Saturday, March 10, 2007

the joy of new music

One of the best things in life as far as I'm concerned is the discovery of new music. Sometimes I like to just pick something up something I've never heard before up at random in my quest for continual musical refreshment. There are two or three facilities that make this easier - especially for those of us without lots of cash:

1. Fopp Records - a great independent chain of small stores which operate a 'suck it and see' policy. They are quite happy for you to buy a CD and take it back for an exchange or refund if you don't like it.

2. The public library - ours here in Oxford has a great selection of CD's and they are normally £1 for one week. Of course there is a moral dilemma involved here: if you've borrowed an album and loaded it on to your iPod to listen to, and you decide you really like it, are you disciplined enough to go out and buy the CD. Or alternatively, delete it from iTunes?

3. iTunes - I love their 30 second previews, and it's a good way to get a sense of the kind of thing a new artist does, but there's no beating taking in a whole album to get a proper sense of the music.

My discovery this week is Matisyahu (see pic above) - a Jewish reggae artist. Loving it. It's so refreshing to hear a different cultural voice - I don't think I've listened to any Jewish music before. This album came out last year and it's fascinating to listen to him rap about the Temple and Jerusalem etc. His site is here and you can listen to tracks on it. Anyone else discovered any great new music they want to share with us?


Chris said...

I'd really like to recommend

It's kind of like iTunes, but for independent Canadian artists. Because it's for indies, most of the money goes straight to the actual artists. Also, this means they can sell albums for less because there aren't money-hungry corporations who need to take a piece of the pie, so entire albums are available for $8.88 CDN (that's less than 4 quid!) The best part is that the files you download are straight MP3s -- no DRM or limits to where/how you listen to it!

Granted, the selection is limited mostly to indie pop, but there are some bigger-name artists there too (Barenaked Ladies, Sarah McLachlan). Some artists I would highly recommend checking out are: The Weakerthans, The Stars, Hayden, Emm Gryner, Julie Doiron, Great Lake Swimmers, The International Noise Conspiracy, etc. etc.

C'mon, for 4 quid, it's hard to go wrong!

Nadia said...

I highly recommend his "Live at Stubbs" album