Reading music publications is perhaps the best way to keep up with the goings on in the music industry. There are thousands of blogs out there in the digital world to choose from. Here are ten of the most respected and established (not in any particular order). There are some genre-specific blogs that I will cover in a future article. These cover multiple genres.
- Billboard - is an American entertainment media brand owned by the Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group, a division of Eldridge Industries. It publishes pieces involving news, video, opinion, reviews, events, and style. It is also known for its music charts, including the Billboard Hot 100and Billboard 200, tracking the most popular singles and albums in different genres. It also hosts events, owns a publishing firm, and operates several TV shows. Billboard was founded in 1894 by William Donaldson and James Hennegan as a trade publication for bill posters. Donaldson later acquired Hennegen's interest in 1900 for $500.
- Spin - Spin was established in 1985. In its early years, the magazine was known for its broad music coverage with an emphasis on college rock, grunge, indie rock, and the ongoing emergence of hip-hop. The magazine was eclectic and bold, if sometimes haphazard. It pointedly provided a national alternative to Rolling Stone's more establishment-oriented style. Spin prominently placed newer artists such as R.E.M., Prince, Run-D.M.C., Eurythmics, Beastie Boys, and Talking Heads on its covers and did lengthy features on established figures such as Bob Dylan, Keith Richards, Miles Davis, Aerosmith, Lou Reed, Tom Waits, and John Lee Hooker—Bart Bull's article on Hooker won the magazine its first major award. On a cultural level, the magazine devoted significant coverage to punk, alternative country, electronica, reggae and world music, experimental rock, jazz of the most adventurous sort, burgeoning underground music scenes, and a variety of fringe styles. Artists such as the Ramones, Patti Smith, Blondie, X, Black Flag, and the former members of the Sex Pistols, The Clash, and the early punk and New Wave movements were heavily featured in Spin's editorial mix. Spin's extensive coverage of hip-hop music and culture, especially that of contributing Editor John Leland, was notable at the time.
- Rolling Stone - is an American biweekly magazine that focuses on popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco in 1967 by Jann Wenner, who is still the magazine's publisher, and the music critic Ralph J. Gleason. It was first known for its musical coverage and for political reporting by Hunter S. Thompson. In the 1990s, the magazine shifted focus to a younger readership interested in youth-oriented television shows, film actors, and popular music. In recent years, it has resumed its traditional mix of content.
- Pitchfork - is an American online magazine launched in 1995 by Ryan Schreiber, based in Chicago, Illinois and owned by Condé Nast. Being developed during Schreiber's tenure in a record store at the time, the magazine developed a reputation for its extensive focus on independent music, but has since expanded to a variety of coverage on both indie and popular music. The site generally concentrates on new music, but Pitchfork journalists have also reviewed reissues and box sets. The site has also published "best-of" lists – such as the best albums of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, and the best songs of the 1960s – as well as annual features detailing the best albums and tracks of each year since 1999.
- Consequence of Sound - is a Chicago-based online magazine featuring news, editorials, and reviews of music and movies. In addition, the website also features the Festival Outlook micro-site, which serves as an on-line database for music festival news and rumors. The website takes its name from the Regina Spektor song, "Consequence of Sounds".
- Stereogum - is a daily Internet publication that focuses on music news, song premieres, and irreverent commentary. The site was created in January 2002 by Scott Lapatine. Stereogum was the first "MP3 blog" and has received several awards and citations, including the Plug Award for best music blog, Blender's Powergeek 25, and Entertainment Weekly's Best Music Websites. The site was named an Official Honoree of the Webby Awards in the music category and won the Omma Award for Web Site Excellence in the Entertainment/Music category. In 2011, Stereogum won The Village Voice's Music Blog of the Year.
- Pigeons & Planes - Music discovery site where you can keep up with new music, across all genres, and from all corners of the globe. It represents new and established artists. It’s owned by Complex magazine. Enough said.
- Aquarium Drunkard - is an online music blog launched in 2005 by Justin Gage, and based in Los Angeles, California. As of January 7, 2017, it has an Alexa Rank of 69,035 in the United States, and 245,172 worldwide. The name "Aquarium Drunkard" comes from a lyric by the band Wilco. The website was originally created by Gage to share music with his friends, but by 2006 the site was being read by a worldwide audience. In 2009, in an essay for The Observer's Music Monthly supplement, Nick Hornby, author of High Fidelity, listed Aquarium Drunkard among his six favorite music blogs. According to Rolling Stone, a post on Aquarium Drunkard of a demo by Alabama Shakes helped the band get their first record deal. The success of Aquarium Drunkard led to founder Justin Gage promoting concerts, launching a record label, and hosting a Sirius Satellite Radio show. The Aquarium Drunkard website currently publishes music news, reviews, and interviews written by Gage as well as several contributing writers. The types of music covered include indie rock, vintage garage rock, psychedelic music, folk music, funk music, rhythm and blues, and soul music.
- The Fader - is a New York City-based music magazine launched in 1999 by Rob Stone and Jon Cohen, covering music, style and culture. It was the first print publication to be released on iTunes. The Fader won the Folio magazine Gold Eddie awards for "Best Consumer Entertainment Magazine" in 2011 and 2008. It is owned by The Fader Media group, which also includes its website, thefader.com, Fader films, Fader Label and Fader TV.
- Gorilla vs. Bear - is an MP3 blog for independent music MP3s, videos, news, and reviews from all genres. It was created by Chris Cantalini in March 2005, and David Bartholow joined as a contributor in 2006. Gorilla vs. Bear regularly features unknown, established, and independent unsigned artists. The blog is also known for their use of Polaroid film and Holga cameras for artist portraiture and live music coverage. It has received a number of accolades.
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