Tuesday, July 20, 2010

List: Music Discovery Websites

I'm kind of a weirdo.

One of my happiest moments is when I'm driving down the road, either an unfamiliar highway or one packed with traffic zooming along just above the posted speed limit.

Blasting from the radio (or the 14-year-old's iPod) is a collection of really great music that I have never heard before. No matter what my mood before, this always makes me happy.

Lately I have been streaming music from various websites and blasting music into my kitchen while I cook or bake. Our current kitchen has a swinging door that I can close to confine most of the sound to that part of the house.

Sometimes it's hard finding new music, but over time I have collected a nice list of websites that help introduce new stuff, indie bands, unheard-of labels, and emerging artists hoping to make it big. No matter what genre you like, you'll probably find some great new stuff here, too. All legal, of course.

Here's my list:

last.fm - my current favorite. Type in a song or artist you like and get a radio station with a playlist based on that artist or song. You can also "scrobble" which means last.fm will look at what you have stored in your computer and make a playlist based on what you already have. Lately I've been playing "Groove Armada radio," "Bela Fleck and the Flecktones radio" and sometimes I'll crank up the bass and listen to "the Gorillaz radio." (I need bigger woofers, though.)

pandora - same concept as last.fm but I just prefer the radio station that last.fm creates better.

ilike - listen to 30 second samples of stuff and get free downloads of stuff you've probably never heard of (because they're new emerging artists). Shows you what's popular on their site or you can explore based on what you like.

emusic - monthly subscription for bargain downloads. We discovered a lot of good stuff here, including Pam getting hooked on Of Montreal.

Amazon - Start by looking up an artist or album you love. Then scroll down to see other music purchased by customers who bought your favorite album... browse from there. This is where I nearly wet my pants upon the discovery of Mrs. Miller, Florence Foster Jenkins, and Jonathan and Darlene Edwards.
Holy crap.
(I think this subject is a blog post all by itself.)

iTunes - I'm sure you've heard of iTunes. Honestly, this is probably the last place I go for music.

MySpace - I'm personally not a fan of MS, but this is where Rachel discovered so much fantastic music like Hot Hot Heat, The Fratellis, Hard Fi, Say Hi To Your Mom, Does It Offend You Yeah?, and a buttload of other fantastic artists. We have discovered many more artists here than at Facebook.

1227.com - You're going to hate me for this, but I love this site.

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