Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Mining for Music

A&E_Hernandez_Issue3_musicwebsites
Illustration by Lya Hernandez.

For me, musical discovery is cyclical. I take a band I really like, and I’ll search them on my preferred music servicesuch as iTunes or Spotify. I’ll find a range of limited recommended artists, look through their catalogs, and before I know it, I’ve heard all of their songs, and I’ve exhausted that corner of the musical universe.

The reality, though, is that in this modern day there are tons of innovative new web services available for those looking to evolve past the one-dimensional recommendations built into default music services. As someone who relishes the feeling of finding tasty tunes and learning more about the bands I’m listening to, I see no reason to wait for the next revolution in the cycle. If you are also not a fan of waiting, check out these websites that can assist you in your infinite search for good music.

SoundCloud: This is the most basic service out there. SoundCloud lets musicians of all kinds, whether they are Berklee grads devoting their lives to their craft or bartenders who mix their own electronic music on the side, put tracks on the web for free. It’s also great because it provides a genre panel on its webpage that lets you pick whatever you’re feeling, from jazz to metal to Latin, and check out what songs are trending.

Bandcamp: A step up from SoundCloud, Bandcamp allows artists to pay for their own domain that allows musical explorers to listen to new songs and purchase them if they deem them worthy. As a more commercial website, one can assume Bandcamp offers an overall better quality of music than SoundCloud, but that’s only true based on the assumption that songs being sold are better than those released for free.

Tiny Desk Concerts: National Public Radio (NPR) has come up with a great idea. Their Tiny Desk Concert series allows quality artists, such as the jazzy and innovative Robert Glasper Experiment or the soulful John Legend, to come into their studio and record a video of a short set, which is usually no more than 30 minutes long. It doesn’t get much better than getting to watch talented musicians play tremendous music live.

Pitchfork: A fusion of music journalism and  critique, this website keeps visitors up-to-date on current musical happenings and also offers charts and opinions on today’s new music. Although more indie-centric, Pitchfork is more intellectually stimulating than other websites, and it does something especially convenient and unique: it provides lists of top albums from every year of the new millennium as well as the decades that proceeded it.

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