In the infinite dial of web radio, good stations can be hard to find, but the right combination of smart programming, sharp production values, and responsiveness to audience feedback can turn a basement broadcast into the next KROQ. (Without the ads and corporate back-scratching, of course.) The Voice regularly scans the web for stations that rise above the college-radio level; here are a few to get you started:
Talk Radio Air America is an obvious choice for the progressive set, with celebs like Janeane Garofalo, Chuck D, and Steve Earle alternating politically charged conversations with politically charged music.
Electronic Dance Music Digitally Imported is one of the oldest running stations on the net, having started back in ’99; they’re the perfect example of a station that grew from hobbyist mode to full-fledged company through great programming and strong business acumen, as their time line illustrates.
Local Sounds Free 103.9, broadcasting out of Williamsburg in various formats since 1997, is even more experimental than trad radio’s WFMU, and that’s saying a lot.
Traditional Radio Simulcast Santa Monica-based KCRW, best known for its daily “Morning Becomes Eclectic” program, deserves an audience far greater than terrestrial radio can allow.
Underground and Alternative San Francisco’s Soma-FM, literally a basement-broadcaster who made good, is nationally known now thanks to Rusty Hodge’s willingness to navigate the waters of webcasting law back in 2002 when no one else would.
AccuRadio, Kurt Hanson’s webcast network mentioned in the main article, has a broad spectrum of stations covering all the major genres, from new rock releases to swinging pop standards. One of the most professionally programmed properties out there.
Technicolor Web of Sound is a no-holds-barred ’60s flashback, offering psychedelic sounds both familiar and frighteningly obscure, and deserving of bonus points for its vintage radio ads (yes, the Jefferson Airplane shilled for Levi’s).
Capital Gold is a simulcast stream of Britain’s premier oldies station. Their refreshing Friday Soul Spectrum airs from 2 to 5 p.m. EST, conveniently allowing East Coast drones to bliss out to the sounds of Shalamar, Aretha, and Hot Chocolate while winding down the work-week.