A good friend of mine, a creative guy who shares my tastes in good bourbon and better beer, recommended a band to me the other day. Actually, what he did was recommend a song, and then act all shocked when I had never heard of the band.
The band is Kings of Leon. They've been around for a while. But in the process of being around, they managed to, without any real effort on their part, slip under my musical radar. Here's a sampling of what I was missing:
So, yeah. Good stuff, right? It got me thinking: How could a solid act like Kings of Leon, who have a big label, a good story and a song in a car commercial remain unknown to me? The answer is both simple and a little depressing.
First of all, being not just a working stiff but a nocturnal working stiff is strike one. Going to shows is tough sledding unless you're willing to miss all the opening acts.
Second, radio in Chicago is bad. Borderline unlistenable. My favorite station is "scan." But even if I catch a song I do like, the odds are it's one I've heard before and already love... the radio waves have a way of dulling the cutting edge.
That leaves recommendations from friends. Some of my acqaintences are frighteningly well-informed of the latest and bestest music, so that works in my favor. But it just seems to be a topic that never comes up.
The point? I need to lean on my audiophile friends to spill the goods so I can fill up my iTouch. And thus become hip and cool, like Kings of Leon.