One Wednesday 1am in the years when I couldn’t sleep I wandered into a ramshackle biker bar out route 46 and found a guitarist playing the blues. The guy was like 50 and looked like an accounting professor, but man could he play. I listened until he closed the place down and left on the quiet highway feeling better than I’d felt in a long time.
That said, randomly barging into intimidating roadhouses looking for decent music hasn’t generally worked for me.
Music’s important to me. Finding ways to keep up with it now that my once music-geek friends have moved on to other hobbies–like work–took me a while. AllMusic was a huge help, then Last.fm. And, of course, Hype Machine and, through them, the music blogs.
But finding live shows was still tough. Last.fm says I have played 1,328 different artists in the last couple of years. And I hate large venues. I’d love to see Andrew Bird live, but I’m not going to Radio City to do it. I told a friend that I needed something to tell me when my favorite bands were in town (and that I wasn’t going to somehow link to all 1,328 of them through MySpace or somesuch.) He introduced me to the guys who started Livekick. Livekick goes through your iTunes library and scrapes your Last.fm or other account to find out what bands you like and then sends a weekly email telling you who is going to be playing near you. Genius! There’s no way I would have known that Ted Leo & the Pharmacists is going to be at Maxwell’s tonight without them.
Anyway, I put some money into the company, so maybe I’m just talking my book, but if you like music, you need to check them out.