Atlanta is home to two of the best college stations in the country, and most Atlantans don't even realize it. Georgia State University's Album 88 (WRAS-FM) is college radio at its finest, with shows dedicated to everything from instrumental hip-hop to Japanese pop music. The station was among the first to play acts like R.E.M. and OutKast, while maintaining a diverse playlist sure to educate even the most jaded listener. Georgia Tech's WREK (91.1-FM) features an equally eclectic playlist with notable genre shows and community programming. WREK is also at the forefront of technology, with an Internet stream of the station dating back to 1994. While most radio stations look backward with yesterday's hits, these stations look forward, down all the musical tributaries that could flow into tomorrow's mainstream. In the era of music bloggers and Pandora recommendations, student-run college radio is the last place to discover new music without putting up with a peanut gallery of opinions.
Now that you've got those two stations on your dial, here are some suggestions to fill up the rest of your presets:
99x (97.9-FM): One of the top alternative stations in the country during the '90s, this radio staple was brought back due to popular demand after 15 months off air. 99x may have a new — and somewhat confusing — frequency, but it plays the same mixture of '90s alternative and new rock that made it great in the first place.
Dave FM (92.9-FM): When you've finally outgrown your Justin Bieber and Ke$ha CDs, this station will teach you how to listen to music like an adult. With a diverse playlist ranging from the '80s to today, Dave is a master class in the modern history of rock.
Hot 107.9 (WHTA-FM): This is the kind of hip-hop station that you would expect Atlanta to have. With past and present DJs including Ludacris and DJ Drama, Hot 107.9 plays what's hot on the streets. So yes, it plays a lot of Gucci Mane.
V-103 (WVEE-FM): "The People's Station" is the most popular radio station in Atlanta for a reason. With a healthy mix of new and classic R&B, hip-hop and soul, V-103 brings out the best of pop music.
WABE (90.1-FM): Let's face it — you shouldn't be getting all of your news from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. With nationally syndicated NPR news programs during the morning and afternoon rush hours, this public station is the best way to stay informed if you have a commute.
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