In Search of Good (Independent) Music

Posted by  Grand Poobah  August 24, 2012  •  No Comments  • 

It’s hard to find good new music these days…at least I find it so.  In fact, I more or less gave up for a long time, for a number of reasons.  Firstly, it seems like the good-to-suck ratio on the radio became so low that it just wasn’t worth it to listen anymore.  Popular music has gotten so homogenized that there’s a lowest common denominator sameness that’s accentuated by the strict adherence to format.  I suppose that’s not surprising; there are only four major record labels left (three, if UMG is allowed to gobble up EMI), subsidiaries of giant corporations all, and one corporation, Clear Channel, owns most U.S. radio stations.  The labels have become increasingly fearful of taking risks as the digital music ages has steadily eaten into their profits, and will only spend their money on sure things; mostly, established artists or artists/marketing whizzes who have already built their own fan bases.  Strict radio format means that artists whose music is hard to pigeonhole into a particular established genre will not be played, and if they’re not signed to a major label, forget it.  It all adds up to music that is strictly formula, overproduced and overcompressed (to make it sound louder—there’s a loudness war on, you know).

So how does one find good new music?  I generally like the philosophy of buying local first and supporting small businesses over giant corporations; so that seems like an obvious direction to move toward.  I’d rather buy music from the artist or band so that they get most of the profits, rather than support bloated corporations who only give a teensy percentage of music sales to the artists. Easier said than done, though; aside from going to local live music events (always a good idea), how does one sift through the literally thousands upon thousands of independent musical artists one can find on the Internet to find the good, even great music that’s undoubtedly there?  That’s one of the things I intend to explore in this blog; I’ll be reviewing independent artists and sharing ways of discovering new music outside the mainstream.

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