Rock Music Big Year: The hunt for the new Beatles

To ensure a daily diet of new albums, I had to curate the world’s rock music, to source stuff I reckoned I’d enjoy. I used a couple of monthly music magazines, some review sites, random media pointers, “best of” lists, and so on. Sophisticated listeners close to me contributed some of my more memorable finds.

My aims? To find the next R.E.M.! To weep with joy! To find songs I’d play on repeat a hundred times! To glimpse the future! To finger the pulse of a new generation!

How did it work out? Well, at a mechanical level I ended up with enough listening music, but overall, the process was deeply flawed. Most of my 123 groups/artists were older rather than younger, much of the content was in my traditional genre. I stumbled upon a handful of exciting acts, but far, far too few. I couldn’t help feeling I was curating from a dusty record bin in a run-down music store in a depressed town.

Reflecting now, perhaps what I came across in 2017 is a symptom of the shift from analogue to digital. Could it be that the shift to playlists and songs, rather than 10-song albums, means my music sources are penned by my generation, not younger listeners? Have I been hopelessly out of touch throughout my Big Year? If so, does it matter to me?

Reflection needed, Andres . . .

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