New Music Sources

In other news, I am presently streaming WICB (“the station of innovation, 91.7,” broadcast from Ithaca, NY) on the recommendation of one of my friends/readers, someone who can actually listen to the station on his luddite radio. It’s a good mix of old and new alternatives. Voted best college radio station by numerous counts over the years, I find it interesting it is not from the more famous academic institution of Ithaca — Cornell University. It comes from Ithaca College instead.

My favorite local station KCRW 89.9 is similarly broadcast from the not obvious LA college, as it comes from Santa Monica College, a community college, not nearby UCLA or USC. KCRW is doing its news and talk programs now, until 7 pm (because I am a luddite also, and still own a radio and listen to it), so I go in search of music elsewhere. I was listening to KXLU 88.9, another great LA college station, broadcast from Loyola Marymount University, but sometimes there is only so much new music I can listen to. I like to touch base with familiar landmarks before venturing back out into the experimental seas of the new, so WICB is a great station for easing the mix. Thanks for the recommendation, Mr. Rith!

Of course, I should mention KCRW has a new streaming 24 hours of music site too, which is fabulous, called Eclectic24 (available also on iTunes radio), and the only reason I didn’t go there was I was looking for a different mix of music. I love KCRW, don’t get me wrong, but one thing I have noticed by going to all these music festivals and listening to radio across the country, is that there are still regional differences. Listening to a podcast from KEXP (Seattle) gives you a different take on music from MPR (Minnesota) which is different from Paste, CD Baby and IndieFeed, my other podcasts I listen to regularly. And thank goodness for those regional taste differences!

My mother’s burning question our last phone call was whether there was a new fashion trend that had all the high schoolers dress in black? I asked my parents whether they knew what kind of music they were listening to? My parents responded simultaneously with LOUD! And my father proceeded to imitate the bass from a car speaker. From their description, it sounded like there are a lot of metal listeners in their school district. It makes sense. The predominant music on the radio is country and Christian, and when I have done MySpace searches of the area, Metal comes up big. It is Montana after all, what better way to rebel against Christian/Country music than by listening to loud Metal. Thus the black.

So, like I say, thank goodness for regional differences. You know there are at least four students, maybe a solid dozen, in that graduating class who don’t like any of those three culturally dominant choices on the airwaves. They are thrilled that the internet exists, and they too stream music more to their liking. Just like I am doing, just like anyone with an internet connection can. Praise be access to the internet!

PS. I should mention, if you do check out Eclectic24, if you go to their website (the link above), you get little biographical blurbs on whichever artist is playing, in addition to the song, the album, the chance to buy it from Amazon or iTunes, etc. But if you really like a sound, sometimes that blurb is a godsend, telling you this was the guitarist who used to be in that band you liked, gone solo, and no wonder you like this song so much! You don’t get that if you just stream off iTunes radio.

Oh, and something about a KCRW app for your iPhone that allows you to get all the streams from KCRW. Praise be to cell phone technology too!

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