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I’m a big fan of music, but who isn’t? I regularly browse local event lists to see what bands are playing in town, and if there is a band I don’t know I move over to their MySpace page to see whether I like them.
However, I would much prefer to be ahead of things and already know all the latest music, news and new bands. So I went out to find the best sources for alternative music novelty. Are you craving to hear what I found?
Here are five different websites that will still your hunger for fresh music, video clips, tour dates, news, gossip, and new artists.
Yahoo! Adult Alternative & Alternative Rock Stations
Before we dive into the muddy reality of the music world, let’s stick around at the surface for a bit and enjoy the result of all the hard work and advertising: the music.
I value Yahoo! music because they provide high quality video clips. The Adult Alternative Station provides "a mix of pop, rock, and alternative videos without the rep, bubble gum or hard stuff" and at Alternative Rock you’ll find "all your faves, plus new bands just hitting the scene." Just what I want. The best: you can create your own playlists from this and dozens of other video stations. The only drawback: one commercial before each clip.
In the music news world, NME is an authority. But the online magazine has a lot more to offer than mere news. They feature album reviews, latest video releases, behind the scenes coverage from festivals and other events, and a special section for new music.
You can browse for a particular alternative music band or musician in the Artist section and find anything that was ever published about that person on NME. The coverage also includes a Biography, Discography, Videography and Books, if available.
Free daily MP3 downloads reside on the New Music page. The Radar recommends 10 new bands you need to hear each week. If you can’t get enough or want to share your own discoveries, sign up for MyNME and post your thoughts on the message boards, while receiving access to exclusive material. The membership is of course free.
This site focuses on new artists and their music, with little of the other dirt. Hence it’s less cluttered than NME, but also more useful and much more novel than Yahoo! Music. This is the perfect site to listen to new tracks and discover new alternative music because the tracks are uploaded by the artists themselves!
As you see in the screenshot above, there are four main sections: Music, Videos, Events, and People. The positive surprise was finding events, i.e. shows listed for places other than North America or the UK. Dozens of shows are listed for all over Germany on each single day. Even Egypt, Bulgaria, Jamaica, and Malaysia have solid listings, including preview audio files.
The site appears to have a very big community, which actively participates in keeping it fresh and up to date. The People section confirms this assumption. The only downside is the audio playback. It’s very basic and leaving a site means closing the track that’s playing.
The video playback is much more advanced, providing social media integration, and the quality is very good, allowing full screen view. Unfortunately, videos can’t be exported to an external window either.
There is a lot more to discover on PureMusic, so dive in!
Of course these are not the only sites for awesome alternative music. An honorable mention goes out to Alternative Addiction, which probably is the US version of NME, and Bowling Stone, a Canadian Indie / Alternative music blog where Chris, Julie and Paolo recommend "new music for your iPod."
If you care for live music, also check out Will’s recent post about 3 Ways To Track Tour Dates Of Your Favorite Rock Bands.
At what places do you stop to recharge your mp3 player or discover new music, videos, news, and background information? Pandora, Last.fm, Napster or anything we don’t know, yet? Surprise us in the comments!