30
Mar
10

Searching music online…

2:24 pm

As a fan of music, it’s overwhelming how many bands and artists can come at you these days. It’s crazy. And it seems to be one of the biggest problems at the moment.
 
Piracy may seem like a problem -that probably is for established acts who sold in the millions when everyone was buying CDs. But for the majority of musicians it’s the monumental task of helping music fans and consumers connect with the artists and types of music they want.
 
This is what I’m reading and picking up from books like “Net, Blogs and Rock’n’Roll” and music industry bloggers -but I’m experiencing it more acutely. Particularly because I’m fussy about my music, and it’s often not genre based. I once came out of a CD store that had a sale with Groove Amada, 2Pac and Ice House -that raised an eyebrow from the shopkeeper.
 
But aren’t most music fans like that? By the time we’re into our twenties, anyway, because we’ve been through several stages perhaps -the pop stage in early teens, then classic rock, or punk, then emo, then maybe some form of metal, or hiphop, then 80’s pop, then singer-songwriter -then if you play an instrument you probably dabble in a bit of jazz or fusion etc… Because for many of us music is about exploration.
 
But the net has opened up so much choice -it’s both good and bad. I know there are some bands and artists out there that just suit me to a tea, but how do I find them? And it seems like every day, I mean literally every day, there are bands and artists coming at me both online and in the mainstream media that I’ve never heard of before, but journalists etc are telling me I’ve got to check out.
 
It’s a big world out there, and any band in any city that builds a following into the hundreds of thousands will be talked about -but the net allows them all to be talked about and it’s too much to absorb.
 
But is there an answer to it? Harking back to the old days of MTV, the problem was they had so much control to dictate our tastes -Do we want a monster like that? iTunes is handy for buying music from all kinds of artists and genres, but I wouldn’t want them dictating what I should buy -because then it’s back to the lowest common denominator, like Britney Spears and boy bands etc…
 
The way I’m coping is I write down any bands/artists I read about in the media that seem to be up my alley in a list throughout the week, then I’ll check them out (on Myspace, Youtube etc) and see if they’re what I might get into. The problem is, it’s often hard to say after one listen, and I can easily collect over ten bands in a week.
 
My theory is, for most music fans, they’ll become fans of particular artists because a) their friends are into it, then b) they see the band/artist at a gig or festival, and get into them from the experience. c) would be some form of radio -but these days it’s more like they would have to chose which radio -online or traditional etc… and that’s more up to the individual and perhaps whether they drive a car to work.

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