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#1 Posted by MrPilkington (722 posts) -

You know I listen to a lot of music, but I don't necessarily follow a lot of music. I listen to people like Jeff and Ryan who talk about all kinds of bands and so on, but I am left wonder... how do you know so much about music? I have followed video games and movies my whole life. I consider myself very "up" in video games and even more so in the movie industry. If I wanted to get fluent in the ways of music, how is a good way to do so? Where would I start and what sites are good for me to keep up to date on music and what bands are good currently and so on? Any info would be nice. I find that my favorite genres are actually all over the place. As I can pretty much enjoy all types of music.

#2 Posted by habster3 (3595 posts) -

I often find myself asking the same question. The only way I can keep up with music is if I follow a band I already like closely enough to find out what they're doing as far as tour dates and album releases. As far as bands I'm not into (yet) or have never heard of, however... that's a different story.

#3 Posted by JasonR86 (9577 posts) -

I use forums, different music sites like absolutepunk and pitchfork, and by word of mouth.

#4 Posted by WMWA (1160 posts) -

@PainGod89: Shameless plug I guess, but I wrote for this site until this past January. Pretty good for finding new, good rock/indie music. It's competent for finding hip-hop/electronic music, though. Anyways, check it out. I still visit every day. =) http://pitchfork.com/

#5 Posted by SMTDante89 (2539 posts) -

Word of mouth, forums, and suggestions by websites based on what I browse/listen to (Amazon, last.fm, etc.) for the most part.

#6 Posted by Gargantuan (1880 posts) -

It's easy for me since most new stuff is crap.

#7 Posted by JasonR86 (9577 posts) -

@Gargantuan said:

It's easy for me since most new stuff is crap.

BACK IN MY DAY...!!!!

#8 Posted by Video_Game_King (35779 posts) -

Simple: don't.

#9 Posted by Godlyawesomeguy (6385 posts) -

I typically get my music from recommendations from friends, recommended bands on Spotify, and Itunes radio. I don't follow up on all new bands because that's hugely time consuming and most of the shit wouldn't be of my taste anyway, but I know my wheelhouse of music and only venture out of the genre on occasion.

#10 Posted by captain_max707 (476 posts) -

I go backwards.

#11 Posted by Chop (1991 posts) -

Blogs

Although it seems like the music sharing blog scene has been dying pretty fast lately (or maybe it's just all my favorites?).

#12 Edited by Niall_Sg1 (362 posts) -

For modern current stuff the easiest thing to do is to watch the charts.

I personally use Spotify and hook it into Last.fm. It tracks every song I listen to then make recommendations.

When I feel in the mood for listening to some more random stuff I check stuff like:

8tracks.com

reddit.com/r/music

turntable.fm

tastekid.com

Also if I like a band I'll usually hit their wiki page to see what their affiliated acts and stuff. For example I just started listening to some Sunset Rubdown, which has the same vocalist as Wolf Parade.

#13 Edited by Kidavenger (3483 posts) -

I used to put alot of effort into following music but the ratio of crap to good isn't worth it anymore.

I just listen to a couple of music podcasts now and pickup bands from there.

Coverville and R330

#14 Edited by Jrinswand (1695 posts) -

I don't mean to be a troll, but Pitchfork is pretty much the worst place to go for information about music. It's like Vice meets Rolling Stone, but with more of an affected hipster attitude.
 
I haven't really kept up with music since high school. I don't really know how I find out about a lot of the music I listen to though. I guess I'll just listen to a band I like and find out what they like to listen to or what others bands/artists they hang out with.
 
Edit: Oh, I also find labels I like and then see what other bands are on their roster. This is a great way to find new music.

#15 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -

I usually randomly click stuff on youtube once in a while, suggestions and what not.
Or I'll pick up a cool song in series, movie or game.
 
I'm pretty select in my likings however, so I usually don't branch out.

