You love music, you love the Internet. And like a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup, those are two great things that work well together. Now, I know you’ve been on the Internet a long time and you know your way around. You have all the best music apps, you have your Pandora station tweaked just right and you know where to look every Tuesday for the new releases. The world of music on the Internet is a vast one, and because you might not know about every single music site out there or you sometimes forget the jewels that exist, here’s a list of excellent websites for everything from discovering and sharing music to watching concerts.
They call themselves “The source for new music from emerging bands” but there’s so much from established bands here as well. Daytrotter records live sessions with musicians (recently: Mumford and Sons, The Lumineers) and makes them available for you to watch/listen to (you need to be a member to watch videos). You can queue up music in the Daytrotter player on the bottom of your page while you listen to varied playlists from readers as well as artists.
There are always live sessions coming up (Grace Potter and the Nocturnals happening on January 28), but a walk through the archives can provide you with hours of musical entertainment. From Avett Brothers to Zookeeper with bands as diverse as Swingin’ Utters and The Mountain Goats in between, Daytrotter has something for everyone, and hours and hours of it.
2. Hype Machine
Hype Machine is sort of a conglomeration of Pandora and last.fm. It aggregates music from mp3 blogs and posts them on the front page, where users can “love” songs and create lists out of those tunes. You can search under different genres or look for the “freshest” music, album premieres and most popular artists. Looking at the most popular tracks is a great way to find new music, and each song links to different ways to purchase the music and various ways to share the song on social media.
3. NPR Music
National Public Radio’s music section has it all. Interviews, sessions, lists, reviews, All Songs Considered, well crafted articles; it’s a veritable feast of music discovery. Diverse in its content, NPR Music currently features Jack White talking about Charley Patton, a commemorative post about the 20th anniversary of The Chronic and downloads from ten artists you should have known in 2012.
4. This Is My Jam
An idea so simple you wonder why nobody thought of it earlier; a place to share your jams. You know, that song you are currently listening to that is doing it for you. The one you have on repeat, the one that’s making your day better or maybe even making you cry. Users post their song of the moment using links to services like YouTube or Soundcloud. The song is shared with followers who can like it or comment on it or re-jam it for their own current song. I use this site often when I want something different to listen to. Scrolling the main page – where I can see the jams of the people I’m following – I get a long, diverse list of songs to listen to, or I can click the “explore” button and find songs similar to my current jam.
Soundcloud started off as a way for musicians to share recordings but eventually spread out to be so much more, now utilizing technology that allows musicians to collaborate, promote and share their music as well as allowing listeners to find new music to listen to. The most unique thing about Soundcloud is the way it displays the songs in waveform, allowing the user to listen to certain pieces or even stop and comment on specific points of a track (timed comments). Recognized more as a distribution tool than a listening tool, Soundcloud still does both magnificently.
I like to call this one “emotional radio.” Stereomood is the mood ring of Internet music applications. Put “I feel aggressive” into the search bar and you’re immediately greeted by a playlist fit for your mood. Not only do you get songs to match what you feel, but you get to discover new music in the process.
It’s got a pretty accurate algorithm going. “I feel melancholy” brought me to Bon Iver and “I feel sad” gave me a Bat For Lashes song that more than fit the bill. There are a lot of moods to explore, some of complicated, some simplistic, but the songs are always spot on. You can heart songs and add to your personal mixes so the next time you’re feeling sorry for yourself, you can just click on the mix and wallow away. Or, you can click the “mood flip” button and attempt to cheer yourself up musically.
7. Concert Vault
Live concerts, streamed online. Is there anything else you need to know? The Ramones at the Palladium in 1978. U2 at BostonGarden in 1987. Janis Joplin, Filmore East, 1969. And it’s not just rock. There’s jazz , indie, bluegrass and even comedy. While this is a member only site, there’s a free trial period which will probably convince you it’s worth it to become a member (only $2.99 a month). There are both audio and video streams of shows, playlist, interviews and featured downloads. The best is when you find a concert you attended. Hello, Billy Idol at Nassau Coliseum in 1984!