How musicians find new music.

Posted: June 26, 2013 by Dethfrequency in Discussion
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I thought this video of  Metal Injection’s “Ask the Artist” was interesting. It asks some of the more unknown artists in the metal community (as well as some of my personal favorites) where they find new music. Metal is a genre that has been notoriously hidden behind clearance racks filled with old copies of “Now That’s What I Call Music” #9,439,634  or whatever obscene number they’ve gotten to now. Or, more commonly today they are isolated to sparse Youtube pages run by the closed minded elitists who upload stolen and poor quality versions of songs.  So this makes sharing music with one another absolutely essential to the existence of non major label artists. Many of the interviewees give similar answers, but almost all of them still said one of the main ways they find more music is by “word of mouth”.

There are a few ways to look at this. Either these guys have been in the game so long they no longer have to search for new music OR there really is a shortage of ways to share music. Now, I put emphasis on sharing because I do not refer to the act of using torrents or downloading music off of a P2P (peer ‘to’ peer) network like Bittorrent or Piratebay (their definition of sharing is debatable to say the least). What I mean is the sharing of music with friends or any fellow audiophile. I am constantly asking for music recommendations from everyone, regardless of what genres they tend to listen to.

This is my predicament. I listen to too many genres. I know a few others who do as well but there are many who are held back by a lack of diversity available for sharing. Not many people want to spend time looking through music review websites for bands or artists that have no context to the music they already know they enjoy. Not to mention how biased many of these sites have become due to the sponsorship of labels.

Pandora is a commonly used website for this and in the beginning was a favorite of mine to use. You can find some real gems on the site but for the most part if you really enjoy a band Pandora is just going to give you more of what you already listen to. So not much help there.

Spotify is an undoubtedly helpful app and is one of my current sources of new music. Yet even as an avid user I still feel that there is something lacking from what they have to offer. Sometimes the artists recommended aren’t great or not as similar to the artists as you would like. What’s even worse is that their collection contains various other artists under the same name but the program has no form of distinction for the artists.

You may go from listening to Pepper’s Kona Town to the album Over the Moon: A Collection of Nursery Lullabies. According to Spotify these were both made by the same artist. This isn’t the first time I’ve caught this, it just happens to be one of the funnier mistakes made in their collection.

2000 Kids/Family release of classic lullabies rearranged by Pepper

Reggae-rock band Pepper’s 2002 release “Kona Town”

So what? New music is hard to find. Music has always been shared word of mouth. The industry will continue to exist no matter how people hear about new artists or albums.

Here’s the problem: We live in the 21st century. The internet has consumed all facets of industry and is now the crux for many businesses. In order for new music to get any recognition these days they have to be signed to a major label or who have dedicated enough fans that will share their music.

The Remedy: Big website applications like Youtube, Spotify, Pandora, iTunes, Rhapsody, etc. These programs enable music to be more readily available to more users at relatively cheap prices. Buying whole albums are expensive, and theres nothing worse than shelling out $20 for an album you’ll more or less listen to maybe once or twice because it just plain sucks.

The Drawback: Their recommendations suck. It’s not based on listener preferences or people wanting to recommend anything. There needs to be more open forum, more people willing to share great music. That is how the word is spread to this day. Not via an algorithm based on listen counts and pre-formed playlists.

That is why I am here! I want to share the wealth. I want everyone to know about the many fantastic and unknown musicians in the world.

Take a look at my song of the day and album of the week posts starting soon.

-Dethfrequency

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