Top Ten places to learn and listen to music worth your precious while-
We all have our passions in life, some are more faithful and active to explore them. Some of us are too busy in our 12-hr work day to commit further time to extracurricular/hobby-some information. Often I find that is the case for myself. But after being on school break for over a month now, I’ve come back to my roots. My musical roots. Here are my top ten resources for good music of all genres. Without imposing my moral musical tastes on anyone, I will give everyone a chance to listen to, find and enjoy what tickles their fancy in a unanimous way by offering you the bibles of musical reviews and discovery.
These are not listed in numerical importance but of random insertion of what comes to mind:
1) iTunes- Too obvious right? Wrong. Search the iTunes store for a band you like: Fleet Foxes (the next so-called Beach Boys), click on specific album, scroll down to: Listeners also Bought: TV on the Radio, Bon Iver, Band of Horses. Jackpot: new music paralleling your original search of Fleet Foxes without the hassle of mainstream pop marketing influencing your decision.
More after the Jump
2) Pandora Radio- I heart Pandora. Look up a band and create a radio station that will play that searched artist and songs similar to the music by that artist. In other words, if you listen to the Counting Crows radio not only will you hear “Goodnight Elizabeth”, but you will hear Jack Johnson, Coldplay acoustic, Damien Rice live, and new bands previously unheard of while all at once, coming back to your original selection at random- the Counting Crows. All for free. Warnings: Pandora knows when your sleeping and knows when your awake and knows when you’ve been bad or good so….remember to click back to the screen every once in a while so the program doesn’t halt the radio playing.
3) Genius brought to you by iTunes- So what? I admit I am a mac junky. Mac’s don’t have viruses so really, I can’t be that sick in my intentions. Genius is exactly what it is: Genius. Similar to Pandora in playing music with instrumental components akin to the previous song played, Genius creates a playlist with your already acquired (and bought?) music collection. How many of you have over 5,000 songs on your Ipod/PC/itunes? Genius provides the opportunity to reintroduce you or introduce you for the first time- to your own music. Spending elevendybillion hours listening to each song in your library could be insanity otherwise.
4) Myspace.com- I’ve retired my page on myspace but I will never forget the memories of my best friends on that site. Jose Gonzalez, Kings of Leon, the Decemberists- all friends of mine on my space. Even though Facebook is the new Black, remember MYspace as a place where you can listen and upload free music from the musician’s webpage, add songs to your personal space for others to listen to, and comment and “be friends with” those you admire most in the music world.
5) SXSW- This is one of the largest music/film festivals in the united states. Over 1400 bands play in the week provided by this Austin, Texas festival. We all know how much we appreciate South By for it’s Doc film choices, but it’s also important to recognize the new musical talent born out of this week long extravaganza.This festival started with innate musicalphilia (love of music) and continues evolving for it’s musical genes that run rampant in it’s blood.
6) Pitchforkmedia.com- provides news, reviews and ForkCast. A ForkCast is research and prediction of up and coming bands, not strato-cumuli. My favorite thing about this site is its in-depth but down-to-earth reviews of indie music albums. To the average bear, it’s simplified enough for the reader to comprehend the likability of the music not solely judged by its synchronicity or its elaborate instrumentals.
7) YOUR favorite band’s official website- These people are fans too. Just because they make great music of their own, doesn’t mean that they only listen to themselves. No, they too are inspired by well made, emotionally ridden, lyrically devine music that touches the soul. Check out http://mog.com/ben_gibbard . This is blogged by the singer/songwriter for Death Cab who is a lyrical prodigy IMO. On the left hand side of his blog is a section called “Music you SHOULD know about”. And it’s not just Indie-Emo, it’s jazz, alt/rock, classic rock that merit’s his/our attention as music lovers. This is music that is representative of and represented by someone who has music running through his coronary vessels, whether you like Death Cab or not.
8) Duh, friends.- This should rightfully be number one, but isn’t because sometimes our friends don’t know jack about music. It’s about the right connections. It’s about someone listening to something and recommending what they heard, it’s about being dragged to a concert in it’s smallest venue and leaving a fuller person because of the music you’ve auscultated into your body. Friends who love music are the best breathing resource.
9) Stereogum.com- Recent discovery of mine. There lies the key to a leading online resource for indie and alternative rock music news, reviews, MP3s, and videos. For those film-o’s (Check out their sister blog about television, movies, and Web shorts at Videogum.com.) One is able to download the constantly growing collection of new and exclusive MP3s for free and…. it’s legal, so download away.
10) Music Record Labels- With an album you already know and like, check out the record label associated with it. Often a record label has standards of harmony above and beyond. This unfortunately leaves out those bands yet signed, but that is what number’s 1 though 9 can satisfy. In conclusion, even choosing one of these resources could open your mind to new musical horizons. Try it.
Now what to do? Hopefully you’ve simultaneously found Pandora while reading this and are already listening to your favorite station, glad I could help.