November 22, 2009
How do you discover new music?
One thing I miss about my youth and my friends back home in Toronto is being introduced to new music. It all started years ago when I would buy albums based on the band name or album art, usually sticking to the punk rock genre of records shops like the Record Peddlar in Toronto.
As years went on and pay checks came and went, I would depend on my friends to be introduced to new music. Skinny was a big factor on this. He always had (has) his ears to the street to discover new bands and artists to listen to.
Years later I find myself in Nashville, TN. It’s not just that I left my friends back home, but it’s that I’m older now, with a family of my own. I don’t get out much. I find that I tend to listen more to the same old tunes as I always have, only because I don’t have the time to discover new music.
When I’m working I tend to listen to mellow music that doesn’t distract me. When I’m in the car I tend to listen to podcasts that are typically about marketing or technology. One major exception is NPR’s All Songs Considered. Each episode Bob Boilen shares his favorite new music, or he features guest musicians and music aficionados who talk and play portions of their picks.
Bob Boilen is seriously a music expert, without the pretentiousness one would expect with such a person. The guests he invites to the studio with him are also humble people, thankfully. He really knows his stuff and it shows. His passion is clearly amazing music and I’m so lucky to have stumbled upon this show a couple of years ago now.
I remember being turned on to Bonnie Prince Billy from All Songs Considered, The Letting Go was on the top of my playlist when my son Sam was born. You can see how that’s affected my top played artists by looking at my Last.FM profile, are we friends there yet?
I love this format of a show. These are true music lovers who speak from the heart. They share amazing music, some of which I love or at least like. I now depend on this show to find new music and today I did.
It’s not always that I hear something on All Songs Considered that I rush out and buy, but today I packed the kids in the car and we went to Grimey’s to pick up Bon Iver For Emma, Forever Ago. It’s a brilliant album filled with ghostly tracks which drop you in a quiet place you don’t want to leave. The vocals are an equally, impressive moan that glides you from one song to the next. It’s the perfect album to soundtrack how I’ve been feeling today.
I miss my boys back home and their sharing music. I long for the days of swilling beers and spinning records. Of meeting up at our apartments to prepare to head out to a local concert or two, only to cap it off at the B’.
For now I’ll settle on Bob and his guests helping me find some new gems. I highly recommend you subscribe to the All Songs Considered podcast, if you don’t like anything from the first episode you hear, listen to the next one and let me know what you think.
How do you find new music?
Image from Flickr: by Baptiste Pons