Left of the Dial

Fridays at 9 p.m. and Saturdays at noon

Credit Jason Brown / KRCU

Left of the Dial takes its name from the Replacements song of the same name, and is a reference to the position of the radio dial on which non-commercial radio stations are typically located. In the era of college radio these stations were reliable sources of independent, unsigned, and otherwise “underground” artists.

Left of the Dial is a radio program molded in that tradition, with a strong focus on new music but with a flexibility to allow a variety of genres, themes, and eras to be explored.

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This week there are some more non-traditional holiday songs to feature, including one from the Seattle indie rock trio Dude York with a song about that awkward moment when you run into your ex during the holidays. 

j. carl brown / KRCU

Holiday songs are beginning to trickle in and it's not all so bad. Case in point are a couple of new recordings featured on Amazon Music's "Indie for the Holidays" playlist. Charly Bliss takes on the Mariah Carey staple "All I Want for Christmas is You," and singer Eva Grace Hendricks sounds like she means it. Best Coast offer a breezy rendition of the Beach Boys "Little Saint Nick," and Kelly Hogan touches on the more melancholy moods of the holiday with a rendition of George Morgan's "Blue Snowfall." 

Courtesy of the artists.

I always find end of year lists to be fun, and I find it useful to focus my listening options down to something manageable. This year on the show I've played new music from over 200 albums, and one of the records on this year's list is one I've not yet played, which is to say I come across an enormous amount of music over a year's time. I'm not unique in this; surely as more listeners utilize streaming services the volume of their listening is massive as well.

Adam Kissick / NPR

This week it's the third and final program featuring highlights from this year's Newport Folk Festival, courtesy of NPR music. We've saved some of the best performances for last so make yourself another turkey sandwich, pour yourself the beverage that warms you best, and warm up your speakers with some great music. 

j. carl brown / KRCU

As this week's show came together it occured to me how many '80s and '90s-era bands with new music were on the playlist. 

The Dream Syndicate, key members of the Paisley Underground scene, have just released How Did I Find Myself Here, their first album since 1988.