One’s a little bit country and one’s a little bit rock and roll, but thank God neither are Donny and Marie (I swear those perky child stars will be the death of me).
Roughstock – http://www.roughstock.com/
I am a country music dummy. Ask me anything about country music post 1991 and I won’t know “you know what” from shinola. As I grew up, our channel was always set to CMT (Ralph Emery rules!) but in the last ten years I’ve been completely out of the loop. For example, I didn’t find out that The Judds broke up until a few months ago (for years I even though Naomi was the daughter)! It’s not that I don’t like country but the closest thing I get to C&W is Blue Rodeo or Stevie Ray so going to Roughstock.com is alien territory for me.
The front page of this website is not bad but a little cluttered. From what I gather this site is like one stop shopping for the Country music fan. You can listen to the top 40 countdown for that week (this week’s number one is Toby Keith with “I Love This Bar”- intriguing title I must say), check out the latest Country music news, and read “Stacy’s Music Row Report” for the latest Nashville happenings. Upon visiting Roughstock.com I have learned that if nothing else C&W fans are enthusiastic.
There are a lot of links on this website, mainly for fan pages, but you can also check out “Cowpie” which is a guitar tab/lyric site and very comprehensive. From looking at the “About Us” section, a lot of the staff members also look like they run the linked sites so it’s hard to tell if these links are part of Roughstock or separate entities. All that aside, Roughstock.com seems to have everything a Country fan is looking for (as far as I know anyway).
Neat Stuff: Roughstock has a list and links of all the US and Canadian Country radio stations that broadcast over the net. You can also check out the archives from previous top 40 countdowns.
Not so Neat Stuff: Kind of cluttered and hard to find what you’re looking for (if you were looking for something). Seems to focus mainly on top 40 rather than indie and new artists (is there a big indie scene in Country music?).
Rating: ***/5 Interesting site but nothing remarkable. Think mozza not brie.
Antimusic – http://www.antimusic.com
This website is definitely more my style but I’ll try to stay impartial. Anitmusic.com is exactly what it says. Don’t expect any slick press releases or die hard fan site links. Just as the name suggests, this website takes a good hard look at the music industry then gives it to us no holds barred (that’s my attempt at a slick press release). Antimusic.com is sarcastic, informative and damn funny at times.
On the surface Antimusic is just another music news site. I have to admit I do frequent this site mainly for the music news that I want to read (Rolling Stone and Blender don’t really care what Jason Newsted is up to – besides it’s nice to read some music news without seeing another pop wannabe’s ass crack), so when I decided to review this site I was pleasantly surprised by the other things Antimusic.com has to offer.
If you scroll down and look on the right hand side you’ll find their editorial features, “Views”. These are unapologetic rants about the state of Rock and Roll. If you’re a fan of Courtney Love, Fred Durst or Avril Lavigne stay away from these unless you’re prepared to get pissed off. For the rest of us just laugh and nod away. Other than “Views,” this site also offers a ton of reviews and features on numerous bands and artists. For the wannabe critic you can also go to “Write a Review” to sound off. I also liked the “Interviews” section for insightful looks into real musicians lives ( “I lived on my girlfriend’s couch until my band saved up enough for a demo:.” Cliché but true). Like Roughstock.com, Antimusic.com has a tab/lyric section. This website also has news on indie scenes and sponsors “battle of the bands” type of competitions and concerts. Antimusic.com is a great site for an alternative look at music news.
Neat Stuff: This website is dedicated to giving a voice to music fans. After every news item and editorial you have the opportunity to write or rant about what you’ve read. Some interesting and often immature (but always entertaining) arguments here.
Not so Neat Stuff: This is a very cluttered website so it may take a while to navigate it.
Rating ***/5 If I was rating the content this would get a 5, but it’s just too messy to get that rating. There is also a tendency to get “Comic Book Guy Syndrome”(CBGS) after going to this site. This is the inclination to look down on other music fans if they can’t give a 3 hour explanation on why Axl Rose has yet to release “Chinese Democracy” and if it really does exist (Yes I am aware of the need to get a life).
You’ve watched Animal House, Van Wilder and Old School and still don’t see how it applies to you. Is post secondary education really supposed to be like this? Find out at http://www.studentnow.com
Okay, I am aware that as a distance learning institution we do not have the socializing opportunities that students at other universities have. For the AU student a university party means cracking open a beer while posting messages on the discussion forum (or writing for The Voice). StudentNow.com promises “College Life, Fun, Resources, Better Grades, Jobs, Dates & Life (TM).” Sounds like a lot of work for just one website. Let’s see if they mean it:
1. “College Life”- StudentNow.com gives us “Perspective” which is views of individuals from different walks of life. Some of the “Features” are the meanings behind college lingo (Bag Monster: students who sleep all day), surviving on a student budget, and distance learning advice. “Life” has sections on how to kiss and meeting people (interesting but not necessarily applicable to student life).
2. “Fun”: This actually has its own section. A lot of comics and online games. Gee it really is fun. Thanks StudentNow.com (only a dash of sarcasm, it is kinda fun).
3. “Resources”: Look again under “Features” for different resources. Also under “Research” look for all sorts of things to help you with school work like journals, research links and my favorite, the “Quote Machine.”
4. “Better Grades”: Don’t know anything different they can offer here. Under “Features” there are essay writing tips and the like. You can also get better study resources right here at AUSU though I don’t think anyone will guarantee better grades.
5. “Jobs”: Look under the heading “Jobs.” I think that’s self explanatory.
6. “Dates”: I think this may be pretty much up to you. Just remember your manners and don’t try to get past second on a first date! For the single AU’er I would advise you to look in the archives for my review on http://www.match.com (http://www.ausu.org/voice/archives/articledisplay.php?ART=2121), rather than leave your romance up to StudentNow.com.
7 .”Life”: Be wary of anything that promises you a better life (other than Oxiclean – that stuff is unbelievable!), but look around this website for lots of tips for student life. The “Hippy Crash Pad” article was interesting (http://www.studentnow.com/life/crashpad.html) but I prefer a trailer park motif myself.
Ok , that’s StudentNow.com in a nutshell. A lot of promises, but can they deliver? You’ll have to find out for yourself. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think my keg is here (now where is that damn toga?).
Neat Stuff: The “Love Advice” section is fun but the advice may not always be sound (“focus on one guy at a time for more attention”- What does that mean? They’re not exactly lining up over here.). Overall there is a lot of information here and some of it might even be pertinent to students!
Not so Neat Stuff: Some of the slogans and information is a little “fluffy” for my taste. There is also an information overload here that makes it look a little unorganized.
Rating: **/5 Although some of the information is interesting a lot of it doesn’t apply to AU students or distance ed. students in general. Go to this website maybe for fun but don’t expect a lot from it.