Favorite Internet Radio Stations?
December 20, 2022 12:56 PM   Subscribe

I've been streaming a lot of Christmas and other music from SomaFM over the last week, and I find that I'm enjoying the listener funded, no commercials, no algorithm, streaming radio experience. What are your favorite streaming radio stations? If you know of one that plays a lot of music from the rockier end of the roots music spectrum that would be awesome, otherwise just throw out your favorites and maybe I'll end up expanding my musicical horizons.
posted by COD to Media & Arts (55 answers total) 87 users marked this as a favorite
The one, the only: WWOZ.
posted by Kitteh at 1:03 PM on December 20, 2022 [11 favorites]

Listener supported KEXP. Just great tunes all day long. Human DJs and no long ad breaks (just your standard NPR type things).
posted by General Malaise at 1:09 PM on December 20, 2022 [13 favorites]

For tasty Americana and related genres:

WDVX, Knoxville, TN
Their "Blue Plate Special" lunch shows are worth checking out, in addition to their regular programming.

WNEX, The Creek FM, Macon, GA
posted by indexy at 1:12 PM on December 20, 2022 [2 favorites]

WWOZ, WDVX, and KUTX are our standards in our roots-ish household. This weekend we were enjoying WMOT (Nashville), which is a new one for us.
posted by Mid at 1:23 PM on December 20, 2022 [2 favorites]

3WK and its various sub-branches.
posted by wats at 1:28 PM on December 20, 2022

Radio Fip!!!
posted by mathiu at 1:37 PM on December 20, 2022 [5 favorites]

WERS - Emerson College Radio

WUMB - University of Massachusetts Boston Radio
posted by RonButNotStupid at 1:48 PM on December 20, 2022 [2 favorites]

WNCW is an NPR offshoot from western North Carolina and even though I moved away four years ago, I still listen to it sometimes when I needs me some more obscure Americana or amazing Appalachian local music. They also play food songs all day long on Thanksgiving and it's just a great, great day of music.
posted by mygothlaundry at 2:02 PM on December 20, 2022 [4 favorites]

KKJZ in LA is pretty good, but not on the level of WWOZ.
posted by Ideefixe at 2:02 PM on December 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

CHIRP Radio in Chicago is pretty swell.
posted by Wink Ricketts at 2:04 PM on December 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

WTMD Baltimore listener supported radio. There's a Sunday evening folk/roots/world music segment - some samples of recent playlists here.
posted by the primroses were over at 2:09 PM on December 20, 2022

Seconding Radio FiP and recomending Radio Paradise
posted by PaulZ at 2:26 PM on December 20, 2022 [7 favorites]

WMVY Radio — Martha's Vineyard and the WORLD!

(They also have a holiday channel running right now.)
posted by feistycakes at 2:35 PM on December 20, 2022 [2 favorites]

My current fave local station is WITT. To call it eclectic would be a huge understatement. They get rock-ish from time to time, but it’s just the vast variety that keeps me tuning in.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:42 PM on December 20, 2022

DefCon Radio / SomaFM

Chromanova FM
posted by jacobean at 2:43 PM on December 20, 2022

The Pride of the South Side: Chicago's own WHPK
posted by cyndigo at 2:46 PM on December 20, 2022

Radio Paradise. Literally every song they play is good.
posted by bondcliff at 3:05 PM on December 20, 2022 [4 favorites]

Seconding Radio Paradise (literally listening to it right now).
You may also want to try FM 90 out of Amarillo (seriously).
For classical, try Venice Classic Radio
My dad is partial to TSJ Jazz out of Paris.
posted by tafetta, darling! at 3:15 PM on December 20, 2022 [3 favorites]

KXRK, X96 the morning, Radio From Hell show, Salt Lake City, Utah. I went to college with Bill.
posted by Oyéah at 3:15 PM on December 20, 2022

Triple J (youth oriented) and Double J (used-to-be-youth oriented) from the Australian national broadcaster.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 3:25 PM on December 20, 2022

Also out of Salt Lake City, KUAA — truly a little bit of everything.
posted by armeowda at 3:26 PM on December 20, 2022

Thirding Radio Paradise. I've been listening for over 20 years and have found tons of music.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:41 PM on December 20, 2022 [2 favorites]

Seconding WNCW. It is the best comfy americana radio station in the world. Their fund-drive is a trip because the hosts know the people donating and thank them personally.
posted by hydropsyche at 3:50 PM on December 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

Eclectic24 on KCRW works for me most times. Cooking-dinner-music kind of vibe.
posted by chococat at 4:02 PM on December 20, 2022

posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:03 PM on December 20, 2022 [4 favorites]

posted by Rube R. Nekker at 4:12 PM on December 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

Joining the chorus of Radio Paradise fans. I've discovered so many (now) favorite artists via listening to them.
posted by JonathanB at 6:41 PM on December 20, 2022 [2 favorites]

