To the Top 40 Junkies

Guest Blog via @Shnamm

About Shawn:: Babson College Alum, Exploration Enthusiast and Self Proclaimed Wordsmith. Digital Media is my life and good music keeps it going. #BeGreat & #OwnIt  http://shnamm.tumblr.com/

Just when you thought you were going to have a productive week, you come across THE song…the song that you will have a torrid love affair with, being the first thing you wake up to and last thing you go to bed with. The song will be your anthem for the next couple of weeks and you will check YouTube daily for the @Skrillex remix in hopes that the king of dubstep can add a little shelf life to said anthem.

We all have that moment where we find, what we believe to be, the most revolutionary song in music since “Wannabe” or “I Want It That Way” (Yeah I went all the way back to the 90s.) To those in the know, the early adapters to music discovery, this revelation occurs weekly. Some songs stand out more than others, and some songs you know immediately will be overplayed once the conformist mainstream gets their hands on it… “Call Me Maybe” anyone? (Sorry my inner hipster came out a little.) You become the authority on this song and artist, acting like you were that A&R guy who found them playing at some corner in the wall bar in the dingiest part of the LES. Your hubris gets the best of you and you have no problem telling your friends that you were the first to discover them, noting the exact day and time you were exposed to their brilliance.

But many of you out there still find your music the old fashioned way, through the radio, during a commercial, or even worse during an episode of Glee.  You may have just heard “Call Me Maybe” on the radio for the first time last weekend, and Flo-Rida’s “Good Feeling” may be the first time you heard Etta James’ sample used in a song before…and for that I feel sorry for you.

You are always a day late and dollar short, and the song “Ironic” was probably written about you. Constantly trying to figure out ways to get above the curve and find new music, but never able to get past listening to the outdated, the Top 40 songs, over and over until your ears bleed.  You live in a world of blissful ignorance and I want you to know that life is better outside of the Z100/Hot 97.1 bubble. The Top 40 is like a bad drug luring you in with their catchy lyrics and mind-numbingly awesome beats, keeping you hooked until your music tastes are as bad as Lindsay Lohan looks.

I am above the Top 40 influence, it took me years to recover, but I am finally clean and I want you to feel this same obligation to staying above the Top 40 influence. There is always hope, and with that I will list a few of my favorite sites that keep me from getting old listening to “We Are Young”

Now here are my top 5:

1. www.hypem.com – Everything under the sun, new and old. I recommend clicking on the “Popular” page as I’ve always had the best luck of finding new music that way.  Hypem is customizable for tastes and you can search certain keywords to get you started!

2. www.camelbackmusic.com – Just your average College music blog, predominantly Hip-Hop and Electro Dance Music. You can find eclectic remixes of popular songs as well as the latest leaks or releases of your favorite artists.

3. www.goodmusicallday.com – See Above, similar concept.

4. www.lessthan3.com  – I consider LessThan3 the authority on EDM music. Every day I find my new favorite song on this site. Definitely a top notch site for you EDM junkies out there.

5. Spotify, Last.fm, Pandora, I Heart Radio, etc. All these services offer great ways to finding new and old music you’ve never heard through typing in particular genres and artists and getting results… Definitely great for the work setting when all you want to do is listen to music and don’t exactly know what you want to listen to! If you didn’t know, now you do.

6.  Oh and here’s a 6th one that I just found while writing this blog… www.songza.com Cannot say much more to it aside from the concept itself seems revolutionary. Music for any type of day or mood. I’ve found so much customizability in the first 10 minutes of using it.

Now I love pop music as much as the masses and I’m not a music snob by any means; I have Taylor Swift and LMFAO on my iPod. My disdain for the Top 40 comes from their lack of moderation. I only wish to serve as an informative outlet to you the reader, while being able to poke a little fun at that one person in your life who asks if you have heard that song that has been on the radio for almost a year.  Of course I’ve heard it you idiot.

You’re welcome…

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