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Essential Music Blogs
Below is an expanding list of music blogs that we read or refer to on a regular basis in order to stay humble. As they say, the more you know, the more you realize how little you actually know - and the niche specialization and minutiae of blogs like these just hammers that sentiment home. Not only do these blogs inform us of exciting developments in music, both contemporary and historical, but most provide MP3 samples or embedded video to bolster their reviews or opinions. A lot of these blogs bridge gaps that exist between new and old music - which is especially relevant for our younger customers - and fuel the eagerness for a musical education that seems to never end, or ever tire.
- Aquarius Records Blog
This indie store in San Francisco has an obsessive newsletter. Check out their detailed staff reviews of each new arrival in the store - most you likely have never heard of before but all come with MP3 links. For a record store update list it’s incredibly educational and awesome.
- Banana Nutriment
- Banana Spam
Reviews, interviews and critical writing from onetime techno editor at XLR8R magazine - although there is an emphasis on dance music in one form or another (and usually pretty unique examples of it), it also boasts heavy coverage of indie rock, infectious pop, classical music, jazz and vintage punk.
- Beat Electric
Everything leads back to Bedazzled. This is a video-based music blog run by Spike Priggen - from Shatner to the Jacobites he routinely unearths the rarest music videos, and also maintains a Youtube Channel for devoted subscribers. Priggen also runs the premiere Scopitone website (http://scopitones.blogs.com/scopitonescom/). Bedazzled is also a portal into a ton of other obsessive sites and blogs that will cause your brain to overload on music trivia and nerdery.
- Killed By Death
- Last Days of Man on Earth
- Mutant Sounds Blog
- One Base on an Overthrow
- Perfect Sound Forever
Incredibly knowledgeable and long-respected webzine, one of the oldest out there (an not, as some assume, named after the Pavement EP), PSF is especially valuable as a source for articles/interviews about unsung 60s bands - although that is by no means their strict focus. Because they are open to a wide range of contributors, their topics are all over the musical map, but every time I find a cool article online about some 60s girl group it tends to have sprung from Perfect Sound Forever.
- Scram! Magazine Blog
Scram is the brainchild of pop historian Kim Cooper, co-editor (with David Smay) of the indispensable bubblegum bible ‘Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth’ as well as underappreciated LP compendium ‘Lost in the Grooves’, a virtual shopping list of obligatory records you’ve either never heard of or never given the time of day. Scram was once a print magazine, but is now web-based and is the sister site to http://www.lostinthegrooves.com, featuring reviews, interviews (with the likes of Brute Force!), critical writing, lists, event postings and more. They also had the balls to announce officially that there is no need for another biography of Brian Wilson - unless it is solely focused on the song “Johnny Carson”.
- Terminal Boredom
- The Sex Beat
- Thee Head Vein
Head Heritage’s repository for lost and unchampioned rock’n'roll. Since launching in 2000ce, UNSUNG contributors (beginning with founder Julian Cope) have notched up over a thousand reviews covering a wide range of rock’n'roll, and UNSUNG has been instrumental in kickstarting interest in groups such as Sir Lord Baltimore, Les Rallizes Denudes, Blue Cheer, Flower Travellin’ Band, The Groundhogs and other bands who were barely on the musical map 4 years ago but who are now regularly name-dropped the world over. Essential especially if you are interested in prog, psych and/or krautrock.
- WFMU’s Beware of the Blog
WFMU in New Jersey is a pop culture phenomenon unto itself. Not only is it an incredibly diverse listener-fueled station that champions the best, worst, weirdest and wildest sounds out there, but they also are deeply involved with events and film screenings in the Jersey area, and their DJs are internationally respected music nerds (many who are also music writers in other contexts). Needless to say their blog is enlightening stuff, dealing not only with music but also surreal films, pop culture news and other weird junk they find while trolling the internet. You really need to be looking at this blog every day.
- Worthless Trash