Where do you find new music when there’s nothing on the radio, and the blogosphere is a frustrating clamour of hype and hysteria? You could do worse than to try some of these well-informed music podcasts
Some of these shows deal in wall-to-wall airings of the best new tracks, while others take a slightly different tack and discuss, in conversation, some of the finer points of the music industry.
But all will offer insight into music you would have otherwise been ignorant of. Happy hunting!
Turned Out A Punk
This podcast from Damian Abraham, frontman of Toronto hardcore punk band Fucked Up, is inspired by the format of professional wrestling podcasts (of which we could write an entire article in and of itself). It features interviewees from every part of the music industry – be it bands or heads of labels – sitting down for a “shoot” interview of sorts, where they get to vent their feelings and frustrations on the industry they work in, making for some very interesting anecdotes.
Taking a slightly different approach to the music podcast, Sodajerker features sit-down interviews with some of the music world’s most notable songwriters. They talk in-depth about their work, deconstructing some of history’s most famous lyrics in the process and offering a wholly new perspective on some of the most well-known tunes out there.
Much like Sodajerker, the Song Exploder podcast also features interviews with prolific songwriters, talking about the stories behind some of their biggest hits. Recent guests have included big names like The National, Tycho and Julia Holter.
Steve Lamacq’s Roundtable Podcast
Steve Lamacq has been a force in the world of new music for as long as we can remember, overshadowed only by the mighty legacy of John Peel. Once host of Radio 1’s nightly new music show (the slot now taken by the far inferior Zane Lowe), Lamacq’s show has occupied a similar slot on BBC 6 Music for the past few years, mellowing in tone but featuring no less great music. The Roundtable feature of his shows sees artists and musicians gathering to discuss their views on anything from the week’s releases to a particular period of pop history.
Not really a shout out for one particular podcast this one, but any of KEXP’s awesome range of programmes from the Seattle area. Song of the Day features exclusive in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent musicians, while a weekly Music That Matters podcast will lead you on to some amazing new discoveries. Thanks to the public radio system in American there are loads of great alternative stations all across the US, which thanks to the wonders of the internet are available to us all worldwide.
Los Angeles’ KCRW is a radio station that has a similar remit to KEXP: hot new alternative music. Again, they have a wide range of podcasts available and a number of listen again programmes, as well as the live stream of course. Morning Becomes Electic is probably the best place to start sifting through their broad spectrum of output.
NPR: All Songs Considered
NPR is the butt of many conservative jokers over in the US, who see its overtly liberal tone as something to be mocked. But away from the whispering, left-leaning content of their news output and public affairs broadcasts, they also run a pretty kick-ass music section, something nobody could disagree on. All Songs Considered is the regular music roundup, while Tiny Desk Concerts sees artists playing extremely intimate acoustic concerts at a… tiny desk.
The Shoegaze Collective Podcast
When you start to get into the realm of truly alternative podcasts – those without even a relatively small public radio station behind them and run by just one ardent lover of music – sometimes the instalments aren’t quite as regular as you’d perhaps like. But that can be forgiven when the music selection on display is as good as it is on the Shoegaze Collective Podcast, who deal almost exclusively in the fuzzier, more ethereal end of the audio spectrum. Throw in some dream-pop for good measure and you have a great podcast on your hands (or rather, in your ears).
Gorgeous Sound Underground
The online description for this podcast lists it as “a weekly audio podcast filled with shoegaze, bedroom electro, ambient, chillout, dreampop, and dance music”. If that sounds eclectic to you then you are entirely right, and Gorgeous Sound will take you on a musical journey like no other.
This long-running podcast is a reliable source of cutting edge sounds from Scotland and beyond. Hosted by the infectiously passionate Halina Rifai, it features eclectic selections ranging from indie to hardcore rock and electronica, and often features special guests from the grassroots music scene. It’s also well worth exploring the blog section of the site for more tips.
Listen to Alex’s own alternative music podcast at www.mixcloud.com/SonicNelly
Main image: Sascha Kohlmann / Flickr / CC
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