If You Like____, Then Try____!

iggypopFor a lot of people, finding something new to listen to can be tough business. For one thing, you have to ask somebody or consult a site like this, and who wants to do that? For another, there’s going to be a period (however brief) where you are listening to songs that you don’t know. They very well may become your favorite artists in the future, but it’s unavoidable to have some awkwardness and unease with a new album. You have to figure out exactly where this group is coming from, which can be an exercise in and of itself. That’s why I’ve compiled a little bit of a guide; this is a way for willing music fans to gently transition out of their immediate comfort zone. This is “If You Like___Then Try___.”


1. Let’s say you enjoy the driving roots rock of artists like Tom Petty and Bruce Sprinsgteen? Who doesn’t? Maybe ISIS, but I bet a few of them secretly like “American Girl.” The good news for you is that The War on Drugs takes the passion and optimism of these classic rock staples and updates their sound for the indie rock set, placing a little more emphasis on texture and groove. The result is gorgeous.

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2. Let’s say you consider yourself a real “punk.” You love the Clash, but you’ve exhausted their discography. You’ve even listened to the stuff from after Mick Jones left, and that’s not their best work. Why not check out their contemporaries the Buzzcocks, who were capable of writing an antsy, itchy tune with the best of them.

Or why not check out their Irish neighbors Stiff Little Fingers. They’re a thousand times more raw than your precious Sex Pistols.

3. Maybe you love Jim Morrison and The Doors more than life itself, but the fact that there’s been nothing from that band for 45 years (for some reason) has to be tough. Comfort yourself with the music of the Stooges, who helped lay the foundations for punk about seven years before it was cool. They say that indestructible front man Iggy Pop was inspired by Morrison at a Doors show to turn singing into more of a performance art. The main difference between the two is that Pop had the balls to stay alive. Also he would frequently cut himself with broken glass on stage, which is a pretty cool (if slightly irresponsible thing to do). Pop’s antics aside, he pretty much perfected the sneering lead singer that would later explode into punk.

I’ll close here. I have to save some for future articles. I encourage those that are hesitant to give some of these artists a spin. See what develops. For more details on rock music, consult your local library.

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