Music Podcasts

Posted: February 6, 2012 in Resources

I don’t listen to the radio anymore.  I just got annoyed by always listening to the same things over and over.  So, I started downloading and listening to podcasts.  I listen to podcasts about a wide range of topics, from movies to board games to comedy to sports to storytelling to music.  I thought I’d share a few of the music podcasts I listen to in case anyone out there is interested.

  • Acoustic Long Island / Chicago Acoustic Underground – These two are similar in that they celebrate original acoustic music (for the most part).  However, ALI is a live show that is posted two or three times a month, while CAU is a studio show that gets posted a few times per week.  If I had to choose one, I’d probably go with ALI, mostly because the host of CAU annoys me.  But both are great sources to find indie music, and the large quantity of shows for each means that you’re bound to find something you like.
  • The Concert – Twice a month, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston posts a podcast of classical music from live performances they have hosted.  It’s all very mellow, but for classical music fans, it’s a must to listen to.  Each show has a specific theme, either in subject matter, composer, or even some abstract concept they came up with.  There are some beautiful performances, so check it out.
  • Coverville – Brian Ibbott hosts this long-running podcast that celebrates the cover song, music created by one artist and then covered by another.  It’s an excellent source for a lot of unique arrangements from around the musical world.  Some of my favorites include Creep by Edmund Welles (a bass clarinet quartet); Hotel California in Spanish as covered by The Gipsy Kings; Oops, I Did It Again by Richard Thompson (as featured recently on YouTube Friday); and Baby’s Got Back by Jonathan Coulton.  It’s a seriously fun show, give it a listen.
  • KCRW Today’s Top Tune / KEXP Song of the Day / MP3 of the Day – Three different podcasts with the same basic concept: deliver one song a day to your podcast catching software.  KCRW is a radio station out of Santa Monica, CA; KEXP comes to your from Seattle, WA; and MP3 is a production of Spinner, a music site run by AOL.  It’s a good way to hear a lot of new music.  A lot of it is not good (in my everso humble opinion), but you do get some gems every now and then.
  • Piano Puzzler – The American Public Media show Performance Today has a feature called The Piano Puzzler, where pianist Bruce Adolphe arranges popular (though sometimes obscure) melodies in the style of well-known classical composers.  People call in to try and guess the tune, as well as the style being imitated.  It reminds me of an old bit Victor Borge used to do with Happy Birthday, but with a whole range of tunes.  It really has helped me with my listening skills.  Adolphe has some favorite tunes and favorite composers he’ll use again and again, but it’s a fun exercise.
  • The Roadhouse – If you’re a blues fan, this podcast is essential listening.  Billing itself as “the finest blues you’ve never heard”, the show has been going weekly for about seven years.  There’s a ton of great music, and you will definitely be exposed to many great artists from the past and present.  The host grates on my nerves a bit (he always seems very self-congratulatory and works way too hard to be profound while sounding completely scripted), but overall it’s a great show.
  • And since it is a music therapy blog, I also have to throw a shout out to The Music Therapy Research Blog and The Music Therapy Round Table.  There are more music therapy podcasts out there, but these are the only two I’m currently subscribed to.  The MTRB delves into a lot of the research going on that affects music therapy, while the MTRT discusses a broad range of topics that affect music therapists, such as advocacy, networking, professional tips, and social networking (they even inspired this blog).  Both are definitely good resources for the practicing music therapist, and non-therapists may also get some good information about what the music therapy world is about.

Take a listen to some of these podcasts, and let me know what you think.  Thanks for reading!


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