There’s More than Just Spotify and iTunes Out There…

As a recent grad I’ve been struggling between the choices of enjoying my summer doing things I wont be able to do so easily once I join the real world, and joining the real world. The first option seems to be winning since I have yet to find/ really look for a job, but there were a few occasions this summer where I would freak out thinking that I was wasting my life and I would devote a whole day to job searching. Job searching is incredibly overwhelming and would usually result in me just looking at really cool music sites. So with this combination of indecisiveness and distractions I give you a list of music sites that you should definitely check out!

  • Stageit- “An online venue for LIVE & interactive virtual concerts providing fans with a front row seat to a backstage experience.” (Stageit.com) This might not seem too impressive at first since it seems that this same experience can be achieved on a site such as YouTube, but trust me this is way cooler. Although you can see pre-recorded videos of artists performing on their YouTube channels, Stageit provides a much more interactive and personal feel. When I heard my favorite band’s lead singer was having an acoustic show on Stageit I immediately bought a ticket. I had never heard of the site before but knew I would pay almost any amount to watch this set. Justin Richard’s from Brighten had not toured with Brighten in years and I had only seen them perform once my junior year of high school, so I was super excited. On Stageit you purchase notes (10 notes equals $1.00) and use those notes to pay for tickets to see an artist perform. You can also tip the artist. Tipping an artists isn’t necessary but there are often incentives for doing so. For instance, the top 5 or so tippers for the Justin Richard’s set received a phone call from him. The artists decide what they will charge but I would say most performances are 50 notes ($5.00), but you are welcome to pay more. Another great feature of these performances is the ability to write in the comment section while the performance is happening in order to request a song or express your love for the artist. In my experience the artist talked about the comments; answering questions, accepting song requests and giving birthday shout outs. This interaction made the performance feel super personal. It’s not only small artists that are doing this either. Stageit artists include: Howie D (of the Backstreet Boys), Phillip Phillips, Ingrid Michaelson, Gavin DeGraw, Jimmy Buffet, Bowling for Soup, Korn, Jason Mraz, Plain White T’s, Trey Songz, Sara Barellies and many others. One of my favorite things about this site is that not only is this great for fans but artists are really benefiting from this new music platform as well. Cool sites, such as this one, that are coming up with innovative ideas, are what will bring the music industry to the future. Check out this site to see if any of your favorite artists will be performing any time soon.

http://www.stageit.com/

  • Slacker- Mashable.com rated this website as the number one site to use for creating an extensive playlist. Slacker gives you the option of creating both playlists and stations. This site recommends related material as well as gives you the ability to add a specific song or artist. There is also an option to “listen to only fringe or unfamiliar songs, minimize or maximize how frequent your favorites are played, and pick and choose from current or classic artists.” (Machable.com) If you rather listen to ready made playlists, Slacker has that option as well. It has stations covering all music genres and allows you to “heart” or “ban” songs. These stations aren’t in the Pandora form but rather in a more commercial radio form with DJs coming in between songs. There are sports stations (ESPN), news stations (ABC), top 40 and talk shows available as well. Slacker allows you to skip up to 6 songs as well as letting you skip the DJs intros for the songs. The songs on the pre-made stations are hit or miss (like any radio station) so the option to skip songs is greatly appreciated. The site is extremely easy to use and navigate. If you are still into radio or if you are tired of Pandora’s set up I highly recommend Slacker.

http://www.slacker.com/ 

  • Songza- Different from some of the other sites I mentioned in that music experts create the playlists and there isn’t an option for the users to create any. Users can see this as either a good thing or a bad thing depending on personal preference but I think this is a great distinguisher from the other sites out there. Because creating playlists is their job, these playlists (in my opinion) are great. There are 3 sections on the site: Music Concierge, Popular and Browse All. The Music Concierge section gives you the option to click on what you are currently doing (unwinding, cooking, eating dinner, working out, playing video games, etc.) and then asks you to pick a genre (cool new music, contemporary pop, etc.), then lets you choose between a few playlists, giving their descriptions below. This is a great way to find the perfect playlist to fit your mood, and as I already said the playlists are excellent because they are created by professionals. See what all the fuss is about and give it a try!

http://songza.com/

  • 8tracks- On this site you can either listen to playlists created by fellow users or create your own. These playlists consist of 8 tracks as the title of the website suggests. The songs can come either from your personal music library or from the 8tracks library. The explore section on the home page is set up similarly to Songza in that you pick a word (chill, study, happy, workout, etc.) and then it brings you to another section where it asks you to add the word selected to another word (Play me some: morning + rainy), finally bringing you to a list of actual playlists created by users (rainy mornings, the rainy mornings mixtape, too lazy for November, rainy mornings in the city, etc.) Unlike Songza these playlists are created by people like you, so if you decide to create a playlist yours can end up in the explore section as well. This is a great site for discovering new music as well as sharing it. If you are a fan of Songza you’ll love this site, even if you are not, definitely check it out this very cool site. Make sure to follow me! 8tracks.com/lisssielii          

http://8tracks.com/

Look out for the continuations to this post. More site descriptions to come!