Best Local Radio Stations - TuneIn
April 5, 2017 2:32 PM   Subscribe

I got an Echo Dot and it has basically solved all my radio problems! (i.e., that my two local NPRs switched to all-talk and put jazz and classical on internet-only substations.) Now I am super-excited that I can listen to "local" radio from anywhere in the world! Tell me your best stations, preferences inside.

So I like the traditional radio thing of being able to listen to a curated selection of songs, some of which are new to me, better than I like spotify channels or just listening to my own collection 24/7. So tell me what stations you think do an extra-great job with:

Most wanted:
Jazz (and Blues)

Other things I particularly like:
European dance/trance type stuff like DJ Tiesto sort of thing, I can never keep up on the terms
I'd love a great Oldies station a la Oldies 104.3 in Chicago back in the day
I like pop a lot; I have an adequate Top 40 station I listen to in the car but if someone had a really well-curated pop station that'd be cool
I like classic country but most "country radio" is soooooo corporate, so again, something well-curated by a smart set of DJs who love the genre
Some people must be doing some clever programming for kids beyond Radio Disney, so anything like that I'd check out

Other gems you may have discovered on TuneIn, from anywhere in the world, that are a little unusual or off-the-wall. Even if they're talky (I like BBC Radio 4 a lot). I am totally willing to get hooked on a top-notch Brazilian all-samba station.

I don't mind commercials, but the stations should be generally kid-friendly (no top-40 drivetime shock jock bullshit), and I'd prefer music stations be mostly music, not tons of talking.

I am unlikely to remember to tune in to a cool radio show at a particular time, so they should be cool stations in general.

Anyway if you have the BEST local radio station for X, I would like to know about it!
posted by Eyebrows McGee to Media & Arts (28 answers total) 77 users marked this as a favorite
I listen to Jazz24 (KNKX in Seattle) at work, which is a pleasant, non-smooth jazz station.

I also like WXPR (Rhinelander, Wisconsin) for their quirky, folkish programming - NPR news in the morning and evening drive, classical mid-mornings, pop-folk mid-days and evenings. Blues show Friday nights and POLKA(!!) for 3 hours on Saturday mornings. Surprisingly, the Polka show is usually receives the most pledges during pledge week.
posted by sarajane at 2:50 PM on April 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

KUSC has excellent classical programming, although they're definitely not a dinky local station.

On the internet station front, I really like Radio Dismuke when I want old timey jazz that doesn't distract me too much.
posted by Diagonalize at 2:56 PM on April 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

The BBC has many local stations, each with their own music shows. This is the main page and you can sort by music type to find specific shows or pick a station to stream.
posted by Botanizer at 3:12 PM on April 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

So. My suggestion might be more eclectic than what you're looking for, but does also have all those things. Portland Oregon's own Xray.

I normally loathe the multi-genre format, because I can never find that one show that I like. Xray doesn't have this problem because all their DJ's are fantastic.

I don't listen to reggae, at all. But I listen to the lone xray dj that plays reggae, because he's so good at his job that I enjoy it. Disco hour? I've never turned it off, despite not owning a single disco record. There's some phenomenal programming on that show from some of the best, most knowledgeable music nerds.

The weekends tend to be better with some really amazing programming, but the rest of the week is damn fine too.
posted by furnace.heart at 3:23 PM on April 5, 2017 [10 favorites]

Two great stations out of Pittsburgh:
WYEP - Quite the range of shows, their slogan is "Where the Music Matters"
WZUM - Jazz
posted by plo_veggie at 3:37 PM on April 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

I have fallen in love with Mix 90.3 in Puerto Vallarta Mexico -- they sound like a college dj station from the 1980s and 1990s. And I get to practice Spanish!

I tuned in just now and they're running a Radiohead retrospective.
posted by *s at 3:39 PM on April 5, 2017 [7 favorites]

WDVX might scratch your itch for a non-corporate country radio station.
posted by roll truck roll at 3:57 PM on April 5, 2017

ABC Jazz is very relaxing.

I'll put in a plug for FIP as well. Eclectic, always excellent, French.
posted by arha at 4:05 PM on April 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

Oh, so much this. I listen to the Paris station FIP on my Echo. (Pronounce it like a word, and Alexa gets it.) Constantly awesome eclectic stuff, with practically no dj, but when they do come on, it's in (quite specifically, allegedly) soothingly sexy French.

Always interesting music, always different, always cool as anything. FIP is great.

ON EDIT: ha! yes! FIP.
posted by DangerIsMyMiddleName at 4:06 PM on April 5, 2017 [3 favorites]

We don't live in Santa Monica anymore, but I still listen to KCRW (and especially the music-only substation KCRW Eclectic 24).
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 4:20 PM on April 5, 2017 [3 favorites]

WCLV is all classical, and now publically supported, so no commercials. Saturday broadcasts (usually live) of the opera from the Met.
posted by Dolley at 4:40 PM on April 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

WWOZ New Orleans. They do jazz and every other kind of New Orleans music with great DJs. It's a public-supported station so no commercials, but a few community-oriented notices.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 4:41 PM on April 5, 2017 [3 favorites]

For jazz: WBGO, Pure Jazz Radio, and Jazz 24.
For eclectic rock: Radio Paradise
posted by jkent at 4:49 PM on April 5, 2017

