Web Sites: Music Resources

The web is obviously a powerful resource for music fans. Unfortunately, you don't find out about many of them unless you're already at a site that mentions them. Furthermore, a lot of music communities are fairly elitist. They figure, if you don't know about a resource, it wasn't meant for you in the first place.

In any event, here are some of the sites I can't live without. They range from specialized information databases and storehouses to download services to used CD exchange brokers. Check them out. You never know when they'll disappear.

Universal Band List (http://www.ubl.com)

Search the band database to find web sites, merchandise, tour-dates, discographies, news, downloads, and just about anything else on the web related to the band. Results are culled from a variety of different databases and integrated into a single browser window.

Culture Dose (http://www.culturedose.com)

For the discriminating consumer of culture. Very thorough film, book, and music reviews.

Billboard (http://www.billboard.com)

Seemingly the standard journal of the recording industry. News beyond celebrity gossip and award show fashions. Lists upcoming music releases, provides recent music charts, etc.

Emusic (http://www.emusic.com)

Maybe the greatest thing since the golden calf. As Napster was crumbling, EMusic was hustling to arrange with labels to make mp3s available online to subscribers. Search by band, label, album title, or genre. There's an impressive catalog of bands available @ EMusic, especially for indie, punk, industrial, jazz, and rock. Everything from Johnny Cash to At the Drive In, Bad Religion to Miles Davis.

Pollstar (http://www.pollstar.com)

Someone covered Pollstar in the last issue. Pollstar is a show database. Search for shows by venue, state, city, artist. Restricts search by date range upon request. Note that results may be missing shows since not all venues and artists get their new tour information posted right away. Venus maps, addresses, phone numbers, parking information are provided, as are links to venue homepages.

Spun.com (http://www.spun.com)

Used CDs, DVDs, videos, and 'puter games bought and sold. Not a great deal - used CDs cost the same $8 they do at your local used shop; add to that the cost of shipping, and the fact that they pay out different amounts for different CDs, and you can't help resenting them: they may pay $.50 for a CD with low demand, and then make a $7.50 profit.

The real advantage to Spun is that they'll buy the CDs you couldn't sell to your local shop: this means you can finally get rid of your Spin Doctors and Blues Traveler collections. On the other side of the same coin, since they'll buy anything, they have a collection filled with the stuff you'll have trouble finding elsewhere.

Lambgoat (http://www.lambgoat.com)

Lambgoat is hardcore heaven. It aims at creating a community of like-minded music fans by providing discussion boards and email lists. More importantly, Lambgoat includes frequently updated hardcore news, CD reviews, polls and surveys. If you want to fight about who's more hardcore, Gorilla Biscuits or Black Flag, or if you've got a bone to pick with Earth Crisis, this is the place to start something.

Gigposters.com (http://www.gigposters.com/)

A database of gig posters searchable by band or designer/artist. Pure gold for the archivist,collector, scrapbook-keeper, scene-junkie, or trivia-hound.


Epitonic (http://www.epitonic.com)

Epitonic is an MP3 archive dedicated to helping "today's wired youth…discover and selectively download music." They feature upstarts as well as artists from repected indie labels. In addition to streaming full albums and video, Epitonic let's you personalized playlists, news, a newsletter, and the "Epitomic Blackbox" in which users can store their music. Browse or search by genre or artist.

All Music Guide (http://www.allmusic.com)

Allmusic's strongest asset is its artist database. A successful search for an artist produces a full discography and biography. Each album entry includes an intelligent review, a list of every musician on the album, etc. Keep clicking on links to find out relationships between bands, etc.

The database is so thorough, and the reviews and biographies so helpful, that retailers such as CDNow relies on it.

Some will also find helpful Allmusic's guide to music styles, essays on genres, etc. It's an amazing resource for any music fan.

New Releases @ CMJ (http://www.cmj.com/news/new_releases.php)

College Music Journal's calendar of upcoming music releases, updated fairly frequently. CMJ is also a central resource for news related to "college-rock," indie bands, etc.




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