A friend recently sent me an invite for Spotify, a streaming music service that it seems folks I know and who know music are quite excited about. For the sake of accuracy I will admit I may have begged for an invite out of curiousity and because we all want to be in with the cool kids.
I was a bit sceptical to start with, I mean who needs a streaming service when there’s a world of downloads, fileshares and the never-say-die mixtape/CD out there? I’ve got access to all the music in Christendom a couple of clicks away, legally or otherwise.
So I applied my acid test of obscure indie: can I find The Family Cat’s Steamroller? Not extremely obscure, just obscure enough that there’s a few services I’ve tried and not been able to find it. No dice.
So I tried another of my favourites: The Senseless Things, Too Much Kissing. No dice there either.
[Incidentally, it would seem that both are on labels that are/were part of the Sony BMG group – clearly they’ve got higher priorities than digitising early-90s indie that has been all but forgotten by everyone except a few balding 30-somethings.]
So I went away a bit disappointed.
That was until the wonderful Peter Robinson of Popjustice shared a playlist with a bunch of mutual friends and they all started adding their selections to it. Some of them are music industry “insiders”, others music fanatics, some like me wish they bought more music and so on.
The joy of it is that I get to pick through what everyone else is listening to, both old and new, pitching me into a huge world of music discovery. A bit like getting mixtapes but only better, more listenable and far more immediate. Turns out my initial disappointment was misplaced.