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Take a new song

When I am on a road trip, I want to listen to good music. The car is my not-quite-soundproof listening booth. I want to listen to my favorite, familiar songs. But how did my favorite, familiar songs become favorite and familiar? They must have been new and unknown once, before I listened to them over and over and learned the lyrics and the melody. If I listen to them too much, I find myself thinking, “Oh, that is a good song, yes, but I have listened to it too much already. I have it all figured out. Those chord changes do not surprise me. That syncopation is nothing new.” Then I must find something new.

I am always struggling to give new music a chance versus snuggling in the sonic warmth of those comfortable, well-worn, songs. I can be impatient listening to new music. I don’t know if I will like the song or the singer or the instrumentation when I play the MP3 or watch the video on YouTube. When a new song comes on the radio, if it doesn’t grab me within 10 or 20 seconds, I find myself hopping stations looking for songs I know I like.

But I know I have to give new music a chance. I never know when I could discover my new favorite band. I might hear a song that I will want to hear again and again until I want to know everything about the members of the band that created it. How old are they? Where are they from? Who are their musical influences? Do they have a cool web site? Do they blog? It is so exciting to blast new music alone in my car, feeling such joy at discovering something so beautiful and sparkly and new. I want to tell everyone about this pretty thing I have discovered.

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19 Comments

Stacy • November 9, 2009 at 9:46 am

Pandora is great for that. You just put in a favorite band or whatnot and it finds music similar to that. If you don’t like it you skip it and Pandora “learns” from you. Nifty!

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boots • November 9, 2009 at 10:00 am

This is such a great topic! I listen to music during my commute every day, and am really looking forward to other people’s replies. I agree with Stacy, I’ve found some of my new favorite artists on Pandora. Also, iTunes’ Genius suggestions are often great, and I love perusing the Village Voice’s “Pazz and Jop” poll when it comes out each year–that list got me to like both Dolly Parton and Eminem.

Do you have an mp3 player? When adding in new music, I find it’s helpful to make a playlist with new stuff and old favorites mixed up together, so you try the new stuff but are assured of having some things you like on there as well. Similar to the strategy for introducing new foods to a kid. :-)

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Adam @ turnupmyworkout.com • November 9, 2009 at 11:55 am

I am a music freak – always looking for new music. I find a lot of it at http://www.hypem.com – the Pandora app is great on the IPhone too and I also like http://Blip.fm all are great for discovering new music and finding out what others like – which is also another good place to find new music, from friends.

The best place for me to listen to new music is when I am working out. I get a good solid 45 minutes to listen to great music and it’s my own time, plus I don’t have a commute.

I know this seems like a cheap plug, but our eclectic playlist is a great way to discover new and different kinds of music then you might ordinarily like.

Great post. I LOVE talking about music!!

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Aline • November 9, 2009 at 12:45 pm

@Stacy – I second Pandora! I have a really eclectic taste in music and was amazed how great they did at finding stuff I like!

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Lynn • November 9, 2009 at 3:23 pm

Metaphorically, I know I need to allow myself to change and embrace new ways of living. My fat and all the patterns that have grown around it may make me unhappy, but they are familiar and easy. It is hard to make changes, but in time the new ways can become familiar and comfortable. You made it happen for yourself, and so can we all!

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tina • November 9, 2009 at 4:19 pm

To this day, whenever I buy a new CD, I fast-forward about 30 seconds in, listen for about 30 seconds and then skip to the next track and do the same. This is my first “listen” to a new album. (Yes, I still buy CDs and yes, I insist on the full experience, not just a single.)

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Quix • November 9, 2009 at 4:23 pm

I love pandora as well. Yahoo music used to be good but now it sucks. I have recently picked up a Zune and the Zune pass and marketplace is pretty awesome – for 15 bucks a month you can listen to just about anything you want and keep 10 songs a month. They also have an auto DJ like pandora too.

My compromise is I have a 10 minute or less commute and I listen to the radio. That way I get exposure to new music. When I made a cd mix and listened to that for a few months, I sorta felt out of it…

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veggie365 • November 9, 2009 at 7:05 pm

You should check out Javier Mendoza – he is awesome and has a new CD coming out this month – you won’t be disappointed! http://www.javiermendoza.com

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Linds • November 9, 2009 at 9:03 pm

I’m all on board the Pandora wagon. It’s a great way to find new artists who are similar to people you like. blip.fm is great too.

Also, look at who the people you love to listen to are listening to. I’ve found some of my new favorite music that way!

This is a great topic!

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Courtney • November 9, 2009 at 11:26 pm

I think I am getting old. I used to love to blast good music in the car. Now everytime I get in the car (without the 4 children) I turn everything off. I used to think my mom was weird when she did that. Crap I am becoming my mom. HELP

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Mary • November 9, 2009 at 11:52 pm

You give voice to my reasons for seeking out new music, Pasta Queen. If I could be allowed to tell you about “a pretty thing” I just discovered… a hauntingly beautiful song called Charlie Darwin (from the album Oh My God, Charlie Darwin) by a group called The Low Anthem. Their music tugs at my soul.

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Jill • November 10, 2009 at 4:11 am

Great topic!! New music is really important to me, especially to make working out something to look forward to. I have a good friend who is always on the cutting edge of the musical scene – she makes CDs for me and mails them periodically. It’s fun because I never know what’s going to be on them but she knows my musical taste pretty well so I usually love everything. I’ve never heard of Pandora – after reading all the comments above I’m definitely going to try it! Thanks PastaQueen for your great blog!

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Paul McCrear • November 10, 2009 at 8:46 am

Can I reccomend anew Artist

Paolo Nuttini.

Bought his album last week and cant stop playing it, its very comforting music.

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Jean • November 10, 2009 at 10:53 am

PQ, I could have written this post. I like my ‘old’ music, and often don’t give ‘new’ music a chance. I have found, though, like others have commented, that going to an exercise class is a good way to find new music – especially if you’re looking for music to add to your workout playlist. I DO, however, need to broaden my horizons and find some music a little more calming/soothing.

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boots • November 10, 2009 at 11:05 am

Linds has hit on a great idea for another blog post: ask your readers for an artist or album or song that they’d recommend to you. I did that on my blog a while back and was pleasantly surprised–there were a couple clunkers, but they were vastly outnumbered by artists I would never have checked out on my own but really liked.

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Amy • November 10, 2009 at 4:14 pm

I think itunes is the worst thing for the unadventurous because you can get just the song you hear on the radio and you aren’t forced to listen to a whole album like on cd’s, or tapes and christ even records. Technology is kindof a bummer sometimes.

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Zsuzsa • November 11, 2009 at 4:44 pm

So what kind of music do you like these days?

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PurpleGirl • November 12, 2009 at 12:01 am

I’m the same way. I also usually have nobody to share it with, because either they’re not interested in obscure French bands or they’ve been listening to The Killers since they came out whereas I just “discovered” them because I don’t listen to the radio!

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Johanna • November 13, 2009 at 7:00 am

I like my music ooooooold :-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoXrMOsnRVo

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Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog JenFul.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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