Monday, January 05, 2009

Podcast Review: AMPed New Music Weekly

How do you discover new music? The radio? Pah-lease.

I listen to podcasts to find new music. It's a great way to discover independent artists.

The major labels have forbidden their material to be used by podcasters (because most podcasts are distributed as MP3s, the majors consider them identical to songs illegally shared in the same fashion). And that's good news because it's forced podcasters to turn to independent artists for material. In turn, it's opened up an entirely new opportunities for independent artists and labels.

And don't think that the music used for podcasts is in any way of lesser quality than that released by the majors -- in some cases, it's often better because the artist can be true to their own vision instead of conforming to the kind of sound that market-tested focus groups prefer.

With hundreds of music podcasts to choose from, though, how do you know which ones to listen to? I solve the problem by listening to the AMPed New Music Weekly, a forty-five-minute anthology podcast put out weekly by the Association of Music Podcasting. The Association looks to promote the highest-quality podcasting standards, and they have about 50 podcasters as members.

New Music Weekly offers up music from various member podcasts, with the hosting duties shared by different podcasters. Just by listening to this anthology podcast, I've discovered not only a lot of artists I want to explore further but also (thanks to listening to the various hosts), some podcasts I wanted to follow as well.

This was the program that introduced me to artists like Los Campesinos, Black Angels, and Jonathan Coulton, just to name a few.

There's more to music than what's on the radio (thank goodness). And AMPed New Music Weekly proves it in spades every seven days.

And remember -- you don't need an iPod to listen to a podcast. Just download direct to your computer or smartphone and enjoy!

- Ralph

Day 194 of the WJMA Web Watch. (Had to go to AMPed to discover Farrell Spence, Little Country Giants, the Dixie Bee-Liners, and other country artists -- can't find 'em on WJMA, AKA "Today's Country.")

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