Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Discovering Music

I've had a bunch of folks ask where I hear new music. These queries have inspired me to compile a list of the sources I turn to for hearing something new. Would love to hear more about yours...

KEXP Duh, the BEST RADIO STATION EVUH. We're lucky to have this amazing resource on our airwaves in Seattle at 90.3 fm. Good news is for those of you around the world, this is way more than a radio station and is online in a major way. It's web resources have real-time and archive streaming which allow you to tune in live or go back and listen to all the great shows, in-studios and check out playlists and music charts. Definitely worth exploring the site if you never have. You can usually count on their Top 10 as winners for your listening pleasure on any given day. They even have a pretty cool iPhone playlist app if you're one of those people.

Rhapsody: I still can't believe more people aren't using Rhapsody. It is relatively cheap, has great music selection, and with the iPhone and Android apps you truly have access to pretty much any song, any time, any where. For those who don't know, it is an online music database that you subscribe to. When you log into your account you have access to millions of artists, albums, and songs. You can save the music you like to your library (personal database) and create playlists you can access from anywhere. You're allowed to access library and playlists through 3 computers (most likely home, office and laptop) as well as a mobile device (phone). One of my favorite features is pretty simple: playlists. At the beginning of each season I create a playlist for whatever I listen to over the next 4 months. Additionally, I have another playlist for my favorite tracks: an easy way to keep a musical diary of sorts, and make the process of creating the end-of-year Daves Faves playlist. Even going back and listening to the winter playlist from this year is nostalgic. Other helpful features for discovering new music are the Pandora-like radios stations on Rhapsody, the "contemporaries" and "influences" links under each artist which link you to other related artists you may like.

Pandora This is the compromise between the control you have with, say Rhapsody and a standard radio station. This program seems to have made big improvements in recent years for controlling how far astray your station will go. 4 or 5 years ago I swear that all roads led to Elton John. Nowadays I can put on Passion Pit and not find myself an hour later singing along to "The Circle of Life."

New Music Tipsheet After Checking Rhapsodies new releases each Tuesday morning, I go hear to check out what has been released. Then, I head back to Rhapsody and add the albums I want to listen to, to my playlist. This is the best weekly source I have found although it doesn't have the real obscure stuff. If you have a better source that's updated often, let me know!

Perfect Shuffle I was turned on to this blog by a friend in Amsterdam. On the Perfect Shuffle section, this guy puts together great playlists of current and classic music which you can (whisper) download. The rest of his blog is pretty dang good too. It's in Dutch, but you can translate it with the click of a button if you need to.

Pitchfork Great music news and reviews. Not much for listening, but great for getting in the loop and learning/ discovering more.

Last FM I'll be honest, I haven't used this a bunch because with all the other resources listed above I don't really need to. That said, it is pretty good and worth checking out.

Friends I am fortunate to have some great music friends: the kind that can't wait to share something that they just discovered, a song or album they are certain will "change your life." You know who you are. I really do love it when somebody tells me "you gotta hear this." I love to know that somebody is as excited about music as much as I am and that they thought of me when they heard something they loved. So, share the love with others, cuz, even though I know I am likely in the hole lately with a few of you, you gotta give to get. Good news is Daves Faves 2010 is coming soon and is gonna be totally rad...

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