You might wonder how, in this day and age, the new age of music media, how someone or some band could completely slip under the radar for someone like me. Or you. I am constantly listening to music. When I drive, when I work in the garage, when I’m working out, when I’m in my listening room, when I’m writing… It’s almost constant. And I think that’s one of the greatest blunders of streaming services now days. Tell me if I’m wrong.

Seriously. Tell me if I’m wrong, because I might just be doing it wrong.

Why is it that I can click those three menu-dots on the right of any song, artist or album, and select Go to XXX radio, then start playing a station based on that song or whatever… And rarely hear new shit? It’s almost laughable, but the way some of these genres are listed include gender in them. Women Rock Artists. Or a decade. Women Blues Artists 1990-1999. Sigh. Rolleyes. Good sweet fuck, do I hate that. I will never ever, not ever sort my record collection by decades. Or gender. Wait. Is gender and sex interchangeable now? I’ve forgotten what’s appropriate. I digress.

But I think that might be what’s at play here. If I want to listen to a playlist of songs based on Little River Band’s Lady, then I know I won’t hear anything new. Rather than crossing the boundary of decade and putting it in a mix of other Americana stuff, like maybe some John Mayer “Born & Raised”, which basically sounds like the same genre to me, they stay within their allotted decade. So what you’re stuck with is the same few hundred songs, repeated, ad nauseum. No matter what song you base a station on in that playlist.

Likewise, as I alluded to above, if I base a station off of Don’t Know Why by Norah Jones, where she tells me thirty times that she doesn’t know why she didn’t come… Ahem. (I can maybe help with that, sweetheart), then every song I hear for the next hour will be by a female artist. Why is that? Can they not pair her music with similar stuff from a man? Or even from the seventies? I mean, I can think of some James Taylor that would go well with it. It’s just stupid.

Anyway, back to the topic I created this column to discuss with you… How does a band go unnoticed for over twenty years? Fuck sake! Well, aside from new stuff just not popping up on Spotify stations I create ad hoc. We covered that. I do, occasionally get something new to come up, if I click on just the right song and create a station on it. But I haven’t found the code yet.

So I was writing earlier and happened upon a hidden treasure trove of new songs by new artists. Well, new to me. Not new. At all, in fact. I discovered several new bands I had never heard of. And one of them is called The Pineapple Thief. Their music was scattered into this station I was listening to. And every time I would hear a kick-ass song come on and look over at the Spotify app, it would be them. Holy shit. Like the same thing that happened to me with Zac.

And I say ‘not new’ because they’ve been around since 1999. What the eff? Why has – or rather how has – such great music escaped me for so many years? I think I had based the station off of Porcupine Tree – another fabulous band that I would have never heard of had my old guitarist not turned me onto them back when I was still in a band.

Well, I’m hoping to find an answer to this dilemma. Maybe you can shed some light on it for me. Maybe there’s a ‘DISCOVER NEW MUSIC’ button that plays shit that’s never touched your playlist. And I know they know what I listen to. I got a report at the beginning of the year that told me I had streamed Heart of the Matter some 34 times in 2021. Again with that damn song. It pops up on every station I make. It’s not that I don’t like the song. I do. But when you nickelback the shit out of it, I will start not liking it. Change it up for me, Spotify. Or at least tell me how to.

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