How to share new music.
One of the most disconcerting things I’ve noticed as a music lover is how ill-equipped others seem when scooping their friends on a new sound.
Friend 1: Hey, you got anything new on your iPod?
Friend 2: Yeah man, The Smiths! Check’em out, they’re great!
Friend 1: Oh, OK. What do they sound like?
Friend 2: *too busy being an asshole and not caring out his friend’s feeling while jamming out to Morrissey & co*
Friend 1: Eh, whatever. Might as well listen to Rebecca Black for the thirtieth time…
It’s similar to a father, grinning ear to ear, picking up his young son by the ears and casting him in the the deep blue and hoping he learns how to swim instantly.
Guess what - he doesn’t; the only result of that open ended and harrowing dive is phobia and an aversion of something great. But I digress.
Here are some great ways to (properly) share new music in hopes of actually winning over a listener and not giving their exploration up to ghastly chance.
- The Seed Method - This method allows one to properly introduce people to new sounds through an explanation, playing them a song or at least pointing them towards a song. You’d be surprised how playing a song rather than mentioning a band varies the outcome of your intent.
- Mixtapes - Commonly referred to as the “higgins boat” of music, it allows one to flood friends/loved ones with new sounds that they’d normally never hear. The ideal mixtape would in fact consist solely of unheard music, but throwing in a familiar song or two helps the experience as well. Think of the mixape as the seed method times ten.
- Concerts - “Whoa, what is this?” Well, my fledgling sonic hero. let me explain. Before electricity, the only time people actually heard music was if it was being played before them… or crazier still, IF THEY PLAYED IT THEMSELVES (whatidontevencomprendoyouliarkillkilldie!!!!) Anywho, the beauty of hearing something live forgoes all preconceived notions of the music. Concerts generally help those on the fence about music that you’d wish they could enjoy. Basically, the skeptical friend gets the ultimate opinion from the actual artist themselves.
- Reviews - Now, this thoroughfare can get a bit tricky. As a critic myself, I know how impossibly tailored to one viewpoint a review is written, usually the product of countless times the music has laid siege upon the ear canal and slowly formed an opinion, good or bad. Regardless, make sure that the person shown the review has similar tastes to the person who reviewed it. A person who loves soft ukelele pop may find that raw bone-crunching Norwegian metal band atrocious no matter what Pitchfork has to say. Or, they might dig it a lot.
But no matter what method you choose, even if you try your own method, keep the crucial tenet of specificity in mind. Give that person a tangible idea or song to start from and make sure they know what to expect.
I’ve missed out on some really great music, only to retread back in boredom and find out that I loved it (sorry 21, Nocturne, Visions, Strange Mercy, Breakup Song, Teflon Don, xx, et cetera).