Are you in a musical rut? We’re here to help. Check out the sites listed below and find a plethora of new music for all tastes and occasions.
Pandora Radio is part of the Music Genome Project, which assembles musical attributes to identify the musical identity of a song. What does that mean? The project brains consider the melody, harmony, rhythm, instrumentation, orchestration, arrangement, lyrics, and the vocals of a song to categorize it. It’s about sound, not the band look or era the music belongs to. So what can you do with Pandora? You can create entire stations based on a particular song you like. Say you’re a huge Silversun Pickups fan. You can type in the artist, or one of their songs, and Pandora will create a station for you that only plays that type of music. Perfect for finding new artists with a certain sound that you like. And you know that romantic night you’re planning? Hook your laptop up to your stereo speakers and play soft music all night, uninterrupted. With Pandora, you get commercial free, customized radio—for free
This UK based site claims to be the world’s largest music social platform, and it offers a ton of music playing options. Browse by category or artist, listen to tracks from an album, watch videos, check the charts, see what’s most popular among listeners, scope events, and more. Once you click on an artist, the screen opens up to a plethora of information—the band’s biography, images of the band, videos, where you can see them play, and other artists like them. It’s a great way to stay current on the music scene, or simply find your old favorites. Though you can listen to individual tracks, you must pay to download. Hey, that’s fair, right?
MySpace is a popular forum among musicians. What’s fun about it, is it’s usually the band that stops by and sets up an account and personalizes their page, so in addition to their music, you’re discovering a piece of their personality. A band’s MySpace page allows you to sample their music, read about the musicians, view their “friends,” and even leave messages. The main MySpace music page features artists, videos, singles, news, and tours. You can also search the site by genre, find people, visit forums, and, if you’re a musician, sign-up for a musician account.
There are two ways to search for music on YouTube. First, you can click on Channels, then Musicians. From there, you can search the most viewed videos today, this week, this month, or all time. You can also search for music by heading to Videos, and clicking on Music. YouTube can be a fun way to find music because you get to see the artists in action, not just listen to them. And with all those people uploading their own versions of songs, maybe you’ll find a break-out star. Or maybe YOU are the break-out star. Then again, maybe not.
The blogosphere is vast. There are hundreds of sites out there that focus on music of all kinds. Search for them via any search engine, and you’ll pull up thousands of hits. Using Google, you can search blogs specifically with their Google Blog Search. If the task seems too daunting, here are a few good sites, with different offerings, to get you started.
Indie Surfer Blog
If you like alternative music distributed though independent labels, be sure to head over to Indie Surfer Blog and check the buzz on up-and-coming and unconventional artists. This site gives you tons of info on the band, their sound, their stories, and you can listen to samples of their music. It’s a great place to get introduced to the indie scene and expand your music knowledge.
Live Music Blog
If you like to watch bands perform live, this is the blog for you. Dedicated to live music, with an emphasis on jam bands, Live Music Blog was rated one of Forbes.com Best of the Web music blogs. The site is jam packed with concert dates and exclusive looks.
Put out by a radio station based in Seattle, this blog reviews music, features spotlights, and, perhaps best of all, delivers you a different song Monday through Friday as part of their Song of the Day podcast subscription. The podcast “features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists” their DJs think you should hear. You can also listen to their radio station online, http://www.kexp.org/home.asp?noflash=false or, if you live in the Seattle area, dial into 90.3 FM. The blog also has a great list of links.
All Things Considered
Sponsored by NPR, All Things Considered is hosted by Robin Hilton and Bob Boilen. The male duo listen to hundreds of albums every week and bring you the cream of the crop. In addition to their blog, which asks important music questions (like what is the best music to drive to), and offers video and audio clips to accompany the posts, All Things Considered is also an acclaimed weekly program available in streaming audio, podcast, and broadcast, that “melds contemporary music, live concerts, videos and artist interviews” for a “truly eclectic music mix.”
Elbows is a blog aggregate. It collects music blog posts from all over the web and displays the first paragraph or two on its site. It’s a good place to get a snapshot of what’s happening in the music blog world. Pick and choose which posts interest you, and be sure to check out the lists of hot artists, hot tracks, and hot videos. There’s a lot of great music to listen to there.