Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I'm tired of/too old for/can't stand Z100, but I don't have satellite radio. What can I do?

Although I admittedly tune in to Z100 every once in a while, when the mood hits, when 101.9 RXP first emerged sometime in 2010 (or at least that's when I first discovered it), it was music to my ears, so to speak, because it was the only New York area "mainstream" rock radio station committed to playing new alternative and indie music, like Vampire Weekend and Mumford & Sons.  However, although I undoubtedly love those bands, even they can get repetitive when they're, well, repeated all the time.  Much like Z100 and many other local radio stations, while I believe RXP plays a better quality of music overall, it has not escaped the radio faux pas of finding one "hit" song and playing it once or twice every hour.  Hence, it really can't be listened to for more than an hour or so.

So where else can you turn to enjoy your favorite artists, and discover fresh ones, playing both new and timeless rock, alternative, indie and other music?  With an overwhelming number of colleges and universities in New York City, try tuning into the wonderfully underutilized resource that is college radio. 

My personal favorite is Fordham University's station, WFUV, or 90.7 on your radio dial (does anyone really have radio "dials" anymore?...).  WFUV is also great because it is linked to National Public Radio's music and news programs.  If you're looking for tunes to listen to at work, and especially if you have an affinity for discovering new music, NPR's first listen gives you the chance to sample handpicked new albums, in their entirety, before they're released (I highly recommend giving a listen to Telekinesis' "12 Desperate Straight Lines"). 

Some other options: New York University's WNYU, or 89.1; Columbia University's WKCR, or 89.9; City University of New York's streaming radio station (check out the links on the right of CUNY's site for radio stations operated by their affiliates at Baruch College, Brooklyn College, The College of Staten Island, City College, and Kingsborough Community College); and Pace University's web-only station, WPUB

Also be sure to surf the station's websites to learn how you can support your favorite college station, like here.


  1. 91.5 FM is a great alternative to RXP, but at limited times:

    I try to catch the last hour of "Wake Up" in the mornings. Plus, they provide the daily playlists, which is pretty cool for old and new music discoverers.

  2. Thanks for the tip, Taxdood! Just tuned in... missed the "Wake Up" show today, but "John in the Morning" is playing some Sufjan Stevens right now...mmmm.