Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I got the internet at home for the first time in 2005. Up until then, it had remained a little exotic. I did have my first hotmail account nearly 10 years prior, and used to visit "Teen Chat" at the public library (and wondering why every time I talked to a boy he wanted to "cyber"). However, paying for all my tuition out of pocket meant for little money for a computer for most of my undergrad, making me on of those students in the library until midnight, and only enough money for monthly internet a few years later.
Of course, gaining everyday access to the internet is like a rainstorm of information for one who is used to stolen minutes of email checking on one's friends' computers. Once the novelty of games and chat and random Wikipedia'ing died down, however, the thing that likely changed my life the most was music.
Though I downloaded some CDs here and there, what really sparked my interest was going to an artist's online forum to discuss a concert I had recently attended. Suddenly, I was bombarded by artist recommendations, links to MySpace pages, concert dates. It was deliciously overwhelming. I would discover a new artist almost daily, and would hop on the bus to the local record shop and stock up. Suddenly, the listings in the newspaper were full of bands I used to flip past, but now wanted to see. My busy life suddenly felt as though it had a few more minutes in each day.
And though I felt more connected to something, I also felt more separate. My relationship had been going downhill for a good year, and the gap began growing as I found myself in crowds alone. I couldn't convince my friends to spend $20 on a band they'd never heard of.
Perhaps it may sound ridiculously cheesy, but I really do think the music was the boot I needed to realize that my life was stagnating before my very eyes and that something needed to change. Music also brought me to a concert where I turned around at the right time during an encore, and look into with those very same blue eyes that sleep beside me today.
Why do I recount all this? Because I've just realized that despite several thousand songs, my iPod is starting to bore me. I am heading into concert-hibernation season as well, so I would love to have some new music to make those busy yet dreary winter day a little more sunny. As such, I want to hear from all of you! What album do you whole heartedly recommend? What band do you love that no one else has heard of? What song are you rocking out to right now?
A bit of background on my taste may be useful, I suppose...
I'm not terribly into mainstream radio, pop, punk, country or rap. I don't know that what I like has a particular genre title, though iTunes recently labeled it as Alterna-pop, whatever that means.
Some of my faves?
Bands like Arcade Fire, Radiohead, Tegan & Sara, Rilo Kiley, Stars, the Decemberists.
More mellow artists like Tristan Prettyman, Jack Johnson, Damien Rice, Kathleen Edwards, Jenny Lewis, Elliott Smith, Feist.
Some good rock-ish stuff, like the White Stripes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Metric, MGMT.
So, yes.... suggestions please!!
Also, if there is enough interest, I may be inspired to copy Your Ill-Fitting Overcoat and send out a few mix CDs-- maybe even one of the great new recommended music and another of my own favourites. You can pretend I'm that dreamy artsy band boy/girl you had a crush on in junior year who you always wished would make you a mix tape.
And you wished would write a song about you.
(Though I can't guarantee I'll do that.)