Well, internet 2.0 certainly has shaken things up a bit , hasn't it? Never before has there been such a wealth of easily accessible free, or very cheap music available for mass or 'more selective' (copyright Spinal Tap) consumption. The music business industry is changing, kicking and screaming in the case of the majors (Warner Brothers completely miss the point in not allowing paid for streaming of its artists!) into a modern age.
The sheer amount of music out there produced in home studios, bedrooms and box rooms does however present a problem for the music lover looking for their next musical adventure. A lot of musical output these days is very well recorded thanks to modern easy to use technology (you can even Hum songs instrument by instrument into your iphone now! voiceband ) and have quite acceptable production standards to boot.
So, the question is, how can you possibly wade through all this output to find the music that matters to you, something that you can invest your precious time in and feel its worthwhile? Previously you would watch 'Top of the Pops' or read the NME or 'Q', or possibly listen to the radio. The fact that most scheduled radio is absolutely lowest common denominator these days ( and internet radio faces the same problems as choosing new music for yourself due to the plethora of micro stations playing everything from death metal ambient to SKA punk jazz), means that there is too little (or too much!) choice out there.
One solution is exploring social networking sites such as Facebook or My favourite, Twitter. We all have classic bands and artists that we love and by joining the various groups and lists that gather together people with similar tastes is a good starting point.
indeed, 2 artists I have discovered via twitter such as Matt Stevens (@mattstevensloop), a very good guitarist/composer who also has a lot of interesting stuff to say as well. Currently he is running his #sundayfreenoodle series on Twitter- a series of excellent tracks that have found a home that otherwise may have remained on the shelf. Its the type of interaction between artist and fan/consumer that Twitter and the like can generate, and which in itself can generate ground roots interest and more imnportantly for the artist, sales with links to Bandcamp and Sound Cloud .
The second artist is the band Left Below and their Porcupine Tree/Tool inspired '21st century cinematic rock'. their cd can be purchased on CDBaby . They also have a series of interesting remixes downloadable for free on their site. @leftbelow
I'm sure both artists are more than happy for you to contact and interact with them, you might even like their music enough to buy some from them!
Of course blog entries such as this can also help to generate small scale (and larger scale in some instances ), so please write about the music you like, and spread the word!