If you only discover music by listening to the radio, then you’re truly missing out on some great songs and bands. The truth is that some of the best music out there isn’t popular at all, so it can take some effort to find these hidden gems. Each day, relatively unknown bands travel and play shows for small crowds, but even though the crowds are small, they’re dedicated. A site called Daytrotter helps to bring attention to these bands by inviting them to their studio, recording some of their songs, and giving visitors the tracks for free.

DaytrotterYou possibly haven’t heard of some of these amazing bands or performers (like Neutral Uke Hotel, Deep Sea Diver, Deerhoof, Jeremy Messersmith, and Zee Avi), but there are some rather popular ones who are represented at the site (such as J Mascis, Jeff Daniels [yep, the actor. He sings and plays guitar, too], Jolie Holland, Kris Kristofferson, Social Distortion, Tricky, Bob Mould, and even, as surreal as it may seem, a few familiar voices from Cartoon Network’s Aqua Teen Hunger Force). Even if you have heard some of the songs and they’re from your favorite records of all time, the Daytrotter versions are unique and raw, which makes listening to them even more enjoyable — like rediscovering some of the best music in the world all over again.

In addition to listening to the music, you’ll also be able to learn more about the bands, find out what the inspiration was for the songs, and so on. I’ve been stuck in a musical rut, so perhaps Daytrotter will break me free from it.

And now, it seems that Daytrotter’s going on tour! If you live in any of the following places (or like to drive all over creation for an earful of sweet, sweet tunes), you might want to catch Barnstormer 5, Daytrotter’s traveling hootenanny (I don’t know if the kind people at Daytrotter actually call it a hootenanny, but that’s the general idea).

  • 8/26/11 – Runnymeade Farm Barn (North Hampton, NH)
  • 8/27/11 – Sunnyview Farm Barn (Ghent, NY)
  • 8/28/11 – Old Lantern Barn (Charlotte, VT)
  • 8/29/11 – The Living Room (New York, NY)
  • 8/30/11 – Chaseland Barn (New Wilmington, PA)
  • 8/31/11 – Conrad Botzum Farmstead Barn (Akron, OH)
  • 9/01/11 – Lakeview Farms Barn (Dexter, MI)
  • 9/02/11 – Kalyx Center Barn (Monticello, IL)
  • 9/03/11 – Codfish Hollow Barn (Maquoketa, IA)