If music be the food of love...surf on!

Music.

The rhythm of our souls.

The free-flowing essence which makes us rise beyond the mundane and the irritating. There to draw us out of deep holes and to help us deafen that moronic neighbour. And, of course, to seduce that gorgeous date (Barry White, anyone?)

So, whether you're a bathroom singer or a unrecognized genius (yeah, right!), this issue of The HITG Report should fulfill those sonic cravings. Go with the flow!

http://www.sonicnet.com/home/index.jhtml

Voted by most reviews as the "Most Overall And Complete" music site, this is truly a phenomenal site.

The main page offers you all the latest news, divided according to music genres. You can also request news on a particular band or artist. Then there are the reviews, which cover a lot of music albums, even though some of them may be a bit obscure. This can be followed up by the whole calendar of happening events over the next few weeks. They also have a contest section, which lets you win stuff like RHCP back-pack (amongst other things)

However, the site wins our approval for two major reasons. Firstly, there is the video segment, which has a library of hundreds of videos, which you can download. So, you might probably find that MJ video which you've been searching for the past few years. Second is their radio station. This station allows you access to hundreds of radio stations all over the States, across several frequencies. You can also find radio stations for a particular genre - very, very cool!

http://www.rockhall.com

If you've ever listened to any rock'n'roll, then this is the site for you. Based on the actual museum itself, it spreads the message of true rock across the Web.

The site has many features, all of which are designed to fulfill your thirst for music knowledge. There are cover articles on music legends and the different music movements, which tell you everything you wanted to know about those artists and those styles. You might then want to check out the museum; this has exhibits which keep changing regularly, each highlighting some aspect of music. The exhibition section is also quite good and showcases some interesting material from down the ages.

Of course, the highlight of the site is the Hall of Fame itself. You can check out the actual induction ceremony and what the inductees go through before being immortalized. Or you could go through the list of inductees and find out why they have been put there and under what category. There is also some stuff on momentous occasions during the ceremonies.

So, if there was ever anything you wanted to know about Muddy Waters or on the emergence of hip-hop, you know where to go!

http://music.yahoo.com

With this section, Yahoo! once more proves how comprehensive and versatile it is. This site is quite satisfying for any music buff.

The first thing to hit your eye is the artist spotlight, which profiles upcoming new stars and provides a comprehensive biography and profile for each. Similarly, the site also has featured chats and broadcasts, which showcase famous personalities on a daily basis. The site also has a massive store which lets you shop for whatever music you want, while giving you good prices. Or you could select a particular genre and find out more about the singers you idolize.

Yahoo! Music also has a number of readable articles. These include reviews of albums, daily headlines of the happening events and also a very informative section on the significance of that particular day in music history. There is also an extensive section on communities and clubs. This allows you to gang up with guys who like the same music, same group or even just one particular album. You can discuss everything there is to know about Mozart, Dark Side of the Moon or Janis Joplin. And finally, you could check out their broadcasts which send you to video and jukebox sites.

http://www.billboard.com

The mother of all countdowns on the mother of all mediums - Billboard and the Web are a delightful combination.

Billboard offers an insiders view of the music industry and its articles and reviews are just that much more in-depth than the others - which is why they make for such interesting reading. Then, apart from the normal album reviews and news, it also has the latest in the Gold/Platinum ratings of albums, as decided by the official agencies.

There are other unique features, like the section which provides a list of artists who are on road tours. It gives news and updates on a number of these. For the games people, there are trivia contests and even a musical crossword that can try out. However, the main show of the site are the charts, of course.

The charts are divided into many categories and are all very interesting. You can go by the Web ratings or by Internet sales; you can go by the original 200 countdown; you can track songs by airplay; you can check out the individual categories...you can do a lot of stuff on this site!

http://www.gibson.com

Take one of the best guitar companies in the world and then find our that its Web site is as good - what do you do but visit it?

Gibson brings its reputed professionalism to the Web in a simple format. There is the obligatory guitar on the main page and the different features displayed simply. There are events and showcases, but these tend to be a little biased in the sense that they only detail those artists who use a Gibson. You can then search for equipment or go through the sections on accessories.

The unique feature of the site is the section where you can auction off your guitar or search for a old one to buy. This is amazing for all those who have their grandfather's banjo at hone but couldn't string it together to save their lives. And finally, there is the section on the guitars themselves. Plain, classic, jumbo, acoustic, electric, stylized - you name it and this site has it. Never again should you suffer from strumming withdrawal symptoms!

http://www.lyrics.fm

Here's a site that attempts to put a little humour into the passionate world of music, by poking fun at the listeners themselves. The name - the "Compendium of Misunderstood Lyrics".

The site has a few obligatory features, like Top 10 albums of the week and features of artists, but there is a lot of stuff that is quite different. You could search through their lyrics database or request the lyrics to a particular song. Or you could visit their contest site and win something.

However, the main attraction here is the title section, which contains instances of misunderstood lyrics, accompanied by what they have been misheard as. You can comment on the existing ones or send one of your own.

http://www.mp3.com

No Report would be complete without the site that revolutionized on-line music. And made the big music corporations cry like little babies.

The site is basically about downloading free music. But, to pander to aesthetics, they have some additional features. One good feature is their news column, which deals specifically with news about the fate of similar companies and pending court decisions against them. The site also has contests to win free CDs and listen to some local music. But, everything else is just an appetizer before the main course - the free downloads! The variety offered is quite large and covers whatever genre you may seek. And within each genre, the range offered is even more mind-blowing...you can get the most obscure of artists here (Scott Joplin, anyone?). So, if you can't get hold of that really obscure Velvet Underground album, you know where to go.

http://www.fadetoblack.com/hallofshame

And finally, a site that is a take off on celebrities and their weird habits. And though this a basically a spoof site, it deserves a mention In this Report.

"The Rock'n'Roll Hall of Shame" aims at unearthing songs recorded by celebrities in a fit of weakness. Of course, the results are quite devastating as some classics are quite badly massacred. You have Mae West, Leonard Nimoy, Joe Pesci and others singing "Day Tripper", "With A Little Help From My Friends" and other immortal songs. Definitely worth a visit for its novelty value.

And that's about it for this week. Happy listening...and till next time, stay healthy!

This article was first published on 22 Sep 2000.