Agony Shorthand

Monday, January 09, 2006
COME RIDE MY BOOKMARKS.......Every week another interesting or elucidating mp3 blog pokes its pointed head up, full of new crap to download. Sometimes the finds are just fantastic, as it's getting more "fashionable" to put up vinyl-only stuff that's been carefully converted into mp3s. These sites are the best, full of stuff you have to pay top collector dollar for -- and for vinyl fetishists, hey, you still might pay for it, but now at least you get to hear it for the most minimal investment possible. I've toyed with the idea of starting my own mp3 blog, separate from Agony Shorthand's old-school reviews & rants format, but I don't have the friggin' time. Maybe later this year. In the meantime, here are the ones I look at at least once a week:

CRUD CRUD - No surprise here, this is probably the best of the bunch, full of rare 45s & LP tracks from all corners of the musical universe. Some thrift store weirdness, some obscure DIY stuff, some hot funk & soul. You never really know. I've even recently made up a 77-minute CD-R of my best finds from this site, and I fully intend & expect to keep making them in the months to come, given the rate of winners posted here nearly every other day.

CHOCOREVE - I don't even really know how to extract the files I've taken from these guys, but just look at the full psych/60s punk/50s R&B/krautrock LPs he posts every single day....! If there's an easy way to extract an "RAR" file, I haven't figured it out, but this could end being an amazing find once I/we do.

FUNKY 16 CORNERS - Rare soul 45s from the 60s from a collector with just about everything.

LITTLE HITS - Mostly pop, almost entirely out-of-print vinyl from 1970-present.

THE OF MIRROR EYE -- Wild card rock of all stripes, including Japanese psych, improv, freak-folk etc.

PROBE IS TURNING ON THE PEOPLE - Phil Milstein's site of rarities, often of the thrift store/inept/nyuk nyuk variety.

POPTONES - New 45s and indie stuff, along with a few oldies -- sometimes atrocious but often very choice.

POST-PUNK JUNK - Like the man said, but not entirely true. Recently featured THE CONSUMERS, LA DUSSELDORF, LARRY WALLIS and ALTERNATIVE TV.

RECORD ROBOT - The best and certainly the most entertaining of the "thrift store" sites, but rarely do you find anything you truly want to hold onto here. I'll keep trying.

SEVEN INCH PUNK - One of the "big three" rare punk 45s sites. Not as good as the other two, but hey, he's a Clash fan. I just got fuckin' Discharge's "State Violence State Control" for free here!!!

SEX KITTENS COMPARE SCRATCHES - All the way from Japan, lots of garage punk & no-brained two-chord rock. Doesn't post too often, but maybe they're just now getting "the Internet" over there.

SHORT TERM MP3 LOSS - On the page right now: THE GORDONS, THE CREATION and the DIRTY LOVERS. How about that?

SOMETHING I LEARNED TODAY - One of the best punk sites imaginable, often posting full 45s and EPs you never thought you'd have a chance to grab again.

SONIC POLLUTIONS - A video blog, something we'll undoubtedly see a lot more of in 2006. So far, this one has some killer 60s KINKS material and more.

SPREAD THE GOOD WORD - An exclamation-point laden site with some strong blues, instrumentals, R&B and general pre-1970 lowdown ore.

STATIC PARTY - Brand new! I can fully get behind their mission statement: "We think punk rock has had three "golden eras": The 1975 - 1979 period, the hardcore years of 1980 - 1984, & the 1990s. Here we will retred some of our favorite underground punk 7"s from 1990 to 2000". Expect an absurd level of quality from two guys with record collections that are far better than yours and mine.

STRANGE REACTION - Incredible finds, nearly a post a day, virtually all obscure punk, hardcore & DIY 45s from the 70s and 80s. Even when he posts garbage, he lets you know it's garbage.

THE HYPE MACHINE - Imagine if this "audio blog aggregator" had existed in, say, 1985. I can't tell you how much time I would have wasted easily clicking & bringing in music from all known corners of the galaxy into my house. If this doesn't prove the fulfilled "promise of the internet", I'm not sure what does.

TOE STUBBER - Just discovered this one this week via the Static Party fellas -- superlative taste, from jump-up R&B to KBD punk to garage crap, this one's gonna be a surprise every post & is one of the few on here that can probably fill an entire CD's worth of great, unheard stuff in about 4-6 months.

VINYL MINE - An old veteran of the mp3 blog saltmines, Vinyl Mine's pretty unpredictable & can bring forth genius or mediocrity with each passing post, but his trove is deep and it's vinyl only all the way. Special emphasis on the early/mid 80s, his (and my) vinyl-hoarding "glory years" (*sigh*).

WFMU's BEWARE OF THE BLOG - Finally, a predictably scattershot but excellent mp3 site from the music fiends at WFMU. You can get entirely lost in this site and its links, but if you've got time to kill, preferably at work, I suggest you make this a frequent stopover.