February 12, 2008

Something Else #4 - Music Blogs

The world of music blogs is seemingly infinite. Go to one at random, click on a link that sounds interesting, and you soon find yourself snaking your way through blog after blog as the hours go by. Sometimes I think there may be as much music on the internet as there is porn (it's safe).

This post has been sitting around for a few weeks, because I keep adding stuff to it. However, with Mr. Clemens Goes to Washington airing tomorrow and pitchers and catchers officially reporting on Thursday, I figure I better get this up.

First of all, Totally Fuzzy ("your guide to the music blogosphere") posts as often as 10 times a day, highlighting various blogs. Gravy Bread offers a list of 1,500+ music blogs & sites.

Two blogs I check every day: Nargo the Bort and The Ultimate Bootleg Experience. Nargo's Tony Tiger also has blogs devoted to blues/jazz, country and videos for iPods. I'm pretty sure he does not sleep. ... TUBE features a wide variety of shows -- from Huey Lewis to Black Sabbath to Radiohead. Both guys usually post only soundboard or radio-sourced recordings.

A Truer Sound is Alt-Country; last August, the blog owner compiled a four-disc set of the genre. See also Setting the Woods on Fire (there's great stuff in the sidebar too). Wilco fans should check out The Owl and The Bear.

Other blogs I've been visiting lately: I Am Fuel, You Are Friends, Doctor Mooney's 115th Dream, Hear Rock City, Chris Goes Rocks, Power Pop Criminals, Licorice Pizza, Hot Sauce Lounge, Six Songs, Infinite Foolishness and WFMU's Beware Of The Blog.

Some blogs and boards devoted to one band: U2, Tom Petty, Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, Oasis, The Beatles, Van Halen (and others).

One of Not Thin Man's two blogs is Watching The River Flow, a mind-bogglingly huge collection of Bob Dylan shows. Dylan fans should also register at Expecting Rain and check out the discussion board. DVDylan might also be of interest.

Three punk & metal blogs: Hangover Heart Attack, Punk Not Profit, Punch Drunk.

This is only the tip of the tip of the iceberg. I'll likely post more blogs in comments as I find them, so sign up to receive future comments to this post. And feel free to share the music blogs you like, if you have any.

Note: The music files on these (and most other) blogs have been uploaded to a server site like Rapidshare or Megaupload. Without a subscription to these sites, you can usually download a single file only every few hours. The shows are almost always saved as RAR files (similar to zipped files), which require an application (WinRAR) to unpack and play.

The files are mp3s of varying bit rates. They should not be traded as the quality is not as good as larger lossless files (such as flac and shn). If the files are for personal use only, then mp3 is fine.

Lossless versions of concerts and studio outtakes are traded via bit torrent at sites like DimeADozen, Hunger City, Tape City and Traders Den. The Vine Factory has oodles of shows if you'd rather use the postal service. Sign up, copy the discs when they arrive and pass them on.


Zenslinger said...

I'm a Dime a Dozen addict. If you do bittorrent shows, please stick around after you've finished to upload -- your share ratio should be above 1.00 to be a good citizen. I leave my computer on to achieve a good rating, but my upload speeds aren't good enough to do anything spectacular.

redsock said...

I'm a Dime a Dozen addict.

Ha, me too! I joined back in July 2004 when it was called Sharing The Groove. I'm pretty sure I've downloaded more stuff than I'll ever listen to!

Not sure if we are in the same threads, but I'm redsock there too. My avatar is my book cover!

Share ratio -- I was at 1.2 or so at Dime, then Rogers starting fucking with bit torrent traffic. So I dropped to .9 -- and that's with leaving stuff open for a week or more. Sometimes I get the same show (like a 4 GB DVD) through The Vine Factory to help my ratio since there's a fair amount of cross-posting.

If you care: Hunger City is great for Dylan. I've got a ton of his gospel shows through them.

redsock said...

Some news via Dime:

Any Replacements fans should click here!!!

I've already got thull's 4-CD Sessions anthology, so I'm not sure what/if new stuff will be on these babies, but this is cool news!!

Also, I've thumbed through Walsh's book in hardcover -- it looks great! -- but I'm waiting for the paperback.

L-girl said...

I'm pretty sure I've downloaded more stuff than I'll ever listen to!

Are you planning to live to be 200 years old? If so, and if you stop downloading now, you might listen to everything.

James said...

I don't know anything about blogs, and not much about music. However, I recently discovered Doc Watson, and it's all I can listen to. Do you know of any good bluegrass music blogs?

L-girl said...

I love Doc Watson. If you're listening to bluegrass, be sure to go back to Bill Monroe, who pretty much invented the genre.

Don't know about bluegrass blogs, but they couldn't be hard to find if they're out there. Google Blog Search, for one.

redsock said...

There is this, but it looks more like news.

Nargo's country blog might have some bluegrass -- maybe A Truer Sound. Also, go to the Gravy Bread link and scroll through the alphabet.

Gareth said...

I'm more into movies than music, but one blog I go to all the time is Benn loxo du taccu, a great source for music from Africa (and, occasionally, other parts of the world). A lot of what Matt posts is pretty rare, certainly in the US.

efd said...

as both a WFMU DJ and regular JoS reader I am happy to see these worlds colliding! I appreciate the Beware of the Blog mention... I know you mentioned it at least once before, but didn't have a chance to comment at the time.

While it's not strictly blog-related, I'd like to make an additional WFMU-related plug, if I may: just about every WFMU show is archived in MP3 format for a month after it's aired. While you can't grab individual songs, many shows have playlists where you can click directly to specific tracks. If nothing else, it could be a good way to discover artists that you can then seek out on the music blogs and elsewhere.

L-girl said...

I miss WFMU. Listening online doesn't help me. I need it from a radio, in the kitchen. Oh well.

Zenslinger said...

Dime a Dozen was under yet another name after it was called Sharing the Groove that it had at the time I joined. Can't remember it.

I happened upon a nice history of bootlegs about ten years ago. It's called Bootleg: The Secret History of the Other Recording Industry. It's on Google books here . Heylin starts with how classical and jazz shows were bootlegged first, then gets into the history of the early rock boots, especially Dylan and the Stones.

At the time, living in Japan, I was going nuts over being able to buy bootlegs freely -- although at great expense. The beauty of the bittorrent sites is that you don't have to pay for them anymore. And often someone will clean a bootleg up and offer it at better quality than it would have been available for before. Of course, people still put bootlegs up for sale on eBay, so it's a matter of educating fans that they're available for free to keep the money out of these folks' hands.