Thursday, October 22, 2009
Music Finds You
Well... sort of.
I have been on an absolute barnstorm across the world wide web the past few days loading up on new music. It has been one of the most successful new music missions I have ever had - and like all things, it came with a clear strategy. A strategy that I want to share.
It started with the great website Hype Machine, which aggregates music from the top blogs around the world in one place. You can listen to them all like it were a long running playlist, which is the first step. I listened and when something struck my fancy, I jumped to the blog and began the second part of the search. I spent some time on this persons blog to feel out their musical taste - was it one dimensional, did they have a wide variety of styles that I enjoyed, how did they write about the songs and artists they were offering for download.
I did this exercise for about two weeks and came away with 12 or so blogs that just killed it. These sites offer fans the ability to download tunes - so download I did. I must have added 200+ songs to iTunes over the two week span... didn't try to decide if they were worthy of a long-standing position yet - that came in phase 3.
Once all the songs were on my iPod - the switch shifted towards my commute and Wednesday wedding planning which I have dubbed "new music and new memories". Which now makes wedding planning time, also the time where I find new music and both of us are all geared up (for different reasons) - just brilliant stuff. So the system at this point is pretty simple. There are three grades I give each song which allows me to circle back and finish my new music quest afterwards (this method is straight from the Hadley handbook by the way). As for the ratings, each grade is assigned one of the ratings star on iTunes/iPods
- If the song doesn't resonate, doesn't seem like something that will get plays - but instead a constant skip over - it gets one star
- If the song is good, a song that may grow on me, a song that might just be great one day - it gets two stars
- And finally if the song comes off like an instant classic, something that just clicks from the get go - it lands three stars
At the end of the day, I go back and sort by rating on iTunes. Erase all the 1 star songs, keep all the 2 start songs, and immediately do two things with the 3 star songs: 1/ make a mix tape to share the new music with people and 2/ begin to download more stuff from each band
It's that easy... and nothing is more refreshing than finding a boat load of bands to discover... because let's face it - discovery is the best part.
And just in case you want to check out some of the new groups I have dug up:
-The Vaselines (not new, actually most famous for Nirvana covering - but new to me and great)
-Cymbals Eat Guitars
-Camille Yarbrough (old r&b/mo-town/funk - "Take Yo Praise" has been covered a few times)
-Alex Bleeker and the Freaks
-Clare and the Reasons
-Free Energy (song Something in Common)