Ever since I posted about WYEP being a great public radio station, I felt guilty. Why? Because I listen to WRCT 88.3 probably just as much as I do WYEP. Why? Because where else can you hear Democracy Now, Japanese experimental music, the Saturday Light Brigade, yiddish hip hop, and excrutiatingly geeky analysis of R&B lyrics?

WRCT is the radio station of Carnegie Mellon University. It is located in the basement of the CMU University Center and broadcasts from Warner Hall. The station run as free format radio which means that all programming decisions are left to the descretions of DJs and their programs. This means that I can actually drive to work listening to some pumping house music and leave listening to Nina Simone. But there is some convergence: wanna know what the kids are listenin’ to these days? Check out their Top 70 list. (Glad to see local band Modey Lemon sneak in there at #10!) Never heard any of these bands? Well then listen to WRTC! And if you … hate music, then just listen for the promos (which are pretty weird – and funny.)

Like all good radio stations though, ‘RCT offers online streaming, has a handy dandy list of recently played songs and takes requests at 412-CMU-WRCT (268-9728). iTunes users can add it to their playlist as streaming radio. (Just look under Radio/Public/WRCT.)

I remember when I was in high school in the hills of the the ‘Burgh, I had my uber cool band posters, my flannels and my Docs, and I tried to act like I listened to real, live college stations. But the only place I could get it was in one corner of my basement. Luckily for us, the station has come a long way since then! Apparently they’ve expanded (to 1750 “glorious watts”). And get this – the other day, I could hear it all the way out to the airport. So go and program WRCT on your car radio now. And turn it on when you’re stuck in traffic. You might even catch the Brazilian Radio Hour.

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  • Don't forget WRCT's "Radio Nine," which is on right after "Saturday Light Brigade." Eric O' Brien and Jay Thurber play a mix of tunes from the 50s and 60s (plenty of stuff you won't hear on 3WS), throw in some Stan Freberg and Tom Lehrer, a few skits with Eric and Jay that would do Bob & Ray proud, and you have two or three hours (depending on CMU sports schedule) of Pgh's most delightful radio.

  • Bailie

    Some Pgh trivia for you….do you know what RCT Stands for?

    Radio Carnegie Tech.

  • okay, okay, so I am a big dork, and in preparation for this entry I read the little history blurb on the station's homepage. And I believe RCT stands for Radio Carnegie Tech. Do I get a prize? 😀

    Thanks for the trivia though. We like all Pgh-related trivia here! Keep it coming.