If your library is fortunate enough to have a separate teen music collection then you probably know the pleasures and pitfalls of trying to encompass the youth’s eccentric and eclectic tastes. Remember when the radio was the only source for new music? Yeah, me neither. Here is a list of resources for finding the latest, the greatest, the obscure, avant-garde, and the underground too!
The Hype Machine
This site compiles music uploaded to all sorts of different blogs. The site is set up like twitter in that the newest music appears on top. Users can play the full songs from the site and if they become a user (which is free) they can save their favorites. In the Zeitgeist section you can see what the favorite albums and artists were from the previous year based on user selections. There is no rhyme or reason to the styles of music they offer, if it’s new and it’s cool, you can probably find it here.
Do you know Pandora (You tell it what music you like and it plays music you ought to like, brilliant)? This is Pandora on steroids. By typing in your favorite artists (or rather your teens favorites), Last.fm pulls together similar artists and you can decide what you think of them. Other features the site offers are events listings in your area and recommendations based on your radio station choices. There are also chart listings which reflect the masses (currently the Beatles and Lady Gaga top the chart). This is one heck of a great site for music discovery.
Want to know what the actual critics think about an album? Metacritic is your one stop shopping. The site pulls together reviews from across several different publications and other review sites. They then translate each critic’s opinion into a number on a 0 to 100 scale. For instance if Rolling Stone pans an album and gives it a 30 but pitchfork likes it and gives it an 90 then Metacritc would give the album a rating of 60. The site also links to each of the critics review so you can read them yourself.