I’m so delighted to hear Radio Paradise is still on the air! They got me through all-nighters to finish my undergrad thesis twenty years ago - I’ve thought of them occasionally, but never actually gone back to listen. I will be fixing that tonight.
posted by rrrrrrrrrt at 7:02 PM on December 20, 2022 [4 favorites]

WVFS Tallahassee, the student-run radio station of Florida State University, plays all sorts of music, plus they have various specialty shows. The link for their callsign is to stream the station, this link goes to their web page where you can find more info, but be aware keeping the website up-to-date is _not_ one of the priorities for students running the station.
posted by TimHare at 7:19 PM on December 20, 2022

WNED Classical
posted by JimN2TAW at 7:45 PM on December 20, 2022

WBGO, real jazz, right now.
posted by vrakatar at 7:51 PM on December 20, 2022 [3 favorites]

Gonna have to plug Ed Love's jazz program on WDET as well. I wouldn't have found out about a bunch of stuff I love (or it would have come to me way later) if it weren't for him in the pre-internet era. He's been doing it since 1983 and still going.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:55 PM on December 20, 2022

I'm surprised we got this far without a mention of WFUV, public radio out of Fordham University in the Bronx. Lots of roots/rock in their rotation, excellent and knowledgeable hosts.
posted by hovey at 8:28 PM on December 20, 2022 [2 favorites]

Radio Indigina and FM Urama often delight me.
posted by eotvos at 10:47 PM on December 20, 2022

NTS based in London but with shows from all over the world, and all kinds of genres. My personal favourite is the Early Bird Show with Maria Somerville.

Dandelion Radio have a new bunch of rotating shows every month, "inspired by the late John Peel". Very male, white and probably middle-aged, which is sometimes fine.
posted by fabius at 4:36 AM on December 21, 2022

WYXR and WEVL in Memphis both have a pretty eclectic mix of stuff being played, including roots and rock stuff. (Note that this includes some talk shows.) You might be specifically interested in Mint Cream Tunes on WYXR but it'd be worth going through the show list for both stations. Archives are available too.
posted by mrg at 4:52 AM on December 21, 2022

Response by poster: I was expecting about a dozen responses. How the hell am I going to find time to check all of this out? LOL

I have had The Creek streaming all morning - I have zero motivation to click away - it's fabulous.

Thank you everybody - lots to explore here!
posted by COD at 6:35 AM on December 21, 2022 [2 favorites]

WUNC Music is great!
posted by thivaia at 7:28 AM on December 21, 2022

KCSN/88.5/SoCalSound (in particular Nic Harcourt's show, weekdays 6-10am PST) and KCRW's Eclectic 24
posted by pjenks at 7:38 AM on December 21, 2022

Mike Watt has an excellent podcast called The Watt from Pedro Show, at twfps.com and podcast providers. Also want to recommend (especially if you like watt's show) another show called In My Room, at inmyroom.podbean.com and broadcast on a bunch of radio stations.
posted by The Half Language Plant at 9:20 AM on December 21, 2022

WXPN is listener-supported NPR (but more music, less news) from the University of Pennsylvania. World Cafe is their flagship show, but that's where I left my "dial" all day (when "radios" still had dials).
posted by adekllny at 11:50 AM on December 21, 2022

KXCI has been around since the 80s and is listener supported. If you take a look at their program page, you can probably find a couple of shows.

There are probably a ton of LPFM stations out there now that only broadcast to a tiny area, but are available online.

Downtown Radio



are examples. They might not have what you are looking for, but someone out there in LPFM land probably does.
posted by eckeric at 12:21 PM on December 21, 2022

N'thing FIP.FR

And there's an app available, get it and enjoy the many different genres of stations, can't recommend it enough!
posted by fatedblue at 2:57 PM on December 21, 2022

Pigpen Radio

UK-based station with reggae/dancehall programming, pure streaming delivery so no station breaks or other interruptions, excellent ethos and content model, can't recommend highly enough.
posted by 7segment at 6:56 PM on December 21, 2022

Not sure if you can call this a radio station, it is genius, though: https://radiooooo.com/
It's like a TARDIS radio station (4D : location and time based)
posted by Dub at 11:36 AM on December 22, 2022 [1 favorite]

Radio Paradise, KGSR Austin, KCRW, and chilltrax.com. I really miss the Groovera stations, especially Ambient Popsicle.
posted by cicadagirl at 9:24 PM on December 24, 2022

These are the only four stations I have saved as presets on my streaming device and between them I'm pretty much covered 100% of the time.
  1. WFMU as noted above.
  2. Freeform Portland for when WFMU isn't doing it for me.
  3. Dr. Dick's Dub Shack: the legendary "dub, downtempo and bass music" station. If this station ever goes away I will wear black in mourning for a year.
  4. Radio Paradise is usually too "middle of the road" for me, but when the DJ is feeling it, the mixes can be sublime.

posted by jeremias at 4:06 AM on December 26, 2022 [1 favorite]

