In the process of doing my Guitar Player gig, I get alerted, pitched, shared, cajoled, and recommended to tons of YouTube links. Overall, I like experiencing new bands and new music, as well as checking in on new projects by established guitar stars. Most of the time, watching these videos is fun, some of it is work, and a small amount of it is torture.
But I'd like to share with you the part that doesn't suck — discovering music that makes me happy, or that intrigues me, or challenges me, or that perhaps even baffles me. I'm not trying to be an industry pundit. It's just little ol' me sharing with Guitar Player readers some stuff that I found and liked out there in the utterly vast world of online music options. You may dig these videos, as well, or you may hate them. Your call, of course. But, due to the fact that I get deluged with links all day and everyday, I figured I could at least help you keep relatively up-to-date on emerging trends, players to watch, and what's going on with our revered guitar heroes.
Hey, it's worth a shot. Here's what I came across this week...
 DREAM WIFE "LET'S MAKE OUT"
This punk-ish trio of women (with a drummer added) hails from England (guitarist Alice Go and bassist Bella Podpadec) and Iceland (vocalist Rakel Mjoll), and they hit the San Francisco Bay Area touring with the Kills this past March. I missed that show, but an article from nme.com intrigued me enough to check out the band. They are quirky, as you might expect, and the music, at times, veers close to flailing, but I just love the energy and commitment. If you're looking solely for cool guitar solos and/or innovative ideas, don't click, but Go definitely has a ferocious sense of rhythm that, to me, is exciting and entertaining.
 HEAVEN & EARTH "THE GAME HAS CHANGED"
Heaven & Earth guitarist Stuart Smith has always been an excellent technician and composer, and his artistic reverence for his mentor Ritchie Blackmore shows in his own melodic playing. Heaven & Earth, however, is almost more of a mission for Smith, rather than a solely musical project, because he truly loves classic rock and wants to do whatever he can to drag that music back into mainstream culture. He has assembled a crack band and a truly marvelous and impassioned vocalist in Joe Retta — after all, ya gotta have "that kind" of voice to make classic rock really soar. I knew Heaven & Earth was working on a new album, but I didn't know this lyric video was bouncing around YouTube until the band's publicist, Amanda Cagan, sent me a note. Maybe Stuart wanted me to be the last to know?????
 STEPPIN STONES "FALSE AND HOLLOW"
Mike Gowen of the Mitch Schneider Organization hipped me to this Nashville-based band. Guitarist and vocalist Hannah Wicklund started the group when she was just nine years old, and she always wanted to be known as a guitar player. That desire and commitment to the instrument really shows in her playing, but Wicklund is not simply a shredder or a tonal colorist —though she certainly has chops and can go for some buzzy and less-than-organic sounds. What's impressive to me is how she uses her custom Tom Anderson guitar and Orange half-stack to drive the emotional context of her songs with a combination of spiky rhythms, slow lines, fast runs, and cagey riffs. It all adds up to a thrilling ride.