Anyone can passively digest the top forty musical selections that are thoughtlessly served up by the commercial radio stations across the country, not unlike fast food chains selling carbon copy burgers and fries to a public looking only for immediate short-term satisfaction. But this type of consumption is lazy. I like to play a more active role when it comes to my musical entertainment.
Don’t get me wrong. I like a good thoughtless musical hit just like anyone else (Party in the USA anyone?) if it is catchy, has a good lyrical hook, a good beat, and it is something I can mindlessly sing along with to distract myself from life’s pressures and dilemmas. I just don’t want it all of the time. Sometimes I may be okay with a Big Mac and fries at the drive through because I just don’t want to cook that evening, but I don’t want it to be a regular staple of my diet.
I’m a little more demanding when it comes to my musical diet also. I need more. When the audio junk food being offered by unimaginative program directors and deejays is not enough to satisfy my musical appetite, I take an active role and go looking for a little more variety. Thankfully, there are now more options on the musical menu than there were when I was growing up and becoming acquainted with music and my musical taste were being molded and shaped.
The Internet, with sites such as YouTube, iTunes, RadioParadise and Grooveshark make it possible to listen and download almost any song that has ever been released regardless of whether it has had commercial radio airplay or not. Satellite radio providers like Sirius/XM have made it possible to listen to and invite singers and bands into your car and into your home from across the country and even across the globe that you would never have known existed in your small corner of the universe years ago. This is a giant leap from being a slave to your local radio station’s profit-driven play list.
MP3 players have made it even easier to take an active role in expanding your musical horizons. Unlike previous generations, you can instantly purchase and download songs on a compact, mobile, easily accessible device – songs that your local mall or record chain stores would never have in stock or probably even recognize.
I am constantly listening to many different musical outlets across the Internet and satellite radio hoping to unearth buried treasure and hidden musical gems just waiting to be discovered and distributed to a wider audience.
It is like being an explorer of sorts; charting new territory and discovering less popular obscure artists and songs that don’t fit the Top 40 radio mold. However, you don’t want to keep this treasure find to yourself. When you uncover a musical treasure you really enjoy, you want to share it with all of your friends because you want them to participate and share the riches of this discovery with you. So I continue on my personal quest to dig up songs I can share.
What I consider a buried musical treasure, a good find, may not have the same value to the people with whom I share it. This doesn’t bother me though. I don’t take it personally if the people I share this find with aren’t interested or don’t give me feedback. The simple act of discovering a song or artist that has been overlooked or hidden from a wider audience gives me a sense of satisfaction. To be able to share it with many friends makes it worth it. I am happy just to have at least exposed a wider audience to something it would not ordinarily be able to experience from the limited offerings of commercial radio stations.
Increase your musical riches by discovering the following buried treasures and sharing them with your friends. Play it forward. *
1. And the Healing Has Begun – Van Morrison
2. On the Radio – Regina Spektor
3. Apartment Story – The National
4. Running to Stand Still – U2
5. Richest One – Toni Price
6. Jonathan Toledo – The Toll
7. Kozmic Blues – Janis Joplin
8. This is the Sea – The Waterboys
9. Skinny Love – Bon Iver
10. Girl in the War – Josh Ritter
11. Ring Ring – Sleigh Bells
12. Runnin’ – Heartless Bastards
13. For Blue Skies – Strays Don’t Sleep
14. Adam’s Rib – Guy Forsyth
15. The Last Resort – The Eagles
16. Wake Up – The Arcade Fire
17. Murder in the City – The Avett Brothers
18. Light Enough to Travel – Be Good Tanyas
19. Not Dark Yet – Bob Dylan
20. Shinin’ Brightly – Bob Seger
21. Racing in the Streets – Bruce Springsteen
22. Everyone Will Crawl – Charlie Sexton
23. Electric Worry – Clutch
24. Staging the Plauging of a New Platform – Cornershop
25. One Day Like This – Elbow
26. Murder of One – Counting Crows
27. Clementine – Sarah Jaffe
28. Single Fins & Safety Pins – Japanese Motors
29. It’s Late – Queen
30. Portions for Foxes Rilo Kiley
31. Missed the Boat – Modest Mouse
32. Fool to Cry – The Rolling Stones
33. The Gunner’s Dream – Pink Floyd
34. She’s a Mystery to Me – Roy Orbison
35. Death Came a Knockin’ – Ruthie Foster
36. All the Time in the World – The Subdudes
37. Hearts of Iron – Handsome Furs
38. Wild West End – Dire Straits
39. Kentucky Avenue – Tom Waits
40. Old Pair of Jeans – Fatboy Slim
*The videos to these songs are for educational and reference purposes only and the songs are performed and written by the credited artists.