One of Flavorwire’s very favorite music blogs, this LA-based site has been a home for all sorts of fascinating music for nearly a decade now. The site’s curators also have a weekly show on satellite radio station Sirius XM, which makes for excellent listening.
Tiny Mix Tapes
The music nerd’s site of choice — and yes, that’s a compliment, because Tiny Mix Tapes’ music coverage is unabashedly targeted at people who think very, very, very hard about music. Its Chocolate Grinder section, in particular, is a fantastic place to find all manner of bands you’ve never heard of.
It describes itself, perhaps with a hint of wry self-referentialism, as a “buzzblog,” and Tumblr-based Disco Naïveté has certainly been a fine place to discover all manner of new music. It was here that, among other things, we first heard Grimes’ “Oblivion.”
You want free hip-hop mixtapes? Look no further.
An obvious choice, perhaps, but it seems remiss not to mention what’s probably the best and most reliable site on the Internet at the moment for erudite reviews, learned opinion pieces, and excellent long-form interviews. And lots of stuff about Suede and Factory Floor. And Throbbing Gristle.
20 Jazz Funk Greats
Speaking of Throbbing Gristle, this long-running blog from Brighton, England takes its name from the experimental trailblazers’ third album. It was part of the now-defunct Altered Zones collective, and although it doesn’t post as often as it used to, it continues to be an excellent source of strange and wonderful sounds, with spacey psychedelic music and left-field electronic tracks both particular specialties. Their podcast is good, too.
This Brooklyn-based project rose from the ashes of the aforementioned Altered Zones, and its original mission was based around broadly the same concept — bringing together the work of a bunch of like-minded bloggers in one place. The idea was also to publish a quarterly zine, although as far as we know, only one issue has appeared so far. Still, the website remains a hub of commentary and other compelling content.
Again, not exactly an obscure choice, but Fact’s UK base means that it still seems to fly under the radar on this side of the Atlantic. Their mixtape series is justifiably renowned throughout the music world, and their news coverage is also excellent.
This venerable experimental magazine folded a couple of years back, but made a welcome and unexpected return last December. Since then, it’s picked up exactly where it left off. Huzzah.
The music-related aspect of ISO50 started as an offshoot of its design remit, but is now as compelling a reason to visit the site as any other. ISO50’s music content is curated by Jakub Alexander, who released one of the best records of last year in Loyal as Heathered Pearls, and it’s as forward-thinking and interesting as one might expect.
Slicing Up Eyeballs
It takes its name from a line in the Pixies’ “Debaser,” and the Pixies are a pretty good indication of this blog’s remit — it describes itself as “celebrating the legacy of ’80s college, modern and indie rock.”
It seems to have been on hiatus since the end of last year, but we’re including it because, with the 2012 Megaupload apocalypse and the subsequent demise of the much-lamented Holy Warbles and Know Your Conjurer, blogs like this are something of an endangered species — a shame, as they’re a place to find music that’s long since out of print, not the harbingers of the end for the music industry.
Blogspot-based music blogs are also a rarity these days, largely because of Google’s penchant for unilaterally nuking them without warning, but Rose Quartz is still going strong. It focuses on what might be called for want of a better term “alternative” music — its remit is not unlike, say, Gorilla Vs Bear, just more extensive and generally better.
Self-Titled is essentially two sites in one — it publishes a quarterly magazine, which is available as an online publication via Zinio (they’re apparently launching their own app for the next issue.) And whether or not you’re a reader of the quarterly, their newly relaunched website is a fine place for news, reviews, and downloads, especially their exclusive mixes.
One Week One Band
A Tumblr institution, this blog is based around a simple idea: a writer spends a week writing about a single band. Quite how they go about doing so is entirely up to the writer in question, so the blog has seen a variety of approaches, and hosted a pretty impressive roster of contributors. (Look out for your humble correspondent on Manic Street Preachers in early November.)
This is another Tumblr institution, although it’s on hiatus at the moment. Still, even its archives — which encompass seven years of criticism, along with mixtapes, photos, etc. — are worth investigating, and we’re crossing fingers that the blog returns to life soon.
The “Arrogant Voice of Musical Truth” started life as a zine in the 1990s, and 20 years later it’s still a compulsory destination for hip hop lovers. These days it exists entirely online, and is an excellent place to find in-depth features, along with entertaining listicles, mixes, and intelligent commentary on hip hop culture in general.
Not so much a site as a 21st-century take on the idea of the magazine, this iPad-centric culture weekly from the eponymous Maura Johnston has been an interesting experiment in in digital publishing. The project started as iOS-only, but these days there’s a web version also.
Boomkat’s long-running weekly music selection is a constant delight. The idea is simple: 14 tracks on a single theme, available to download for £6.86 (about $10.50). But the execution has been pretty much spot-on for the best part of five years, working through a series of genres and themes as fascinating as they are eclectic.
Dr. Schluss’ Garage of Psychedelic Obscurities
Apart from sporting arguably the best name of any blog on the Internet, Dr. Schluss’ Garage of Psychedelic Obscurities is a fine place to find, well, psychedelic obscurities. If your tastes extend in such directions, you’ll find a great deal to like here.
House of Disco
The name is a pretty apt summation of what’s on offer here — house and disco, in all their various iterations and subgenres. Along with a heap of music (it’s a particularly good place to find re-edits), the site is home to an offshoot label and an events division.
Raven Sings the Blues
Conversely, if your tastes swing more in the direction of nasty, seamy rock ‘n’ roll, then this should be right up your alley.
Mess + Noise
The Australian music scene is in rude health at the moment, and this site (along with The Vine, Faster Louder,and The Music) is a fine place to keep tabs on what’s going on down under.
Also from Australia, this is a more experimental-focused online magazine — it concentrates on electronic music, in particular, but also covers a variety of non-mainstream sounds.
Hardcore for Nerds
And finally, the word “punk” these days tends to conjure up images of mohawked Californians joking about their wieners, so it’s a rare pleasure to find a punk-centric blog that’s as much given over to politics as it is to music. This Tumblr works on the motto “Why sneer at the intellectuals?,” and is a fine source of intelligent commentary on both music and politics. Bravo.