I don’t buy CDs anymore.
Now, this could be seen as an attempt by me to say “Look how advanced I am technologically”, but far from it.
Its not that I don’t actually buy music anymore, I do. I just prefer to get it in convenient digital packages which take up no space in my living room, I can play immediately and I don’t have to spend hours ripping them onto my Mac in order to listen to them on my ipod.
So, its partly a practical solution.
Once you get over the sentimental and romantic idea that CDs and vinyl are objects to be cherished because you can touch them and look at them on the shelf and say to people (silently, smuggly) “This is my taste, look at my music collection”, it really isn’t a problem.
Of course, if you want to announce your musical taste (and we all do, really), you can do so on Last.fm where people can view your music collection in an instant. The problem with that is: when you secretly play that old Kajagoogoo album that you keep hidden behind all the Finnish Jazz, Swedish pop and Japanese HipHop albums; it isn’t a secret anymore. The Last.fm Big Brother sees all.
Anyway, I digress.
No, the really good thing about the digital music ‘revolution’ (old hat, I know, but it is revolutionary) is that it has enabled any musician with an internet connection to get their music heard. Music sites, MP3s, ipods and social networking have democratised music. Not completely, but mostly.
Labels and distributers still have vast resources to promote and distribute ‘signed’ artists’ music, thus getting it played on radio, etc. But people are becoming more used to the idea that good music is good music, whether it be by a signed artist or an unsigned artist. And if its available for free, all the better.
Its at this point that I must confess that my staple listening involves signed, or established artists. But I’m trying to change my listening habits. Some people have already done that themselves. For instance, my main recent musical collaborator, Marie, seems mainly to play nothing but unsigned artists, all trawled from Last.fm.
Anyway, here is a link to my playlist of unsigned artists whom I have found particularly interesting (excuse the self-promotion bit; I have populated the first part of the playlist with Dementio13 tracks):
And here’s a list of the artists in no particular order:
There are many other artists, of course. But these are the ones I am most familiar with. Definitely worth searching out.