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My Quest To Find Music That Doesn’t Suck

6 min read from miscellaneous on 2020-02-04

CW: Lots of swearing (much more than normal).


Hello everyone, if I haven’t already convinced you that I’m a pretentious prick, this ought to do it.

Today, we’ll go through some of the ways I try to discover new music that isn’t complete shit. As we all know you can categorise music into three categories: “good music”, “not shit music”, and “shit music”. The “good music” category is obviously the music we want, but in my experience it’s incredibly rare to find artists that make “good music”. So rare in fact that I can list them all here:

  • Radiohead
  • LCD Soundsystem
  • Björk
  • Fever Ray

So as you can see, there are only four artists that make “good music” (that I’ve heard of). While it’s not impossible that we’ll find more “good music”, it’s very unlikely so we’re going to need to lower our expectations and look for “not shit music”.

But for contrast, here’s a list of “shit music“ so we know what not to look for:

  • Coldplay

Fuck Coldplay[1].

And with that out of the way, let’s look at the first thing most people do when trying to find new music.

Top 100 Charts

These are the most played songs on your music streaming service. For Apple Music (which is what I use), it currently looks like this:

top100

Unfortunately, these songs all go into the “shit music” pile. The music service also doesn’t seem to have much affect on the quality, I checked Spotify and it’s mostly the same.

I guess this just means most people like “shit music” ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Discover Weekly

This is recommendations from your music streaming service based on your listening habits. On Spotify it’s called “Discover Weekly”, but the closest Apple Music has is “New Music Mix” which is similar but mainly focuses on new music (duh).

I’m focusing on Spotify and Apple Music because it’s the ones most people use, I’ll get into the more niche services later.

Anyway here’s my “New Music Mix”:

new-music

Now that’s already much better then the Shit 100 Charts. But the problem with “New Music Mix” is that it shows artists I already know. They made new music yeah, but I probably would have found it either way without this mix. I didn’t use “Discover Weekly” very much when I was on Spotify, so I don’t know if it’s better in that regard.

Side note: The new Vulta album is pretty decent.

Recommendations From Friends

Haha, yeah right!

I don’t have friends because as we’ve seen before, everyone except me has shit taste in music.

Machine Learning Recommendations

I know that “Discover Weekly” and such already use machine learning, but you may find it worth to use third party recommendation engines.

I’ve used Gnoosic, where it makes recommendations from your top three bands. It actually worked well, and is how I discovered Fever Ray, so that must count for something. But since there are so few inputs, you really only need to use it once before it runs out of things to recommend (it doesn’t have a constant stream of things you listen to).

SoundCloud / Bandcamp / Audius

I really like these services because they let literally anyone put whatever the fuck they want on it, and that can lead to some really interesting music from people with tiny audiences.

Since they’re all kind of the same service as Spotify/Apple Music/I just remembered that Google Play Music is a thing, you can use the same methods for finding music, it’s just that the music you find is different.

Okay… I’ll come clean. I actually only use SoundClould for anime music. YES, I like anime music, please don’t take away my Certificate of Certified Pretentiousness.

I mean, where else can you find a mashup of “Smooth Criminal” by Michael Jackson and “Rivers in the Desert” from Persona 5, huh? IT’S GOOD.

What about this eurobeat remix of “Bloody Stream”? And speaking of JoJo, here’s “Overdrive“ without the dumb vocals. LOOK AT HOW MUCH BETTER IT IS! IS THIS SHIT MUSIC?

NO! THIS ISN’T SHIT MUSIC, ANIME MUSIC ISN’T SHIT FUCK YOU. HOW CAN YOU SAY THE OP[3] TO “Eizouken ni wa Te wo Dasu na!” SUCKS? IT DOESN’T. THIS BITCH FUCKING SLAPS!

You know when I said:

you can categorise music into three categories: “good music”, “not shit music”, and “shit music”

That was a complete lie to lull you into a false sense of security. There are only two genders categories: “God Tier Anime Music” and “shit garbage music that should be thrown into the trash because it is not anime music and the trash is where garbage belongs”.

How dare you come onto my website, take my bandwidth, and call anime music shit! I bet you like Kpop, you degenerate, you goddamn pineapple on pizza hater[4], you swimmer fish fuck. I hope you die in a vat of acid and then you reincarnate as a slime, but instead of having a fun anime adventure some dude just fucking turns you into jelly and then they fucking eat you and their stomach acids kills you again and then you go into a Gold Experience Requiem style death loop. Unless you’re into vore, in that case, what the fuck is wrong with you? GET SOME HELP.

Hype Machine

Hype Machine is a service I’ve been trying out for a month now. And it’s actually really good. From their about page:

Hype Machine indexes hundreds of music sites and collects their latest posts for easy streaming and discovery.

This is nice because instead of a dumbass robot who think you like pop music, you can follow music blogs that align with your tastes and get actual good recommendations. The UI is a bit jank, but it does it’s job well enough.

And that’s pretty much everything! I hope this has helped you to find music you enjoy 😊.

Haha, that was the first emoji I’ve ever used on this blog!

Okay, bye bye! See you next time where I disprove the idea that the “marketplace of ideas” is a good idea.


[1]: I’m only joshing. I don’t actually hate Coldplay, I just don’t like when they’re ripping off Radiohead[2]. “X & Y“ is actually a good album.

[2]: Haha, that was another joke. They don’t always rip off Radiohead. Just most of the time, so maybe I do hate Coldplay.

[3]: For you normal people “OP“ stands for “opening“. Every anime (I‘m pretty sure) has an opening sequence, they can be quite good and something fans always look forward to watching. It isn‘t enough to just listen to them, so you should probably watch the accompanying animation too.

[4]: This isn‘t part of the joke, I actually like pineapple on pizza.