By Claire Weiner>Junior>GWU>History and Film Studies
What separates the best album ever from the worst CD of all time? Obviously, it’s all subjective. Music is extremely personal and emotional. When you’re a young person, with a sensitivity to something as small as a lyric or harmony, it can be difficult to sort out the good from the bad. It’s always a good idea to get a recommendation from a friend, fellow music lover, or better yet, someone who does that for a living: a music blogger.
So, what separates the best music blogs from the rest? I guess that also depends on who you ask. Some bloggers write and reveal the deepest meanings of the music and its artist with such profound clarity, it is as if it were obvious all along. Others write with personality – wit and humor and unabashed honesty. Although it helps to know which bloggers are actually knowledgeable in their fields, you cannot know for sure, you just have to find someone whose language and taste resonates with yours. Here are some that just might do the trick:
ILISTENTOEVERYTHING.com: Reading over this blog is like asking your best friend about what she’s listening to. Diana Miller, author of this blog and talent scout for Last Call With Carson Daly, writes with a genuine interest and passion for music, but is always quick to remind you that she’s just doing this for fun. In fact, she doesn’t do much writing at all – she posts playlists of what she’s listening to, music videos that she’s watching, and pictures of artists she likes, which range from Jay-Z to Animal Collective to Bill Withers. If you’re not into dissecting abstract comparisons and wordy explanations of music, then this is a great place to go.
Pitchfork: Pitchfork is also a magazine, although many visit the website for its album reviews. Notoriously picky, it’s hard to find music they actually seem to like. Recently blogger Ian Cohen reviewed The Album Leaf’s new album, A Chorus of Storytellers, where he critically observed: “In complete defiance of its title, what’s noticeably missing are choruses, stories, and people telling them.” Um, OUCH. But, Justine from Indiana U seems to think Pitchfork’s toughness is a good thing: “They’re critical because they have such high standards. It’s better for them to be really critical than too easy to please.”
Stereogum: Calling all indie music fans out there! You need to go check out Stereogum (although if you are a true indie rock fan, you have probably already heard of it). If you visit their front page you can see reviews and blogs about both up-and-coming artists as well as staples of the alternative music scene, such as Bon Iver, Yeasayer and Vampire Weekend. They also have many articles on the music business, with super alternative sounding titles like “Grammys 2010: Out of Touch, Out of Time.”
Aquarium Drunkard: Based in LA, this blog is a collection of reviews, articles and playlists. According to their website, they claim to “bridge the gap between contemporary indie with vintage garage, psych, folk, country, New Orleans funk, r&b, soul and everything that falls in between.” Their east coast equivalent, Brooklyn Vegan is a hodge podge of articles that are related to the music news of the Brooklyn/NYC music scene.
SOHH: For all of you hip-hop fans out there, this is a great, interactive blog that lets you read articles, participate in forums and watch videos. One of the few good hip-hop blogs out there, covering both mainstream and underground hip-hop, trip-hop and rap.
Groovetap.com: Groovetap, based in Washington DC, is a music blog and social networking site: you can listen to bands, read their bios and reviews (conducted by the writers at Groovetap), and even listen to their full-length songs and download featured tracks. All the music is from up-and-coming, small time bands and artists, in a wide range of genres.
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