#16 Posted by M_33 (527 posts) -

@captain_max707 said:

I go backwards.
#17 Posted by EuanDewar (4681 posts) -

I just pay attention to a lot of sites like Pitchfork, Spin etc and follow a lot of peeps who talk about that stuff on twitter. I also watch the reviews of this guy on YouTube called "theneedledrop", he's fantastic for exposing you to new stuff you might have missed, even if you don't agree with his reviews he's a very worthwhile source to follow for this sort of thing.

#18 Posted by gamefreak9 (2335 posts) -

TBH i'm lagging behind in music... i've got my classical music as my main go to playlist and Tool/APC/NIN/ System of a down Sometimes, as my alternative but I dno I just can't find any other Inustrial rock i like... but its because i'm not really looking...

#19 Posted by WMWA (1160 posts) -

@Jrinswand: That's really a matter of opinion, though. True, the vibe of the site is obnoxious enough to turn off many, myself included, but I've discovered a lot of great bands through the site. I've also discovered music the editors deemed as "good" being the worst affront to my ears I've ever experienced. To each their own, but to really say it's the worst is kind of a stretch, man.

#20 Posted by DukesT3 (1888 posts) -

I've only kept up with bands that are still around that I listened to in high school. Most of electronic artists I've listened to and kept up with since I was 19 or 20. I don't listen to much "new" music I guess.

#21 Posted by WMWA (1160 posts) -

@EuanDewar said:

I just pay attention to a lot of sites like Pitchfork, Spin etc and follow a lot of peeps who talk about that stuff on twitter. I also watch the reviews of this guy on YouTube called "theneedledrop", he's fantastic for exposing you to new stuff you might have missed, even if you don't agree with his reviews he's a very worthwhile source to follow for this sort of thing.

TheNeedleDrop is my favorite hands down. He does something truly unique and owns the shit out of it

#22 Posted by Jrinswand (1695 posts) -
@wmaustin55 said:

@Jrinswand: That's really a matter of opinion, though. True, the vibe of the site is obnoxious enough to turn off many, myself included, but I've discovered a lot of great bands through the site. I've also discovered music the editors deemed as "good" being the worst affront to my ears I've ever experienced. To each their own, but to really say it's the worst is kind of a stretch, man.

All right, do the labels "most presumptuous," "self-righteous," or "pretentious" do anything for you? I don't mind people having different opinions (I'm talking about Pitchfork, not you), but it's the particular delivery of those differences of opinion that makes all the difference.
#23 Edited by Melvargh (487 posts) -

You don't have to "keep up" with anything. Just find sounds you like, and explore them at your own pace. I'm heavy into progressive music/experimental sounds, so progarchives.com is a great place to roam around. Been getting into ambient, new agey, spacey stuff too on Hearts of Space. There's a place on the internet for everything, even obscure slovenian theatrical doctors with a thousand voices.

Throw some genres/bands you like out there, and there's bound to be at least one person who is into the same thing that can help you out.

To be honest though, I've never found my favourite bands by actively seeking out something new to listen to, so perhaps a detached approach is best. Let it happen organically; one band leads to another artist, who leads to another, which can lead into a whole new world of music.

Also, avoid Pitchfork at all costs.

#24 Posted by Little_Socrates (5675 posts) -

Right now, there's no good way. The best is to be subscribed to Pitchfork's RSS or Rolling Stone magazine, if your tastes magically line up with RS like mine.

#25 Posted by the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG (4307 posts) -

for me I just go on a lot of rap music sites and stuff or I just go on a YouTube video watching spree.  That can work too

#26 Posted by Rattle618 (1463 posts) -

You got music all wrong. Don´t worry though, you are not the only one.

#27 Posted by PeasantAbuse (5137 posts) -

Mainly blogs and forums.

Just hop on Google and start searching some of your favorite bands or genres and you're bound to find a site that caters to your interests.

