Listening to New Music

5 Mar

This is a topic that I find quite curious. Lots has changed since iTunes and music apps came along (at least for me). In the “olden days”, as my girls like to say, I would hear a song on the radio and then I would hope that the DJ would say who the artist was. There was also a time that I would go the used record store with my dad and sister and we would buy an album because the cover looked interesting, or because a friend had mentioned that we should check them out, or because we had heard them on the radio. Then, you would most likely listen to the whole record (waiting desperately to hear the song that you really liked). Once CDs came along (I think our family got a CD player sometime around 1985– dad, feel free to correct me if I am wrong), you could skip to the track that you really wanted to hear. But ultimately, you would end up listening to the whole album which meant getting to really know the deep cuts. This meant getting to discover some outstanding tracks that never got any airplay. 

Flash forward to the present. Now when you hear a song (on the radio, in a tv show, from a movie, while you are in a restaurant, just about anywhere really) you can use the Shazam app to “tag” it and find out the name of the artist and song. Amazing! Such instant gratification. If you don’t already have Shazam, you should definitely check out it. Then you can decide whether you want to buy the single from iTunes or whether you want to go ahead and get the whole album. In either case, I find that I hardly ever listen to an album in its entirety. I either just get the single, or if I get the album I end up putting the track that I really liked (plus maybe a couple others that sound interesting) onto a playlist with a bunch of other new music. The upside is the instant gratification of listening to all this new music that I am eager to check out. The downside is that I feel like there is tons of music I never end up  listening to. I also recognize that I am likely missing out on the musician’s artistic expression. Isn’t there something to be said about the album as a whole composition? 

I’d be curious to know how you discover and listen to new music these days.

4 Responses to “Listening to New Music”

  1. rob March 7, 2011 at 2:13 am #

    I do not know you but feel like i do. My advise is to go old school and buy the cd of the artist that moves you. You will learn more about the artist, not get burned out on the one song you glom onto and help the artist financially. Hey do you want to go out some time – you sound cool?

    • melissakagan March 8, 2011 at 6:29 pm #

      Always the comedian Rob. Although I do like your suggestion. After writing my most recent post I got to thinking that I really should commit to listening to the entire CD of some of the “newer” artists that I’ve been listening to. So here I go. The first album selection: Furr by Blitzen Trapper. My sister included a track of theirs on a mix CD that she made for my daughter last year and I really liked it. Off to check out the rest….

  2. Beren March 14, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

    I don’t know you either, but also like your musings.
    I catch new music, much of much of which is only new to me, on the Radcliffe and Marconie show week nights on BBC Radio 2 streamed on line. I also listen to Wxpn Philadelphia and Wmvy.

    I subscribe to an online music provider that allows me to access any music I like online and on my iPod.

    And most rewardingly I buy 78rpms on eBay and listen to them on my wind up gramaphone – now that’s old skool.

  3. March 14, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

    I’ll weigh in. I’ve spent SO much money on albums that ended up sitting in a giant CD tower untouched after I added my one or two favs to a mix (be it on cassette tape, cd or ipod). MVY (and admittedly sometimes Cape Country or even WCOD) coupled with Shazam has become my source of all new music. I do, once in iTunes… check out other songs by the artist and often purchase several. I’ll also trust and explore other artists that are recommended based upon my music. FAVORITE recent discoveries include Boris McCutcheon, Ryan Montbleau, Jason Spooner, Peter Bradley Adams and Josh Ritter. One thing that is always true for me… I like songs more when I connect to them. Seeing Boris live made me fall in love with his music. All of it.

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