I haven't listened in a while since I no longer live in the area, but KPIG out of Santa Cruz, CA (wikipedia) is pretty great for non-corporate country. Also featuring "Hog Calls" which are recorded community bulletin-board type messages about a couch for sale or a chowder cook off or whatnot, which adds some fun local flavor. A man I knew was lowered into his grave with a battery-powered radio playing KPIG in the coffin with him.
posted by contraption at 5:02 PM on April 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

Seconding WWOZ. Great jazz and blues!
posted by irisclara at 5:06 PM on April 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

Came in to suggest WBGO and you might like WMVY.
posted by vrakatar at 5:14 PM on April 5, 2017

WRTI Philadelphia is exactly what you want - it's literally just Classical and Jazz.
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 6:01 PM on April 5, 2017

I'd like to recommend WORT 89.9 FM Madison WI, because of course I would. If you like country, Back to the Country on Wednesday mornings with Grammy winning country music historian Bill Malone is one particular treasure. Friday mornings feature Mud Acres Bluegrass with Chris Powers. The station is a gem, but I've been involved with it in one from or another for 37 years, so I may be biased. Minnesota Public Radio has The Current, Local Current, and Radio Heartland which offer an eclectic mix of musical programming you may find salubrious.
posted by Floydd at 6:17 PM on April 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

My two favorite stations:

WMMT out of Whitesburg, KY. Lots of good, _real_ country and bluegrass, though overnights the DJs have been known to play metal and hip-hop. Very involved in the local community. A+++, will listen again!

WXNA out of Nashville. Truly freeform radio, with DJs who play whatever they want. They recently reshuffled shows, so just poke your ears in whenever and see what you liek.
posted by old_growler at 9:10 PM on April 5, 2017

KEXP of Seattle!

I tuned my clock radio to that station the day after the Election, and it's stayed there ever since. Lots of rock and other eclectic shows, quite a few live performances over the air, and hardly any news whatsoever.

They also have an amazing hang out space with a coffee shop, if you ever find yourself in the Seattle area.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:22 PM on April 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

The Current from Minnesota, and Minnesota Public Radio in general. I have those among my very few presets on my TuneIn Radio phone app.
posted by wenestvedt at 3:17 AM on April 6, 2017

WKHR, Cleveland's Favorites, playing big band music from the 30s and 40s.

KDHX in St. Louis is interesting. Pretty eclectic, but the idea is really cool.

If you're into polka (and who isn't?), some radio stations in South Texas, e.g. this one, will incorporate polka into their otherwise country playlists.
posted by kevinbelt at 4:00 AM on April 6, 2017

n-thing FIP. Most of my purchases these days are related to artists uncovered/rediscovered through that station. Here in the UK there's a bit of a cult following particularly on the south east coast - Brighton for eg - as pre-internet it was just within broadcast range of Paris.

On a similar theme, Radio Paradise is similarly eclectic, quirky, and generally non-standard.

I like to listen to Gypsy Strings which plays very nice gypsy jazz tunes - only downside is that it's Russian and they usually broadcast song name and title in cyrillic which the sonos app can't display correctly. Lost count of the number of times I've wanted to know the artist but been unable to find out.

Also Bluegrass Jamboree which never fails to put a smile on my face. Upbeat croonin' and hollerin' is a regular backdrop to our family dinners.

posted by 5imon at 4:54 AM on April 6, 2017

WFMU, based in NJ, has a little bit of everything, and it's all great.
posted by thursdaystoo at 7:51 AM on April 6, 2017

TuneIn links for a bunch of the above-mentioned stations for your presetting enjoyment:

KCRW Eclectic24 LA
FIP Paris
KEXP Seattle
Xray Portland OR
WWOZ New Orleans
WFMU New Jersey
Gypsy Strings Russia
KPIG Freedom/Santa Cruz

These are just the ones I've added, absence from this list does not imply unavailability on TuneIn.
posted by contraption at 10:41 AM on April 8, 2017

As noted, The Current (Minnesota Public Radio) main stream, but it has three other streams:
Rock the Cradle--Radio for Kids & Their Grownup. Mostly music, but parenting tips, Brains On (3pm CT), & bedtime story each evening (7pm CT).
Local Current--Minnesota Music
Radio Heartland--acoustic, Americana and roots music. Lots of music, with a host on weekday mornings from 9-12(?). Some in-studio performances. It schedules some syndicated shows like American Routes, Thistle & Shamrock, Mountain Stage, Music City Roots.
There is ClassicalMPR, too.
Another MN suggestion: KFAI: Radio Without Boundaries is community 'fresh air' radio. Diverse, eclectic mix of information, news, entertainment--schedule
posted by Nosey Mrs. Rat at 8:29 PM on April 9, 2017

Thirding (or I guess fourthing) WWOZ, maybe the best local station I’ve ever come across. Also seconding WRTI, which comes out of where I lived 35 years ago and is still going strong after almost 65 years.

p.s. If you want to watch local radio, KEXP has a lot of video of bands performing at the station.
posted by LeLiLo at 4:46 PM on April 17, 2017

Response by poster: So many great stations! I've been experimenting and have added a ton of these to my favorites list. Thanks, everyone!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:40 PM on April 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

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