Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Top 5 Under Appreciated Blogs of 2012

These days, there are just as many music blogs as there are actual bands to cover. There are so many in fact, that not one, but two different semi-aggregating music websites have popped up in the last year to allow for some sort filtering of all the music these sites talk about. And yet, there still manages to be blogs that are over-looked, or just under visited. Blogs that week by week manage to intelligently and sharply introduce new music, unknown bands, and shiny new seven inches/cassettes/LPs to the whole Internet. The following blogs (in no particular order) are five of the best, and in my mind highly under appreciated, blogs who not only introduced me to so much new music throughout 2012, but also made me want to be a better blogger as well:

The Finest Kiss-The Finest Kiss master mind Toby does not care about your trends. He does not care about the latest genre. He does not care about what’s cool, what’s popular, what everyone on Tumblr is finding interesting. No, all Toby cares about is finding perfect garage/indie pop/indie rock songs and sharing them with everyone. Add to that a commitment to supporting his hometown scene of Seattle and one of the few people to best me in jangle pop love; it all adds up to one of the best blogs on the web.

Defining Post: Toby’s mini-breakdown of all the great, unknown Australian garage and indie-rock bands is very, very stellar.

Stadiums & Shrines-Stadiums & Shrines has been around for a while now, but what they are doing now really ups the bar for what a music blog can and should do, period. Besides a very nice graphic update, Stadiums and Shrines’ posts these days forgo the usual info and mp3 formula. What they do instead is attach a custom piece of prose or illustration to more creatively express the music. And it works, not only escaping the monotony of usual blog posts, but pretension as well. Seriously, when you are able to make your year-end list a short story, you are really making strides in the form.

Defining Post: Their year-end list. Really, just read it.

Decoder-From the ashes of the great Get Off the Coast, Jheri Evans and his friends Dwight and Liz Palovic (along with a bunch of cohorts) have given birth to the even better Decoder. Full disclosure, Evans is a bud of mine, but even if that wasn’t true that won’t stop how great Decoder is. Averaging something along the lines of three posts a day of the most awesome and unknown bands you’ve never heard of, this is on top of festival coverage, video posts, myriad of different columns and thought pieces, along with running the awesome tape label Crash Symbols, and you one of the most prolific blogs on the net. For crying out loud, they just started posting short stories and have the first copy of their magazine coming out soon.

Defining Post(s): Hard to say as not one aspect defines Decoder, but these three posts should give you a proper view as to what Decoder is all about.

Everybody Taste-What is it about Everybody Taste that is so awesome? Is it the pretension free way Matt Car approaches blogging? All the hidden garage jams he manages to find that I would never even notice if not for him? His willingness to post about late ‘70s and ‘80s gems just because they’re great songs? The routinely great mix tapes? The awesome logo? What ever it is, Car manages to make Everybody Taste is just a superb, no frills indie blog (along with running the spectacular music label Analog Edition as well).

Defining Post: Doing a year end list of your top 11 music labels is just awesome, and showcases how Car both writes so well about what you already know about along with seamlessly introducing you to what you don't.

Stereo/Pirate-Stereo/Pirate does not post as often as I wish he would, but when he does it is well worth the wait. Each post is like a mini-essay, a wall of text to accompany whatever vinyl treasure Jon was able to find. Passion for all the music he talks about just flows from every word. Not to mention there is Stereo/Pirate itself; a sharp and gorgeous looking blog that is over flowing past the brim with all the different bands that Jon loves, album reviews, and even the occasional video recording of a band stopping through. It's a tad sporadic, but that just makes it all the better when it finally comes.

Defining Post: Jon's writing on the first S O H N release is a great example of the passion and excite he has for music.

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