Best Of

Best Local Radio (Streaming and Over-the-Air)


On opposite ends of the web/terrestrial spectrum fall a pair of treasured city institutions, providing steady feeds of culture only New York could offer. Know Wave radio is the brainchild of Aaron Bondaroff, an ambiguously employed fixture of downtown subculture, and hosts a slate of programs featuring artists and insiders from the city and beyond. On the inaugural episode of Know Wave’s latest program, Parks and Recreation, Arthur Soleimanpour explained the premise of the show — a series of talks with artists about their studios — to his daughter, then interviewed photographer Amanda Jas in English and Spanish. If Know Wave’s irreverence and elusiveness encapsulates downtown’s edge, Columbia University’s WKCR is a beacon of uptown grace. The award-winning radio institution has provided alternative programming for 75 years, with shows spanning fringe jazz, baroque classical, and Middle Eastern folk. WKCR recently dedicated nine hours to the free-jazz visionary tenor Albert Ayler on what would’ve been his eightieth birthday. You won’t hear that anywhere else.

WKCR, 89.9 FM