Monday, March 22, 2010

Grooveshark and The Best of British

In a recent article in this blog, I talked about my use of, a free streaming music service that I had been using. Unfortunately, changed its service recently. They had started offering MP3 downloads at a much cheaper price than iTunes and other services. When they started advertising Beatles tracks at 25 cents each, they drew the attention of EMI and their attorneys. They forced the service to close down for a brief period, and when it returned, it had changed. No longer could one stream songs or entire albums on-demand, which was a feature I used a lot. is still a good service, however, and if you haven't checked it out yet, you should.

I recently heard about another free streaming music site called Grooveshark. Having checked it out, I decided I really liked it, and have been using it a lot. You can listen to tracks on-demand, and they have an extensive library. What's more, if they do not have a track in their library, you can upload it. According to their Help information, they pay the record company whenever you play a song. They are supported financially via advertisements you see when you use their browser-based player. You can also pay a small monthly fee to remove the advertisements.

In addition to playing individual tracks, you can build playlists of songs. Also, they have a "Radio" feature, where they will automatically play songs based on what you're already listening to. This is a great way to discover new music. Grooveshark seems to understand the importance of "social" features, and you can share songs and playlists via Twitter, Facebook, and even post them to your blog or website. Seeing these features inspired me to put together a Best of British playlist to share with readers of this blog. I hope to make an entire series of these playlists, containing what I consider to be among the best music, in many genres, to come out of the British Isles.

So, in Best of British 1, I've included artists I've been listening to a lot recently (see my recent blog post, Couch Potatoes: England 2010 Part 3), such as Lily Allen, Goldfrapp, Paloma Faith, Florence and The Machine and La Roux. Vince Clark, who I consider to be one of the most talented musicians to come out of England, is represented by Yazoo (Yaz in the US) and Erasure tracks. The playlist kicks off with a great Kinks track, and while we're talking about quintessentially English artists, you don't have to choose between Oasis and Blur, because they're both represented here. For the folkies, there is a classic from Fairport Convention. I'm particularly proud of the juxtaposition of Amy Winehouse's Rehab with Ian Dury's Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll.

Please do let me know what you think of it, by posting a comment. If you have suggestions of tracks or artists I could include in a future Best of British, do speak out.


SohoSuzanne said...

Before I even have a chance to listen, I just want to rave about James Maddock (yes, a Brit), who I saw last night at Rockwood Stage 2, on the lower east side of Manhattan. This was about the 10th time I've seen him and he never disappoints. He will be back there on May 14th with Chris Velan (about whom I know nothing). Last night's show had his regular band plus several excellent guest artists.

If you don't mind, I'll post a link to my friend's blog of NYC-based music, which has a nice link to some music of James'.

Graham said...

@SohoSuzanne: I've not heard of James Maddock. I'll check him out.

I have no problem with you posting your friend's link. Thanks for asking.