How can I find new and interesting music?


I get this question all the time from friends. ďHow do you find new music?Ē Theyíll usually ask after Iíve shared a new band Iím listening to. With the state of radio the way it is, and it is awful, I think music lovers must go to greater lengths to find music worth listening to. If you donít really care whatís on the radio while youíre driving home, or if you donít have an mp3 player or listen to music only causally, you may not care. For many though we love to listen to music and care a great deal about finding new music. MTV and the radio tend to be atrocious, and satellite radio isnít much better. I canít say this is the best way to find new music, but itís the way I do it



1. Television is a goldmine right now of moving music. After all those years of television coasting through programming and always getting stellar ratings for the top 3 networks, the time has finally come when even the big 3 have struggled to keep their viewership. Of course the buzzword of the 90s was ďfragmentation,Ē and boy did TV fragment. With 100s and 100s of channels now splitting audiences, television has to create more compelling dramas and comedies, draw in celebrities, and yes even offer music and theme songs that arenít produced on a Casio keyboard. Do you remember the late 1980s? Think of a theme song from one of your favorite shows from that time period. Do you know the name of the group who sang that theme song? I would bet dollars to donuts that you donít. I would guess the theme song you picked is either a keyboard jingle or a dramatic monologue like ďIím not the kind to kiss and tell but Iíve been seen withÖĒ you get my point or cue the A-Team track. Now shows like Smallville, Grayís Anatomy, The OC, Scrubs and many more are featuring music from real musicians and artists who manytimes are not otherwise showcased on the radio.

You can go out and buy the soundtrack for a television show you like, but I do not believe itís going to get you the new music you want. I would recommend finding an episode guide on the web first. Find the episode that played that song you liked so much and then find the name of the band. Punch the name into Google and find the bandís website. You might also want to find the bands myspace page. Some groups of people I know really love myspace. Other groups I know either hate it or have never ventured on to a myspace page. Try it. You donít have to run a pickup service to find myspace useful. You can also go to the artistís record label.




2. Movies are offering a wider variety of new music these days than ever before. With many soundtracks like the wildly popular ďGarden StateĒ and "Oh Brother Where Art Thou" it is easy to see that directors care much more about music today than radio stations.  Do the same as above, find the soundtrack on Amazon, and find the artist website, myspace, or record label.




3. The internet in all its vastness is crap if you canít put some order to it. I mentioned myspace above. Most bands have a myspace page. I recommend going to a band who you like and finding out whom they are listening to. Myspace musicians usually have other musicians as friends, or they at very least list names of bands under their ďmusicĒ section.       

           Another good way to pull down music from the web is to find indie or small record labels. There are large lists of these record labels on the web. Find one with categories, pick a category you like, and go find those unknown yet amazing bands. Most bands record companies will give you a few free downloads. Remember Nirvana? They burst through off the Subpop label. Maybe itís a start for all those who love alternative rock and didnít know.




4. Clubs, lastly, are my favorite way to harvest new bands from the net. Look up a club website and see who will be playing second fiddle next week.  Do you know any clubs in your area where you like to frequent? Are you reading this with one eye open because you just came back from there? We all know opening acts are tomorrowís MTV floozies, so go to the site find an opening act and find that actís webpage. Small clubs that play new and unknown music is of course where it all begins. With the web we have the opportunity to listen to a Huston band in Cleveland or a LA band in Baltimore and no one in between knows the difference.  

My point in all of this is to give some suggestions as to how I find new music. Iím sure itís not the only way. Also Iím directing people here on how to find ďfreeĒ music legally. Generally an artist or record company will have 2-4 downloads. Myspace usually will offer 2-4 songs. Download those free songs. If you like the band, go buy the album. Support them always.