life is full of possibilities.

If you're into "indie"/"college rock" (or whatever unassuming genre you place the music you listen to into in order to avoid seeming pretentious), you're keenly aware of the music juggernaut that is Pitchforkmedia.com

Love it or hate it, we know you've got an opinion on the site. The fact of the matter is that Pitchfork is downright ubiquitous. The site has made careers (the Arcade Fire, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!) and has blacklisted a number of bands from the "will one day receive credibility for their efforts list". The most obvious example of a group falling into this genre is the Australian garage/60's revival/absolutely terrible Jet. Pitchfork's review of their first album, "Get Born", is innocent enough. The site's review of their second album, "Shine On", is an absolute gem. And, in case you weren't aware, the site's review of Belle and Sebastian's "Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like A Peasant" was used by the writers of the film High Fidelity during a discussion about the band in Cusack's "Championship Vinyl". The site has since changed the review displayed to part of the script from the film.

Alright, alright, you say--we're well aware of the site. I don't know how far along in your path to fining musical enlightenment without the 'Fork you are, but I'm here to help (the first step? Join some message boards--the one on Radiohead fan site At Ease is pretty good).

The second step is to find other credible, legitimate and well-written websites. There are quite a few, of course--and the one I suggest most is Stylus Magazine. Stylus is rarely caught in the hyperbole quagmire that Pitchfork finds itself in--there are rarely perfect album ratings given out on Stylus, but there are never 0.0s either. Instead, Stylus uses level-headed writing and hardly ever causes bands to be called "the next big thing"--which is a gift and a curse in itself.

I also enjoy the site's features. It's "On Second Thought" page looks at older records that Stylus writers feel have been "unfairly lauded, or misunderstood in some fundamental way". One of the latest columns in the series, about college rock stalwarts Sonic Youth's "NYC Ghosts & Flowers" is a particularly fresh and revealing read.

There are a plethora of sites out there to help you discover new music--Stylus and Pitchfork are only two of them. Another great bet would be to tune into KSCR as often as possible in order to keep your ears happy and music hunger satiated, but that, of course, is up to you.


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Now playing: Jens Lekman - It Was A Strange Time In My Life