Music News

Record Heat: New to Me, Anyhow by Brad Dwyer

In 2010, our New Times operations manager and Up on the Sun contributor Jay Bennett wrote a column about listening to only new music called Nothing Not New. For a whole year. Some time has passed, but not the lesson that column taught me.

There's nothing wrong with favorites, but it's shocking how many folks I meet who tell me they "don't listen to new music." I don't think there's anything wrong with that attitude, per se, but I think about new music, I think of Jay Bennett, and I think about John Peel. He was a BBC deejay, record producer, and journalist and he served the company from 1967 to 2004. During that time Peel championed new music, be it punk rock, grindcore, or anything else that excited him.

Peel never got stuck in a rut. He had favorites (Undertones' "Teenage Kicks" is said to be his favorite tune), but he didn't give up the chase, the kind of far flung idea that I have sometimes when I wake up that today might be the day I find a new favorite song. I know that I have to keep going to shows, and keep looking for new things. There are mornings that I want to put on a familiar Springsteen bootleg or Nick Lowe's Pure Pop for Now People (Jesus of Cool if I'm going with the UK version), and that's fine. Comfortable. But there are also days when I know it's time to take to the record store bins or Spotify in search of...well, who knows?

I think Brad Dwyer's comic this week speaks to that sort of nonsensical notion.

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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.