Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Finds, Followers, and Friends

Last night, I thought I'd take the easy way out and whip up a quick post: simply go through our mailbox and post 10 or so of the latest songs that we had received as kind of a representation of what's out there musically these days.

Twenty-four hours later, I've finally come up with 10 songs that interest me.

And, yes, that's a commentary on today's music, but it's just as likely a commentary on the music during any time period. Certainly, there are plenty of people, some people who have made fortunes, who are paid to do what Billy and I do from time to time, which is separate the musical wheat from the chaff.

It is an increasingly difficult endeavor, and I understand why. Bands want to protect their stuff at the same time that they want to get it out there, so they will send us an introductory email, but often to get to the actual music so that we can post it (who's doing a favor for whom?), we have to go through several steps--email back, get a link to a download site, download a .zip file, extract the files, and then listen to what's there to see if we like it.

It can get pretty frustrating, but I think when we get into it, it's because there is always that chance that we will come across something that is really good. It's like that old saying: if you can get the audience to laugh at the start, they will hang around for a good while to see if there might be another laugh. We've found some good songs in our BOTG mailbox, and that makes us willing, from time to time, to look for more.

But it is a rabbit hole that we can't go down every day. Way, way, way too many dead ends. I feel for bands that wait at those dead ends. Someone heard something in them, someone thought they had a chance, but something intangible is missing from their sound. I can't explain it, but I know it when I don't hear it.

Something caught me in the songs that follow, maybe something so idiosyncratic, so personal to me, that the songs won't click with you. But I'm willing to take that chance. Billy and I listen to a lot of music, and if you're here, there's a pretty decent chance that you do, too. I hope that some of these songs do something for you. And, best of luck to the artists. It's crowded out there.

Bern Kelly--"The Last Thing" (mp3)

Atom Smash--"Beautiful Alien" (mp3)

Said The Whale--"Heavy Ceiling" (mp3)

French Wives--"Younger" (mp3)

The Brute Chorus--"My Testament" (mp3)

Elliot Brood--"Northern Air" (mp3)

Dave and Marissa--"Hit Like Waves" (mp3)

Andrew Bird--"So Much Wine" (mp3)

Ghosty--"Sharpening Swords" (mp3)

Dan London--"Little Bit About Me" (mp3)

1 comment:

Billy said...

The part that makes it occasionally worth the effort is finding good stuff and then looking back, a year or two later, and that band's second album is suddenly a big deal.

Just a few of the bands I've "discovered" thanks to BOTG mailbox:

JJ Grey & Mofro
Band of Horses
Wintersleep
School of Seven Belles
Brooke Fraser
Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
Florence & the Machine
Foster the People
Girl Talk
James Vincent McMorrow
The New Frontiers
Of Montreal

I'm not sure all of these are rising stars, and I'm sure there are others in my collection where I was unaware they'd climbed higher on the ladder. Point being, it's cool to look back and see names like this.

But still. A whole bunch of chaff for the little wheat...