Media Roundup: A Cup of Lists, A Pinch of Controversy, and A Handful of Tasty MP3s

What’s been going on in the world of music lately? Read on to get the scoop on your favorite artists, and start some discussion about current music-related events!

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MTV may not be as cutting edge as it once was, but its website is currently in the middle of an advertising controversy.

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Pete Doherty lets fans in on some of the details of his forthcoming solo album, featuring guitar work from Blur’s Graham Coxon.

Pete Doherty

Pete Doherty

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Be sure to catch Fleet Foxes on Saturday Night Live this week.

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Your bootleg this week comes courtesey of the Aquarium Drunkard blog.  Check out a great Guided By Voices’ 1995 show.

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Ben Taylor will play the High Noon Saloon on February 8th.  Blog readers looking for a handful of mp3s to sample before he hits town should head over here to have a listen.

Ben Taylor

Ben Taylor

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NPR celebrated 50 years of Motown Records with a discussion with Detroit critic and author, Gary Graff.  Click here to listen.

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Reflections on the great year in music that was 2008 keep pouring in.  Check out this local fan’s impressions here.

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Rolling Stone has rounded up the favorites of your favorites! See what musicians like Ezra Koenig, Noel Gallagher, Gregg Gillis, and Santogold liked in 2008.

Santogold

Santogold

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Hip-hop fans will want to check out NPR’s list of the best “mixtapes” of 2008.

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It’s hardly news anymore:  Kanye West overreacts.  This time it’s over grey hair.  Seriously.

Kanye West

Kanye West

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Billy Zantzinger, the villian inspiration for Bob Dylan’s “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll” passed away on January 3rd.  Here is Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s Robert Levon Been performing the moving song in a session for Minnesota Public Radio.

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Best Music Hang-outs Online: Social Networks Part 1

With the overwhelming array of choices and services for the ordinary music fan or band I decided to take some time to look over online music spots. I quickly realized that no list could ever be complete (without you crying for me to stop at least).

I’ll start with some music-centered social networking site picks for this week, and then continue on with others in a future post. Here is my own compilation of the best, weirdest, or at least most unique sites..

what are your faves?

LAST FM

This site refers to itself as the “social music revolution”. LastFM is one of those smart sites that reads the contents of your personal music catalog (upon registration) and makes recommendations as to other music you might like. It offers up a personal profile, radio players, artist pages, concert updates, music videos, free song downloads (thought you might want to go straight to that one), and more. Bands can create their own pages as well and anybody can upload music.

Here’s how they put it: Last.fm taps the wisdom of the crowds, leveraging each user’s musical profile to make personalised recommendations, connect users who share similar tastes, provide custom radio streams, and much more..we are a London-based company with a music-obsessed team of developers and creative professionals from around the world.

So there you go.

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MYSPACE:

I know that everyone and their grandmother knows about the MySpace empire, but I can’t really write this without including them. Although it is not just a music site Myspace is used by just about every band in existence. It is an easy access tool to the latest updates, tour stops, blogs, music, downloads, photos, etc from bands and is totally free for any band to use.

Organized and easy use, you don’t have to be web savvy at all to have a really cool personal or band site, or to find out more about your friends new favorite band. I am often surprised at how many bands also offer free downloads from their sites. Probably more used as a social networking tool by bands than any other site in existence, it is definitely the most direct way to hear from and hear literally what bands are up to.

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ALL AT ONCE:

This site is different than the others in two main ways: 1.) It is based entirely on the music of Jack Johnson, and 2.) The primary focus is purportedly to be a new social action network where you can discuss issues and events, explore non-profit groups, and take action to make positive change in your local and world community.

I am unsure if there exist other “social action network” sites that center around music but it is an obvious collaboration. If you sign up you are the lucky recipient of a free download, access to the community discussion forums, upload videos of your own community projects, and can give money to select organizations. Mostly however this site appears to be an online Jack Johnson alter. Anybody have experiences here or know of other music & social action sites?

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MOG:

Another smart music site (and one of my faves) is MOG. This site also reads your music files and makes personalized recommendations. MOG is essentially a blogging site for serious music fans. The personal pages offer many options and it is likely you will find complete strangers offering up earnest and intelligent comments in response to your posts. There are also artist pages where anyone can add info about specific bands and musicians. The user generated writing is high content and high quality- many “Moggers” are clearly in the music industry.

From the horses mouth: Imagine if Rolling Stone or MTV had thousands of writers and producers contributing news, reviews, songs, and videos that were filtered based on what you were listening to, so you could always find the good stuff. That’s exactly what MOG is doing..One of the first online communities built exclusively for music lovers, MOG was founded in June 2005 by CEO David Hyman. MOG has been funded to date by Angel investors and is headquartered in Berkeley, CA.
The MOG Gazette

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ILIKE:

Ilike is probably most well known by it’s Facebook application. This smart player (through the website) also reads your music collection, and gives you personalized recommendations. It is very friend centered; you receive more recommendations with additional friends, it displays what your friends are listening to, and it will give you a detailed breakdown of how your tastes are similar or different than theirs. Additionally you can program it to give you recommendations through your ITunes account as well as other channels. Artists may also create their own profiles.

The same company runs the “artist community” Garage Band and a “broadcaster community” called G Cast. They say: We invite every music lover to participate in a more democratic music industry. By rating, recommending, or simply by listening to music, you’ll impact what gets recommended to others.

– social music discovery

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JAM NOW:

Unlike the others, this social network is aimed at primarily at musicians. Both musicians and music fans can create their own profiles which include basic descriptions. The very unique feature here however is that musicians can broadcast live over the internet, even jamming with other musicians anywhere in the world through the site. Keep in mind, that such internet use will require a more than decent modem/router set up, personally I have my sights on the ubee modem, their product line is sturdy and without extra bells and whistles. Meanwhile, fans as well as musicians and site members can listen in.

Self description: Unlike sites that allow users to “post and listen” to audio content, our innovative technology platform enables real-time music collaboration and creation, linking musically oriented communities of interest.

Now that’s cool.

JamNow Forum

MOG