Weekly Feature


Playlist: 5 Must-Bookmark Music Sites

May 12, 2008
by findingDulcinea Staff
by Liz Colville
The music scene across America is better than ever, with thousands of bands making names for themselves with or without the help of labels. The Web is instrumental in spreading the word, and blogs, aggregators and multimedia sites are king. We spotlight five music sites that everyone should bookmark, and mention five more that almost make the grade.

The Tool: Tourfilter

The Trend: Tourfilter is one of a number of sites that use feed-like programming to make things simpler and more accessible to users. It also sends members e-mails alerting them when the bands they love are coming to town. The result is that people are seldom out of touch with the things they’re interested in, and in fact, may find themselves bombarded with options.

Runner-up: Bandloop. Bandloop is a newer site with a similar goal to Tourfilter’s. It directly connects bands with fans, and will be great once it acquires a larger database of both categories.

The Blog: Daytrotter

The Trend: In a vast online universe populated by thousands of blogs that post free MP3s all day, Daytrotter makes online music listening ethical again. It’s a wise alternative to Elbo.ws and Hype Machine; on those sites, you know where a free mp3 is coming from, but not whether the artist actually endorsed its being free.

: Sixeyes. After a redesign, Sixeyes is looking good and keeping its goal of providing unique and quality songs, but without the context and live format that Daytrotter promises.

The Vlog: Concerts à Emporter

The Trend: Concerts draw fans closer to a band’s mystique. Those unfamiliar with the band get hooked at the show, and seasoned fans renew their faith. Like watching Martin Scorsese’s “Shine A Light,” the experience of seeing a band perform can still induce goosebumps, even when it’s not live but via your laptop screen.

Runner-up: Fabchannel. FabChannel has a broad selection of concert videos and the database is continually growing. But Concerts à Emporter takes the cake by making concert spaces out of unique environments.

The Magazine: Cokemachineglow

The Trend: Many believe that music criticism is a dying medium, thanks in no small part to the evolution of the music blog. Cokemachinglow has stuck around because the tone of the site isn’t so different from a blog: it’s subjective, passionate or at the very least, helpful. And though music critics in online magazines are paid nominally, they are happy to get wide exposure for their thoughts. If budgeting permits, Cokemachineglow will remain intact in the coming years, and keep giving bands the praise and constructive criticism they deserve.

Runner-up: Prefix Magazine. Prefix may garner slightly more legitimacy with more structured (and shorter) reviews, but Cokemachineglow more effectively bridges the gap between blog and magazine.

The Lyrics: SongMeanings

The Trend: Wanting to know song lyrics isn't exactly a new concept, but chat program "away messages" have provided yet another arena for wistful music fans to quote song lyrics, and it's good to know what the lyrics actually are. Some people prefer to make up the words to a song performed by a mumbling vocalist. But for the rest of us, there is this exceptional Web site.

Runner-up: Lyrics.com. Lyrics.com has lyrics and song streams, and a flashy social networking component. But the ads can be distracting, and SongMeanings users routinely share intimate analyses of songs in a wider range of categories. Lyrics.com has more of a preference for radio hits.

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