Twenty Great Music Blogs: A Review

These 20 indie music blogs serve as the arbiters of taste for many, including Stella Splice. When I started looking for mp3s that would turn me on to new bands, I found Technorati, The Hype Machine, and even just a blogroll to be overwhelming. I wish I had discovered a catalog like this right off the bat to help guide me.

The blogs are not ranked because each serves a purpose, each in its own special way. I don’t review blogs I don’t read, so, as before, the disclaimer that such lists are necessarily, perpetually, horrendously incomplete applies. Make things right in the comments section!

A peremptory n.b., however: Soul Sides is an incredible blog. It doesn’t fit on this list, but damn.

HearYa is one of my favorite music blogs in part because of the tasty alt-country lean within its indie-ness. Its recommendations are spot-on, and you can’t ask for more than that. Their live sessions introduce me to bands I wish I’d always known about, and they are a true service to the artists and the music community. (Also, their logo is tremendously cool.)

Muzzle of Bees is a killer site. The writing is personable, and the music always rocks. It loyally serves its region with news, dates, and even show promotion. But I find it relevant to me no matter my state—physical or mental. There’s always an album or concert review that makes me perk up my ears, and the mp3s flesh everything out and send me running to the record store.

My Old Kentucky Blog offers cutting-edge recommends and writing that reminds you it’s a fellow music fan behind the keyboard. Let Dodge be one of your taste-makers. And don’t miss the fantastic MOKB studio sessions, which, again, are a service to us all, as are the great interviews.

Gorilla vs Bear is Dallas-based, and like some other lovely Dallas projects, the world is better for it. It’s always breaking new ground, but its choices are judicious. It balances shows, new finds, local, and national deftly because the blog’s genuinely just about good music.

Chromewaves is a great mix of check-this-out posts and LHB’s shorties, all in one. You’ll be reading about some new band, downloading a teaser track or two, opening a MySpace page and a YouTube clip, and then–bonus–there’s some cool news-ey links at the bottom of the post, rounding it off like buttercream icing. Each day, like a present in my rss feed, Toronto’s Chromewaves gives me a little bit of everything I want from a music blog.

Largehearted Boy is the great aggregater that doesn’t flood you with miscellany. Rather, he lets you chose from his lists and torrents and mp3s in big posts without a lot of extra flotsam and jetsam. You are the decider. LHB’s Shorties are an invaluable map for my travels of the interwebs.

i guess i’m floating is taking over for Stereogum in importance in my world. It gives me the news I want, without making me feel like I have to shovel through a mound of muck to get to the good stuff. It’s basic and necessary, like your best pair of old Chuck Taylors. Dig it.

You Ain’t No Picasso is the absolute ideal type for indie music blogs. Relevant mp3s, videos, and breaking news make it one of the indispensable cool kids. The posts are to-the-point, yet comprehensive. No rss feed should be without it.

Aquarium Drunkard sports a new site design that is gorgeous and blissfully readable. The writing is high-end and worth close attention. He’s not so indie geeked out that he won’t run a Steely Dan post when he wants to. The weekly podcast is cool, as is the fact that the blog has spun off a label.

Deaf Indie Elephants is a must-read. There are great mp3s to be had here, often rare or bootleg rips. This Venezuelan is always popping up with cool stuff. Not much prose on the blog, so it’s an easy grab-and-go site to frequent.

*Sixeyes offers eclectic posts and some nice mp3 downloads. But it’s the mixes that really keep me hooked: great songs from great bands. That’s why I got into this blog thing in the first place.

Stereogum. Oh, Stereogum. Love ya. But why do I feel after this latest upgrade that you’ve become (Pitchfork-like) passé: oh-so-useful but on your way out? Maybe its the discontent that bubbles up in the comments, by readers who are starting to feel disconnected from your noble yet bloated enterprise. Regardless, your importance is undeniable. The ‘Gum Drop is crucial, you’ve got complete coverage of the scene, your posts are full of both interesting and trivial detail, and enough bands come across your desk you can usually inform without enthusing.

Berkeley Place is a Brooklyn-based, but not Brooklyn-centric blog. The topics and the writing are defiantly independent. The covers unearthed here are priceless, often within the A-to-Z posts, which are a total romp.

Said the Gramophone doesn’t care if you don’t take the time to fall in love with their style, because they know it’s worth it once you do. Take the time if you’ve decided to geek hard on the indie music scene. This blog will lead you around by the hand to songs you never thought you’d chance to meet.

Brooklyn Vegan put up 24 posts on April 10, which is just too much. I don’t need to know everything, I just need to know what’s good. (Of course, to any criticism, BV would probably say this.) But I’m not a hater; I read and dig the site like everybody else. They do great original reporting. And if I lived in their neck of the woods, this site would be all I need for media input in the whole world. Wouldn’t that be lover-ley.

Culturespill: Some of the most luxurious writing in any audioblog. Period.

The World Forgot: Super solid, with major kudos for the Best of the Month posts.

The Modern Music: Crazed-fun writing and broader tastes than your average indie audioblogger.

Motel de Moka: Incredible daily themed mixes of a jaw-dropping array of downloadable mp3s.

Beat Lawrence: Someday this site will break wide open. Be ready.

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12 Comments

Filed under Lists

12 responses to “Twenty Great Music Blogs: A Review

  1. Jon M

    I go to culturespill.com not as a total music buff but just to read the writing! I am in South Florida, not exactly the intellectual center of the ‘verse! I know great writing when I see it, and that blog has it. Thanks for reviewing the top 20, I very much enjoyed your coverage of them.

    Respect

    E

  2. Thanks for mentioning my blog–mighty nice of you. And I love being called “defiantly independent”.

  3. Bill Beck

    Congratulations!!! You have been nominated for a 2007 Best Of Blog Award!! Especially designed to bring attention to lower profile bloggers, The BoB’s as we like to call them are currently taking nominations in over 20 different categories. To find out more about how your site has a chance to become one of this year’s Best Of’s and how to nominate other bloggers, visit us at http://www.thebestofblogs.com. Remember voting begins May 5th so make sure you pass the word to your friends, family, and faithful followers.

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    Email:Bloggerbeck@aol.com

  4. Toddly

    Very cool. Thanks for this post.

  5. Hey there,

    I am building a mixed music blogs aggregator to post updates of mixtapes, mixes, live concerts, shows, dj mixes, live concerts, podcasts ect….

    Thx and keep up the good work.
    Mixdigger

  6. Pingback: Franz Ferdinand «

  7. What a great discovery your site is!!

  8. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

  9. Wow, you really know what you’re talking about, lmao. All of these are fantastic websites. This was a great list. Google failed me on my pursuits but this post pretty much covered it :). Thanks. Keep it up.

  10. MUF

    Yup… these still are the best ones out there. Not much has changed, except they’ve just refined themselves. You’ll notice the best ones also have some form of radio connection too, whether it be a Radio DJ or Streaming Radio from their site. If you like these sites, give us a try as well.

  11. http://electrocloud.blogspot.com/ is a great place for new electro! all I need….

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