4.03.2011

The Benchwarmer: Discovering Now is Different Than Later?

I know that there are still bands I have yet to hear and I'm sure countless others have spent years listening to them, but does it really matter that I discover a band later than others?

Photo taken from news.cnet.com

I'm not saying I'm slow. I'm saying that I just haven't heard about this band until someone brought it up. I check them out, I like them, I listen to them, and now that artist has a new listener. I can feel ashamed for not having listened to them beforehand, but who cares? I'm enjoying their music now, right? According to others, though, I'm just another fan "joining the bandwagon" and now that artist isn't nearly as special to them.

Here's a more interesting scenario: Your best friend starts a band, and you've been his best friend for who knows how long, but now that the band has released what could be a huge single, EVERYONE knows who this band is. Do you feel that you have some higher authority because you were one of the "first" to listen to them, or now that everyone likes them and listens to them that you can't anymore? Is there any justification for this? I can't find any.

This is mostly in relation to this week's release of The Weeknd's mixtape release, which I reviewed on the last Crash Thursday. I've been reading numerous comments on Last.fm of people referring to the instant notoriety since the artist's appearance on Pitchfork and other music zines. Just because this artist was known to a certain few a couple weeks ago shouldn't mean that they have some sort of say, or at least calling new followers names that don't appear reasonable. Sure, Pitchfork is a site that reviews music and news, but I find joy in that I can discover artists that I've never heard of and bring them into my own consciousness. Isn't it better that your underground artist that only you knew about is finally getting his name out there? There's a reason why this person's music is appealing to people, and now that I'm aware of his talents, I feel I should embrace them, not keep them to myself.

Public awareness is something that shouldn't be shunned. Discovery is a unique part of the human mind, and it takes others more time to reach out and find new artists that appeal to them, and once those artists reach their consciousness then they've now made an impact on that listener. Why should it matter when you discover them? Why should others care that you discover them after they did? Think about it.

-DJ

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