Wil's Sunday: Discovering music and being curious.
While I mainly write about the intersection of marketing and technology, I also enjoy sharing personal essays and a behind the scenes look into my experiences.
I call these Wil's Sunday.
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Enjoy this week's article.
I've always been one to try new things. Food. Beer. Coffee. Technology.
Not music though.
I wasn't really into music growing up.
As a family, I don't remember if we ever played music at home. Both my parents were artists, just not music artists.
My first cassette (!) was Run D.M.C. I bought it at a flea market in San Jose, CA. It was certainly a knock-off. I paid for it with my own money. As a kid, that was a big deal.
My pals in high school weren't really into music, either.
After some phases of skate punk (D.R.I.), hip hop (Public Enemy), alternative (Depeche Mode), my music taste centered around three different artists:
Pink Floyd / Roger Waters
Getting to these three artists took a lot of discovery and patience.
The most trying time of patience was when I first tried to set up iTunes. After two hours of trying, I finally gave in and took a four-hour nap.
I tried Napster and freaked out when I received a cease-and-desist letter for pirating music. I'm not even sure I knew what I was doing.
I finally got iTunes working and even subscribed to iTunes Match, allowing me to listen to all my music on any device.
Services like Spotify arrived, which help users discover even more music.
Those services didn't matter much to me - I had the music I enjoyed already and the last thing I wanted to do was to start the discovery process all over again.
Needless to say, the era of digital music did not start off well with me.
And that's the thing about discovery. Sometimes discovery has a shelf life.
At what point do the benefits (finding new music) of discovery outweigh the costs (listening to bad music, not listening to your music)?
That doesn't mean we shouldn't lessen our curiosity around discovery. Rather, we should discover more about what we like. Go deeper into the music that's already in our arsenal.
For me, that deeper discovery happened when we moved back east. As a growing fan of the Beastie Boys, I heard places like Rucker Park and Murray's Cheese Shop and Modell's and of course, Paul's Boutique.
One weekend, we took the A train up north to see Rucker Park.
Then, we'd head down to the Village to gawk at Murray's Cheese Shop.
Modells was right around the corner and passing it on the way to the subway made me hum "Fresh dressed 'cause I shop at Modells".
And to stand on the corner of Rivington and Ludlow, gawking at the mural dedicated to Paul's Boutique and M.C.A., was amazing.
Where am I going with all this?
I'm not sure, maybe just a rambling post about the Beastie Boys, New York and how discovery is beneficial in both the short term and long term.