WFMU, Prog Archives and Ted Leo

Tangled Web: A weekly column featuring intriguing online music-related issues & destinations. This Week: WFMU, Prog Archives and Ted Leo.

RARE AND LOVELY: WFMU is a free-form radio station broadcasting in New York and the Hudson Valley region that also operates an extensive Web site which has plenty of offerings for the Internet-trolling music lover.

For starters, the station Webcasts all its programs in Realaudio or Windows Media as well as MP3. The programs are archived in Realaudio, and the station is now getting into "podcasting," with seven of its shows available to download straight into a listener's iPod, a further technological twist on the concept of radio.

One of the real treats on the station's site, however, is the "On the Download" page, featuring "MP3s from the fringes" that were featured in the station's monthly e-mail newsletter. This page has some hilarious and off-the-beaten path selections, from the Ol' Dirty Bastard's take on Phil Collins' "Sussudio" to a handful of mash-up tunes featuring George W. Bush soundclips, to a rare 1902 recorded performance by a Castrato to a smattering of strange radio spots/station IDs.

PROG LEGS: Probably not one of the first genres that comes to mind for the chart-watching musical youth, prog rock still has a devoted following, and of course there are gatherings of aficionados online.

TedProg Archives is a testament to the music it describes as "a style that combines rock, classical, psychedelic and literary elements." The site features regularly updated reviews, biographies and discographies of all bands and albums it deems worthy of the tag. More than 6,500 album reviews means this is a great place to start for neophytes looking to discover exactly what "prog" means.

PRESCRIPTION FILLED: N.J.-based indie rocker Ted Leo and his band the Pharmacists are about to head back out on tour in support of last fall's "Shake the Sheets" (Lookout!).

A visit to the group's newly redesigned official Web site unveils an audio page that could educate the newcomer to Leo's music, with a healthy portion of downloadable MP3s from each of the group's last three albums as well as a couple non-album tracks. Enjoy!