Musical Elective of the Week

December 12, 2008 | Blog

The Musical Elective of the Week is … not a musician or band as usual. It is a primer of cool sources of music on the web.

We’re spotlighting musical sources in three categories: (1) traditional radio stations, (2) web-based radio, and (3) and music-focused web sites. As regular readers know, our musical taste tends toward bands and singer/songwriters in a rock/folk/altcountry vein and music heard on some of the nation’s finest Triple A radio stations.

Traditional Radio

We all have our favorite local radio stations. And some of us, fortunately, live in cities and towns where there is a station we can call home. Currently, I’ll take Madison, Wisconsin’s WMMM-FM over anything the Washington, DC area used to offer when I lived there. However, “Triple M” is not one of my favorites as it’s far too repetitive, programmed and narrow.

Check these out instead:
KCRW (Santa Monica, California) – Especially its Morning Becomes Eclectic program hosted by Nic Harcourt
KFOG (San Francisco, California) – Check out the Acoustic Sunrise and Acoustic Sunset programs
KGSR (Austin, Texas)
WNCS/’The Point’ (Montpelier, Vermont) – Small-Market Triple A Station of The Year 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
WXPN (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) – Featuring World Cafe with David Dye
WXRT (Chicago, Illinois)
WXRV/’The River’ (Boston, Massachusetts)
WYEP (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) – Check out Music Lab
CKPK (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)

Web-Based Radio

My favorite online radio source, by far, is Pandora Radio, which allows you to create a customized station (like mine) as well as play from existing ones. Also worth checking out is Radio Paradise.

Cutting-Edge Music

My bud, Kate Bradley, a Triple-A radio programming veteran (who I used to listen to on The Point in Vermont on those long Burlington-Montpelier round-trips), recently launched Outlandos Music. Taking its name from a storied Police album, Outlandos Music is a new-music discovery service and aggregator for grown-ups. As Kate has impeccable musical taste, her site is well worth your time. For example, she’s currently big on New York City-based Indie rockers The Damnwells and Aussie singer/songwriter Shane Nicholson (who is married to Kasey Chambers).

Also, check out the Association of Music Podcasting.

So, readers, what’s out there that we’re missing, from the coolest overlooked musical web site to the smallest or most obscure small-town radio station that readers should check out? We certainly don’t have a monopoly on good ideas or good taste. So, share ’em…

Have a great weekend!


  1. Reply


    December 12, 2008

    I really like MPR's The Current. It's comfort music for me--the station that was the default in college vans. Streaming online and a daily podcast mean it's always accessible.

  2. Reply

    Liam Goldrick

    February 12, 2009

    Thanks, Sarah. The Current's Top 89 of 2008 offers up a wealth of albums to potentially check out as well.

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