In this modern world of on-demand streaming, iPods and podcasts, radio's influence has diminished. On one hand, this is a good thing: a handful of DJ's getting kickbacks and conglomerate corporate programmers aren't able to drive the music industry's agenda like they once were. And while it's awesome to walk around a record collection in your pocket, getting introduced to new music from outside of your regular spheres of influence can be incredibly rewarding.
For the most part, radio in Portland sucks. Sure, there's OPB's Live Wire and some phenomenal programming on KBOO (sandwiched between the Grateful Dead tape-traders and Free Speech Radio News), but it's a craps-shoot. KPSU might be good from time to time, but neutered by censorship and bandwidth, you'd never know it. And that's about all. Pretty slim pickens for a city so otherwise musically vibrant.
Think of it like Tivo for your radio. Except better. The site, currently in beta, records and saves radio shows from across the country, both talk and music. You can schedule recordings, they get sorted by artists and song titles (when possible), and stored on two gigs of hosted space that you can stream or download. And goddamn, it's free.
So if you're a Portland transplant missing your favorite hometown shows, DAR.fm is the thing. Welcome back, HOT 105. Hello there, asinine Boston sports talk. And I've got you now, great local stuff that I'm not always near a radio to catch. (Anyone want to suggest shows from around the country we ought to be tuning in to?)
The first thing I'm signing up to capture is KBOO's Roots of Rock & Roll (every other Friday @ 3:00PM)—it's a hell of a show with some ridiculous tunes that are sometimes impossible to find online. Like Cecil Gant's "Raining Blues," which I've been unable to dig up. It floated over the airwaves and essentially disappeared. Next time, armed with DAR.fm, I'll be in business.
H/T: David Pogue