What are good podcasts for discovering music?
September 26, 2016 4:11 AM   Subscribe

So, due to a series of computer hard drive failures and cross-oceanic moves, I have no access to my music collection right now, and may never get it back. I've decided to look on it as an opportunity to start afresh and get into new music. I listen to a lot of podcasts, so I'd like to add one that's new music focused. Do you have any recommendations? Further specifications follow.

1) It shouldn't be too long. An hour a week would be ideal.

2) It should have a pretty wide range in tastes and play many artists, not focus on a few.

3) It should focus on little known music, not the sort of stuff that gets a million-plus views on YouTube.

4) It should at least have an awareness of diversity.

5) Basically I want a college radio show, but in podcast form.
posted by Kattullus to Society & Culture (19 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: KEXP Presents Music That Matters podcast. My favourite ones are by John Richards.
posted by KathyK at 4:16 AM on September 26, 2016 [6 favorites]

NPR's Tiny Desk concert is really cool for stuff like that, mostly new obscure artists, although it's a video podcast / more like a music video. I download the videos and just listen to them on my computer; you could probably convert them straight to mp3 without any problems.
posted by possibilityleft at 4:45 AM on September 26, 2016

There are very very few of these. It's understandable why, it's a ton of work getting clearances. Every now and then a magazine like Fader or a website like Cokemachineglow starts one up but then stops. It's sad. You should start one!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:03 AM on September 26, 2016

Anyway as the first comment pointed out, you're better off a. Finding a good npr stream or podcasts of a npr music show like the World Cafe. Or b. Finding some playlist curators on Spotify that collect new music every week.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:04 AM on September 26, 2016

Re: Tiny Desk, you can get the audio-only version of the shows here. In fact, All Songs Considered (also by NPR) is really good at each of the criteria you mentioned.
posted by Cash4Lead at 5:53 AM on September 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

Seconding All Songs Considered, Tiny Desk (also available just as a podcast), and although it doesn't fit your requirements it's still cool and tangentially related - Song Exploder.
posted by tatiana wishbone at 6:15 AM on September 26, 2016

The Many Moods of Ben Vaughn for sure.
posted by pilibeen at 7:15 AM on September 26, 2016

Deeper Shades of House weekly podcast with Lars Behrenroth is where it's at.
posted by jbenben at 7:22 AM on September 26, 2016

If you do Spotify, try the Discover Weekly playlist.
posted by matildaben at 8:45 AM on September 26, 2016

posted by humboldt32 at 9:02 AM on September 26, 2016

I discover interesting music, but just one song/artist at a time, through the podcast Song Exploder. The Host, Hrishikesh Hirway (I think I'm seeing the spelling for the first time here-- I never knew when the first name ended and the second began) interviews the band members who composed the song, and asks them to talk about how and why they added various instruments, distortions, lyrics, etc. It's far beyond interpreting lyrics, but about deconstructing a song. I would say most of the songs are new to me, and they're mostly pop songs, but not all. (Popular TV themes, like the Game of Thrones theme, e.g., have appeared.) They're at 84 episodes now.

The podcast Dinner Party Download has a segment called Soundtrack in which a famous person, often but not always a musician, will select a Dinner Party Playlist, i.e. 5 songs that they would play at a dinner party they host, generally (not strictly) charting the arc of a dinner party from greetings, to mingling, dinner, and the wind-down and departures. On the same podcast, the last segment is called One for the Road, where they play most of a new single as-and-after they wrap up the credits for the show. Links here go to the listings for all shows for just that segment.
posted by Sunburnt at 9:55 AM on September 26, 2016

Go to KEXP.org's streaming archive and select DJ Riz's "Variety mix." It's refreshed every week, I think.

Riz is the smartest, most eclectic, most wonderful radio DJ I know.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 10:02 AM on September 26, 2016

KCRW streams online live (one talk/music channel and one 24/7 music) and has a lot of recorded previous shows you can check out.
posted by JauntyFedora at 10:36 AM on September 26, 2016

It's not a podcast, but I've found a ton of new (to me) music by listening to NPR's All Songs Considered 24/7 streaming playlist. It's a non-stop mix of every song ever played on All Songs Considered. I play it at work and add interesting songs to my Spotify account and go from there.

If you listen to it for long enough, you begin to see patterns in what they play (certain songs that crop up regularly, an over-representation of The Decemberists), but it's a pretty useful tool for checking out some fresh tunes.
posted by Fister Roboto at 10:58 AM on September 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

Everyone that's already said KEXP and NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts are spot on. I also really enjoy The Mountain Stage and Woodsongs - both of which tend to lean heavily in a folk/old-time direction, but they do include a wide variety of other artists as well.
posted by Arbac at 11:00 AM on September 26, 2016

oh my goodness New Sounds. This is where I get most of my music. Episodes are on daily, but the podcast is only released once a week or so. It skews toward ambient, modern classical, and world music, so it's not as diverse as other things (you're not going to hear metal or hip hop), but there's still an incredible variety.
posted by taltalim at 1:30 PM on September 26, 2016

I haven't actually listened to it yet, but Damian Abraham (Pink Eyes from Fucked Up) has a podcast called Turned Out A Punk.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:27 PM on September 26, 2016

I'm not sure if the Bandcamp Weekly is available in normal podcast form but it's definitely along there lines of what you're looking for. (Bandcamp.com)
posted by ropeladder at 2:01 AM on September 27, 2016

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! It seems that KEXP's podcast fits best. All the other suggestions were very good too.
posted by Kattullus at 1:04 PM on September 29, 2016

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