Does anyone still listen to radio? I don’t. Not generally. Like most people I know, my music interests fall into such niche genres that my favorites were rarely played on the radio even before the prevalence of digital music. And now, there seems to be no need at all to listen to the radio. With one exception: KCRW.
Angelenos know and revere this Santa Monica College-based public radio station, regarded as one of the premier launchpads in the country for new artists. If you’ve never heard of it, you have to give it a try. They’ve “broken” numerous music artists with unique shows like Morning Becomes Eclectic, Metropolis and Chocolate City, with veteran hosts like Nic Harcourt, Jason Bentley and Garth Trindad.
This is the station credited with first exposing audiences to artists like Radiohead and Coldplay. Their music covers a wide range, but it’s the electronic, alternative and low-tempo stuff (think Thievery Corp, Owusu & Hannibal, Stephanie McKay, etc.) that I appreciate most.
They also have great news, arts and cultural programming, but I’ve been listening to the station on and off for many years primarily to learn about new artists. When I take a break from my iPod, and just don’t want to have to think about what to listen to, I still stream KCRW.