My NPR/Last FM Music Habit

seattle

I am a big fan of National Public Radio (NPR). I think those folks do a pretty incredible job with really incredible programming… from news all the way to music. KUOW 94.9 FM is my local NPR affiliate station and they also have great local programming for the local audience. I tend to listen to the station mainly in the car when driving to and from work. I also listen to KGNW 820 AM which is the local Christian talk radio that also has some great programming during the day, though on weekends they mainly seem to talk about vitamins and other supplements… but I digress…

One thing I like about NPR are their “Music Interludes”. These are the music clips, anywhere between 5 to 30 seconds they will play in-between the different stories or articles. If you hear something you liked, you can always head on over to NPR’s website, locate the name of the track and the artist then head on over to iTunes or Amazon.com to sample other works by that artist. I can’t tell you how many times I have ended up buying an artist’s single or album simply because I heard a 20 second sample on NPR.

How is this different from regular radio you ask? Well for one, I don’t listen to the regular radio that plays a song 5000 times a day, day in day out… and by the way, all those songs also tend to sound the same… like crap! What I like about NPR is that they tend to play all sorts of artists, both local and international and many of these artists I have never heard of before but play some pretty serious stuff. So for example, I never heard of Kodomo till today. His album “Still Life” is actually pretty amazing…. and I just ordered it off Amazon.com

LastFM.com is another place where I hang out to enjoy music. In the same vein as iTunes, I am able to check out musicians and music I would otherwise not have known. In this case though, I am able to listen to full tracks from radio stations that other users set up based on music styles or similar artists. For example, because I liked Te Deum by Arvo Pärt, I was able to check out Arvo Pärt radio and not only listen to his tracks, but I also got introduced to others like Henryk Górecki and more… After this, it was a simple matter of zipping off to Amazon.com and buying a CD or two…

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