Through the Wire 

Where to download music.

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Paper Thin Walls and Idolator

Music online means the iTunes store and Rhapsody, but it also means the free songs and commentary available from the mushrooming ranks of MP3 blogs. A new blog to watch is Paper Thin Walls (www.paperthinwalls.com), which wants to do away with record reviews: "Seriously, do you really want anything beyond answers to 'Is this any good?' and 'Can I hear it myself?'" reads the editor's note.

That's the state of the MP3 blog in a nutshell. Paper Thin Walls is young but has had clout from the get-go, featuring contributions from established print writers. A slew of new tracks from up-and-coming bands are added daily (recent posts included new singles from alt-folk singer Nina Nastasia and neo-garage rockers The Walkmen), along with links to music news. The prominence given to reader comments adds welcome democracy.

Another newcomer to the music blog scene is Idolator (www.idolator.com). Like its parent site, Gawker, a popular source of gossip about the New York media business, Idolator loves its snark and serves mostly to put its own wisenheimer spin on whatever the music blogosphere is buzzing about. Links to YouTube.com video footage (rapper The Game riding in a car offering a rambling explanation of why he punched out rapper Ras Kass in an L.A. nightclub) is a regular feature skewering indie-music site Pitchfork (a site to which I contribute, but this is good stuff), along with links to the best of the best new songs linked by other blogs, which recently included Tom Waits and Prince. All that and it brings the funny. S

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