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5 Video Music Blogs I Use to Find My Next Favorite Band

moonheart

From the hyper-local coffeeshop bard to international stars on intimate stages, it’s always a pleasure for me to waste a handful of lunchtime minutes watching today’s most compelling musicians and songwriters performing in alternative spaces. This is made possible by so many truly passionate music blogs on the web right now, reimagining the live concert as a courageously explorative and flexible platform for bringing music to audiences in new ways. Whether I’m watching my favorite artists, or new bands I’ve yet to become acquainted with, the following music blogs are the ones I come back to time after time.

1. La Leche

La Leche is a Brooklyn-based production company, and they are pretty new to the live video music blog game, but their wonderful Hangover Sessions project has had me hooked since day one. It’s a paired down, unpretentious experience which includes an interview with an artist and an intimate Saturday afternoon performance in their Crown Heights living room. And if you’re lucky enough to make it to one of these events, they are sponsored by Lagunitas Brewing Company and Wandering Bear Coffee Co. (yes, that’s two types of cold brews to cure your maladies) as well as Think Jerky.

The Blown-Away Moment:

Maya Solovéy performing in effortlessly syncopated Portugese.

+ Read more: Find more great new music in our “What I’ve Been Digging Lately” series!

2. La Blogothèque

This should come as no surprise, as according to The New York Times, French filmmaker Vincent Moon basically “reinvented the music video” through his incredibly influential and popular video series called “Concerts à Emporter/ Take Away Shows”. At the time when this project first started presenting videos, impromptu concerts in outdoor and alternative spaces shot in a cinéma vérité style, nobody was doing anything like it. Moon, who has worked internationally on films and videos for artists, started the series with Christophe Abric in 2006 but has now left to fully pursue his film career. Yet the project continues and La Blogothèque has become the trend-setting, zeitgeist place to watch today’s most fascinating musical personalities perform in unpredictable spaces (like a gymnasium, or a plant shop, or the Château de Fontainebleau, for example).

The Blown-Away Moment:

When Arcade Fire played inside an elevator, and then transitioned to the middle of a crowd waiting for them outside.

3. NPR Tiny Desk Concerts

NPR has been running these, well, tiny desk concerts recorded live on the small desk of All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen for years now. It sort of stands as the rite of passage publicity tour stop for independent, but well-taken-care-of artists from all over the country and often, the world. NPR loves trying to push the limits of what can fit behind or around a tiny desk, and it always gets really exciting when we see huge brass bands using that space to blast off and wail out.

The artists featured here are an eclectic mix of your favorite pop, rock, folk, and R&B artists along with tons of world music artists, contemporary chamber ensembles, and local funk bands you may have never known about. It’s always exciting to watch bands play in an office, especially one that has supported thousands of artists for so many years.

The Blown-Away Moment:

That time T-Pain basically destroyed everything with his unaltered voice.

+ Read more: Booking a tour? Check out our “Compass” series to find the best venues in towns around the world, selected by the artists who call each location home.

4. Sofar Sounds

And last but certainly not least, Sofar Sounds was created in London in 2010 by a couple of roommates who were fed up with all the talking, texting, and annoying behaviors occurring at club gigs. They decided to start hosting bands in their living room and quickly expanded to more living rooms, then more cities, more countries, and now it’s in over 180 cities worldwide! Bands are encouraged to perform paired down or acoustic versions of their songs to keep it real.

The most unique aspect of Sofar Sounds is that you can easily browse music from almost any musical culture on Earth by scrolling through their YouTube channel. From Omaha to Warsaw to Bangkok to Dublin and back again, you get to experience “local music” anywhere in the world, which is such a wonderful treat!

The Blown-Away Moment:

We loved the concept so much, we partnered with them to create the first ever Sofar/Soundfly Sessions! Check out performances by Joel L. Daniels, Mike Evin, and Moonheart (below)!

5. Wild Honey Pie

The Wild Honey Pie is a music blog that features news, reviews, and columns and throws indie rock concert events all over the US. Their video series Buzz Sessions is unique amongst the other music blogs in that they invite bands into a studio to film them recording hi-quality live-in-studio versions of their songs, often “alternate” versions unlike those appearing on their albums. What makes it even more awesome is that these sessions are available to download for free if you let them borrow your email address. It’s a really great glimpse into the intricacies of a band’s approach to both performing, and live-session recording, and the videos are edited superbly to allow us to see that clearly.

The Blown-Away Moment:

Wild Honey Pie and Squarspace got together to create a series called “On The Boat”, which documented a number of concerts happening on boats in the Newport Harbour at the Newport Folk Festival. Pretty exciting stuff!

 

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Jeremy Young

Jeremy is a music business guru and loves giving advice to young, emerging bands on how to make their tours more effective. He also plays guitar, publishes audiobooks, runs a record label, and is an artist working in sound media. He has performed and released material throughout Europe, Asia, the US, UK and Canada, mostly with his trio Sontag Shogun.