Another year has passed and a new year is still young. All too often there are commentators who pontificate about “how no new great music is being made today.” Normally, these “authorities” bemoan the lack of musical experimentation and excitement. They either point to the state of the Top 40 and the debacle(s) that was/were the New Years Eve shows on the broadcast networks or they extol the virtues of past “classics” that the music on the charts cannot possibly ever come close to appreciating.
These music critics and commentators complain about how utterly underwhelmed they are by the music on the radio, music on the satellite channels, and the music that is widely available via nearly endless repetition to the point of illness. And, of course, these critics are entitled to their opinions. But we believe to focus on some nostalgia overlooks the opportunities for invention and discovery. To that perspective we answer that quite simply you are looking in the wrong place for exciting new music. And yes, the music industry is over-focused on the idea of big selling “hits.” An excellent analysis of this “machine” can be found in Seabrook’s excellent book The Song Machine.
Every year for the past 12 years we have found amazing music from the margins, the outskirts, the unsigned, the overlooked, the local, the regional, the self-distributed, the incredible music being made in cities outside the orbit of the record labels and opinion makers with thousands of followers on any name your poison social network. We invite you to join us this year for a year in music discovery — and not just on Tuesdays when we create Your Tuesday Afternoon Alternative — but throughout the week and throughout the year! It is surprisingly simple, just go to your local music stores and browse the local, regional, self-produced section of your record stores and music outlets. Skip past the major label stuff — do not worry, you will be exposed to that over and over regardless of your enthusiasm for that music. However, there is new music, interesting music, exciting music being made in every genre in locations near and far.
In addition, to seeking out new sounds and new bands in the record stores, you can also take chances on local bands wherever you might call home. There are literally thousands of interesting bands playing any night of the week in any place. Go out. Listen to some new stuff. Buy some merchandise. As we used to say every T-Shirt sold represents gas in the tank or a hot meal. Support folks who wear their musicianship in the lines of every song that they write, every note that they play, and every idea that they share. Go out and support those musicians.
And when you find something that interests and excites you, reach out to us at Your Tuesday Afternoon Alternative and let us know! You can reach us here or at drjwudr on twitter and gmail. We welcome new suggestions, interesting performances, and new discoveries for both our radio program and for the sheer joy of listening to new music.
The future music is out there. And its great.