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Phnom Penh as Radio Paradise

By: Garage Bar Posted: October-13-2010 in
Garage Bar

With all due respect to those who toil at Phnom Penh's LOVE FM station, it's not a radio station I or many of my friends care to listen to for the music, Anglo males in their mid-fifties clearly not being their primary target market.

Fortunately download speeds have increased in Cambodia enough to make internet radio a viable option for the music lover of any age. And the radio apps available for the iPhone have made me an absolute convert to internet radio. The multitasking capability of IOS 4.0 means I can listen to internet radio AND use the iPhone for other time-wasting activities simultaneously.

While a 3G connection does a great job, I can still stream at 128k with the 3G connection off to save battery life. In the bedroom the iPhone gets plugged into my little Sonic Impact amp and Gallo Micro speakers. Perfect.

Pandora, which a lot of people in the U.S. seem to like, is not available in Cambodia, but my search for good radio applications for the iPhone ultimately led me to choose two I'm very happy with. First, TuneInRadio, available at Apple's App store. It's got an easy to use interface, a good search function, the capability to record live streams for later playback, and the flexibility to go to a station using it's URL if the your choice is not already in it's impressive database of 40,000 stations.

Second, AccuRadio's own application is quite useful, presenting an easy way to sort through and find artists you like amongst the 500 or so stations available on AccuRadio. Like Gaslight Anthem (as well you should)? A quick search shows you the stations on which you'll hear the band (there are four on Accuradio playing Gaslight Anthem).

Here are some of the stations I'm digging at the moment:

1. Beyond the Beat Generation - a 24/7 stream of obscure garage/psychedelic music from '64-68. This is stuff after my own heart. This is not Nuggets material, when I say obscure I mean obscure, all presented with crackly vinyl sound and information about release dates and record label. 132 versions of "Hey Joe". Need I say more? This is why internet radio exists.

2. Radio Paradise - a varied playlist programmed by two actual human beings, featuring music from the 50's to the present. If there is one station I could listen to all the time, as of this writing this is the one.

3. KCRW - an obvious one perhaps, but having Santa Monica's NPR station with me all the time is a pleasure.

4. Springsteen Radio, Dylan Radio, Presley Radio - You get the point.

5. TwangCity Radio - as an old girlfriend used to say it's guys with guitars, folk, alt-country stuff from a site based in Oakland. See also Accuradio Twang.

6. GotRadio Americana - another good alt-country, blues, folk option. On the playlist this morning John Hiatt, Guy Clark, Neko Case...see also AccuRadio Twang: Y'alternative.

7. Psychedelic Jukebox - featuring more of the not so obscure garage, surf, punkie stuff from the 60's.

8. The Vinyl Resting Place (U.K.) - "playing a variety mix of classic favourites, as well as music you don’t hear anymore on your radio dial. We feature RARE and ALTERNATE VERSIONS, B’SIDES, EXTENDED VERSIONS that AM radio would not play back in it's heyday."

9. Soma FM Indie Pop - there are a boatload of sites featuring so called Indie rock and pop. This is the one I'm listening to often now.

10. AccuRadio Alternative Now! - "alternative rock" from the last ten years. See also Adult Alternative: Just New Music for, well that one you can figure out.

If you're wondering about satellite radio -- XM and Sirius -- yes there is an iPhone app that will let you stream XM and Sirius radio. That will cost you roughly $17 per month for the two subscriptions (one for the satellite service subscription, another for use of the iPhone app). Though I'd love to hear Tom Petty's XM show, at this point I'm feeling spoiled for choice with all the free stations out there so I'm giving XM and Sirius a pass, at least for now.

Source: Phnom Penh Garage Notes


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