here’s a handy list of some sites to use to look for music (there are so many that I don’t even visit all of them all the time), although this list definitely is not comprehensive.
just a note - the Chinese music sites tend to lean more to one side, say more mainland music than HK/Taiwanese. so it’s best to go with a combination to hit all three.
on to the actual list!
Chinese music (in general):
Aiya They Didn’t - handy for the translated song charts (that are usually saturated with cookie-cutter ballads); check the tags. naturally, they’ve also got translated news and post a lot of msuic videos from the bigger artists.
CFensi - check out the forums for info on mainland pop - very good for mainland idol groups - although their Indie and Rock section is dead. (edit: their site’s down..maybe indefinitely.)
Rock in China - one of the very best sources of English information on indie/independent rock artists, especially mainland ones. plus they have a Downloads page you can check out, although some links no longer work.
Indievox - only somewhat English-friendly despite offering English as a site option. but a great site that you can also buy songs from; the prices are all in Taiwan dollars. they have nice charts to refer to and have lots of indie artists.
NeochaEDGE (music) - English news + tracks to sample! leans towards mainland artists.
F Yeah Chinese Indie - great Tumblr to look around! the admin who runs it is very familiar with Taiwanese indie artists in particular.
More Chinese Music - this LJ community offers some valuable downloads and news, although it’s been dead for two years.
Tenzenmen - is great for indie artists who are under bigger indie labels (and they do have a lot of big bands like Joyside, P.K. 14, and the like too). Tenzenmen’s also very good if you want to actually buy some of these artists’ music off of Bandcamp.
Yaogun.com - possibly the most comprehensive information database of Chinese rock music online with over 2000 bands, but it’s all in Japanese. if you can read Japanese, congrats!
Korean music (in general):
Seoulbeats - haven’t been on here much, but aside from normal Kpop idol fare, they also have a few features for non-idols.
F Yeah Korean Indie - the creator makes some great playlists you can sample. take a look. and plenty of songs to listen to, along with photos! (and she’s super active!)
Kindie4U - Tumblr with lots and lots of Korean indie songs. and I mean lots.
Korean Indie - awesome for news. when I research indie artists, their results always come up a lot (which is a good thing).
Indieful Rok - very useful for its translation of music charts! the blogger has now moved to Korean Indie.
Japanese music (in general):
Japan Live - awesome blog. plus lots of links (to band sites, to other awesome music sites, et cetera)!
Make Believe Melodies - another awesome blog covering, well, a lot - from indie artists to big popstars. (personally my favourite source for Japanese music.)
Jsound- a great Tumblr that posts a lot of great music and has a very nice extensive genre list to choose from. they don’t just post Japanese music, either…they also post Korean, Chinese, Taiwanese, Thai, Malaysian, British, etc.
Douban.fm - LOVE. explained above.
Douban Music - a good resource. even if you don’t understand Chinese, poking around may do you some good. it’s nice to have full discographies and whatnot. it also pulls up suggestions for artists that are similar.
Anusaya - a site that has a lot of news and reviews about artists from all over the world, including Asia! haven’t looked through all of it, but the site looks very promising.
Last.fm - surprisingly has a lot of Asian artists.
Xiami - only useful for people who are good with Chinese. this site has a nice selection, plus if you have the patience to register and do things such as uploading wanted albums, writing reviews, et cetera, you can earn their virtual currency, mi. using this mi, you can then download their songs. I’m hoping to write a guide to how to use this soon.