Archive for the ‘Tips and Tricks’ Category

Although it’s easy to become stuck listening to the same bands on repeat, it can just as easily become extremely boring. Once you’ve gotten to the point where all of your bands are listed as “similar’ to each other it can be difficult to leave that familiar circle of bands. Finding new bands not only prevents you from becoming bored, it expands your music horizon, allows you to find and follow the growth of smaller, unknown bands, and opens up new concert opportunities. If searching “bands similar to..” on the internet just isn’t cutting it for you anymore, these next few tips are vital to your music life.

1. Ask your friends:

Asking around “the old fashioned way” is a method for discovering new music that many overlook. Simply asking your friends, or even strangers, what they’re listening to can help you find new bands, or even rediscover old ones. Friends who have similar taste in music may have found bands you haven’t had the time to. In addition, they probably got music suggestions from their other friends, who got music suggestions from their friends. By asking other people for recommendations, you open doors to many different musical influences. Asking your friends for new music, as well as sharing what you’ve found with them, will help you to constantly update your music collection.

2. Don’t ignore the suggestions from YouTube or  iTunes

When jamming to your favorite bands on YouTube or iTunes, divert your eyes to view the suggestions. Even though the suggestions often contain bands you already listen to one have heard of, clicking on them can lead you to other suggestions and so on until you end up with a band you’ve never heard of. Experimenting with the suggestions is a simple way to browse bands that are related to one you like.

3. Use the right sites

Google searching your favorite bands is only so efficient, but using specific sites that generate  music suggestions just for you can be quite handy.Make sure to try (all mentioned sites can be used for free)

Lastfm.com

Lastfm.com is extremely user friendly. Search for your favorite band, album, or song, and instantly find information on it. For the artists, you can find lists of similar artists as well as a short bio. Each similar artist is also ranked in similarity. (super similarity to lower similarity). A radio can also be played, similar to on Pandora, of your selected artists and artists similar to the one you selected.

Gnooosic.com

On Gnoosic, all you do is enter three of your favorite bands. Then, Gnoosic provides you with band suggestions. On the suggestions, you must indicate whether you like, dislike, or don’t know the band Gnoosic is recommending. Many of the suggestions are unfamiliar, so Gnoosic does a respectable job providing you with truly new music.

Music-map.com

Music map is a great tool for visualizing how similar the suggestions are to the desired band. You enter one band and a web of suggestions surrounds the band name you entered. The closer a band is to the band you entered, the more similar it is. Clicking on any of the suggestions changes the map to fit the new selected band.

Tuneglue 

Tuneglue is very similar to the music map. You enter a band, and click “expand” for  suggestions. On any of the suggestions, you can also “expand” to find suggestions.  Any suggestions that fit multiple bands will connect.

4. Don’t get stuck in a genre

If you insist on expanding your music library only within a certain realm, you won’ get very far. Nobody is saying you have to attend a country ho-down if you’re enthralled by the rap scene, but dabbling in other genres can yield some interesting results. To get some valuable suggestions from a different genre you can talk to friends with other music tastes, listen to different radio stations, or browse the internet.

5. Go to a random concert

Going to concerts of your favorite bands is a great time, but it also surrounds you with the same fans and bands that you’re used to. Attending a concert of a band you’ve never listened to, don’t like, or don’t know can be a beneficial experience both musically and socially. Hearing a band live fist can add an element to their music that you wouldn’t have experienced by hearing them through scratchy speakers (even if your speakers are brand-spanking-new, it is not the same a concert scenario).

6. Revisit old favorites

It is easy to get trapped in the “new” of finding new music. One simple, often overlooked, method of finding new songs is by checking out bands you already know. In all likelihood, at least one of the bands you listen to has produced something new  that you aren’t aware of. It’s difficult to keep up with hundreds of bands but if you are seeking some new songs from a comfortable genre, revisit old bands.

Hopefully these tips will inspire new branches on your tree of musical interest. If you desire, submit your own suggestions on how you find great, new music.

