So I’m at liberty to divulge my sources, on the record. I’ve been asked a couple of times now where I get my music from; do I find new bands on the internet, am I introduced to artists at concerts, do I hear them on movie soundtracks? Succinctly, yes, and then some.
If you already use the internet to get your musical fix, the easiest way to come across new artists is to invest a bit of time in building your musical profiles. I’m consistently plugged into Spotify, Youtube, Amazon Music, and Pandora; if you’re not willing to part with your sheckles for the premium services from these platforms, (no shame, I’m not either) then a combination of these will probably do you as well as it’s done me. Spotify, YouTube, and Pandora can all be great for discovery. The algorithms they use to personalize music for users have been incredibly helpful in my experience. If it’s of interest, I’ve actually made some of my best discoveries on YouTube, and I use Amazon Music and Spotify to collect everything I come across. The plus of Amazon Music is that it comes with my Amazon Prime membership, and there are millions of free songs. The drawback is that you would have to pay an additional fee for more music, and I’m not about that right now as a college student, so I supplement my collection with Spotify (the drawback being that I will have to listen to some adds).
Additionally, music reviews can be really interesting. One of my favorite reviewers makes his home on YouTube at theneedledrop. He reviews dozens of genres, and while I don’t listen to everything he reviews or agree with everything he says about what he reviews, he’s an awesome resource.
So, the internet? Check. What about movie soundtracks? Uh, let’s call that a half-check. I’ve never gone in search of something because I heard it in a movie. However, I’ve often heard something in a movie soundtrack (or two, or three) semi-recently after I’ve found it. The most frequent offenders of this are both dream pop bands, Passion Pit and M83. If you’ve ever heard of the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, it’s like that, but with music. If you haven’t heard of the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, it’s where you become familiar with something for the first time (like a word, phrase, or, hey, a band), and then you see the same word, phrase, or band in a different place, usually repeatedly.
Onto concerts. I’ve found a few artists I really enjoy by seeing them open for another artist I enjoy, though none have been ones I’ve recommended yet. I actually don’t attend as many concerts as I would like to; my last one was in October in Omaha, for Alesana, a long-time favorite of mine. I’ve seen them twice, and the bands that opened for them both times were fun to jump around to, but not all of them were the kind of artists I sink a lot of time into. Last fall I attended a poetry reading by Jericho Brown, a poet living in Atlanta, and his advice about understanding poets is also transferable to musicians; he said that to understand a poet, you need to read what they’ve read, and then read what the people that they read read, and so on, so forth. No matter what genre(s) you consume, the same is true in music as well. If you’re in love with Green Day, you’d probably do well for yourself to listen to first wave punk bands, like The Clash or the Ramones. If you enjoy contemporary metal, you’ll probably like the Misfits, considering they were a huge influence on the genre.
However, in my experience, the best way to find new music is *drumroll*- people. The people you interact with, who know you best, those are the people who (in my experience) will lead you to some of the stuff you will come to love the most. For me, the person who’s led me to the most stuff I never would have otherwise listened to is my husband. Shared music interests were a huge part of our friendship, and music continues to play an important role in our relationship, so we’ll share what we’ve found recently, whether that’s individual bands or entire genres, with one another.
The last thing he showed me was indie band Built to Spill, and we’ll get to see them live in Omaha this August. If you’re willing to put the time in, this eight minute song is my favorite by them. (No pressure.)
I hope this has been helpful, in some form or another. I don’t think I do much different from anyone else to find music, other than that maybe I put a lot of hours into it, so let me know if this was new information, or if you’re still interested in something I may not have covered. If you’d like to know something else, I might not necessarily be done with this installment.
https://www.youtube.com/user/theneedledrop (Image avatar for theneedledrop)