Earlier this week, the BBC revealed the longlist for its annual Sound Of poll, with the 2011 crop treated to a rather fancier website than in previous years, at bbc.co.uk/music/soundof. There, each of the 15 acts has a page on which you can read a biography, check for upcoming tour dates and, crucially, listen to at least one full song to help you decide whether you think making the shortlist will be the pinnacle of their career, or just the beginning. The only act you can't hear at the site is Londoner Jai Paul (pictured), who has also removed all the music from his own MySpace player. Happily, you can check out his wonderfully skewed futurepop at US blog Dipped in Dollars (bit.ly/hearjaipaul), where his acclaimed BTSTU track sits alongside a twisted 8-bit remix of Emiliana Torrini's Jungle Drum tune. Hearing them might require a little extra effort, but they're well worth it.
There was plenty of online buzz this week about Tubeify.com, the latest site to take advantage of YouTube's API tools to create a web-based music player that pulls in music content, royalty-free, from YouTube's vast video library. The twist is that this YouTube-powered player is linked with Billboard's US chart data, allowing you to "time travel" through the charts from any era between 1965 and today. It's an intriguing way to browse music, but like other sites pulling their content from YouTube, you're reliant on there being an embeddable version of each song available. Unfortunately, there often isn't one, or you get a cover or poor-quality version, which makes Tubeify as frustrating as it is fun. Still, it would be great if Spotify, MySpace or YouTube itself could take the time travel concept and apply it to a more reliable service.
As it's December, Ernie from Florida is, for the sixth year running, posting choice cuts from his incredible archive of Christmas vinyl at ernienotbert. blogspot.com. This week's treats include two 1950s albums: Christmas in Cleveland, a collection of local high-school choral groups, and Christmas with the Stars, which features two Judy Garland numbers. Elsewhere, FaLaLaLaLa.com is offering a mixture of old and new Christmas songs, with John Anealio's winsomely witty Batman Smells (A Rebuttal) a highlight of the latter category. Finally, StubbysChristmas.com has – if such a thing is possible – its finger on the pulse of the coolest festive tunes, sharing such delights as Santastic V, a "Xmashup" album. The best track is F£@% You, Santa!, a superb mash of Cee Lo Green's current hit and the Jackson 5's Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, built around the line, "Fuck you, and Rudolph too". Bah humbug never sounded so groovy.
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