~R

Advertisements

Panic strikes. You’re a nervous pin in a haystack of large, musty men, and other music lovers. Air is a necessity, treasured, yet rare. The booming speakers shake your eardrums and the oceaneus crowd pushes you, unwillingly, from side to side. You’re trying to enjoy being in the same venue as your favorite band, but you’re barely surviving amongst the avid concert goers, and you realize it might have been helpful to research a few pointers before testing the dangerous concert waters.

Maybe your first concert went along these lines, or maybe you’re a natural and the experience was exceptional. Either way, it’s always useful to read up on a few pointers for the next time you choose to explore the live music scene. So, no, I’m no expert, I’m just giving suggestions of things I had to learn through less then pleasant incidences. Take it or leave it, I don’t really care.

1) The most important tip is saturated with common sense: do not go alone. You will regret it. If you are planning on meeting someone there, make sure to meet before the concert. You will not enjoy being squished like an ant entering a parade. If you think you are large, or smart, enough to go alone, you’re simply wrong. Maybe some people can do it. Maybe they’re wizards. If you aren’t, just don’t do it. Try not to be in too large of groups though, it’s easier to focus on staying with one person, and you’re more likely to be split up if you try to drag a train of people through the crowd.

2) You aren’t having family fun time on the beach, and I don’t think your possible foot fungus is that bad (if it is, well…… I’m sorry) so do not wear loose, thin, or open toed shoes. These people have no regards for your “little piggies”, so don’t expose them. Wearing shoes that cover your feet, but can’t stay on won’t help either. I personally experienced some trauma during an A Day to Remember concert, which involved losing my shoe in a mosh pit. If your shoes have laces, tie them.

3) Get there early. There are many advantages to being one of the first to arrive. There’s a chance to pick up on offers (free stuff is a bonus to anything), get first dibs on merch, camp out in your spot, and possibly meet the band(s) performing. It’s not as if you have to sprint there days in advance and cone of your area, but it’s nice to be able to explore a little. This is especially important if you didn’t buy tickets beforehand and plan on getting them at the door. It’s usually first come, first serve, and you never know if there will be tickets left.

4) Hydrate yourself. You don’t want to have to leave that pit just because you weren’t smart enough to drink enough water beforehand. Not to mention, buying one minuscule cup of water at these concerts can cost up to 3 dollars. Maybe you’re okay with wasting that on something that’s free… I don’t suggest it. Sure, you might want to pee out the excess before you find your permanent place in the crowd, but it helps not to feel like fainting.

5) You do not need to make a fashion statement; there is no need for layers. Wear as few as possible. Even in the dead center of winter, I suggest good fitting jeans and a T-shirt. This rule is valuable for many reasons. If you purchase merchandise (merch) it is a lot easier to put it on that try to carry it around. If you have a profound sweat disorder, wearing fewer layers may help prevent your excess sweat from drenching others. Just a thought. It helps keep you cool, is less to keep track of, and helps turn you into a human clothing rack for your new merch.

6) Don’t waste your time going to concerts of bands you don’t know. It’s okay if you’re looking for a new experience, but I wouldn’t recommend it for your first few concerts. There’s nothing more awkward than everyone else jammin’ along to their favorite songs while you sit there like “I play solitaire…”

7) Stand your ground. Everyone wants to get to the front. Don’t fall for the bullshit stories about their friend being “right in front of you”. Make sure you have a firm stance and don’t get trampled. Move with the crowd, don’t be the deer that ends up smushed from the stampede. Most importantly PUSH BACK. (However, if you are punched, don’t punch them back. It might result in an unnecessary brawl).

8) Don’t act like you’ve never been to a concert before. They target the newbies. It might result in them conning you out of your spot. Or maybe even in death. Generally,  try to get the feel for your surroundings early and blend in. As much as you may believe it’s so great to be “different” and that you are grandly unique, it is not always beneficial. Besides, depending on the concert, a lot of people think their super alternative ways are something special, so you’d probably fit in anyways.

Follow these suggestions and you might make it out alive. Share your own concert experiences or pictures with us. If you have any other questions or suggestions, don’t be afraid to ask.

~R