Thursday, April 26, 2007

Midwestern Links: Reviewed

I have begun adding some links to Midwestern web-sites. I'm not too keen on the national-focused stuff, but some of these offer other things specific to the Midwest:
Good Hodgkins:
This used to be my favorite site until he got tired of talking about music and stopped. His last post was like the Mission Statement from Jerry Miguire. Essentially, that there's too many shitty bands getting hyped all over the place for no other reason than hipsterism. I was in total agreement. In fact, up until this past year I have been utterly bored by almost every band that people seem to love (Arcade Fire, TV on the Radio). But the dude is back at it again and has already made some hiliarious points.
This site has been around for several years and was known for doing a great job at documenting the Columbus music scene, after the old Web-site dried out. My complaint is that over the past couple years the focus of the site switched to more of a national thing: Posting MP3s and videos of national bands. Then Donewaiting launched a label, started a SXSW blog and kinda gave up on the local thing. The message board still thrived with Columbus chatter, so that was good. Does advertising lead to the end of some web-sites? I'm starting to wonder. But I like the site anyway, so I'll often check it for updates. (UPDATE: It's writers have been stepping it up lately with local coverage, which has been nice.)
Filter's Blog:
I have been reading this site a lot lately. I find some great updates on national bands here, which aren't talked about at the other sites.
My Old Kentucky Blog:
I have a love for the music sites that are featured on Sirius Satellite radio. It is hilarious to hear people who run blogs talk about songs and shoot the shit, mainly because they are so god awful at it. They either play the worst songs you've never heard of, or play tracks from their best friend's bands just to get them better exposure. It's truly bad - in a good way: Awkward silences, talking about things no one understands, babbling about pointless tangents, etc. Gorilla Vs. bear is the worst offender.
Anyway, I haven't heard My Old Kentucky Home featured on the station yet, so there is hope. This site posts a lot of MP3s, does reviews and does interviews. Why don't more sites create articles and interviews anymore? It's based in Indiana.
World of Wemme
This is just a tiny site that rarely has updates, but I appreciate his point of view and taste in music. Based out of Columbus, OH.
WOXY's "Futurist"
The best in radio is still alive. They started a blog and, as always, do their best to highlight both national and regional bands. Plenty of photos and MP3s from Lounge Sessions. They deserve everyone's support at all times.
Each Note Secure
This is how regional music web sites should be made. This guy must be the hardest working "blogger" in the entire Midwest. He treats his site like an actual newspaper. There are a ton of interviews, show reviews, CD reviews, photos, MP3s and a crapload more. He did a lot of coverage and an interview with Bryce Dessner of The National on Cincy's Music Now festival. I didn't even realize the dudes from The National were from Cincy. Well played, Each Note Secure. All other sites could learn a ton from this. I'm also happy to report that he has advertising and STILL works his butt off to get great content out there.
I Rock Cleveland:
I like this site because the guy has a real passion for what he does. Lots of show/CD/band reviews and he isn't afraid to voice his specific opinions. It also helps to know more about Cleveland's rock scene, since the city has shut itself off from the rest of the world. He's like a news reporter in Baghdad.
Aquarium Drunkard:
I like this site mainly because he is a Bob Dylan fan, such as I. But I also appreciate the site because it posts a lot of MP3s for obscure songs and discusses the history of rock in all its forms. I always get the feeling that most music writers these days knowledge of rock goes about as far back as 1985. Not this guy. He does, however, like Ryan Adams - which is unfortunate...
Musical Family Tree:
For as much as I think Each Note Secure works its ass off, I must admit Musical Family Tree takes that even further - by leaps and bounds. My only complaint is that the site is way too full of information! It's almost impossible to digest it all. We're talking thousands of MP3s by local and national bands, reviws and more. Plus, the site singlehandedly documents the entire Indiana music scenes in painstaking detail. Well done!
For as much as people complain about Pitchfork writers, I appreciate them because they obviously have a passion and knowledge about rock and its history. They can be rough on some bands, which I think is great. Most deserve that treatment. I guess my only complaint is that they sometimes confuse "good" music with anyone "pushing boundaries." I'm all for forging new paths in rock, but just because it sounds new doesn't necessarily make it good.
Brooklyn Vegan:
This site isn't Midwestern at all, but I like it because the person does a better job than most at reading a lot of band blogs and reporting what is there, going to great shows and taking photos (the Patrick Wolf freak-out on drummer thing is a perfect touch), plus the site has good tatse - even tho I hate the New York music scenes. But let's face it, Brooklyn is mostly made up of Midwestern expatriots anyway.
You Ain't No Picasso:
Another web-site that shares a focus of interviewing bands and doing reviews with photos. I actually haven't checked it in awhile and noticed there is a flurry of stuff I wanna check out, from the new Rufus Wainwright video to one of Of Montreal on Conan. Still, not much of a local focus. But a good site anyway.
I Guess I'm Floating:
Lots of updates on this blog based primarily out of Kentucky and Rhode Island. I'll be focusing on the Kentucky side, for all intent purposes (the whole Midwestern thing and all). If there's one thing I can appreciate in a web-site or blog, it's the ones that always have new content. I hate going to a site every day to see the same damn picture, from the same damn article they posted a month ago. I was a bit guilty of this myself in May, so I can understand. But I still got 8 articles out. So I base my judgement on sites on whether or not they are doing worse than I am. Back to the point, I Guess I'm Floating updates a lot and they are good articles.
Think you've been doing your blog for a long time? Think again. Joel over at Cringe has you beat. After starting in the early 1990s, the Columbus music site has consistently provided a great resource of getting to know the city's music scene. Since it started, came and went and then Donewaiting popped up. Through it all Cringe remains stable and has even begun expanding to include videos and more features on its front page. Joel also compiles when Columbus bands play out of town - I know, we're talking about Columbus, so that is usually a short list. But at least someone cares! Special feature: check out the "Earshot Gallery" for pictures and live video of hundreds of bands.
The Bomb Shelter:
This is a relatively new blog from a guy who has aspirations to be a local Columbus music journalist. He started the site up to showcase what he is capable of. So far he seems very focused on putting out a lot of good show reviews (honestly, there is a big lack of these in Columbus lately). He also has a very interesting take on a lot of local rock bands, not a big fan of some of those which are overly hyped a lot in the "scene," and isn't too shy to trash a band and/or gush praise when needed. I think he'll continue to do some good work and since he puts out a lot of content I plan to check the site daily from now on.
Chris DeVille's "Sensory Overload":
The Columbus Alive music writer has this ongoing blog going where he touches upon national news tidbits, local stuff that didn't make it to the paper and links to MP3s and articles. I like to read it because he updates a lot. If there's one thing I can't stand it blogs that only update twice a month. In fact, I think I'm going to remove "Snow Globe Universe" from my recommended list on top. The effing site hasn't been updated for the past two months. They're gone!

Still adding some in, so come back for more....

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