I used to find new music the way most people did: the radio. I was never a big radio listener but I heard enough at various times throughout the day, at home, at work or in shops to pick up on what was going on. TV supplemented this diet, from the heyday of Top Of The Pops to MTV (TOTP no longer exists, and MTV no longer plays music).
When I moved away from the UK my radio and TV consumption dropped dramatically, and this was also around the time that the way people bought (or didn’t…) music changed dramatically thanks to the internet. Nowadays I feel I’m between two generations: I use the internet to research new music, but I still buy a hard copy on CD.
Often I’ll find something after a friend shares it on facebook, twitter or a blog. Like this one, dropped in the middle of a friend’s recent blogpost just because she was listening to it at the time of events she was describing.
One of the easiest ways to decide on a purchase is “Did I like their last album?”, and on that basis I just bought the new Florence + the Machine CD. But I don’t do it “blind”. I’ll still read some reviews just in case, and for that reason I avoided the last Björk.
Once in a while I’ll pick up a copy of Songlines which, in addition to all the articles and reviews also gives you one or sometimes two free cds featuring the best of that month’s releases. A few from the last issue I liked:
Anoushka Shankar. Flamenco sitar. I bought the album at the weekend.
The Bombay Royale. Australian Bollywood Surf Guitar. Sadly they don’t seem to have released a full album yet.
Ali Khattab. North African flamenco. Album is proving hard to track down in CD format.
Old stuff still sounds new
Whenever I go back to the UK I’ll pop into HMV and scan the discounted section. These days it takes up most of the shop, as so few of us actually buy shiny discs any more, meaning that almost half their stock is available for five quid or less. Usually in these situations I’ll pick up a compliation or greatest hits package. On this trip I got Missy Elliott and Roxy Music.
How do you find new music?