I used to rely on our once-excellent NPR affiliate to keep me supplied with new music. They had highly knowledgeable and eclectic music hosts on the air all week long.
Now, it’s kind of a grab-bag of sources. WDET still has some good music programs left, and I pick up a lot from my favorite internet radio station (The Buzzoutroom) which specializes in downtempo artists. Downtempo is a sub-genre of electronic music, and encompasses Acid Jazz, Trip-Hop, Drum’n’Bass, Ambient and probably some others. I also work for an ad agency, so performers and music come through the agency from time-to-time. I also listen to commercials, segue music on news programs, video games etc. and try to track down artists that catch my interest. One of the more interesting finds was a band called Devotchka, who meld together rock with eastern European themes. I discovered this band a few years ago as one of their tracks got used to back a TV ad for the new version of the Gears of War video game! The same song (“How It Ends”) just popped up in an add for Dish Network (I think…)
Another interesting band called Shiny Toy Guns came to my attention when the agency used one of their tracks – a cover of Peter Schillings’ “Major Tom” – for a Lincoln ad. Their 2006 album “We Are Pilots” is highly recommended.
Then there is this lovely performer named Elizaveta (full name Elizaveta Igorevna Khripounova!). I don’t recall where I found her, but it may have been on another internet radio station that I frequent, Radio Paradise. Wherever I found her, I’m glad I did. I’d normally link just one YouTube video here, but I can’t resist. Check out both of these. (I hope the ads aren’t too annoying). Both songs are available on her album Beatrix Runs. The first is a nicely produced video. The second is a stripped-down studio performance with Elizaveta showing off her classical training. Very different songs, but both worth a listen.