Over the last decade, my musical tastes atrophied. I was not in a band or playing gigs anymore. I stopped buying music. I did not attend a single concert. I was essentially stuck in the 90’s music wise as a whole decade of music passed me by. My music collection stopped at the Foo Fighters.
When I started my blog on Tumblr, it was simply to get something up quick without much hassle. As I started reading other Tumblr’s though, most of the people I followed were also sharing music. Some of it, like the stuff Bijan posts, is not my taste, but plenty of other folks, like WhitneyMCN and Jenrobison, have inspired me with the music they post. The point is whether I like the song or not, I still follow all these people and get exposed to music that otherwise would never cross my way. This was when I got back into music again.
Discovery is a tricky thing. The music we listen to is heavily influenced by what we are exposed to, which is generally the mainstream media and our friends. When we are introduced to music that goes outside of the bounds we are used to, the natural reaction is to dismiss or mock it. Most of the kids I hung out with in school listened to Aerosmith, AC/DC, and Judas Priest, not Joy Division, Depeche Mode and The Smiths. We mocked one kid relentlessly for a year because we found out he was an Amy Grant fan. We were not into discovery, we were into what we knew and what Kerrang, Hit Parader and Circus told us we should like.
Social networks have entirely shifted the game of discovery. Now we can collect and stream and share music all across various destinations. We are awash in awesome online music apps like Spotify, Turntable and others. My problem is that these apps are not really solving the discovery problem. My problem was that I wanted to expand my musical boundaries without being deluged with options while getting the balance right between playing it too safe and being way too out there.
Tumblr therefore was my default music discovery service. While I enjoyed checking out tunes in my Tumblr dashboard however, it was a pain to find music, especially music I liked and wanted to play again or share with others. Then I found Ex.fm, the most brilliant music discovery service ever. It is now my regular everyday playlist,. New music is getting fed into it every day from the people I follow on Tumblr, but the explore features help me break out once in a while to find new music and artists. My only complaint is that there is as yet no Android mobile version (only iOS), but I am sure they will fix this problem soon.
If your music has been getting stale, I recommend trying out Ex.fm, hooking it up to Tumblr, following some folks, and open up your mind. Good listening!