Thursday, June 16, 2011

Best Music Podcasts

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As a city knit together by public transportation and lots of walking, Tokyo has made me more of a podcast junky than ever.  And of course, what I'm looking for most of all is music-related stuff.  Strangely, there's not exactly a wealth of greatness out there, but here's what I've found:

Sound Opinions (Itunes)

Sound Opinions is the only podcast I've found that actually engages with music, in the deepest sense - talking about it, interviewing musicians, reviewing history, putting things in context, and making critical judgments.  It's fantastic that it exists, but it's a shame it's so unique, particularly since its hosts are well into middle age, and while they tend to have a great sense of perspective, they're not very adventurous.

And if I can resurrect an outdated slur, they're the very definition of "rockists."

Gorilla Vs. Bear

Gorilla Vs. Bear is an amazing site, featuring new tracks daily.  But my favorite feature is the monthly mix, which compiles the best stuff from their posts.  It's a reminder of how nice it is to put your faith in an expert curator, against the current norm of always being your own DJ.

Altered Zones

Most of what goes for GVSB is true here too, except that Altered Zones hosts a series of guest mixers to produce their monthly mix series.  Recent standouts include John McEntire and Ford and Lopatin.

Experience Music Project Oral Histories (Itunes)

Not technically a podcast (it's part of ItunesU) but exactly the sort of thing I'd love to see more of - lineup includes conversations with Krist Novoselic and Henry Rollins.

Dublab (Itunes)

A series of live recordings by of-the-minute bands.  As the name implies, skews towards downbeat, lo-fi grooves. I can specifically recommend the great set by L.A. Vampires.

XLR8R (Itunes)

A pretty mixed bag, as they frequently (and surprisingly) throw in some rather lame rock, but I still dip into it every once in a while.

You might have noticed this is a rather short list.  It defies sense, but there's a genuine dearth of compelling and creative music podcasts.  If you have other suggestions, post them in the comments!


Shawn H said...

Good list. I like Music Heads ( as well. It's similar to Sound Opinions, but skews a little younger and more adventurous.

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