Songs About the Radio & Opinions on Michael Kiwanuka


Jim and Greg both fondly remember discovering new bands on their FM dials; and though there are many ways find new music, there's still a bit of magic to hearing a new favorite over the airwaves. To honor that legacy, Jim and Greg share some of their favorite radio-inspired tracks by artists like Wall of Voodoo and Donna Summer. Plus Jim and Greg review Kiwanuka, the latest album from English soul-folk artist Michael Kiwanuka.

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Kiwanuka Michael Kiwanuka


English singer-songwriter  Michael Kiwanuka just released his third album, titled Kiwanuka. While he began his career as more of a retro-infused folk artist, he's now moved on to a more contemporary sound while still drawing from his '60s and '70s inspirations like Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield. Jim loves this album and considers it one of the best of the year. Not only does he dig the sonic elements of the record, he also loves his contemplative lyrics. Greg agrees and notes that along with singing and writing, Kiwanuka plays killer bass and electric guitar throughout the album. Both hosts love the integration of more psychedelic rock a la Jimi Hendrix and are excited to see what Kiwanuka does next.

Songs About Radio

While bands have many other methods of promotion and distribution these days, radio airplay still significantly boosts record sales. Jim and Greg both fondly remember discovering new bands on their FM dials, helping to shape their musical tastes. And, to honor that legacy, they play these great Radio-Inspired Tracks:


  • Wall of Voodoo, "Mexican Radio"
  • R.E.M., "Radio Free Europe"
  • Donna Summer, "On the Radio"
  • Nirvana, "Radio Friendly Unit Shifter"


  • ZZ Top, "Heard it on the X"
  • The Replacements, "Left of the Dial"
  • Indeep, "Last Night a DJ Saved My Life"
  • Public Enemy, "How to Kill a Radio Consultant"

Hooked On Sonics: The Coathangers

The Coathangers photo by Matt Odom

Atlanta-based punk band The Coathangers makes its political stance obvious in just its name. Singer and guitarist Julia Kugel remembers exactly when she was inspired to take that stance in her music. It was at a college house party where the ideas she was learning about feminism, racism and more meshed with the music of Gang of Four. She told our producer Andrew Gill when she heard "I Found That Essence Rare" she knew dance music could make important political statements.

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