Alternative music reviews

October 25, 2006

Why MySpace works for bands

Filed under: myspace,ramblings — @ 11:31 pm Comments (2)

When I recommend a band, I just want my readers to get to hear their music. It’s difficult to try to describe music in words so I always regard my writing as just a springboard to try and get some interest. That interest, hopefully, is expressed by someone clicking on the band website link I put at the bottom of the article. In the past that link would be the band’s official website but nowadays it will always be to the MySpace site. The reason is simple, MySpace has a single page for each band with the music set to stream immediately. It is easy to select any of the four tracks normally available and the band’s own blurb is in the same place.

Most bands seem to end up with a fancy Flash-based site for their ‘official website’ – it looks pretty and allows them to express their individuality. But it seems every band wants a new navigation scheme. When I know and like a band then I might be prepared to click on the spinning cat to get to their music (the wonderful Don’s Mobile Barbers in that example). But most of the time it is a band I have just recently heard and I really don’t have the time or the patience to figure out how I can actually hear what they sound like.

MySpace has become the best music site on the web, bar none. Just about every band I hear has a MySpace page – tonight I heard Frank Rapture on the Friday Session and I could check them out further by searching MySpace. A recent flyer for a gig at the Herdsman in Hereford listed four bands and below each band was their MySpace address. Increasingly I am seeing lesser known bands’ official sites just redirecting to their MySpace page. I was behind a van on the M6 the other day coming back from Manchester and a finger had etched ‘www.myspace.com/eventhieves‘ in the dirt on the rear door so I visited the page when I got back home.

It is far from perfect. The MySpace player does seem to have problems playing songs quite often. Also, I have recently gone to add King Furnace and MyOwnFlag as MySpace friends but found they were already friends – I obviously hadn’t picked up how good they were from my first listen when they added me. Another example is The October Game, whose album so impressed me but I didn’t feel that the four tracks on MySpace did them justice. There is no substitute for listening to an set of tracks ordered by the artist to lead you on a journey. But as a simple way of both promoting and discovering new music, it is a phenomenal tool.

2 Comments

  1. Dave, the ads, the ads!

    “MySpace is moving towards profitability” says Rupert Murdoch, and it’s clear how – by putting banner ads everywhere. How annoying.

    The Resonance Association material is now available from archive.org – they do a good job of hosting audio under a creative commons licence.

    What’s even better is the fact that you can upload your songs in lossless FLAC format and it automatically creates MP3s and OGGs.

    This obviously doesn’t work for those bands who aren’t keen on giving away songs for free.

    http://www.archive.org/details/TheResonanceAssociationVolumeOne

    http://www.archive.org/details/TheResonanceAssociationAppendixOne

    Comment by Daniel — October 26, 2006 @ 9:23 am

  2. But the ads aren’t too bad on a band page – just when you log in as a user. Not that I even see them anymore.

    I’m very impressed by the archive.org setup. I’m listening to your Heroes of the Atomic Age at the moment and enjoying it.

    Comment by Cool Noise — October 26, 2006 @ 8:14 pm

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