Ah, summer…so much music, so little time. Whether you choose to jam indoors to a streaming webcast, or brave the crowds at a live show, our guide to summer music on the Web can help ensure that your dog days stay chill.
Ongoing All Summer
Can’t decide which musical act to splurge your summer savings on? CDNOW (www.cdnow.com) tries to guard you from a couple of hours of flat pop or hollow metal with its Summer Concert HQ. Besides finding all the necessary info to help you choose a show — like backstage coverage and touring news — it also provides reviews, showcasing 75 summer acts with a featured artist every week. Look for the skinny on Britney Spears, No Doubt, matchbox twenty, and Blink-182 for starters. And if you plan to (gasp!) step away from the computer screen for a bit, MP3.com (www.mp3.com) can keep you connected at least in spirit: Fifty of the site’s featured artists (headlined by current MP3 fave Emily Richards) will tour the U.S. and Canada from late May through mid-August. At the end, one of them will be rewarded with a recording contract with NewVox Records. If you must stay in, MP3.com will be webcasting parts of the shows.
Debuting June 1, the new ”Album Preview” feature on Launch.com (www.launch.com) lets surfers stream free tracks two weeks prior to an album’s release — and rate the songs. Premier guinea pigs are Duran Duran, Bon Jovi, and Jill Scott. Also: Kicking off the same day is Launch’s ”Then and Now: A Video History,” which takes you through a band’s ups and downs as seen through their music videos. Who better to start with than drama-plagued rockers the Red Hot Chili Peppers?
On Sputnik7 (www.sputnik7.com), watch ”Hip Hop for Respect,” a collection of four audio tracks and an accompanying video created to protest police brutality. Project contributors include Mos Def, Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA, Rah Digga, and sometime Fugee Pras.
Have a shandy or two and tap into one of the first summer music events across the pond when Riffage (live.riffage.com) brings webcasts of BBC Music Live from June 5 to 7 and June 12 to 14. The diverse lineup throws together acts like Peter Gabriel, Moby, Oasis, Bush, and Eels.
David Bowie, so fashion-forward in the ’70s, is the most techno-savvy artist of the e-decade. Now Mr. Androgyny proves he’s caring, too. On June 19, he’ll mingle with members of his site, BowieNet (www.davidbowie.com), and play a special show for them at New York City’s Roseland Ballroom. The standing-room-only performance promises a special set list spiked with classic Bowie anthems (Ziggy? Is that you?), door prizes, and party favors. Get tickets at his site (you can enter to win freebies) or via the old-fashioned way through Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.com). If you can’t make it, visit the post-show webcast on BowieNet.
Also: Check out Bowie’s newly revamped site, BowieNet v. 2.0, featuring Internet service, a ”Bowie Discourse” chat room complete with a karma-rating system, and personal Web space for members.