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Music websites

Music websites–We check out what’s hot on the Net, from Moby’s fan site to the Danny Elfman shrine

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Music websites

NPGONLINELTD.COM (http://www.npgonlineltd.com)
Behind that jumbled URL stands the funk that dare not spell its name. Yessir, the Artist (whose icon we shall refrain from reprinting) has launched his new website. Slide your mouse over the concentric rings of the pulsing red record to discover ”livetrax” (in RealAudio and MP3 formats), the latest post on the ”Paisley Transmissions Newz,” and other goodies. But Y is the Artist so stingy with the visualz? Does he not want 2B seen? Pleaz! B+

Turnabout is fair play: With Puff Daddy making incursions into the fashion world, it’s only proper that Tommy Hilfiger launch his own Internet radio station — a dandy little red-‘n’-white bauble with six channels streamed via RealPlayer and quite a few A-list acts, including the Wu-Tang Clan and Counting Crows. Unfortunately, the lack of a playlist means there’s no way to tell what’s coming down the runway. B+

Behold, yet another domain-name-challenged vendor seeking that holiest of grails, personalization. Using RealPlayer, MongoMusic matches a given song with similar tracks from the stables of Sony and Universal, compiling a three-hour stream that (here’s the catch) does not contain your original suggestion (since free music on demand is such a legal bugbear). An intriguing idea, and well executed — but most folks want what they want, not something ”similar.” And without paying, of course. C+

This fan site’s design is as sleek as Moby’s scalp—fitting, because webmaster (and fellow DJ) Mark Seiler of Bloomington, N.Y., considers the chrome-domed techno guru ”an inspiration.” He’s assembled an impressive archive of MP3s (over 25 ”unreleased/rare/live” tracks), guitar tabs, and lyrics. But why must Seiler (and the rest of the fan-site-building world) use tiny, migraine-inducing blue typeface on a black background? To keep the baby boomers away, of course. B+

Omigod! Engelbert Humperdinck guested on Live! With Regis & Kathie Lee — and you didn’t set your VCR! It didn’t have to be this way: You could’ve used MusicStation’s exhaustive guide to music on television, which provides a seven-day forecast (plus a catch-all ”coming” compendium) of tube-touring tunesmiths. Specific artists can be found by typing the appropriate keywords into the search engine. So many acts in one location — Ed Sullivan would be proud. A-

THE DANNY ELFMAN SHRINE (members.aol.com/fanoboingo)
Elfman’s gleefully creepy pop-goth hit movie scores (Batman, The Nightmare Before Christmas, etc.) don’t appear here, but you’ll find his old band Oingo Boingo well represented via RealAudio excerpts at this fan site. Look for the goofy little Java game that pits Jack Skellington against a barrage of ICBMs. Meanwhile, the ”News” section tackles the tough questions — e.g., will Elfman write the score for Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes remake? And wouldn’t it be a shame if he didn’t? B+