For the last installment of How To Discover New Music, we’re going to focus on social media (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and MySpace).
1. Ask your friends for recommendations and have them make you a CD of songs they like. Or, on Facebook, you can see what bands your friends have listed in their music sections.
Example: I discovered “Can You Tell” by Ra Ra Riot and “Our Deal” by Best Coast via direct suggestions from friends.
2. YouTube: YouTube’s right hand panel shows suggested videos, and these videos are not always other songs by the same artist. Sometimes the videos feature a different artist or band (perhaps one that the first band has toured with in the past).
3. On Twitter, you should be following artists and bands that you like. Many musicians tweet links to songs that they like, which is an easy way to discover new music that you may like.
Example: I discovered the band Land of Talk (and the songs “It’s Okay” and “Some Are Lakes”) when Holly Miranda tweeted a link to the music video for “It’s Okay.”
4. Check out the MySpace page of your favorite bands, and listen to the songs on their “Top 8” friends’ MySpace pages. Bands are friends with other (often similar) bands. Also, supergroups introduce you to new members of bands.
Example: The formation of supergroup Tinted Windows encouraged me to listen to “1979” by The Smashing Pumpkins.
5. iTunes free songs of the week: Every Tuesday on record release day, iTunes offers 3 or 4 songs for free. After listening to the 30 second samples, download whatever you think you might like.
Example: I’ve discovered “Simple As It Should Be” by Tristan Prettyman and “All For Love” by Serena Ryder via iTunes free downloads. (This rule also applies to TV shows like White Collar and FlashForward).
6. If you like going to concerts, you probably have some favorite venues. Look at the calendar on your favorite venue’s website, and see who’s playing. MySpace or google any interesting sounding bands.
Example: I discovered Los Campesinos! by searching for what bands were playing at the Troubadour during a specific week in May.
7. Go to a used record store and browse their clearance section. You should be able to get an album for a dollar, so spend $10 and get 10 CDS (should be 100-120 songs). How do you pick what CDs to buy? You can get CDs from artists you’ve already heard of, bands that have interesting names, or CDs that have attractive album artwork…You’re bound to find some gems.
Example: I discovered Pete Yorn’s song “Strange Condition” by this method at the Princeton Record Exchange.