Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Song of the Week: Sarah Krueger


My question for you today is, how do you find new music?

I have always been a seeker of music, but the way I find new tunes has changed over the years. Early on it was whatever my family was listening to or what was played on the radio or on MTV when it actually played music (anyone remember 120 minutes?). In college I discovered the beautiful world of live and local music. Bands in little coffee shops blew me away  just as much or more than headliners in a big arena. It was also during this time that I started to see music as community, rather than just something you listen to. I connected to people through music. I became friends with people I met at shows or with people in local bands. You like that band? So do I!  We would make mix tapes for each other and go super early to shows to hear the opening bands no one had heard of, and have long drown out conversations about what exactly “punk” is or what defines a “scene”. (p.s. both are quite useless conversations)

But times have changed. I still love getting music recommendations by word of mouth or seeing I think you will like this band emails in my inbox, but just like (or maybe as part of) the robot revolution that will eventually enslave humanity, technology now is the king in music land.  The internet has made the idea of music as community, not just a local or scene thing, but literally a world thing. I rarely find new music on the radio, well, except for NPR music, which technically I listen to on my computer or phone, so is it still radio? Then there is streaming music sites like Pandora and Spoitfly. And live set series such as Daytrotter and the Sleepover Shows. Music blogs fill my reader, and then there is Facebook. Not a whole lot of my close friends spend that much time on Facebook so I really just use it to complain about the metro and to organize my music news.  I follow not only bands and musicians, but local venues (and their low ticket warnings), music publications, music collectives, and small record labels.  Social networking and music is something that intrigues me. You can pretty easily tell if someone in the actual band is sending the tweets or posting on Facebook as opposed to some PR person. And it is not like I need to know what my favorite band ate for lunch (except if it is good BBQ, then I do), but I have to admit, in a very non-stalkerish way, that I love how technology really is breaking down that third wall between the performer and the listener. I don't know how the artists themselves feel about this, but I like to think that all these new shiny communicating and connecting tools has helped to foster more respect, and more, hey we are all real people and all in this together, between the maker and the listener. And thus we see music can be much, much more than just a supply and demand marketplace.

And to continue this trend of finding new music with new technology, this week’s Song of the Week comes to you via Instagram, the highly addictive, ‘the world is big and it is awesome’, picture sharing app. I love this idea of sharing little views our lives with others, chipping away at the idea that the world is a scary place so go hide in your basement, and breaking those imaginary, yet real, boundaries of us vs. them, me vs. you. We all have different lives and different jobs and different loves and fears, but a picture of a sunset over the ocean makes us all swoon.  I follow people I know in real life, but also  people I don't know and probably couldn't  pick out of a crowd, except well, they would be the people taking pictures with their phones: professional photographers, chefs and foodies,  random people from all around the world that like to take pictures of doors and bicycles and beaches, and yes, musicians and bands.  There is a feature on Instagram that allows you to see the pictures that people you follow like. This can easily set you loose in a  labyrinth of seeing the world through so many different eyes. This picture leads you to this picture that leads to you another picture and picture taker that leads to another and wow they take good pictures, and oh look, they have a blog or website . . . This is exactly how I found the music of Sarah Krueger. To try to find the path or person or people that connects us would be a little difficult (I’m guessing it’s something folky), but it ended up with me clicking over to her website, listening to a couple of songs on her bandcamp site which led me to download those songs, and here I am telling you to give her a listen too.

Favorites on the album include:

Break



And  Ships and Trees

Doesn’t it have the old soul walking along dusty roads quality to it? And yes, it completely passes the “drown out the interns sitting behind me” test. 

3 comments :

  1. A group I recently read about is Nada Surf. Have you heard of them? Apparently they've been around a while.

    Check out their full performance on KEXP.

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  2. And to answer your question, I usually find new music through your blog. :)

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  3. Not be all music snob, but I was putting Nada Surf on mix tapes back in college. But thanks for the KEXP tip, it was pretty fantastic.

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