aberfeldy: They have a great song about a vegetarian restaurant.
Futureheads: The return of the Buzzcocks and the Jam. They rock and do so in under two and a half minute songs, generally.
New Pornographers: I like Canadian bands. Sloan are my favorite but I do like these cats, as I did Carl's other band Zumpano.
The Trouble with Sweeney: I really love this band called the Barnabys that only like five people seem to remember and I know most of those people. They played my college a few times back in the day and put out this great record on Spin Art. Their lead singer and songwriter Joey Sweeney is now in this band out of Phily. Same great sound as the Barnabys.

Anyway, ciao for now.

6 Comments:

  • long live the blake babies!

    By Blogger Listmaker, at 3:12 PM  

  • You got that right, Danny Boy.

    By Blogger JB, at 10:51 AM  

  • WOXY is good. if you're really missing the overnight free-form stuff, check out WFMU based in NJ. they're all over the map. Laura Cantrell does a great old-time country radio show on Saturday afternoons, too.

    WNYU is only on part of the day and they can get really esoteric, but i've heard some good stuff on there.

    By Blogger jamie, at 12:38 PM  

  • Thanks for the tip, Jamie. I will give both of those a listen.

    By Blogger JB, at 11:41 AM  

  • I still say we all band together and start our own inetrnet radio station.....it would be so easy...when I am finally done grad school I need to start my live 365 broadcasts..........I think we could virtually relive our wxjm days.....if we were motivated......

    By Blogger Chris Larry, at 11:44 AM  

  • That is an excellent idea. I would totally be up for that.

    By Blogger JB, at 4:49 PM  

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