WFMU is clearly well loved, but I'm especially amazed by their Give the Drummer Radio stream, especially the eponymous show, which runs live on Fridays 9-12 am Eastern, and archives on demand. Not exactly "the rockier end of roots" but very eclectic, and very knowledgeable commentary. Self-described as
The finest in Micronesian doo-wop, Appalachian mambo, Turkish mariachi, pygmy yodeling of Baltimore, Portuguese juju, Cajun gamelan, tuba choirs from Mozambique, Inuit marching bands, Filipino free jazz, Egyptian kabuki theater, and throat singers of the Lower East Side.
Also on that stream is the great, wide-eared jazz+ show Destination Out, live Sundays 9-12 Eastern and on demand. I assume the other shows on the stream are solid ... I just saw that Larry Grogan, an impeccable soul+ crate-digger, has one called Testify! that I'll definitely be checking out.

My roots recommendation isn't a typical stream, but a MixCloud project called Safe at Home by New Orleans expat Chuck Taggart (whose Gumbo Pages have been mentioned here before).
posted by JoeGermuska at 4:26 AM on December 26, 2022

During the Trump years, I had to stop listening to news radio. Now, I truly enjoy Louisville's public radio station, WLPK, that's ninety-nine percent music. A good variety, too.
posted by tizzie at 1:56 PM on December 26, 2022

Rinse FM is described by wikipedia as a "London-based community radio station, licensed for "young people living and/or working within the central, east and south London areas". It plays garage, grime, dubstep, house, jungle, UK funky and other dance music genres popular in the United Kingdom. The station was founded in 1994 and operated as a pirate radio station until it was awarded a broadcast licence in June 2010."
posted by glonous keming at 6:02 PM on December 26, 2022

This following is what I wrote in 2016 and it's still accurate, gonna just paste it in here. As follows:

KPFT (streaming live from kpft.org) is one of the only reasons I could ever bear even the idea of living in Houston again. (Not that I'm going to move to flippin' Houston. Jesus. Just saying, is all.) KPFT is the most fantastic radio station I've ever come across. A *ton* of volunteer DJs, amazing musical programming with a different show every 3 or 4 hours, programming of all kinds, Democracy Now, etc and etc.

KPFTs tower was blown down by the KKK the first week they started broadcasting and they were up and running again within a week and haven't stopped broadcasting since. I am not an atheist but I absolutely *loved* listening to The National Atheist Hour because I always heard some of the sanest, most decent, most civil ppl ever calling in or interviewed or what-have-you. A woman asked me once what it's about, I was bragging on KPFT and she asked me what is KPFT about and I told her it's just the best and she had to give it a whirl, and she a relatively conservative person, she did tune in and found a show hosted by a coven of lesbian witches and I'd bet $28,483.46 she's never turned her dial to The Mighty 90 (KPFT 90.1 FM) ever again. I was so proud. I was so happy. I was a KPFT evangelist! One night I was leaving Houston, late on a Friday or Saturday night, tuned into The Mighty 90 and they had this crazy gay guys show came on at like 1 AM, and it was right at Christmas and they played some of the funniest, craziest, most profane, most disgusting holiday songs I have ever heard -- it was outstanding! It was the best! It was so hard to leave the broadcasting area that night, these guys were having a blast and so was I until they faded out, 65 miles outside of Houston maybe ....

I love me some KPFT...
posted by dancestoblue at 12:25 AM on December 14, 2016
posted by dancestoblue at 9:46 PM on December 26, 2022

The Current from Minnesota Public Radio. Hard to believe it isn't on the list here already. I found the station in 2007, as a transplant from MI missing my old commercial-free local college station, and pretty much ever since everything I own that can be tuned to an FM channel is tuned to The Current (including every one of the 8-odd pages of station presets in my car, just in case I hit a button by accident!)

When I get out of range of the station, I ask Siri to stream it over my phone. The mix is really well done, they have live actual humans picking the next song, and there are multiple themed streams as well (if you can't get enough Prince, roll over to Purple Current; Radio Heartland has americana, roots, and acoustic; heck if you have small humans in the car you can even tune to Rock the Cradle, and get music that is fine for kids without making you the adult want to gouge your ears out!). Our household has been supporting the station through monthly contributions for at least the last decade.

Seriously though, I scrolled through the Rock the Cradle playlist from the past day and there's very, very few tracks from bands that were specifically aiming at kids. The rest is just great music that happens to be great even if you're a kid. There is nothing worse than albums full of "kid covers" of good music, if it's a good song then play the kid the original.
posted by caution live frogs at 9:14 AM on December 29, 2022 [1 favorite]

Through the global Radio Garden I discovered newwaveradio.org which (for me) is like KROQ back in the day (but without ads or DJs).
posted by Rash at 10:48 AM on January 9, 2023

The community radio station I helped start is WFVR -- which we decided stands for Free Vermont Radio.
posted by terrapin at 5:56 AM on January 11, 2023 [1 favorite]

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