Best Radio Station Ever

Today at approximately 3:00 p.m. it became official. The first chords of U2’s “In God’s Country” echoed over my radio and 89.3 FM The Current became the best radio station ever. I’d been listening non-stop for five or six days and though I loved what I was hearing, I’d yet to hear my favorite band ever. With those opening strains I stopped what I was doing and sent The Current an e-mail telling them the news: Best. Radio station. Ever.

They’re a Minnesota Public Radio station playing a vast mix of music–I hesitate to call it rock or indie rock or alternative rock because they’re all over the place. They also play some folk, electronica, country, hip-hop, straight-up pop–even oldies. It’s amazing. In the several days I’ve been listening I’ve liked about everything I’ve heard. Only once or twice have I turned to the radio and frowned. Most of the time I’m shaking my head no: “No, no, no–don’t stop a rockin’!”

And did you hear that first part: public radio. It’s non-commercial. Can you imagine the joy of not ever hearing obnoxious radio commercials? It’s the joy of NPR with hip music! They’re playing all sorts of music I like (Johnny Cash, Radiohead, Polyphonic Spree, Badly Drawn Boy), introducing me to lots of new stuff (Arcade Fire, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Arthur Yoria) and playing tons of local music (Low, Valet, The Olympic Hopefuls).

I never have to listen to another pathetic endorsement from a Cities 97 DJ (“You know, when I want to put my hair in dreads, I call the pros over at…”). I never have to listen to Drive 105 play another single into the ground. I can listen to good music and get the weather and news. Sorry iPod, you’re looking lonely.

The Pulse of the Twin Cities has a lengthy interview with the staff of 89.3 FM and the Star Trib has a factually inaccurate little piece. You can also listen online, supposedly (I’ve yet to get the stream to play).

7 thoughts on “Best Radio Station Ever”

  1. I can’t get the stream to work either. Odd. I want to hear this. It sounds really cool.

    I don’t know too many who prefer the radio to their iPod, but commercial-free radio that plays the type of music you’re talking about is really rare. Still, they only have 3000 songs currently, which is hardly half what I know your iPod has right now.

    The “when I want to put my hair in dreads” comment was awesome.

  2. Ah, but the difference between the iPod and the radio (as discussed in the Pulse article) is that I know everything that’s on my iPod, while the radio is a surprise. The radio can introduce me to new music–that’s a harder proposition on the iPod.

  3. A new coffeplace near me has introduced me to the joys of Radio Paradise (check it at radioparadise dot com) – it’s my new fav, but I’ll give 89.3 a shot.

  4. I’m in total agreement, Kevin – 89.3 is the best thing to happen to local radio since, perhaps, ever. Good music, no commercials, and DJ’s that don’t annoy the heck out of me. I didn’t think a radio station like that would ever exist.

  5. BTW, I can get the mono stream to work in Windows Media Player, but no luck with the AAC stream

  6. The Current is the fourth-best station in the Twin Cities, but you don’t seem like you’d know that.

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