As a#music-blogger I always hope that my blog is helping people in my town find great new local music, and sometimes I am sure this is working fine. Still, I have to wonder how most people find new music. Do they turn on the radio, or get music from friends, or what? The radio stations seem to just play the same few artists over and over again, and most of my friends seem to change the channel whenever unfamiliar music starts. There are hundreds of amazing musicians in my area, even just counting the ones I know personally, but most folks around here just listen to mainstream music and never realize there is good #local-music around. I know I would rather buy a $10 ticket to see three great local rock bands I can hang out with afterwards, rather than pay $60 for a seat quite far from the stage to see a band I’ll never meet except to get a quick autograph. Am I so unusual? How might people find out about local #music easier, so that more people can enjoy cheaper, more personal concert experiences?
I am sure there are great musicians tucked away in just about every town in the world, too, so the ones I highlight all the time are just one tiny underappreciated corner of the music world. One tool I really enjoy when I am looking for more new music is the Discover tool in spotify. Actually, #spotify itself is a tool I highly recommend. It’s free and easy to use, and if you pay for the upgraded version you get to store playlists of music from their library on your computer to listen to off-line. My life as a music blogger got a lot easier once I found spotify. Well, their Discover tool, unlike many similar services, actually does a great job of matching music I have been listening to with music I didn’t know existed yet. And, the music suggested by this tool is not just mainstream. I have discovered a couple different really good, touring folk/Americana bands through spotify’s Discover tool that I got to meet and photograph soon after I found them on spotify, when they played shows in my town.
On the other end of blogging, I also use spotify to make weekly playlists for my readers so they can enjoy a carefully selected hour (usually a bit more than an hour) of songs I think are great. Since the playlists are on spotify, anyone can listen to them for free so long as they have spotify available, and they can then save songs they liked from my playlists onto their own playlists. I know occasionally people do find new music they like by listening to my lists. I am sure, however, that most people in my area still have never heard of my blog, let alone listened to my playlists.
I’m always thrilled when I can help someone find a new artist or song they love, so I’m always looking for more ways to improve my own blogging efforts. So, I’d love to know how everyone else looks for and finds the music they enjoy. How do you find music?