As an incredibly erudite and unbearably hip journaliste spécialisé musique, friends often ask, ‘Gareth, you know literally lots about music, tell me, where might I find some?’
‘Good question,’ I respond, an effortlessly patronising smirk distorting my grinsmug, then I turn to leave, as anyone who needs to ask where they can find that rare 2002 Justice live set, or which member of Arcade Fire is it most tasteful to have tattooed onto your taint is clearly a rube not worth tipping off about the next unannounced Camille Lefil show.
Still, it’s only fair to share such precious and magnificent knowledge through the medium of the internerd, a place where I can’t see your sad little faces light up like roman candles in pathetic appreciation of this (to you) new world of music. Without further ado, here are some places to find new music.
Podcasts – Thousands of radio shows and amateur music fans world wide have taken to producing podcasts featuring the latest unmissable sound treasures. To listen to podcasts you’ll need a podcatcher like iTunes or Juice. You do not need an iPod or even an MP3 player. Downloaded music can be burned onto a CD, or more credibly, you can free your tunes from the prison of the digital with a dubplate cutter from Swiss vinyl kings Vinylium. A good place to start is ‘All Songs Considered‘, an eclectic treat from 70’s electro pioneer Bob Boilen. Recent shows have featured a custom song written and recorded by electromagnetic superhero Stephin Merritt, and guest DJ sets from Jens and Thom. Extweem.
MP3 Blogs – Superfiends of pirate genius, MP3 bloggers defy music science by using unauthorised downloads to increase sales of obscure or forgotten artists. Individuals songs are picked and posted online, usually for between 24 hours and a week, before disappearing into a puff. Some of the best include Said the Gramophone, I guess I’m floating, and Flu Kids.
Streaming Services – Streaming services are a mixed bag, often they’ll work in one country but not in another, or provide a poorly labelled selection not worthy of the bargain bin formerly known as the Hidden Book & Record store. Burn. How and eva, theyz kan be gud 2. Popular services include those dedicated to discovering new music – Pandora (not available in Ireland), Last FM (available but crippled in Ireland); and those which play what you want, when you want it – like Deezer.If you like your music retro, one excellent streaming source is Wolfgang’s Vault, which legalishly streams hundreds of classic concert recordings from numerous artists including Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, the Band, and the Floyd.
Music exchange communities – This one you probably won’t have heard of. Natch. Music exchange communities, also known as Darknets, provide literally the best way to encounter utter shitloads of new musicnoise. They work like bulletin boards, with members posting new tracks and albums daily and on request – saving them to upload sites like Mediafire, and listing them on the community. Two of the best of these communities exist on Live Journal, a blogging kleenex otherwise gluged with furry semen and emo tears. Simply sign up for an LJ account, and search out communities like Indie Exhange or Share Music. Yes this is illegal. However, as these communities have in some cases existed for longer than the laws which prohibit them, they certainly don’t care, so neither should you.
There you have it, more ways to check out that obscure band ‘off handedly’ referenced in a pitchfork review, than you can shake a sheaf of Lester Bangs’ Van Morrison Paedophilia allegations at. Remember, buy music, otherwise the artists don’t get paid.