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Maybe Facebook has gotten a little dull lately. Aside from stalking people I half know and friending the kid who sits behind me in math, Facebook just doesn’t have the same draw as it used to. Enter: Spotify, a music streaming service that can be downloaded onto any personal computer and an account can be set up by any Facebook user. With a seemingly infinite collection of music, listeners can put together playlists and connect with friends by subscribing and compiling their music tastes together. This virtual music library, with the exception of the occasional commercial, can be streamed for free 24/7.
I found out about Spotify mid-way through last year and it has completely changed my music experience for the better. love the scrolling feed of what my “friends” are listening to. I love the warm and fuzzy feeling I get when someone subscribes to one of my perfected indie playlists.
Although having Spotify to check out new artists is great, I also really like Pandora Radio. Listeners can have Pandora make playlists for them based on a favorite song or band. I downloaded the free app and set up an account a few years ago. I have been in music heaven ever since. A lot of the songs Pandora plays are by bands I’ve never heard of so when I hear a new song I like, I just bookmark it. Later, I add it to a new Spotify playlist so my friends can enjoy the band as well.
I sat in seventh hour art, trying to trace a picture of a kale leaf and since the contours of the photo were beginning to bore me, I did what any sane teenager would do. I pulled out my phone. Scrolling through my Twitter feed I noticed that one of my favorite bands had created a hashtag and was answering questions from fans. Foregoing the piece of kale, I immediately shot off a tweet. And waited. And waited some more. And then, there it was, they had replied! This is why Twitter is so great for music lovers. It’s a direct link.
In the fast-paced world of technology anything can happen and I guarantee Twitter is the first place people will be talking about it. A mixtape could drop early, an album could get leaked, news of extra tour dates could get announced. Just click the follow button for an inside link to some of your favorite bands.
The best way to find new music is to be open to all of the possibilities. I’m not a hip hop person but that doesn’t mean I won’t look up a band that one of my Twitter compadres retweets or favorites. Opening my mind to all types of music helps me to define what my taste in music really is.
In addition to following my friends and favorite bands, I also follow Spin Magazine. They are always tweeting about some up-and-coming artist that will be topping the charts next year. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the one of your friends to discover music’s next biggest sensation. You’ll even have the satisfaction of being able to tell everyone: “I listened to them before they were cool.”
Concerts are also a great way to diversify music taste. Music festivals have introduced me to bands I would never have heard of before. The ticket for a cluster of 5-6 bands all performing in one night can get pricy but it opens up a handful of new artists and in the end it is always worth it. Opening bands can also be the perfect introduction to a less popular band that has a similar style to the headliner.
Popular music may be catchy with its simplistic melodies, easily getting “stuck in your head,” but it lacks the in-depth attention to acoustics and collaboration of artists with their instruments. One tactic I use to attempt at salvaging my music library from desolation by the status quo is simple: music blogs.
In most cases, music blogs are websites offering free downloads of what the creator considers the best up and coming music. Sites many people have started taking advantage of like Good Music All Day and The Kollection transition the spotlight to underground hip-hop artists and rappers that can’t be found on iTunes because their albums have been released as free downloads called mixtapes. Whereas other sites like Daytrotter and NPR book recording sessions with bands new on the music scene. These recordings are virtually live 4-track concerts that show only the band’s musical talent rather than allowing them to hide their flaws with vocal and instrumental editing.