Favorite streaming radio stations?
September 10, 2018 11:55 PM   Subscribe

I listen to a ton of audio, but probably 85% of it consists of podcasts. And I love podcasts! But I keep thinking how I should listen to more music - it's just that I get a little overwhelmed with what to pick, or how to find new music I'd enjoy. And I love podcasts that take me to other places around the world. What radio stations should I explore to broaden my horizons?

I was recently gifted a Google Home Mini and discovered that I can use it to stream radio stations. (I know that streaming radio has been around for a long time - I just somehow never really checked it out before, and I'm getting better sound quality from the Mini than I would from my phone or computer speakers, which makes it more appealing.) So I'd love to hear your suggestions for excellent streaming radio stations to check out!

Some things I like (but please chime in if you have a favorite station that doesn't fit in this list):

- NPR and local public radio stations (e.g., The Current)
- trip-hop/instrumental hip-hop (e.g., DJ Shadow, RJD2)
- artists in the vein of Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens, etc.
- Top 40-kinda stuff, sometimes
- contemporary and/or minimalist composers like Max Richter, Philip Glass, and Arvo Pärt
- non-US-based news and cultural programming
- French-language music/news/etc. (I know this is awfully broad)
- I don't understand Russian but love listening to it (either spoken or sung)
- some favorite podcasts, if it helps: The Big Loop, Getting Curious, Hollywood Handbook, More or Less, Planet Money, Reply All, and Terrible, Thanks for Asking

What I'm not looking for:

- individual podcast or radio show recommendations (I listen to dozens of podcasts already); I'm really looking for whole stations
- political talk about United States politics (I already read way too much of this)

What I don't care about:

- whether a station is ad-free or child-friendly (doesn't need to be either of those)

I found this previous question with some excellent ideas but welcome any additional thoughts folks might have.

If it matters, I'm in the United States but would also love suggestions streaming from other parts of the world. My ears thank you!
posted by Synesthesia to Media & Arts (20 answers total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: From France: Fip, TSF Jazz
Contemporary Composers: WQXR New Sounds, Second Inversion
Jazz: WBGO, KNKX Jazz 24
Ambient: Ambient Art Sound
posted by matildaben at 4:18 AM on September 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You can stream my local independent radio station, WNRN, on the TuneIn app. Great music selection.
posted by kuanes at 4:43 AM on September 11, 2018

Best answer: Radio Paradise has an eclectic mix of music from pop to punk to world. It's been one of my favorites for some time. If you like what you see on its playlist, you might enjoy the station.
posted by Gelatin at 4:46 AM on September 11, 2018 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I really enjoy SomaFM‘s Groove Salad.
posted by kabong the wiser at 4:53 AM on September 11, 2018 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Melbourne's PBS FM has been subscriber funded, volunteer run and playing all kinds of stuff that typically never gets a run on commercial radio since 1977.
posted by flabdablet at 5:31 AM on September 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: WFMU, all day, every day.
posted by sydnius at 6:16 AM on September 11, 2018 [6 favorites]

Best answer: dublab
posted by gyusan at 6:34 AM on September 11, 2018

Best answer: CKJM, a community radio station in Cheticamp, Nova Scotia. Country music in English & French, old and new, and also some magnificent Cape Breton Island fiddle music. Also some shows in French.
posted by JanetLand at 6:57 AM on September 11, 2018

Best answer: The DJs over at Xray are so phenomenal I’ll find myself listening to hours long blocks of music in genres I previously weren’t typically fond of. Weekend shows are a bit better, but there are plenty of goodies during the week. Shows of note would be Strange Babes, Chor Bazaar, Night School, Radio Bandelero, Mr Ghost Goes to Town, Impact Sound and Beaches.

Most shows archive for a few weeks and you can stream them if you miss them ‘live.’
posted by furnace.heart at 7:20 AM on September 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Oh. It’s weird, and it’s talk, but Heavy Breather is what a slightly darker Tim and Eric would do if they had a local radio talk show. It’s uncomfortable and hilarious.
posted by furnace.heart at 7:22 AM on September 11, 2018

Best answer: Big, big +1 for Fip Radio. I love it.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:13 AM on September 11, 2018

Best answer: Melbourne's PBS FM has been subscriber funded, volunteer run and playing all kinds of stuff that typically never gets a run on commercial radio since 1977.

Thanks for the tip, I'm listening to it now and its got a great ambient/jazz show on.
posted by Dr. Twist at 9:19 AM on September 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: When I want to take my mind off something, I listen to familiar news in an almost familiar language, ABC (the Australian one) Tok Pisin, which is their Papua New Guinea news website, with streaming audio from the ABC station there, in the Tok Pisin pidgin language. Tok Pisin is heard to read at first, but easy to listen to and pick up because it's basically made up mostly of English-language cognates. It's fascinating to hear international language told in a language that's substantially made of English without being English, and more importantly for me, it engages my brain to follow it, which means I can't think about that embarrassing thing I did in eighth grade, or whatever's bothering me.
posted by Sunburnt at 10:08 AM on September 11, 2018

Best answer: We stream radio a lot in our house. Here is a super-old Ask I did requesting station suggestions. These days our streaming radio is most often tuned to:

WDVX - great community station - bluegrass/country/roots from East Tennessee. I don't think this fits any of your categories, but is good nonetheless if you have any interest in non-mainstream "country."
KUTX - Austin-based "eclectic" rock (mostly). This has been a great station for us 40-somethings to hear newer rock/independent/hiphop music but interspersed with older "college station" favorites (Talking Heads shows up a lot, for example, or like Steely Dan or stuff like that - pretty random). No real "pop" and no real rap (except on specific shows that are few and far between.) Much of what they play would fit your Bon Iver / Sufjan category. My wife and I joke that the target demographic may be people born in the 1970s who want to stay hip but not that hip.

Both are commercial free/donation supported.

For chillout stuff like DJ Shadow, +1 to SomaFM and Groove Salad.
posted by Mid at 10:19 AM on September 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota hosts Radio K, which I listen to more than The Current. Depending on how the program schedule gets set for this semester, there's usually a weekly show that focuses on international music and I think they've done a semi-regular contemporary classical music show in the past. You can stream them online from their homepage (I have it on headphones at work a lot).

Minnesota Public Radio's classical station has a "new music" show that features music in the vein of Glass, Paart, etc. It is (or was?) hosted by Steve Seel, who used to host The Current's morning show. You can also stream them from their homepage.
posted by elmer benson at 11:40 AM on September 11, 2018

Best answer: So this suggestion is basically Pandora's box, but you should check out Radio Garden, which allows you to browse live radio worldwide.

Although it seems overwhelming at first, I've actually been able to find some amazing radio stations by chance with this interface. For example, the Cyprus Dub Community Radio (yes, that Cyprus) has some of the best dub playlists I've ever heard. Highly recommended.
posted by jeremias at 12:14 PM on September 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Seconding Radio Paradise
posted by kirkaracha at 3:28 PM on September 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: WFMU!
posted by mumblelard at 4:09 PM on September 11, 2018

Response by poster: Thank you all SO much! I've been loving checking all of these out. So far Radio Nova and FIP have been favorites, but tons of great stuff here.
posted by Synesthesia at 7:08 PM on September 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

David Byrne makes a curated playlist every month.
posted by conrad53 at 12:05 PM on September 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

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