Monday, May 16, 2011

Heard any good music lately?

You know when you pull up to a stoplight and the car next to you has the windows open and some middle-aged dude is singing along to Van Halen's "Panama"?

I'm that guy.

Most of us think they stopped making music the year we graduated.  At a certain point in your life, you realize you don't have any friends who are in bands.  And instead of buying music, you're buying more important stuff.  Like food.  Health insurance.  Shoes for your kids.

I thought rock stopped when Rush released 'Grace Under Pressure.'  Didn't rap end when Ice T and LL Cool J turned into actors? What happened to punk after The Clash? Or alternative after Nirvana? Did U2 keep making records after 'Joshua Tree'?

People are still making music.  Not necessarily the people you listened to when young, but others have stepped forward to take their place.  But how do you find them? Radio is no help.  If you turn off your 80s station and try something else, the DJs don't tell who the band is or the name of the song.  A computer just loads the next commercial.  And don't bother with anything that got recognized on one of the numerous music award shows.  It'll be crap.

No, take yourself to the Internet.  My buddy Chris told me about Pandora a few years ago--a free over-the-net music service that actually learns what you like, lets you set up your own stations, and lists the band, the song title and album.  I've discovered a lot of good new music this way.  Or you can use the net to listen to radio stations from different places, or hit some music review sites, or download free samples from your vendor of choice.  Heck, hit YouTube for videos and be the first to discover some unknown guitar hero.

When you find some bands you like, support their efforts by buying their music.  Music downloads are cheap and easy now, so there's really no excuse to pirate.

So find yourself some new tunes, then roll those windows down and sing along.

I'll be in the car next to you singing Gnarls Barkley.

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