The different ways that people find new music has always intrigued me. I remember the days when I used to read the NME religiously, seeking out that great new band who happened to like what I liked - but then trying to listen to them was a different prospect. Radio was pretty rubbish (John Peel, bless his soul, being a little too far out there for my taste), TV the same (I used to watch ITV's The Chart Show each week hoping that the featured chart would be the Indie Chart - fat chance. Always with the Metal Chart - gah!), and mostly I had to wait until either CDs hit the bargain bins before I could buy them or get a crappy cassette recording from my friends.
Fast forward 15 years and it's all changed, thank God. I still read the NME from time to time (well, the website anyway), but now I put more faith in 'people who liked this also bought' style lists on Amazon and iTunes. I can now listen to a sample of a song instantly, or maybe the whole song streamed from a band's My Space page. Kids these days don't know how lucky they are.
But now I think I've found the best source ever, dear reader, and now I'd like to share the love. Pitchfork is the best music website on the planet. Great reviews and more free mp3 files than you can shake a pitchfork at. I've checked out this Top 50 albums of 2006 and there are some pearls in there, let me tell you. I am blissing out to Fujiya & Miyagi's "Transparent Things" and Booka Shade's "Movements" today. I can also recommend the albums by Brightback Morning Light and Califone.
And as part of my New Year's resolutions, I intend to pay for my music from time to time, and pass the financial love onto the artists themselves. And the best place for that seems to be emusic.com - all songs are DRM free, and you can get the first 50 for free if you visit this promotional page. Now you can't argue with that.
Or can you? Any tips?