Photograph courtesy of Alamy.com
The next time you're trapped in a rental car on a business trip, think twice before plugging your iPod into that aux jack. Leaving town without sampling the local airwaves is like going to Disney World without riding Space Mountain. Ian Daly
The Station: KCRW 89.9
The Genre: Alternative rock, electronic, world
The Hook: DJ Jason Bentley, a mellow Santa Monica native and 16-year KCRW veteran, hosts the nine-to-noon weekday show "Morning Becomes Eclectic," which has introduced listeners to bands like the Doves, Animal Collective, and the Brakes during its 32 years on the air.
Podcast Site: kcrw.com
The Station: KEXP 90.3
The Genre: Alternative rock
The Hook: Beginning as a 10-watt station in 1972, KEXP helped inject grunge into the veins of the American music scene. These days, acts like the Walkmen and Neko Case swing by for in-studio sessions.
Podcast Site: kexp.org
The Station: WFMU 91.1
The Genre: Alternative rock, electronic, world, funk, soul
The Hook: Radio recommendations are hard to come by in New York. Check out Mr. Fine Wine's "Downtown Soulville" hour (Fridays at 7 P.M.) for the host's collection of ass-shaking funk and soul 45s—then give those jaded Manhattanites the memo.
Podcast Site: wfmu.org
The Station: Clasica 92.3
The Genre: Latin
The Hook: Clasica is one of the few stations left in Miami where you can still catch old-school Cuban salsa music if you listen at the right time (which varies, so you'll have to wing it). Screw rock and roll—you're in the tropics. Roll down the windows and crank it.
Podcast Site: none
The Station: KITS Live 105.3
The Genre: Alternative rock, electronic
The Hook: DJ Aaron Axelsen was dropping M.I.A. when you were still hung up on R.E.M., and his Sunday-night "Radio Soundcheck" (7 to 10 P.M.) is a West Coast institution. Tune in and come home with more indie-rock discoveries than a talent scout for Sub Pop.
Podcast Site: live105.com