The More You Know: 5 Music Web Sites To Add To Your Bookmarks
The true power of the Internet is information. Don't get me wrong; free music, photos of kitties, Ryan Gosling memes, and pornography are all wonderful, but it's information that's the real star even if we take it for granted. It's changed the way people do reports in school, made us think we're smarter than we really are, and rendered the Encyclopedia Britannica irrelevant.
My digital rut.
Even with all that information available, it's easy to get in a Web routine rut. One day you're at your computer and you realize that you get all your CD reviews from Pitchfork, all your news from Rolling Stone, and all your local music news, show reviews and lists from Rocks Off. And there's nothing wrong with that; we're glad you're here.
But sometimes you need information that goes beyond the usual sites and house of mirrors that is Wikipedia. What do you do then?
Rocks Off can't give you the definitive list of every Web site you should have readily available, but we can make a few suggestions. Clear out some space in your bookmarks tab and check out a few of the sites we visit when we need more than a Google search.
5. Festival Outlook
Screengrab via http://festival-outlook.consequenceofsound.net/
There are plenty of great resources out there if you want to know about local shows; we give you Distant Early Warning each week and Space City Rock keeps a thorough list of everything that's been announced. Expand beyond Houston and other cities have their own local calendars (Showlist Austin comes to mind) and if you're really desperate Pollstar is still a thing that exists.
Festival Outlook, run by the people over at Consequence of Sound, separates itself from other concert-listing sites in a couple of important ways. First, it does exactly what it says: It gives you a look at upcoming festivals around the world. Have dates where you can take a vacation but don't know where to go? Scroll through the FO listings and see what fests are taking place when you're free; you're likely to find something either here or abroad.
The second thing that it does is that it consolidates all the information available about festivals and makes it a lot easier to read. You don't have to go over one of those posters where the names are huge at the top and get progressively smaller plus new band announcements are labeled as such for when you're only looking for lineup updates. They'll even post line up rumors for those fests who haven't made anything official yet.
As the price of concert tickets rises year after year, sometimes we find ourselves skipping out on shows we'd really like to see. While there are real life things to take in to consideration, such as work and family obligations, there are also reasons that come down to a matter of taste. Some shows may feature an act we like but don't love and the ticket buying decision may come down to what songs they're playing.
That's where Setlist.fm comes in. It's a wiki where users who go to concerts submit the set lists of the shows they've been to. Because the creation of the set lists are dependent on people actually going to the shows bigger artists are more apt to be represented but the site sees a fair amount of lists from smaller acts as well.
Beyond just set lists, the site also includes tour statistics so you can see what songs have been played the most and which albums the bulk of the songs are coming from. That type of data may not be much help for bands that play the exact show every night, but for bands that switch it up it'll give you a good idea of what to expect.