Something New ~ Ten Songs You Should Listen To This Week ~ TSYSLTTW

The Hold Steady play during a concert sponsored by Levi's at the Braddock Carnegie Library Music Hall in Braddock, Pa. (Christopher Rolinson)

Photography has been great to me and it is an honor to help others achieve their visual goals. However, the foundation for much of what I do is music. It is the pulse that has driven my vision for decades. It can be a common ground for understanding and relating with creative individuals.

As a teenager in the 1980’s I explore new music at local record stores, Eides Music in Pittsburgh in particular. There I shared albums and tapes with friend who did not find musical connections with the music on commercial radio.

After high school, when I left for the army I carried mix tapes of my favorite alternative music, like New Order and Joy Division, and listened to them relentlessly when I could to get me through. During my enlistment, I spent countless weekend hours in Atlanta, Georgia exploring record shops in Little Five Points. I soaked up the culture, listening to WRAS and the deejays spinning in Buckhead. What I heard in Atlanta changed my musical life. After the army, I was determined to have a new music radio show in college.

I submitted an application to the radio station the day I arrived on campus. Not only did I have a show or ten, I was exposed to great people who also liked new music. Together, we chose the playlist for the WRSK Radio rotation, we simultaneously held the keys to music culture on our campus.

Almost weekly since then I have kept up with new music and share it with a few friends. I’ve had to get creative with my sources, like the Free Music Archive, WRAS Atlanta, The CMJ College Music Charts to name a few, my students and a handy little app for my phone called SoundHound.

I never really stopped playlisting music for myself but I very much miss the experience of curating music for listeners. I hope to provide a list every few weeks of the new music I’m listening to. The music may be new, like it came out this week. Or it may be very old and may be something I heard 20, 30 or 40 years ago and forgot about. Either way, the music will be cool and what I think it is worth listening to this week. Perhaps you like all of it. Maybe you find one or two new songs to add to your rotation. The point is there is so much music out there, much more than ever. There is so much of it that you and I have never heard before. Hopefully, this list inspires you to discover something that truly suits your music style. Together, we can listen to music.

You’ll need a free account to listen. The latest playlist can be found on SPOTIFY here:

Bo Diddley’s Look at Grandma featured on the Netflix series Master of None.