Aside from geeking out with technology, I’m also a huge music fan. I’ve gone to more shows than I can count and have been lucky enough to get backstage access to music venues. I’ve also spent time selling “merch” (think t-shirts, pins, stickers, sweaters, etc) for local New York City bands and contemplating going on Warped Tour with others. Aside from just going to shows, I’ve been a guitar player for years and have picked up the bass and drums a few times. I’ve utilized several forms of social media to keep up with the musicians I’ve befriended over the years as well as bands I love to see live. Below are some tools to also help you stay connected.
“Merching” at Brookyln Bowl in New York City
Facebook – Whether you’d like to admit it or not, everyone’s on Facebook, including the bands you like. Giving them a “like” allows their news stories to appear in your news feed. Concert announcements, photos from shows, and new music videos will more than likely be posted on Facebook. On a site that you visit so regularly, it just makes sense.
Twitter – Following a band on Twitter will certainly give you information about show announcements and general band updates, but following individual band members will give you much better insight. Not only will band members promote news on their personal Twitter, but you’ll also learn more about the people behind their music. Twitter is the fastest (and easiest!) way to quickly learn about what your favorite band (and band members) are up to. Plus, you can tweet them! You may be surprised by how many responses you get.
MySpace – Yes, MySpace! Although your preteen self left that site behind years ago, bands are still utilizing MySpace to connect with fans, other musicians, and promote their videos. Some bands put up free EPs on their MySpace to get attraction from fans and create a following. If there’s a new band you’re into, you might want to check their MySpace for any freebies you can get.
YouTube – Justin Bieber started out on YouTube, and lots of other music phenoms did as well. Bands (as well as fans) will post live videos of concerts, tour updates, and news announcements on their YouTube channel to keep fans informed. Checking out “similar videos” on your sidebar will link you to other songs by the artist as well as music you may also like. Subscribing to a band’s video channel will also keep you updated on any videos they throw together on tour.
Last.FM – Last.FM is your one stop shop for music. By analyzing the music you listen to, Last.FM can tell you which artists and songs you listen to most often, what other bands you might also like, and can connect you to other people who share your musical interests. The site will also recommend music to you based on what you’re listening to. Last.FM also has free tracks you can download as well as a tool that allows you to see relevant concerts in your hometown. Users can either have a free or premium account, which allows access for even more awesome features. Last.FM also has a mobile app for your on-the-go music needs.
Songkick – If you love going to shows and like a lot of bands, then you know it can be difficult to keep track of when bands are coming to your town. Songkick allows you to enter locations that you’d attend a show in, artists you’d like to see, and then alerts you when one of those bands is in the area. By either going to their website or signing up for email alerts, you’ll never miss out on a band coming through your neck of the woods.
BandsInTown – This Facebook app has similar functionality to Songkick. If you’re not a fan of creating another account on another site but are looking for the same functionality as Songkick, then install BandsInTown and start tracking your favorite artists.
Songza– My latest obsession has been Songza, a site that plays music according to the time of day and the activity you’re participating in. Whether it’s working out or going to work, Songza has a playlist generated for your mood. Songza’s playlists have led me to discover a lot of new songs that I might not have otherwise found. Creating an account with Songza allows you to save stations you like as wel as allow you to comment on their playlists.
Spotify – Spotify is another goldmine for music lovers. Spotify has free and premium accounts that allow you to play any song from anywhere you have some speakers or headphones. Spotify allows listeners to listen to full albums as well as radio stations that are geared towards a certain artist, song, or style of music. In addition to their awesome service, Spotify has a number of apps that you can download to enhance your music experience. By creating playlists for yourself, saving stations, and utilizing theses apps, your music experience online is truly unique.
Tastebuds – If you’re into social media and music (or too hipster to find people who share the same taste in music as you), then Tastebuds.FM is a great social site for you. Tastebuds allows you to create a musical profile to then match you up with people who share the same taste in music as you. Tastebuds connected me with someone who’s taking me to a Taking Back Sunday show in New York City and has put me in contact with a lot of people who have pointed me in the direction of bands I might have liked.
Turntable.FM – Perhaps the most addicting of these sites is Turntable.FM, which allows you to become a virtual DJ in a room full of people who just want to share their music. By creating an avatar and earning points based on getting “awesome” likes from people who like what you’re playing, you can quickly build up a big Turntable presence. Turntable also allows people to talk to each other, which serves as a great way to meet people and talk about the music.
Did I miss anything? Let me know if the comments what you use to listen and help you discover new music.