It’s All Happening :: How To Find The Tunes Worth Listening To

IAH-FindTunesThese days, with Walmart being the number one music retailer, it’s scary to think  where the record shop economy will be in ten years, given it’s already tragic decline.

It’s pretty hard to imagine walking into your local community consumer centre (read: mall) and having a polyester smock-clad employee recommend Spacemen 3’s Perfect Prescription for your listening pleasure.

So how will  generations to come be exposed to the goods with record stores going out of business left, right, and centre?

Things looks even more bleak with the 2012 Juno nominations including Nickleback’s Here and Now for album of the year. I weep for the future – and for the present, for that matter.

Here, I offer my personal tools to find where the good music is; do not lose faith – it’s out there.

Yes, I will acknowledge that main stream music media outlets play 99% swill, but if you’re waiting for MTV to spoon-feed you a solid top ten list, you’re already lost.

Now, if you have one or two recreational hours that you feel don’t need to be spent on Facebook or watching obese children ( laugh at a kitten on YouTube (, read on!

If so, the first thing you want to do is head on over to the Rolling Stone website. I feel it’s important to see what they are passing off as the cream-of-the-crop these days; it makes me feel relevant.

You’re going to want head straight to the back and find the college top ten, then click the link to the review of any song that catches your eye (if you’re lucky it will be by Will Hermes, the best critic employed at RS). Take it all in while listening to the link at the bottom. Once you commence listening to the key tracks, you must then cross reference the review with what Pitchfork has to say.

Rolling Stone does a great job of setting you up for what you’re about to listen to. Its musical name dropping makes you, the reader, feel stupid if you don’t like something they do. For example, RS raved about Montreal-based shoegaze band No Joy, comparing them to The Jesus and Mary Chain. One would feel daft in not liking No Joy, because every hip kid likes those ’90s shoe-gazing babes; plus, you got the reference so it’s an ego boost.

But beware!

You must remember the good feeling came from RS feeding your ego, not the shitty, 50-guitar-track-layer wall of sound, which sounds so calculatedly cool that it came across as garbage.

Ego boost GOOD, Canadian chick band BAD.

Pitchfork will then use that to their advantage, creating the elitist super rock snob. They will say something to the effect of:

“Although No Joy is heavily influenced by The Jesus and Mary Chain, they are a complete rip-off of the Cocteau Twins’ Head Over Heels album. . .”

Since the second reference is even more obscure, and contradicts Rolling Stone‘s, you must be more hip and musically educated to not like No Joy. You start to hate the song you’re listening to simply because you now have even more of an ego boost for getting the Pitchfork reference.

By the end of the track, you feel a little confused, but mostly pleased with yourself. You decide you hate all new music and proceed to listen to My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless twice through, before going back to the original RS college top ten to repeat.

By the end of this, hopefully you’ve gotten at least one solid new band to get stoned to.

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