Things to listen to with a minimum of futzing around
June 23, 2013 9:08 PM   Subscribe

I'm working at my desk for 8 hours a day: what should I be listening to during this time? I've been listening to a lot of NPR Tiny Desk Concerts, which I like because I just click start and I'm good for the next 1/2 hour, without ads, and I like the consistency of the same artist for the entire chunk of time. I'd appreciate links to albums or performances that I can stream for free! Some specific music tastes outlined inside.

Hoping specifically for two types of music:
1. Indie - Youth Lagoon, Kishi Bashi, First Aid Kit, Alt-J, and Of Monsters and Men have been on heavy rotation, if you can think of other performers/albums I might like based on those.

2. General Edification - I really don't know much about music at all, so it could be fun if you recommended 1 or 2 particular albums from your favorite genre and gave me a general idea about their significance and how they fit into the genre.

I'm not hoping for the names of artists I should check out or sites where you can stream a bunch of albums for free. The less searching/decision-making I have to do on my own, the more likely it is I'll get to enjoy your exemplary taste in music!
posted by estlin to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
You might already know about it, but there is a 24/7 All Songs Considered program stream from NPR. Never stops! It's a good mix of fresh music from First Listen and other programs interwoven.

I dig your preferences also— good question.
posted by a halcyon day at 9:37 PM on June 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Maximum Rock and Roll, weekly hour long punk podcast.

Irish and Celtic Music Podcast

Both available on iTunes.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 9:47 PM on June 23, 2013

KEXP has a good live stream but also a lot of live performances and podcasts. KCRW also has a whole lot of options.
posted by feloniousmonk at 9:50 PM on June 23, 2013

Yes, I came to recommend KCRW's Eclectic24.
posted by mykescipark at 10:20 PM on June 23, 2013

Response by poster: Thank you, guys.

One thing I should add - having long stretches of uninterrupted time is rare for me, and it really feels like a luxury to be able to listen to a single album from start to finish. I normally love Songza, for instance, but would like to take advantage of this time to do something other than hopping around playlists. (Had that in the original question, edited it out due to wordiness, now realizing that I really needed to leave it in.)
posted by estlin at 10:27 PM on June 23, 2013

From NPR's Live in Concert page:

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
The Decemberists
Fleet Foxes

For category 2, I keep coming back to Talking Heads: Live in Rome. I'll borrow from a great comment and commend their lyrical and melodic prowess and visceral exuberance for rhythm.
posted by knuckle tattoos at 10:33 PM on June 23, 2013 [2 favorites]

Seconding KEXP's in-studio performances. They're top notch with production quality and artist selection.
posted by dogwalker at 10:39 PM on June 23, 2013

Live at the Wireless are live recordings of concerts from the radio station Triple J in Australia.

Focusses on indy Australian music. Haven't listened to it, but the Sarah Blasko concert is probably worth a listen.
posted by kjs4 at 10:57 PM on June 23, 2013

Here are four live sets by Tortoise: 1 2 3 4. Here is a 20 minute song from their breakthrough album. All instrumental. Great for getting work done.

Their significance: Tortoise spearheaded the post-rock movement of the 90s, which focused on ambience and texture and drew from a variety of influences, including Kraut rock, minimalism, dub reggae, cool jazz, avant-garde jazz, electronic dance music, soundtracks, and experimental music. For all their influences and impressive skills, they manage to avoid wankery and showboating--probably because many of the members have enough punk rock in their backgrounds to keep themselves focused.
posted by hydrophonic at 11:01 PM on June 23, 2013

That Talking Heads Live In Rome video knuckle linked to is a thing of beauty. Definitely check it out if you have the slightest interest.
posted by fishmasta at 11:23 PM on June 23, 2013

I've recently fallen hard for the Whitehorse album The Fate of the World Depends on This Kiss. They are Canadian alt-country, I guess - I think they sound similar to First Aid Kit. I don't know if you can stream the actual album anywhere but most of the songs are included in slightly lower-fi form in this podcast.
posted by yarrow at 9:56 AM on June 24, 2013

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