Digital Tastemakers

Illustration: Gluekit

It often seems as if there are, oh, 800,000 New Yorkers who blog, roughly 730,000 of whom have an opinion about music. We picked five who are (get ready to rumble, commenters) more important than the rest. Here’s why.

Omnivorous online granddaddy of the local live-music scene who covers bands from Brooklyn to London. Curates shows, too.
Why he’s important:
The exposure Dave (who really only ever goes by BrooklynVegan and is loath to have his last name revealed) gives artists, most of whom log on to see what’s being said about them. Or, as he puts it, “Someone gave me this self-released CD by Justin Vernon (a.k.a. Bon Iver) in the beginning of summer 2007. I blogged about it, invited Justin to come to play my CMJ showcase at the Bowery. I guess the rest is history.”
In the five-plus years since he started BrooklynVegan:
“A lot of venues have closed because of rising rents. But I think even more have opened in Brooklyn to take their place.”
Everyone should be listening to:
“Nathaniel Rateliff & the Wheel. I just hosted them at two CMJ shows.”

Robert Lanham,
The blog with the name (for better or worse) synonymous with Brooklyn music. Author of The Hipster Handbook.
Greatest claim to fame:
“We were the first blog I’m aware of to write about Grizzly Bear. I think it was Ed Droste who dropped off a demo years ago, with a note that said, ‘Hey, we’re neighbors, check this out.’ ”
Criticized for:
“We are constantly accused of promoting only hipster bands.”
Everyone should be listening to:
“Real Estate. Are they too popular now?”

Nora Walker,
D.J., talent scout, party girl.
Areas of expertise:
Dance music, British imports, cheesy electro-pop.
The problem with Brooklyn is:
“There were eight to ten really big music blogs when I started. Now there are probably a hundred. Everything seems oversaturated and overwhelming.”
Everyone should be listening to: “The Depreciation Guild: dark, gorgeous, layered electro-rock.”

Tod Seelie,
Areas of expertise:
The DIY music scene, “warehouse and apartment shows, mainly.”
Why he matters:
“I’m friends with bands like Matt and Kim, CSS, Japanther, the Death Set, and Ninjasonik, so I covered them a lot early on.”
Everyone should be listening to:
Dark Dark Dark, Woods, These Are Powers, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Ninjasonik, Crystal Antlers, and Cerebral Ballzy.

Christopher R. Weingarten, @1000timesyes
The sometime critic will have reviewed 1,000 albums from 2009 on his Twitter feed by year’s end.
Areas of expertise:
Hip-hop, art-metal, noise. “But damned if I don’t love the new Miranda Lambert and Green Day albums.”
Right now, Brooklyn is:
“Moving toward bands with basic ideas and lots of laptops, filtered through a wall of distorted mush to make them sound interesting. See: Real Estate.”
Everyone should be listening to:
“Dälek, from New Jersey. They are making some of the most important music in the world.”
Beef with other bloggers:
“Anyone that tells you they personally had a hand in ‘making’ a band is either aggrandizing their importance or has an inflated sense of self-worth.”

Digital Tastemakers