#28 Edited by believer258 (11554 posts) -

I don't, really. I just put my MP3 player on shuffle and go. Oh, I find new stuff I like sometimes - I've recently started listening to Dream Theater - but these days I almost never put on music because I really, really want to listen to music. I put on minimalist piano music or classical for studying or thinking work, I put on rock or metal when driving around in the car or doing grunt work, and... that's about it. I really enjoy the music while I'm listening to it but unlike in high school I don't have it, need it, or even care for it to constantly play without stopping. I guess I just do those things that I listen to music while doing enough to not want to listen to it during my free time.

If I were to make a suggestion, though, it's use Pandora. Really, that's what I put on whenever I'm studying.

#29 Posted by Azteck (7450 posts) -

Spotify radio mostly, and a friend who knows these really odd underground bands that are great.

#30 Posted by Sin4profit (2903 posts) -

Find a playlist and comb through it for what you like.

I use to do this by torrenting playlists of genres i was interested in, comb through them and cherry pick the songs i liked. On occasion when i notice reoccurring bands doing songs i'm into then i'll research more into those bands.

But now, with Spotify, this process is way simpler. Though, the problem is you're limited by what content Spotify has.

Video Games with licensed playlists have some gems in them from time to time as well.

I don't read forums or dedicated websites about music at all but i have downloaded playlists that were "Pitchfork Media's Top 500" or whatever. So combing over playlists is my preferred method.

I dunno what kinda music you're into but here's my "current listening playlist" on Spotify: http://open.spotify.com/user/sin4profit/playlist/734FuT1h9rRRjrCFg4vUTU

#31 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -

The only way to stay current on music is to cease getting older.

#32 Posted by MrKlorox (11197 posts) -

Don't. Just let the music find you. Listening to a ton of new music that sounds awful for the sake of keeping up is not the way to go about it.

#33 Edited by TheJohn (553 posts) -
#34 Edited by I_smell (3925 posts) -

I don't know a single thing about music. I get all my music from watching TV and films or cruisin the internet, and whenever I hear something I like I look it up and who made it.

This has had the super fun effect of giving me a completely fucking random music collection. Whether it's country, blues, jazz, fuckinnn- vintage ragtime, classical, foreign... Spanish flamenco business, 80's hip-hop, glam rock or WHATEVER: If I like it I'll grab it. I like stuff that you don't hear everyday, I'm havin fun with mashups now- like 3 different songs that you'd never expect to go well together. That's really cool.

So I don't keep up with music, I just cherry-pick whatever's bin good from the passed hundred years whenever it pops up. Or if some dude on Youtube makes something really good.

The only people who I have more than 2 songs from are I think The Who, Queen... Run DMC, and I think the Panty & Stocking soundtrack, which I've not even watched.

#35 Posted by NegativeCero (2972 posts) -

I don't anymore, which bothers people because I don't happen to know the stuff on the radio. If I want to find new stuff I'll look at things like Spotify and sometimes listen to All Songs Considered. But when I find something I like I will listen to it for a while.

#36 Edited by StarFoxA (5137 posts) -

I use a combination of Reddit (r/music, r/listentothis, r/listentous, and then genre specific like r/chiptunes, r/indiefolk, and r/electronicmusic), Pitchfork, word of mouth, last.fm recommendations, and Spotify recommendations.

Oh, and Pandora!

And the Band of the Day app!

And top sellers on Bandcamp, for when I'm curious.

Online
#37 Posted by KamikazeCaterpillar (1179 posts) -

Last.fm recommendations. At least 3 out of 5 are good. Absolute Punk is decent as well.

#38 Posted by pyromagnestir (4190 posts) -

I get most of my music from movies and tv shows I like, and the rest I just randomly stumble upon. Too much music exists to really ever hope to keep up with it.

