For the true music fan, it’s all about the discovery
Half the fun of being a music fan is discovering new music. Maybe you hear a new song on the radio that you connect with or find something classic in a friend’s record collection that you previously missed because you were in your “hardcore hip-hop phase.”
Either way, finding a new song or band that makes you all tingly inside is exciting.
Last Thursday, I was chowing down on a Chipotle burrito, enjoying possibly the last beautiful day of fall on the restaurant patio.
Chipotle was playing some seriously funky jams. I heard Herb Alpert “Rise,” which is probably more recognizable as the sample Notorious B.I.G. used for “Hypnotize,” classic David Bowie, and Empire of the Sun’s “Walking on a Dream.”
The song that really caught my attention, though, was the awesomely catchy “Rich Girls” by New York darlings The Virgins.
I instantly recognized the funky and memorable bass line, but I’ve never given the band a chance beyond that one song. After shoveling the remaining scraps of food into my mouth and getting my money’s worth on the fountain machine, I headed home to pull up YouTube. I had no idea what The Virgins look like, plus I wanted to learn how to play the “Rich Girls” bass line.
As anyone who surfs the Internet on the reg knows, the temptation to click that next link is almost too much anticipation to handle. YouTube is exceptional at this.
Instead of following through with my intended purpose, I traveled down a Virgins wormhole, watching hours of the band’s videos and live footage.
Guess what? The Virgins are totally my new favorite band. “Rich Girls,” as it turns out, was just the tip. “One Week of Danger,” “Private Affair” and “Teen Lovers” all sound like early Talking Heads. You can’t go wrong there.
Lately, I’ve been going deep, looking for variety wherever I can find it. Last month, while in Austin, I visited a small record store, Friends of Sound Records.
Not one for merchandising, Friends of Sound had boxes and boxes of records piled throughout the store. Not really in the mood to mine through thousands of albums, I took a chance on mystery grab bag: 28 rock 45s for $15.
The first record out of the bag? The Beatles “Yesterday”/“Act Naturally.”
Second out? An old Sun Records recording from The Killer himself Jerry Lee Lewis, “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On”/“It’ll Be Me.”
Take a chance on something different and you’ll find something rewarding. Lewis is someone I’ve heard a lot about but, again, never given a listen.
I actually ended up with a good mix of music I normally wouldn’t listen to: Genesis’ “Illegal Alien”/“Follow You Follow Me,” Art Garfunkel covering “I Only Have Eyes For You,” and a couple questionable Beatles covers from The Carpenters and Ambrosia.
All in all it was fun to sit down and listen to records from the heyday of rock ‘n’ roll.
Do I feel profoundly changed by listening to a 45 from The Music Explosion? No. “Little Bit O’ Soul” is a good bit of ‘60s Brit Rock, but it’s not changing my life.
What it is doing is opening me up to new sounds. A whole world of good music exists outside of the pop radio/music magazine bubble, a world infinitely more rewarding and deserving of attention.
Keep your ears open because there is always something on the fringe waiting to turn you on.