The last time I listened to the radio was when my car CD player gave its last gasp and died. I was too lazy, traveling too much (insert plausible excuse) to get it fixed or replaced and found I actually enjoyed the new English Radio One station – especially Brian’s Sunday evening blues spotlight.
Then my partner decided to treat me by completely upgrading my car music system and voilà! Back to CDs plus I can now even plug-in my iPod – Yipee! (You can tell my car is old as it had a cassette player not an iPod plug)
Discovering & sharing music – “Old Style”
It prompted the realization that radio isn’t how I come across new music at all today in India. Whereas growing up in Canada, CBC’s late night Brave New Waves was an amazing entre into a diverse indie and alternative music scene. I had many sleepless but musically enriched nights thanks to this radio program.
Then (ie 80s-early 90s), I would share music by compiling cassettes with songs from radio, local bands, music festivals, concert bootlegs and more to swap with friends – predominantly a specific friend. We met in Germany in 1986 and for many years these custom-made cassettes would travel between Winnipeg and Gloucester with hand-written nearly illegible scribbles about our lives, how we came across the music we shared, what we thought of it… Nothing beat the joy of unwrapping the latest package from him, deciphering the writing and most importantly playing the music!
Discovering & sharing music – “New Style”
Today, I tend to come across new music in 4 ways:
- Musician friend says “Hey I’m playing tonight at X, come by!” or the FB invite variation “Please come to my latest CD launch at y!”
- Festivals or shows where while seeing one familiar band (probably prompted by #1) would be introduced to another and go “Hey that’s pretty cool!” or “That was sooo awful remind me to be absent next time these guys are playing”
- Link shared by someone I know on FB or now WordPress (since joining this great community of bloggers) or via email to a SoundCloud link “Tell me what you think… just did the following scratch!”
- And occasionally through magazines/newsletters – Yes I love my Mumbai TimeOut and really do pay attention to music features! I also get an online music newsletter and occasionally click on something that looks kinda cool.
I might rarely share a link on FB yet sharing tends to be much more direct – someone hears music playing at home and wants to know more.
Discovering & sharing music – “Music Musings Style”
When my partner shared a link to music created by his friend’s son, I decided it is time to revive my earlier musical musings and missives. Except instead of only one friend, will commit to shamelessly share an eclectic mix of music with brief musings on vague indirect or direct connects in a “Music Musings” series.
I accidentally ‘launched’ last week when I couldn’t resist a mini promotion for dear friends and fabulous sisters in Music Musings – Ask Your Sister. This time it is deliberate and every Saturday (I hope!) there will be something new in store.
Music Musings – RÁJ’s Ghost
After such a loooong welcome, this week I’d like to introduce RÁJ – whom I admit have never met but did spend a lovely evening with his parents during their recent trip to India. My partner remembers RÁJ from when he was a kid in Mumbai. At the time, his father and his American wife decided to try their hand at living with their two young children in a Madh Island paradise long before it became a favourite with film stars.
It was also a time when there were relatively few such ‘mixed’ families. And while I enjoyed chatting with his father, found his mother utterly captivating – down to earth, filled with a wry humour, she shared how hanging out with my partner in Bandra was her ‘sanity’ fix in another wise beautiful but relatively isolated world. They’ve long since moved back to the US however some experiences linger and I wonder how this period influenced RÁJ.
As for his music and the video – just experience it. Perhaps you too will find it just so hauntingly beautiful that you keep playing it over and over. So, enjoy and don’t miss the last secs when you get to see him!
RÁJ is also on SoundCloud and Facebook – Personally I can’t wait to see what he does next!
How did you used to discover new music? How do you discover it now? Any recent favourites?
- Music Musings – Ask Your Sister (everydayadventures.wordpress.com)
- RAJ – Ghost (deadendhiphop.com)
- Artist Watch: RÁJ (arestlessaffair.com)
- Must-Watch Music Videos: Secretive Newcomer Ráj Impresses With ‘Ghost’
- The Globe and Mail – Raj’s Ghost
I do have a sad, nostalgic longing for the days of the mixed tape. Men would give me a cassette and based on their music taste I would decide if I wanted to see them again. I still have some of them (the tapes not the men), but nothing to play them on anymore.
Haha! Very true – the ‘mixed tape’ was a brilliant barometer of potential compatability. 🙂 Even burning a CD isn’t the same.
I did get a brilliant birthday present from one friend – a hard drive with nearly 2 TB of music. I had mentioned off-hand that I don’t have any western classical music in my collection here in India. (Growing up with a mother who sings opera, had a deep appreciation of all the ‘real’ classics) So imagine my utter amazement and delight to get weeks nah I daresay months of music (if played continuously) as a gift?!
Yet in a strange way, as overwhelming and welcome as that hard drive remains, the single ‘mixed tape’ brought a different kind of magic.
And the tragedy is, even if you had a tape player, chances are the tape would have deteriorated so badly you would not be able to play it. I tried rescuing a few of my old ones by digitizing before moving to India in 2003… was a painfully time consuming task but also exposed the transient quality of those 80s tapes.