Greetings, Audiofiends! I'm stepping away from my usual WFMU Comic Supplement posts today to point to a few audio-centric websites that I still regularly use. Naturally, many fine pages disappear or go dormant, but these are some that have remained robust for many years (and one interesting newbie).
Many pages feature rarities that are so long out of print and obscure that they are one of the only sources of the material, while others are more of a 'listening room' where you can stream or download material to judge whether to buy it from a vendor legitimately.
Here are my top five current favorites:
Allen's Archive of Early and Old Country Music, whose title pretty much sums up the contents. Terrific old vinyl in various genres, and occasional lovely collections of 78rpm records. Cover artwork, occasional label art, good information when he knows it. This has been a wonderful resource over the years, and is great for experimental downloads - surprise yourself with some unfamiliar stuff.
Willard, here, used to run a fantastic Harry Nilsson page that is much missed since it's untimely departure last year. His Wormhole page is a currently awesome resource for listening to some hard-to-find oddities and bonus tracks by a very wide variety of artists and styles (as well as videos). Plus he really knows his material and does his homework.
Lonesome Lefty is another site specializing in old-timey folk and country material. They seem to be based out of Canada or somewhere way up North as a lot of the records come from up there. Lots of liner notes from Lefty accompany all posts so that you are always well-informed about the album in question.
Our pal Uncle Gil spins loads of different types of records, with a decided slant towards vintage R&B and early rock and roll, but you never know what will turn up in here. Many surprises. Worth a good dredge every so often. Another site that puts up a steady stream of new material all the time. This one is perhaps based in Europe somewhere, as the pressings seem to almost all originate overseas, which makes for some nice unusual versions of records.
And lastly, our newcomer to the daily-posting-of-vinyl-records scene:
This one just started up on January first, and threatens to put up a different record every day. So far, the selection is thrift-stor-ey and cool, and the downloads are high-quality for the most part and include well-scanned and edited cover artwork. No information given - just slabs of wax served up hot. I'm enjoying this page a lot so far, they have showcased several favorite records of mine in the short time they have been online. And I thought that WFMU people would appreciate the "365 Days" aspect of this site (is there a connection with us-? Your guess is as good as mine).
Enjoy, peoples! And I'll see you next time at the WFMU Comics Supplement.