Mystery Music March in April

The 'Internet'

In September 1995, BBC Music Magazine published this article which helpfully introduces the internet to a readership who may still be getting used to hearing their music on cd:

It’s the kind of writing which still needs to put the words like browser and phrases like World Wide Web into apostrophes and which spends a lot of time explaining what the Usenet is. This is pre-Google and the search engine of choice, Lycos didn’t even have its own domain name yet.

Over a decade later the various news groups are still there (,, and can be seen though Google Groups, but the WWW Vitual Library’s been lost and I’m pleased to see Lycos is still in the topic five web portals along with their doggy logo. Most impressively though, the Viola Jokes domain still works and takes you to a page which notes that the magazine made a typographical error in the URL before usefully pointing you in the right direction!

With the exception of this organ, I haven’t been in sight of a high street magazine about music in years. Most of anything I read about music is in the papers or online which probably explains why I still haven’t understood exactly how writing process works despite spending the best part of two months in the attempt. As a homage to John Warburton’s fantastic piece of journalism, here are the five music related ‘websites’ ‘online’ which I’m using right now. Don't expect any great revelations ...

No Rock And Roll Fun
I’m not subscribed to too many music-related gossip websites largely because Simon seems to read them all for me (and us). Covering everything from the business to what the tabloids are saying I might not always have a clue who he’s talking about but his posting rate is impressive and the writing between the links is often funny and acerbic.

Wired: Listening Post
As you’d expect this offers a slightly more corporate, technology orientated version of the above but with more a more proactive approach. More often than not, I’ll read a story here which isn’t picked up by the rest of the media until days later and with less detail.


My music player of choice. Having tried iTunes and found it cloggy and slow on my dial-up connection, Winamp continues to be a lean, useful alternative. A recent overhaul added a little box which appears and tells you unobtrusively which track is just beginning, although I still can’t get the ID3 editor to work as well as before.

A tool which analyses your scrobbling habits through and then sends news via an RSS feed of new releases by the artists whose music you’re listening too. It works too – Jewel’s new lillbitcountry album is released in June.

Well, yes, clearly. Does anyone actually remember what the web was like before the Wikipedia came along and could tell you very quickly why Lou Reed recorded Metal Machine Music? Pointlessly criticised for the few minor errors which are corrected almost as quickly as they’re noticed it’s been the main source for many of these articles. If the coverage isn’t always as detailed as you like, at least you can go in yourself and make it as detailed as you like. Even if you’re wrong.

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