You know already that I have music playing nearly 24/7 in my life. While I’m working, while I’m writing, even when we’re in bed reading and falling asleep. My life has a soundtrack and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So, what do I listen to, anyway? Good question! I’m always open to listening to stations from different parts of the globe if they’re available online, and I’ve found some really interesting stations while on vacations. Here, though, are my usual haunts!
It depends on what I’m in the mood for. Lately I’ve been listening to Sirius XM, specifically the 1st Wave (80s alternative), Lithium (90s alternative), XMU (more obscure indie rock) and Alt Nation (current indie) stations. These channels tend to be a bit more adventurous with their playlist, though they do tend to stick with certain heavy rotation tracks as well.
Or I might listen to RadioBDC, an internet station run by former WFNX deejays and hosted by Boston.com. They’ve retained the commercial alternative sound that ‘FNX was known for, but they also infuse their playlist with a lot of local sounds.
Yes, even after all this time, I’m still a college radio listener. I tend to switch from one to the other to keep things interesting, as some stations are more obscure with their playlist than others. Sadly my favorite college station of my youth, WAMH, has pretty much become an NPR feed station…but there are numerous other stations I still listen to.
KSCU out of Santa Clara University is my go-to for the local college radio sound. [Santa Clara, as you probably know from our NFL team’s recent move, is down near San Jose.] They keep a somewhat thin deejay schedule, but they do have some great shows (the 80s Underground is a great Wednesday afternoon treat, and they post their show as a two-part podcast later that day). Their ‘robo-deejay’ plays an interesting mix as well when no one’s on the air.
UC Berkeley’s KALX is quite eclectic in its schedule, but there’s always something interesting playing. Same with Stanford University’s KZSU. I still connect with Boston College’s WZBC every now and again, for the same reason.
Our commercial stations here in the Bay Area can sometimes be a bit thin on the excitement and thick on the heavy rotation, but that doesn’t keep me from tuning in while driving. A number of stations have changed over the last decade since we’ve been here, but a lot of them are still fun to listen to.
Radio Alice is our Adult Alternative station, where the playlist is a bit laid back — it’s something you’d probably have playing quietly in the background at work, natch — but it’s just alternative enough that it keeps my interest. KFOG is a bit more alternapop (and their newest deejay is a recent transplant, one Matt Pinfield) and tends to be our go-to station. Live 105 is our most commercial alternative station, complete with nutty morning chat (which I can do with or without) but a very cool playlist.
Since we moved out here, nearly every night we put on the local classical station, KDFC, and listen to a symphony or two as we read and eventually nod off. The night deejay tends to have a bit of a silly sense of humor, as he’ll often have a theme for his show. One night he played all string quartets and called it “there’s always room for cello”. They also do replays of live recordings of our local symphony — sometimes playing events that we’d been at just a few days previous! And each Christmas they’ll play SF Ballet’s wonderful performance of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker.
And of course, there’s my mp3 collection, which is still expanding on a somewhat weekly basis. But that’s another post entirely…