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Music websites

Music websites–From the official Beck page to the indie site Riffage, we grade music representation on the Net

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Music websites

Your Favorite Band Sucks
Bristling at the name? Good, because YFBS wants you angry. Kvetch the night away defending your love of Billy Joel to a crowd of hostile Primus fans, or remain passive, sample the Flame of the Week, and watch the rants pile up. You won’t find many Top 40 fans hanging around this take-no-prisoners (and unabashedly profane) bulletin board, but you may encounter cutting-edge invective (”Pork juice!”) and perhaps a treatise on how to field-dress Zac Hanson. B+

The moniker recalls something your mother made you eat, but the actual content — a melange of unsigned and/or indie talent — goes down a lot easier. Background info on such quirky tunesmiths as the Diaboliks accompanies every RealAudio/ MP3 download. What’s more, Riffage’s new partnership with the Universal/BMG joint venture GetMusic.com could help diversify your musical palate, thanks to direct links between big-name bands and undiscovered acts with complementary styles. So maybe Riffage is good for you after all. B+

Led Zeppelin: Electric Magic (www.led-zeppelin.com)
Spring is coming, the Lord of the Rings trilogy is filming, and a young geek’s heart turns to thoughts of Zeppelin. If you’re that geek, ramble on over to Sam Rapallo’s Toronto-based site and luxuriate in an immersive, fully Ledded environment. Rare tracks, photos (Keith Moon and Bonzo on stage!), and Sam’s exclusive John Paul Jones interview await you. For true Zepheads, this is the holiest of houses. A-

Painful Convictions: A Nine Inch Nails Site
From the still-beating heart of middle America (Omaha, that is) comes…an NIN fan site, courtesy of creator Matthew Brink. Sure, there’s no shortage of online Reznor shrines, but few capture the meditative side of music’s favorite tormented soul. Fewer still have ever-changing trivia items in the upper-right-hand corner. All of the basics are here, of course — remixes, downloads, fonts — but the real star is the design: spare, soulful, and, dare we say, classy. A-

Beck.com: The Official Beck Site
Floating heads, dancing calculators, and the man himself, flipping us the bird — this is the site that Beck built. An excellent reflection of the sublime farrago that is the genre-busting alt-rocker’s calling card, Beck.com is at once casual and self-conscious in its wackiness. The real treat: streamed studio footage of then-unfinished songs (such as ”Debra”), complete with rejected lyrics (”I’ll let you look at my Frisbee collection”). Exquisite chaos. A