No music fiend that is truly worth his weight in vinyl can go through life only assimilating from local sources of music knowledge–no matter how good the sonic climate is in Los Angeles. For maximum music carnage, a musicophile must “diversify his portfolio.” Beyond the infinite black hole of mp3 blogs, there is another way to expand your musical soundscape–online radio stations. Whether they are cross-country, international, listener-supported, or corporate, these Ten Best Online Radio Stations (Outside of California) will give you a broader reach on what people are listening to throughout the country (and over the Atlantic):
10. Defiant Radio (Milton Keynes)
United Kingdom's Defiant Radio boasts minimal web site verbage, but plenty of killer grime, dubstep, future garage, glitch, drum 'n bass, and jungle. Simple in design, what Defiant Radio lacks in descriptors it makes up for with no ads and great music, or as the brief bio on Defiant Radio's Facebook page says, “We're different from the others because we don't have weak DJs simply to fill the schedule, every artist has been scrutinized under hours of unimaginable torture to make sure they're not gonna waste your laptop time.”
9. PIG Radio (Milan)
Milan-bsaed PIG Radio is an offshoot of Daniel and Simon Beckerman's Italian alternative art and culture driven PIG (People In Groove) MAG. Incredibly well-designed and easy to navigate, PIG Radio features a veritable treasure trove of indie dance-pop and rock like Discodeine, Nite Jewel, Star Slinger, A New Love and Gary Low. The advertising-free site features brand new videos by the artists PIG Radio plays, as well stream-able mp3s of popular songs.
8. KEXP (Seattle)
One of the first radio stations to offer 24/7 streaming music on the internet, KEXP is a non-profit radio station in Seattle that consistently breaks indie, rock, and roots artists, but features well-cultivated mixed format programming and expertly produced in-studio live shows. Some of the live shows that KEXP has put out in the last few months include artists like Dolorean, Thee Midnight Creep, The Jayhawks, School of Seven Bells, The Church and Gang of Four.
7. Capital FM (London)
While a “top hits” station might seem the antithesis of riveting, musically-educational online radio, London's Capital FM boasts the guilty pleasure pop artists you secretly enjoy here, while simultaneously acquainting you with British artists that wouldn't necessarily get played on mainstream radio here like Jessie J, Olly Murs, Cheryl Cole, Take That, Plan B, and Frankmusik.
6. KINK FM (Netherlands)
Dutch cable radio station KINK FM plays a perfectly-curated blend of Skins-esque indie alternative, folk rock, and electro-pop. Many of the artists KINK FM plays are considered up-and-coming stars and KINK FM plays anything new that's good like The Vaccines, Crystal Fighters, White Lies, and Frankie & The Heartstrings.
5. RRR (Melbourne)
One of Australia's largest community radio stations, Triple R boasts diverse, multi-format, independent programming and a live performance venue. Triple R also has an inventive idea they call Soundscapes which lets you listen to a montage or mash-up of an upcoming released to gauge your interest in purchasing–without actually listening to the whole album. Some of the artists included in the Soundscape project are Toro Y Moi, Talib Kweli, and Dorian Concept.
4. BBC Radio 1 (London)
Practically an online mecca for musicophiles, BBC Radio 1's programming includes some of the most influential sonic tastemakers in the world like Annie Mac, Zane Lowe, and Gilles Peterson. While the BBC is a corporate international entity, part of the magic of BBC Radio 1 is the decidedly British slant on hosting and music selection, with many of the artists featured being up-and-coming British bands who haven't yet broke through the international sound barrier.
3. WFMU (Jersey City)
Jersey City's WFMU is a goldmine for obscure, interesting, and independent music and is the longest-running, listener-supported freeform radio station in the country. What exactly does freeform mean to WFMU? In their “About Us” section they tout freeform programming as “flat-out uncategorizable strangeness to rock and roll, experimental music, 78 RPM Records, jazz, psychedelia, hip-hop, electronica, hand-cranked wax cylinders, punk rock, gospel, exotica, R&B, radio improvisation, cooking instructions, classic radio airchecks, found sound, dopey call-in shows, interviews with obscure radio personalities and notable science-world luminaries, spoken word collages, Andrew Lloyd Webber soundtracks in languages other than English as well as Country and western music.”
2. Radio Nova (Paris)
Originating in 1981 and considered one of Europe's premiere digital destinations for all things new and fresh in music, Radio Nova is broadcast from Paris and highlights a mixed-format of underground artists from France, most parts of Europe, and beyond. The gorgeously designed website includes lifestyle articles. One of the most interesting programs Radio Nova features is La Grand Tournée, or The Grand Tour, where they feature the musical and cultural soundscape in different cities. Yes, you need to understand French, but if you don't, listening to Radio Nova is a pretty inventive way to finally learn another language.
1. East Village Radio (New York)
An internet radio station known for it's leading-edge, vanguard approach to original music programming, East Village Radio (EVR) is located in a storefront studio in NYC's East Village, allowing downtown New York City watch the artistic process of DJing or see exclusive performances by musical guests. East Village Radio features some of the world's most infamous music personalities, bloggers, and producers as DJs including Mark Ronson, Andy Rourke, Steve Lillywhite, and a Fader Magazine-centric show.