there is always soma, delicious soma

When I work on Games of our Lives, I usually listen to Fred on 44 or Ethel on 47. I used to listen to Lucy on 54, but it’s recently become totally unlistenable, thanks to the addition of Sheryl Crow (on the “alternative” station?), and the heavy rotation of Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chili Peppers, making my satellite radio just as annoying as my regular radio. Way to go, XM.

Today, however, I’m listening to some fantastic radio from the internets that I thought I’d share with the five of you who don’t know about it already: SomaFM, from San Francisco, specifically the Secret Agent station.

I used to listen to Soma quite often in the pre-Mac days, when I’d stream music over shoutcast on my Linux machine, but I usually listened to Groove Salad. I forgot about it until I found the Secret Agent station sort of by accident last night, and I’ve been listening to it pretty much nonstop since I got up this morning. So check it out, if you want to hear something you probably haven’t heard before, or are in the mood for something totally different.

And while I’m off to work on next week’s Games of our Lives, I encourage you to take a look at this week’s installment, Bermuda Triangle, which has some cool (in my opinion, anyway) Easter Egg-ish obscure references for your “hey! I got that!” pleasure. While you’re there, you may want to take a look at Guzzler, which I also think is pretty funny.

27 thoughts on “there is always soma, delicious soma”

  1. Wil your games of our lives today was hilarious! I especially enjoyed the Wesley Crusher plug.
    “Kids today might like it because: When they pick up artifacts like the Tachyon Monitoring Unit and Korbinian Cube, they can pretend they’re reciting classic technobabble from everyone’s favorite character, Ensign Wesley Crusher from Star Trek: The Next Generation! โ€ฆwhat?”

  2. SomaFM is totally cool, yes. And it’s nice to pop them $5 once in a while in support. Also, if you’re in that 60’s kind of groove, try Luxuria Music – (duh). It’s like Secret Agent, but just a bit wackier. ‘Twil’ bring a smile to your face. I’ve also discovered lately, which has some good chill and lounge stations, though they seem more corporate-y, and so less warm and friendly than either SomaFM or LuxuriaMusic. Now, I’ll pop my headphones (Grado SR80’s – *eggcelent*) back on, and dial ’em up!
    PS: did you enjoy Richard Dean Anderson on Simpsons this weekend? Hilarious. My wife is almost Selma & Patty-like in her love of all things RDA, so it was a real kick.

  3. I don’t know if they are the same thing but I have listened to a Secret Agent station on iTunes. If they are the same, or anything alike, I agree, it’s pretty damn cool.

  4. Dude, check out 49. I think it’s Big Hits or something like that.
    “Our Generation’s Classic Rock” is the tagline.
    Good, old fashioned Night Ranger, Poison, Van Halen & Van Hagar and more.
    It’s like being 12-20 all over again–even if they weren’t all your favorites, you have to admit they were out there and it’s a bit of a guilty pleasure that you should not deny yourself from time to tome!

  5. Lucky man. You can listen to radio. All I can hear is my nine year old son playing Guitar Hero 24/7. (It’s Spring Break) Songs I used to think I liked now sound like Pac Man Music. It’s the repitition – the repitition! It’s driving me nuts! It’s like all of my “I’m gonna be a cool Mom and encourage my kid to be a rock star” ethics are now biting me in the ass and driving nails into my ears.
    But hey, he just played Killer Queen with no mistakes. ROCK ON little buddy!

  6. SomaFM…hmmm…with the name Soma, which is a widely prescribed muscle relaxer, it kind of sounds like it would be an easy listening station. I’ll have to take your word on this one that it’s cool, Wil, because my broke ass can’t afford XM!! LOL

  7. Hey Wil – don’t type to much for us,, I just hope your thumb gets better..Thanks for the links, I like em :)
    But take it easy ok? :)
    *cringes again* sorry ,
    Get better soon :) Please? :)

  8. BTW…I just noticed the post above mine…With all due respect (cough cough) This poster just named the all time worst bands that actually made it. These bands are blessed by the same God that made Kathy Lee Gifford a millionaire. Guilty PLEASURE? Well yes I suppose listening to these bands will do if I’ve run out of toothpicks to jam into my eyeballs. Awe come on! Night Rnager??? What are you smokin? Gimme some, I got some old Partridge Family albums that need dusting off.

  9. I’ve been listening to Secret Agent for years. It’s fantastic music to have on while I’m writing. You can get it through iTunes under the Electronica selection of Radio. Just choose your bit rate and go.

  10. My bad, Wil, I totally missed the link to the feed that goes into my WinAmp player. Yeah, it definitely does sound like some “chill out” music to me. Thanks for the link!

  11. Is it coincidence that your Game of Our Lives page has an ad for Star Trek 2.0 or is that some kind of adsense alchemy at work ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. No, wait.. I just noticed you mentioned “In Search of” and Leonard Nimoy in the same sentence… maybe that’s it.

  13. It could be a coincidence, but Secret Agent just played an audio clip of Picard requesting “permission to come aboard.”
    Maybe someone at SomaFM reads my blog?

  14. SomaFM plays some great music indeed — I’ve enjoyed Groove Salad the most, with a little Secret Agent on the side.
    Anyway, if you like that, you may also like NETMUSIQUE ( They’ve got several different formats: Jazzmusique, Housemusique, and Electrique. Personally I think the names are a little too twee, but they do give you a good idea of what to expect with the formatting. Given your preference for Soma’s Secret Agent format, Wil, you might like NM’s House format most.

  15. This sounds great, and I loved your last suggestion,
    I miss the Egg.
    Can you use your Super Geek powers to work over AJ and crack the Egg open again?

  16. Thanks for the Soma suggestion, Wil. Pretty cool.
    If you’re looking for some good new/indie rock, check out for a taste of Toronto. You can listen live, and they also have some pretty cool streams to tap into.

  17. The Foo Fighters first album is in my “must take with me on a deserted island stranding” top five. Ok, so technically it’s just Dave Grohl, since he does 98.63% (approximatly) of all of the music / vocals.
    So I guess a heavy rotation of the Foo Fighters wouldn’t bother me.

  18. Wil, it’s quite possible that a lot of people on XM in general read your blog.
    As a matter of fact, I think we may even have to start doing a head count, because I suspect that there are way more than 50,000 Monkeys hanging out on here!

  19. Nice Brave New World reference up top. I’ve got that book loaded onto my watch. (Of course, my watch is a Fossil Abacus WristPDA, so it can do things like that…)
    Pamela kind of grooves on Lucy (though she also enjoys Highway 16); I bounce past it once in awhile, though I often just bounce between 80’s on 8 and Big Tracks, with side excursions through some of the alternative channels and The Boneyard–and Watercolors on hot standby as my “chill out” music. Of course, I’m not too thrilled that they’re pulling one of my other favorites, MusicLab, off the birds next week…we’ve got some preset-shuffling to do after that.
    XM’s still a pretty cool thing, in my opinion. Now if they’d only do a traffic & weather channel for Denver.
    (Checking the Bermuda Triangle piece) Ah! The sailing Wil! Captain Wil! Commodore Wil! Beats being an ensign any day, I’m sure…:-)

  20. Mmmm..SOMA

    The wise and munificent Wil Wheaton has a blog entry about the wonderful stations over at SOMA. Namely Groove Salad and Secret Agent. Both are by far the best streaming audio stations on the internet (or..oh okay internets..there you happy?)….

  21. Wil, Secret Agent is awesome… Used to listen to it to code a while back.
    If you like that, you should check out Matt Musselman’s stream on Live365 called Onomatopoeia. He also has a website where you can link to the stream and read his blog.

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