I’m in my fifties, yeah, I know I don’t look it, and many of my old friends are in the there’s-been-no-good-new-music-since-1979 school of thought. They are wrong. I worked in the music biz for years and I can tell you that there is good new music being made every day. I seek out new stuff and really, it ain’t that hard to find. But you can’t, and never really could, depend on the music industry to bring it to you. My go-to places for finding the good new artists are diverse. When it comes to the internet Paste is my favorite music blog. Part of the reason is because it’s out of Decatur, GA, a suburb of Atlanta, and I knew the folks behind it when it was a magazine. Then, and now, they try hard to spotlight deserving up-and-comers and are pretty fair to established acts. Their main focus is indy music (and film).
When I go through the various ‘best ofs’ regarding the year or the year so far on music blogs I find that I agree with Paste more than any other. That’s probably the best way to make comparisons. See what bands or individuals each blog is touting and check out the acts on YouTube and see what you think.
In addition to blogs I’m also blessed in that the local NPR station here in Chattanooga, WUTC, has terrific music shows that mix the old and the new very well. I particularly like Dr. Richard Winham’s afternoon slot, 2:00 to 4:00 EST. He’s a British fellow who’s been living here in The Noog for decades and has a great ear for good new artists. You can stream WUTC and I suggest you give ol’ Richard a shot.
Another excellent source is the subsection of the ‘Goings On About Town’ department of The New Yorker ‘Night Life’. You get capsule reviews of notable acts playing in New York. I’ve been tipped off to good new acts there many times and they also highlight old school musicians that are still doing relevant stuff.