Wales on the web

Monday 14 March 2011, 11:17

Bethan Elfyn Bethan Elfyn

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A friend sent a tweet this week saying, "Someone should hire me as a researcher, I'm dead good on Google!" It made me laugh because he's right. These days, for our music and our news, we depend so much on the internet to tell us what's going on. When I first started at the BBC, you couldn't do anything without a big fat phone directory. How times have changed - isn't that right, Day V Lately?

We all have some faithful websites and blogs that we like to visit, so here's a handful of mine. Some are glaringly obvious, and hopefully some will be a revelation.

It's always good to have a fresh list of websites that are worth checking out for up to date Welsh news, whether cultural or music related. I've even had some help from friends on Twitter for some of the following websites and blogs that we should visit on a regular basis. Feel free to add links to the comments if you think we've missed something vital.

Here's the best of the Welsh Web Bible:

Babylon Wales
With the most hilarious, sometimes dodgy, retro and modern finds to do with Welsh music ever. This is a museum between the walls of the internet. Amazing site!

Spillers Records
Good mailing list each week with some attractive offers and a really great nose for the best new releases.

Diverse Vinyl
Specialist vinyl mail order, great suggestions, vast Americana and psych sections, plus Diverse Records' blog for everything on the label, and vinyl reissues of some pretty big names. Clever boys!

Wrexham Music
Really great guide to all gigs and events in north Wales, at the heart of all things Wrexham and beyond.

Clwb Ifor Bach
Regularly updated, a great gallery, and some of the best gigs around.

Link 2 Wales
Music website from Neil Crud, an insight into the gigs, music and events in north Wales. The blog is a good ranty read.

The Quietus
A great webzine, even greater now I've noticed Cardiff journo Noel Gardner has a column on punk and hardcore! Score.

Datblygu
A website set up by fans of the band, but they've collected lots of the videos and interviews with Dave and the band over the years, and a list of every gig ever is promised. The music still sounds as vital today, and I'm glad to see such an important Welsh band having their dues with a good website for fans around the world.

Plastik Magazine
Articles, features, reviews, columnists, free downloads, and all beautifully presented. This is a lovely website, add to your daily reading.

Cardiff Arts Institute
Tunes, mixes, galleries, and up to date guide to what's going on with the hip and happening of the Cardiff scene.

Amped Wales
Magazine and blog run by south Wales rock enthusiast Jarrad Owens. Comprehensive and enthusiastic, especially the Manics material.

Chrome Kids
Kaptin is a DJ and promoter here in Cardiff, and this is his blog on some sounds of the underground dance scene. Particularly good at flagging up some downloads, mixes and events, and the latest in the dubstep and hip hop genres.

Cob Records
North Wales' finest record shop, based in Bangor and Porthmadog.

Catapult Records
Wales' best dance music specialists. Sign up for their weekly bulletins from Catapult as to the best new releases too, in every sub genre of music possible.

South Wales Massive
A forum for those into the south Wales punk, metal and hardcore music scene.

'It's not necessarily music but I like it' sites:

The National Theatre Wales
With three projects on the go right now including a circus in Milford Haven, a pub night out in Aber and Charlie Sheen in Port Talbot.

Ark
Creative project, inspiring pop up events around the city of Cardiff and south Wales.

Do Lectures
Spend some time with the lectures; it's the best university course ever.

Cardiff Terrifies Me
The best collection of newspaper headlines anywhere!

We Are Cardiff
Meet the neighbours.

Pete Fowler: Mosterism
For a multi-coloured world of wonder, and a parallel universe of genuine glee, check this out.

Welsh activities in the States:

Americymru Blog
Our friends on the Americymru blog have even organised their own Welsh festival in LA which is happening this September.

Chicago Taffia
For all Welsh based activities in Chicago, including a thorough gig guide, and sporting get togethers and fixtures.

Some Welsh language Links (but still something for everyone!):

Golwg
A comprehensive news website based on Welsh language cultural events.

Y Twll
Videos, mp3s, interviews, blog posts, cartoons all in Welsh but the content isn't exclusively Welsh. Find some amazing archive videos by cult band Datblygu, for example.

Fideo Bob Dydd (Video Every Day)
Does what it says on the tin. I've laughed a lot at some of these videos, from amateur acting pilots to tongue-in-cheek spoofs, and Lego animation of Welsh legends, these videos have an unbelievable variety.

Pop Cymru
Gig calendar, and news blog on the Welsh language pop music scene. This website is new to me, but easy to look around and good interaction between general twitter hash tags and the news they post.

Amrwd
Nicely designed download label website with Soundcloud chunks of tracks from Welsh language bands that are available free, plus a monthly podcast - bonus.

Spending so much time on the web, it's always going to be a work in progress but hope you enjoy the links. Thanks for all the suggestions that came in online. Keep telling us about good new blogs and websites, as it's exciting that the world of Welsh music is constantly expanding.

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