The Joy of Music Discovery
I discover new artists and new music in ways which most of you reading this aren’t able to do—in a couple of ways.
One way for me, is through the music that the record labels send us for airplay consideration…and trust me, we get a LOT of music that way. It’s just just the major labels. We also get music from indie labels, and independent artists—even from artists contacting me on Facebook.
I’m introduced to some really excellent music from really talented artists. I’m also introduced to a lot of mediocre music from moderately talented artists. And I’m introduced to some exceptionally bad music from artists who, well…how do I put this nicely? I’m introduced to a lot of exceptionally bad music from artists who suck. But you know what? I enjoy listening to that music as much as music from bigger artists because they’re chasing their dream. Sure they suck, but they keep at it, releasing single after single. To those people I say, keep at it. Keep making your music. I’d rather listen to your music than music from some big artist for whom a new single is nothing more than a business obligation.
But I digress.
That’s my radio guy way of discovering music. The other way I discover music—again, not a way of discovery open to most of you—is through my acting.
I’ve appeared in three music videos now. The first was in Bobby Bare’s video for “I Drink”. The second video I appeared in was for Shane Owens’ “Lie.” Both excellent artists. Obviously, Bare is a legend…and Shane is an artists whose music came to my attention a few years ago. I’m thrilled at his successes. And it was a pleasure to discover him as a “new” artist.
But I thought I’d write this blog while what happened yesterday was fresh in my mind.
Yesterday, I had a principle role in indie rock artist C. Shirock’s upcoming video release. I can’t say much about the video itself, other than I played a high school principal. I’d never heard C Shirock’s music before, so when I was booked for the role on Saturday night, I checked out his music. First, I went to his Facebook page. I discovered that a lot of the artists he likes are some of the artists I like: Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, Prince, John Lennon, Jeff Buckley, Elton John, Bob Dylan, Smashing Pumpkins, and The Cranberries. Then I went to check out C. Shirock on iTunes and I was pretty impressed. Now, I’m a fan because I discovered an artist I never would have been exposed to had it not been for my agent booking me on that shoot. (By the way, I can’t wait for you to see the video when it’s released. C. Shirock even wrote the video and it was beautifully shot.)
Anyway…my point in all of this is that discovering new music—or artists who are new to me—is a joy. It’s a treat that, in my opinion, we miss by the digitalization of music. Sure, the digital world has made it easier to discover new music and artists, but I think that that ease of discovery takes away a lot of the fun discovering new music in other ways.
I remember when I was in high school, my friends and I would go to one of our houses after class, and listen to an album that maybe one of us had camped out all night at a record store to buy. On occasion, it would be an artist I didn’t know. I remember how “cool” it was.
I remember the joy of discovering new music. For a few hours yesterday, I was a high-school kid again. And it happened when I was playing the role of a high-school principal.
Experience that joy yourself. Drop by a bar and discover a new band. Listen to your friends when they tell you to check out their favorite artist. It costs so little but gives us all so much.