These days I spend a lot of time on the Internet listening to music, researching articles, reading blogs and just having a great time. I thought I’d share some of the music sites I frequent with you.
I’ve got to thank Ray Scott, deejay at 94.9FM The Surf in North Myrtle Beach, S.C. for giving me a heads up about this dynamic monthly webcast. I love it! According to the site’s home page, musician Daryl Hall came up with an idea to produce a monthly Internet show that featured him, his friends and other players in an intimate setting … his living room. “After being on the road for so many years as part of Hall and Oates, I thought it would be fun to bring the road to my house,” he says.
You should see this house he’s talking about. It’s an 18th century restoration project located about 100 miles north of New York City. Not only is Daryl Hall a singer, songwriter, keyboard player, guitarist and producer, he also preserves and restores historic homes. This one is on the market for a cool $11.9 million.
Live From Daryl’s House first “aired” in 2007. Guests have included Smokey Robinson, Maxi Priest, Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek from The Doors, electrofunk duo Chromeo, Mercury Records group Parachute and more. The current installment, which, by the way, is the webcast’s thirty-first show, features Matchbox Twenty vocalist Rob Thomas.
Past shows are archived, and I’ve been savoring them one by one. Scottish singer/songwriter KT Tunstall blew me away … and don’t even get me started on the Smokey Robinson show (You were right, Ray!).
You’re going to love the energy of this show. And check out mealtime! These guys know how to eat!
I first tripped over Mary Roby on MySpace a few years ago and her website has become a regular stop for me. Mary 4 Music is a treasure trove of information. For musicians and industry folks, it’s full of resources and valuable links. For music lovers, Mary 4 Music offers access to hundreds of bands, clubs and festivals for you to discover.
At the home page, you choose which music portal you want to enter, blues or indie. Just click on the link. The site is straightforward and, given the massive amount of information, quite easy to navigate. You can jump quickly between the two portals by clicking the link under the Miscellaneous listing on the lefthand side of the page.
The blues portal is the more comprehensive of the two. It features listings and links for blues bands, other music links, music festivals, radio listings, publications, blues societies, music reviews and more.
Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro reviews tunes for the site, and I find his evaluations to be thoughtful and well worth reading. Peter has also written for BluesWax.com, the free weekly blues music newsletter and Big City Blues magazine. He served as president for the Treasure Coast Blues Alliance in Florida and is a founding member of the South Florida Blues Society.
On the indie side, many of the same links apply: indie bands, indie music links, record labels and musician’s resources such as agents and bookings, CD and DVD services, publishing and distribution.
StereoGum is another interesting site I’ve found. One of the very first audioblogs, the site has been around since 2002. Creator Scott Lapatine focused on independent and alternatives music, complete with downloads, videos and news (some might say gossip). StereoGum, which was purchased by BUZZMedia in 2007, became known for featuring unknowns who would go on to mainstream success, most notably N.Y.C.’ s Vampire Weekend. The indie rock band’s recorded-in-the-basement-slash-apartment-in-Brooklyn album debuted in Jan. 2008 at number 17 on the Billboard 200. The album has since been certified Gold in both the U.S. (sales over 500,000) and U.K. (sales over 100,000).
While rooting around the site last week, I found a story on the News tab about voiceproject.org. This is a nonprofit project that features what they call a “chain of songs,” where each artist performs a song which is then covered by another artist whose own song is then covered by another. You get the idea. Anyway, the video is Peter Gabriel discussing In the Neighborhood, which he sings and then Tom Waits covers the same tune. Very heady. And just one of the things I love about Stereogum.
If you’re not used to listening to alt-rock, Stereogum may be a bit of a stretch for you, so keep your mind open and have fun with it.
If you want to know anything about soul music, soul-patrol.com is the place. According to the site, this is the only one hundred percent African American owner and operated Internet resource of its kind.
On the home page, click on the Soul-Patrol Radio link to listen to the radio programs featuring black music from yesterday and today: classic soul, southern soul, jazz, blues, nu soul, funk, Motown, Stax and black rock. Listen to interviews, commentaries and more.
From the home page you can also catch up on the latest newsletters and watch selected videos.
Click the Radio I-O link on the lefthand side for more music. The R&B Mix link features 80s to present day R&B. The Blues category covers the musical journey that began in the 20s and continues today. A link to Classic Hip Hop covers the genre’s evolution, from its funky roots in the 70s to the gangsta rap of the 90s. Other links include Classic R&B, Today’s R&B and Hip Hop and Nu Soul.
The Soul-Patrol website also includes doo wop, blue-eyed soul and funky soul. It links the past to the present.
The face and voice of Soul-Patrol is Brooklyn-born Bob Davis. He created the site with his brother Mike, and it has surely been a labor of love.
There are many more websites I follow on a regular basis. If you’re into roots music and Americana, visit nodepression.com. One of my faves. This next blog has been dark since April of 2009, but there’s some great songwriting information at measureformeasure.blogs.nytimes.com. Another one worth looking into is ted.com/themes/ live_music.html. Pitchfork.com is great for indie rock news and reviews. I’m a blues lover so livebluesworld.com is a no-brainer for me (full story about this one to follow shortly).
And just for fun, log onto midomi.com whenever you can’t remember the title of a tune. If you can’t remember the title of a tune, Midomi lets you hum or sing a few notes (about ten seconds worth, and depending on your performance, up pops the song title! Way cool. One drawback, you have to allow use of your computer’s camera and mic, so you may wind up on YouTube somewhere!