Updated: Jun 11
No more excuses people, its just too easy to find new music to listen to!!!
Before I get into any deep explanation, I am going to take you back in time, to a musical era before the Internet, or at least before it was common place. We have to go back to another millennia, all the way back to the 1990's.
Unpopular opinion, you probably have never personally chosen the music you listen to if you were not alive or were very young in this time period. I know your thinking to your self, "What is he talking about, I choose the music I listen too, I made my own playlist on Spotify and everything!" I'm sure that you did, but how did you come across that music in the first place?... Well?... My guess is by one or more of several ways, maybe Spotify sent the song to you algorithmically, or maybe it went viral on Youtube... Maybe your favorite influencer posted it on Instagram, perhaps you heard it in a movie, maybe your old school and heard it on the radio... Well guess what, in almost all of those scenarios a third party sent that music to you, they literally told you to listen to the song, like the song, and you did! Sound about right? Of course it does.
Now lets get back to the 90's. Of course we had "MTV," or "Much Music," if you're Canadian, and yes we also had the Radio, and yes, all of those sources were doing much the same thing as I mentioned above, they were telling us what to listen to, because well, that's the music Industry. They all had something to gain by promoting certain bands and artists, which we can simply call business. However, we had something in the 90's that you rarely see anymore, we had legit Record Stores, and they were every where, and we had different chains, "HMV," "Sam The Record Man," "CDPlus," "Columbia House", and the list goes on. Stores that were entirely committed to selling music in the form of Records, CD's and Cassette Tapes, and often there were two or three of these establishments in one mall, and several in each town. If one record store did not have the album you wanted in stock you could literally just check the other stores, THAT"S HOW MANY RECORD STORES THERE USED TO BE, THEY WERE EVERYWHERE!!!
Now in order to stock these retail establishments, they had to have a pile of merchandise, which meant they could not afford to only stock the albums and singles of the music industry heavy hitters. Smaller Labels, and independents often had their albums stocked in theses stores as well. The bands that were never on the radio, MTV, or had any advertisement really at all were lumped in with mainstream hits by genre. Though many people were fine with still listening to mainstream hits, and there is nothing wrong with that by the way, those of us who wanted to discover something different could search through this seemingly endless pile of albums, and find something we had never heard before, and it was AWESOME!!!
Sometimes you would find an absolute gem, and sometimes you would completely waste your money on a dud, but it was still exhilarating, and when you did find a good album you would share it with all of your friends and maybe they might go out and pick up the album as well, and this actually helped to drive a whole sector of the music industry, and is how a lot of the smaller or less popular bands made some decent money, good ol' word of mouth. Those people were not being told what to listen to, they were actually finding it on their own, and deciding whether or not they liked it for themselves, and then they would suggest it to others... It was beautiful... and not only that, they would even make a monetary decision on something they have never even heard, and we were all okay with that.
Bring us back to present day, the resources that we have far exceed that of those fabled record stores of yester year. We have the internet, social media, and streaming platforms. You can literally find damn near every band in existence... with no monetary risk whatsoever, and yet we don't.... But why?... My theory is because we as a music fandom have become complacent, I mean why bother when it is all provided for you, and the barrage of ads seem to effortlessly guide you. This is how the music industry has an absolute choke hold on the listener these days, by using our absolute dependence on our phones and technology to make things easier, but it does not have to be that way.
If you really do love music, I'm going to tell you how to break free, and show you how easy it is with modern technology to find your own music to listen to, and decide for yourself if its worth sharing. Maybe you can make a band or an artist a little more popular or successful, just as we did in those record stores all those years ago... Its simple, hashtags, and searches. Go on Instagram, and search a hashtag for a genre of music you like, make sure to put something like independent, or Indie at that beginning (ex #indierock, or #indiepop) , or go on youtube and put something similar in the search bar, and dig! Just like we used to dig through those CD's, and when you find a band that you really love, it will feel so rewarding, and you will likely identify with their music so much more than something the music industry bigwigs sent you through "Algorithms." Maybe this is something that you already do, and if so, thanks for reading this article anyway. But if you have never tried this, or don't do it often please do, and I promise that you wont regret it, the golden age of music does not have to be over. Now more than ever do we the people have the ability to take command and make our own choices, and all that power is at our finger tips, or the click of a mouse. DON'T BE TOLD WHAT THE NEW TRENDS ARE GOING TO BE, BE PART OF WHAT STARTS A NEW TREND INSTEAD!