That’s a weird question to ask right? I mean, how do you know what you’re not listening to? But as a music lover, do you ever wonder about all the great music you have yet to encounter? I know I do.
As we get ready for a season of great music here at UCLA Live, I’ve been digging around getting more informed on our lineup–which I admit, includes a wealth of artists I’ve not encountered before–educating myself on all that music I haven’t been listening to.
I found this article from last spring from NPR’s “All Songs Considered” program.
The article specifically mentions a couple of artists UCLA Live has been proud to present, including the up-and-coming guitarist from Mali, Vieux Farka Touré, who is appearing here with blues legend Taj Mahal Oct. 22
This NPR piece also highlights Allen Toussaint, who was on the bill at UCLA Live last spring. What an amazing show that was. If you’re a music lover with varied tastes, you’ve probably encountered Toussaint’s influence at some point– he’s written songs for or collaborated with just about everyone, including The Meters, Elvis Costello, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Band, Paul McCartney, Aaron Neville, Dr. John, Jerry Garcia, Phish and so many others.
But if you caught him here at UCLA Live last season you were lucky. And, if you ever get the chance to see him perform live again, grab it.
Toussaint is incredibly slick, smooth as silk in person, and an gracefully warm and gifted presence on the stage, effortlessly sliding from storytelling to consummate vocals, his hands never missing a chance to caress music out of the keyboard in front of him.
I had been loosely touched by Toussaint long before I ever really knew the man’s name, thanks to an old boyfriend who introduced me to The Meters, which has become a perennial favorite.
So now, I’m asking all our music lovers out there, how do YOU discover new music? And what do you love that you think everyone should be listening to?
What are the most trusted go-to sources that consistently inspire new music discovery for you? (Hopefully UCLA Live and other quality performing arts organizations are a part of that for you.)
For me, I have a handful of friends/music lovers in my life whose taste I trust so implicitly that I will listen to anything they tell me I should, no questions asked. That’s not to say I like everything they like, but I never feel like I’ve wasted my time by checking out one of their recommendations.
Often I will listen to KCRW, especially “Morning Becomes Eclectic” with the day’s tracklist open on my computer. That way when I hear a song that makes me go “Oh wow, who was THAT?” I can make a note of it.
I’ve made a lot of pleasant new discoveries that way.
I’ve discovered my mind and soul are like super-absorbent sponges when it comes to music. I am built to consume as much as possible.
Tell us what we should be listening to! And, we’ll do our best to return the favor on stage in Royce Hall this year, I promise.