#39 Posted by SlightConfuse (3963 posts) -

usually i click on recomndations when listing to music on youtube

#40 Posted by MC_Hify (319 posts) -
#41 Posted by whistlebottom (193 posts) -

@PainGod89: There's no good way to "keep up" with something as broad as music. My question to you is what do you like? Most people say "I like all types of music" but wouldn't want to listen to Finnish death metal. If you know what you like but don't want to spend a lot of time combing through bandcamp and myspace for new music, find bloggers whose tastes align with yours, as they love doing it.

So, again, help us help you- what kind of music do you actually like. The more specific, the better.

#42 Posted by jewunit (1054 posts) -

Through listening to the radio and just generally hearing about music from friends or the Internet, I tend to have a steady flow of new music coming my way from some source.

#43 Posted by the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG (4307 posts) -
@wmaustin55 said:

@EuanDewar said:

I just pay attention to a lot of sites like Pitchfork, Spin etc and follow a lot of peeps who talk about that stuff on twitter. I also watch the reviews of this guy on YouTube called "theneedledrop", he's fantastic for exposing you to new stuff you might have missed, even if you don't agree with his reviews he's a very worthwhile source to follow for this sort of thing.

TheNeedleDrop is my favorite hands down. He does something truly unique and owns the shit out of it

Oh yeah my brother likes theneedledrop.  Im not subscribed to him but I think Cal Chuchesta is hilarious
#44 Posted by csl316 (7949 posts) -

I used to visit the Sputnik Music forums a lot back in the day. Back in the MxTabs.net days. Then I'd look up some bands, maybe find out about the people. Lots of "oh, he did this album with this guy." Then I'd look up what that other guy did. Some of the best albums I found were because some dude had an avatar of a cover and someone pointed out how good that album is.

These days, I have so many CD's (yes, I prefer CD's) that if I want to find any information I can read about it there. And at this point, I'm signed up to all sorts of music newsletters. Myspace was handy, but now liking a band on Facebook will keep you in the know about any new projects they may be involved with.

In the case of metal, Metalreview.com has always been awesome about introducing new things. But these days, new music is either by talking to people or just being linked to something in some random corner of the internet.

Plus, interviews are great. Someone might ask about influences of whatever, and then somehow I end up buying a Camel CD. Or some cool soundtrack on someone's Youtube video. Honestly, with the internet I can't avoid being exposed to new music even if I tried.

#45 Posted by WMWA (1160 posts) -
@csl316 I prefer CDs too, in the car at least. The sound is louder/clearer on a cd than my iPod hook up.
#46 Posted by RetroVirus (1455 posts) -

Usually I just listen to the bands I like and browse iTunes new releases on occasion.

#47 Posted by csl316 (7949 posts) -

@wmaustin55: I just feel like I have a sense of ownership. I've lost music on crashed hard drives before, but if I need something from 10 years ago I can just go to my shelf and rip it. I don't like iTunes but I've enjoyed my time with Amazon mp3. Nonetheless, I like having something physical with art and whatnot.

And yes, CD's in the car are my best option. I have a decent sound setup, so I want quality!

#48 Posted by TheSlip (47 posts) -
@wmaustin55: If you don't mind my asking, how did you manage to write for Pitchfork? Like, in my mind, that's kind of huge. I applied for a couple openings over the last few years, but I've never really gotten a response. Granted, my writing was a lot worse back then. Now I've mostly been writing album reviews for QRO Magazine, but that's been for free and just for the hell of it whenever I feel like writing a review.
 
Actually, in all honesty, I'm sure your answer will be "just keep practicing and re-applying," but any other tips are most certainly appreciated. I'm mostly always just looking to network with anybody in the industry I can find, though.
#49 Posted by big_jon (5707 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

Simple: don't.

This.

#50 Posted by killacam (1284 posts) -

pitchfork is so goddamn pretentious in which artists they highlight. i can't be around it. if anyone knows of music sites that are to music what giantbomb is to video games, help a brotha out.

and any fellow canadians, canadian indie site recs would be appreeshed.