Just like podcasts (or anything online) if you have an interest you can find a blog that covers it in detail. Unlike a podcast, by giving it a quick scan you can pretty much nail down whether it is, in your opinion, worth a read, or not. Also, unlike videos or podcasts, blogs tend to send readers down a rabbit hole in search of more information or context. Whether it be via YouTube link, or to another blogger’s site – or all the way to Wonderland.
It’s all a bit overwhelming – a situation exasperated by the many, many blogs that purport to offer information but are, inevitably, more advertorial than editorial.
If your interest tends towards the nooks and crannies of the music industry, here we offer up a few resources for you to check out. Some (maybe many) of you, will have heard of or read some of the blogs we’re covering here, but chances are, not all of them. From general interest to specifics – like the latest in production, recording, and musical instruments, all the way to inspiring stories of songs, records, artists, industry titans and musical royalty – here are a few wide-ranging must-reads.
It’s unlikely you’ll agree with everything Bob Lefsetz has to say, but as the late futurist and sci-fi grandmaster Robert A. Heinlein said: ‘I never learned anything from a man who agreed with me.’
Lefsetz covers everything from books to television to politics in his writings – all worth checking out – but it’s his thoughts on technology, music, musicians, leading industry figures, and his insight about where we’ve been and where we’re going that makes him one of the most widely read and respected industry ‘insiders’. Just about anything can prompt a letter. And yes, his point of view will occasionally infuriate some readers, but regardless of your reaction to his comments and opinions, you’ll likely come away feeling something, and, more often than not, will be better informed, inspired or just plain curious. Which is never a bad thing.
Longreads is more of a journalism aggregator than a typical blog and links to long reads (surprise!) that delve into myriad topics, from food through to sports, gaming, or crime stories. So, it’s pretty much a full service site that lives up to its name. The articles are usually fairly lengthy, though not always. They tend to be chock full to the brim with well-written, highly readable pieces that dig deep – rather than those that skim the surface and expect you to do the digging yourself.
Although the site covers a wide array of topics, there are music-focused stories aplenty, ranging from this standout on Earl King to an in-depth look at the band, Shovels and Rope. But that’s just for starters! One of the highlights is Shelved, which features articles that dig deep into unreleased records and the circumstances surrounding why they never saw the light of day (or spotlight, as it were.)
If you want info on the business, music, technology, or charts, they’ve got that. If you want DIY how-to pieces covering everything from working your socials to the latest news on various music platforms, to songwriting tips – this is the jam for your toast. All that said, given the massive amount of content and coverage here, it’s pretty much everybody’s jam.
Ever wonder what a 3-way pickup selector is? I haven’t, but if you’re looking to find out, this is the site for you. Although focused on technology there’s reading for more general music enthusiasts here, too. For example, this bit on the technology created by the late, great Rupert Neve. Now, if you’re not into the tech your eyes may glaze over. So, just scan and let the info lead you somewhere more to your taste. For gear reviews, news, tips, even a glossary of terms – you can get your music tech fix here.
If you’re looking for a bit of everything and anything music-related, Alan Cross’ site makes for endlessly entertaining and informative one-stop shopping. Cross became obsessed with music after being gifted a transistor radio by his grandmother and since has become one of the most well-known and widely respected music journalists in Canada. His podcast, the ‘Ongoing History of New Music’ began as a radio show in 1993, making it (in all likelihood) the longest-running music documentary in the world. From concise and current, to whimsical or downright wacky, you name it, he’s covered it and continues to in a style that’s always entertaining.
Looking for more? There’s plenty…
This also operates more as an aggregator of blogs, a library if you will. You’ll have to sign up, but this is one of the leading resources for finding exactly which rabbit hole suits you, whether the opening is a blog, podcast, or website. They tackle the sorting of those blogs with many focuses, including by region and genre.
For musicians, music fans, and, frankly, industry professionals of any description, there are a wealth of sites, blogs, and resources that provide in-depth information about the people and technologies leading the charge on the live production side of things. For all things audio, check out prosoundweb.com. And for a view that takes in every aspect of staging, from video to lighting and projection – see Live Design Online.