As a frustrated musician, I love music. As those of us who are passionate about our music can attest, there are
few things better than discovering new musicians and bands. And though I don’t get to as much as I’d like, I love to see bands live.
Back in the day when I played in bands and had a ton of time on my hands, I’d devour newly discovered bands, listen to as much of their music as possible, memorize the lyrics to their songs, watch for their videos on MTV (yeah, that was back when MTV actually aired music videos).
There were three primary ways you’d learn about new bands back then: 1) friends, 2) radio, and 3) MTV. Nowadays, I find new music through MP3 blogs.
I’ve tuned out of music radio because I have no patience for the commercials. With the exception of stuff like talk radio-sports or otherwise–and live events, I just don’t listen to radio. When I do listen to the radio for music, I listen to The Current, Minnesota Public Radio’s ad-free modern music station. But even The Current has annoying pledge drives to give me a reason not to listen.
When I want music, I turn to my trusty iPod and that gets filled from the MP3 blogs to which I subscribe. Some of my favorites:
- I Am Fuel, You Are Friends
- An Aquarium Drunkard
- The Yellow Stereo
- Large Hearted Boy
- The rest of my bookmarked MP3 blogs
So I learn about new bands not from traditional sources but from my favorite MP3 sites, MP3 search engines like Hype Machine and elbo.ws, and music sharing sites like last.fm. I think I’m becoming the rule, rather than the exception. Plus, I spread my love these bands among my friends and coworkers. They laugh because I have a "new favorite band" every week.
Back in the day, when I wanted to go see a band, I’d go to the Entertainment section of the Sunday Star Tribune, our local newspaper, or I’d get a copy of our free weekly alternative newspaper, The City Pages. Or I’d hear about upcoming concerts on the radio.
Now I go to Upcoming.org, or, occasionally, the web site of a nightclub that has live music like First Avenue or The Fine Line. I’d rather pay ten to twenty bucks for a far superior performance in a nightclub for a relatively unknown band than $200 to $350 for an inferior concert by an international superstar in a cavernous auditorium.
But for MP3 blogs, though, I would not have recognized three-fourths of the bands with upcoming gigs that were listed on Upcoming.org.
I may have only downloaded the one or two promotional MP3 songs that Voxtrot or Spoon released online for blog fodder, for example, but now I know who they are and am more likely to buy a CD or go to a concert. Were it not for the MP3 blogs, their names would not have jumped out at me on Upcoming.org.
From a music lover’s point of view, too, MP3 blogs have made a vast amount of music far more widely available than ever before. I’m constantly amazed at the amount of great music out there.
And that is what we Internet marketers do in fact call, "A very good thing."
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