When I go music hunting, I use a couple of tools.
None more than my ears.
I do most of my surfing through The Hype Machine, which is a super duper digi-music watering hole. It’s like a music blog playlist on your iPod…just sitting there waiting for you to slap your ears all over it. It’s like Pandora Radio backed up by the netizens who are the “They” that they’re talking about when they say “this band is getting major buzz on the interwebs”.
And they do say that. Especially in my neighborhood, Wicker Park.
That gets said by music snobs and hipsters, and probably the people who stereotype people as music snobs and hipsters, but without stereotypes we’d all just have first names, and that would make things really difficult.
And we can be honest, I hope…music snobs and hipsters (and more credible, thoughtful music aficionados) make the music scene go around in circles and sometimes even more forward (gasp!). A lot of times those people are right, and they’re certainly keeping the record companies in check, so good for them. Yes?
So I usually poke around THM and when I add that to the songs I’ve heard around town or on a radio show or in a show on television, which I’ve always noted in my iPhone for future follow-up, I’ll end up with a somewhat hodgepodge list of tunes that I either just want to have near me, or if they’re something I particularly dig they might end up in a folder holding mixtape possibles.
You’re getting those mixtapes, right?
What’s funny about song is that I can usually tell how I’ll feel about it in about five seconds.
Sometimes, just the first line of a ‘review’ of a song or album will set my relationship with that musician or song permanently.
I know that kind of sounds self-congratulatory, but it’s more meant to demonstrate how weird I can be about music. A lot of times a songwriter’s story sells me. A lot of times it’s purely the pace or beat of a song.
That’s why I gave my mixtape the tagline: …grippy music.
Because I’ve never really claimed that I have any sort of insight into quality music.
I just know what turns my head.