Today it seems that keeping up with new music is like trying to take a drink from an open fire hydrant. One of the consequences of music streaming and related online tools is the geometric increase in music widely and — most importantly — easily available to us at any time, for any reason. But a single snowflake can be lost in a snowstorm. How do you find music given the wide variety available? Of course, this assumes that people want to find music. One of the possible outcomes of so much music being so accessible is that the experience of music becomes less important to some of us.
The constant torrent of new songs, re-releases, remixes, live recordings, and more can feel like a whirl of glimpses and phrases. While few bands and artists are as prolific as Guided By Voices/ Robert Pollard, there are over 2,000 albums released every week. And that does not measure the backlog of older music and more.
On the show yesterday, we discussed the different tools that we use to try and keep up with music releases. We use a mix of streaming services, music aggregators, emails from song pluggers, magazines, blogs, and newsletters. We also find that social media can be helpful in trying to expand what we play on YTAA. What are people interested in music talking about? What new music are the artists we admire excited about? What are they listening to at the moment?
On YTAA, we are trying to avoid the ‘big’ artists who are on the major record labels or who comprise what Alan Krueger called “The Superstar Economy” in concerts and music releases. The “Winner Take All” assumption of the music industry overlooks thousands of artists who have good qualities that deserve praise, support, attention, etc. Since the beginning of the show in 2004, we have focused on indie, alternative, and local music that we believe deserves more support than it gets. This is just as true today as it was when we started almost 19 years ago.
So, the question remains: What do you do to keep up with new music releases? How do you track down new music? What tools, services, and approaches help you find new music that you love? Send us any thoughts you would like to share at drjytaa at gmail.com.