Sunday, January 24, 2010

Year End List: Top 10 Underappreciated Blogs of 2009

In a world of Brooklyn Vegans, Kentucky Blogs, and Gorillas against Bears, it’s easy to forget there are tons of other blogs, run by people who have day jobs, who are trying to get their musical thoughts out, and the hidden bands that they want the whole world to hear. And usually they wind up going unnoticed because they can check Pitchfork or Stereogum and go on with their day. Well no more! These blogs helped me discover so much music over the year, and they deserve everyone’s recognition. And no, I did not rip this idea off from Pop Tarts Suck Toasted.

A Few Side Notes: I am sucking up to no one in this post. All these blogs are great and deserve to be read by as many music fans as possible. Also, I only considered BLOGS for the post, so that ‘s why great candidates like Off Tempo or Daytrotter aren’t listed. Finally, this is the first of many upcoming 2009 end-of-year posts, so expect more on the way.

10. CHOCOLATE BOBKA-True, everyone in NYC probably either reads this blog or goes to one of their many hosted shows. But for those outside that magical realm, start reading now. CHOCOLATE BOBKA is not only great because of how ahead of the curve they are on practically everything, but all the different genres they cover as well.

9. Look at Me, I Made a Blog- Yes, there hasn’t been a post in almost three months (I hear she got a radio show that’s keeping her busy), but while it was posting, I Made a Blog made some really great posts. The name alone should tell you how uncoincide the author was. Her concert reviews were/are always something to look forward to and I can only hope she come back soon.

8. Weekly Tape Deck-The only Texas blog to make the list, but it made the list for good reason. It's really, really good. A few short posts a day is all it takes for this site to guide me to my next mp3 obsession or insanely bizarre music video they manage to dig up. There track record for finding great 7 inches is also almost unmatched on the web.

7. The Unblinking Ear- And you thought Pitchfork was elitist. For three years, Unblinking has obsessed with a fine-toothed comb over every garage/punk release, both famous and utterly obscure, and tearing anything that did not meet his standards to shreds. He’s like a slightly nicer Steve Albini. The worst part is he’s usually right. Now if only he would post more often.

6. The Devil Has the Best Tuna-I have yet to see another blog like this, probably because how hard it is to pull off. Almost everyday this UK based writes about one obscure band, filling the post full of info, mp3s, and videos. Everyday! Not even Pitchfork can match that rate. Even better, because the author’s tastes are so varied, it’s hard to go a week without discovering a new band from this site.

5. Raven Sings the Blues- Raven Sings the Blues is just nice to look. The presentation, format, everything is just nice to look at that. And when you spend as much as I do staring at a computer screen, that winds up mattering. But it’s more than that. The writing is short, usually no more than a paragraph, but in it they manage to capture everything that needs to be said. Plus, what they cover usually is some very addictive shit.

4. Expressway to My Skull- AKA The Unblinking Ear’s older, more consistent brother. Really, next to Terminal Boredom, this might be the premiere site for all your garage and punk rock needs. Not only is this guy constantly digging up new bands, he’s also putting together some very wicked podcasts. And of course, the mountain of 7", 12", and LPs can get you selling out $50 per post. I mean who else has a monthly posted dedicated to reviewing cassettes?!

3. The Tape Is Not Sticky-The Tape is Not Sticky is everything I hope to be as a blogger. Nice look, timly posts, short yet good reviews of albums. *sigh*. Well, all I can for now is that’s it is really good, especially for it’s willingness to blog about so much more music than most blogs would willingly cover. And for that, The Tape Is not Sticky, deserves an award. Now can someone explain the name?

2. Get Off The Coast-At first glance, Get Off the Coast may come off as a Gorilla vs. Bear rip-off. The same short posts about one band followed by a few mp3s. The same obsession over drug and lo-fi infused songs. But look closer, and you’ll see Get off the Coast really is all it’s own. While Gorilla sometimes feels like they have no passion left, Coast’s posts always have that spark of caring about the music that means everything. Plus have you seen the blog art?! How can you not love it?

1. The Great Pumpkin-Full disclosure: The Great Pumpkin’s blogger is probably my best blog friend. We constantly chat back and forth and music is constantly exchanged. However, I can say without any fear of regret that The Great Pumpkin is probably one of the best blogs on the web. Everything posted has a nice touch of love to it, everything from singles, hidden LPs, concert reviews, plus some actually well down columns to boot. And he has even started recording the concerts with a dinky camera now, adding a nice lo-fi feel to the blog and bringing some new songs to the masses as well. If I had my way everyone would read this blog, but for now, this is all I can do.


  1. Thanks for the props. It is appreciated. And for turning me on to my older brother.

    One thing though: none of these links are formatted properly. You might want to fix them. I'm not saying this for selfish reasons. It's actually because I want to check out the other blogs with as much ease as possible. So it's really lazy reasons.

  2. Hey Unblinking no problem. I love the blog.

    Thanks for telling me about the links. No idea how that happened. They're all fixed now, so you can check them all out.

  3. Thank you, David! I know it's been awhile since I've posted, but I'm coming back. I've missed blogging, and I hope I haven't forgotten how to write... we'll just have to see :)

  4. Glad to hear it Mimi! The blogging world missed you.

  5. i've been thinking about what to say for a while now, and all I can really say is...thank you. david it's been great talking with you over the past year. cheers and thanks again!