When one mentions the ‘blogosphere’, one imagines a badlands full of noise, colour, bluster and little value. The thousands of thousands of unsolicted opinions, all posted up for the world to see, or get lost in. The blog world has made few superstars, and are mostly the same. Some like Perez Hilton may get canonised. But for every Hilton there are possibly ten thousand nobodies, doing very little that is creative.

Enter Aquarium Drunkard, a role model for blogs everywhere.

Lets talk about what AD is today. Based out of LA, it’s a blog that slants towards to roots and country side of music. But they adore new music, and support it wby sponsoring gigs. They do exclusive interviews with the acts they love. They write passionately and thoughtfully about classic records. There are regular columns and contributors. Buckets of fantastic Mp3s. There is also a radio show version on Sirius. It’s not Perez Hilton, but it’s the digital age version of the cool indie roots rock record shop.

This wasn’t always the case. AD grew from a Blogspot site, and then took it to the next level. It built a solid audience. And the writing – utterly fantastic. We came across it early, and followed it as it started sponsoring gigs. It got it’s own URL. The bands being interviewed were the big bands. But they never forgot about the small ones either. The fantastic Off the Record column started. We can’t find where the quote was from, but we read somewhere that AD lifted the bar for music blogs – and we agree.

What kills us, with frightening regularity, is the writing. Two that still sticks with us – a great, personal look at 80s indie that sent us back to Flying Nun records and Grieving Angel -where the writer makes a claim for the death of the golden age of alt-country (marked by both Whiskeytown’s reissue of Strangers Almanac and the death of the No Depression magazine).

This is miles above your regular “OMG new single by so-and-so”.

Above all, we have discovered much great music, on this site. From tasting a track or two on a classic artist we have heard of but never known, to fantastic bootlegs, demos and unreleased material and, of course, new awesome bands. Which is what a music blog should be all about.

Aquarium Drunkard is a big inspiration for this site. In the strange world of blogs, it’s good to have something to aspire to. We wish we could say that AD was one of many blogs that operate so well, but the truth is we can not think of another like it. Maybe we’re not looking hard enough – we would love to know what we’re missing. But in the meantime, when blogs are still considered something of a joke, at least one site is making something seriously great.