Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Glider Bison's Favorites

I'm going to start a new series of posts about my top-five favorite websites. 

This first one will be about my favorite music websites. Check this shit out:

This is a search engine for playable media. Type the name or artist or album or whatever, and Seeqpod comes back with a list of embedded MP3's, ready to play. It's highly useful, if you already know what you're looking for, but it's not the best place to explore new stuff. 
[NOTE: they're not up right now, but should be back soon] 

Most people already know about the wonders of Pandora, but if you don't, you should. Pandora is basically a radio station that adapts to your tastes. You start by asking it to play a song you like, then Pandora selects other songs from different artists you might also enjoy. You give Pandora feedback (thumbs up, or thumbs down) as to whether or not you liked Pandora's offering. The more feedback you give, the more accurately Pandora nails down your particular taste. This is a really smart idea, and is a great way to find new music you'll undoubtedly like. 

This website contains the output from a single recording studio located in Rock Island, Illinois. Apparently Rock Island is along the tour rout for the majority of touring bands in the country. A band will swing through town, drop by the studio for an hour or two, lay down a few tracks (often on borrowed instruments), before getting back on the road towards their next gig. The songs are usually well recorded, and delightfully stripped down, and best of all,  Daytrotter makes all the songs available for full download. They feature a new band every week, and offer new MP3's every day. Enjoy. 

When it comes to indie music, Pitchfork is a heavyweight. In fact, it's the heavyweight. They do it all: music reviews, news, exclusive content, interviews, etc. With their new listening software, Lala, you can listen to every song mentioned in the entire website -- but only once -- after that you gotta pay. In my opinion, the video portion of the website is particularly impressive. The music videos are high-quality, but you can find those a lot of places these days (vimeo for instance). The coolest videos are Pitchfork's exclusive live concerts. They're so well captured, both in terms of audio and video, that they capture a fairly honest and intimate snapshot of what that artist is like live. There's something so enchanting about witnessing musicians at work; this is (obviously) most true when seeing someone perform live, but even through he lens of recorded video, an inkling of that magic can be felt. 

NPR has an amazing music site. They dig up amazing content from across every genera, and from around the world. They also produce lot of wonderful work themselves, including tons of exclusive concerts, and some very well produced podcasts. I've been listening to NPR's All Songs Considered and All Concerts Considered podcasts for over a year now, and I'm never disappointed. One cool thing they do is offer upcoming albums in their entirety, before they're released in their Exclusive First Listen series. These records are available for a limited time, streaming over the internet sometimes weeks before the album can be purchased in store (no that ANYONE buys music in store these days). For instance, right now you can hear the entire new John Vandrerslice album, AND the entire new St. Vincent album. How sweet is that? 

If anyone out there has other cool music sites that you visit frequently, leave a comment, and let me know!


Anonymous said...

Did you intentionally number those (5), (4), (3), (4), and (5)? If so, bravo. I like. Though not sure why.

Some comments on the topic.

(1) For iPhone users, Shazam is a fantastic app. Start the app and hold your phone up to the speaker that's playing a song you like but don't know the name/artist/album of, and in 30 seconds, you'll know.

(b) Just a Googling tip I learned long ago: if you hear a song and don't know the title, just remember your favorite lyric(s), and type them into Google in quotes, and your song will be first in the search results.

Perhaps a Parrot said...

Oh *cough* of course I numbered them that way -- how else *cough* would you number them? *blush*

Thanks for those hints -- sadly, I do not have an iPhone, though every single last one of my friends does, and OH HOW I COVET!!!!

Seth said...

NPR music = lots of good stuff...didn't realize that they had entire albums available pre-release. the vanderslice album is excellent