The Last Time a Pop Song Freaked You Out

Now that Loving Every Other Minute of It is out as an mp3 download, it’s got me thinking about when I decide to buy new music.

I’ve bought quite a bit of new music in 2020. These purchases have included CDs and mp3s by newer and established artists such as Buffalo Jones, Olivia Awbrey, James McMurtry, The Breeders, Victor Krummenacher, Eliot Bronson, and Michael McDermott.

These days, it seems almost impossible for me to buy music by an artist with whom I have no strong previous connection. As I look at the above list, two of the artists are from formative bands of my youth (The Breeders, Victor Krummenacher), two have been recommended by friends (Eliot Bronson, Michael McDermott), one I’ve seen live a couple of times and decided to take the plunge (Buffalo Jones), one was a coworker (Olivia Awbrey), and one was an artist I’d already been listening to for a decade or two (James McMurtry).

This is quite a bit different from what prompted me to buy music back in the day. Back then, all of the above could be factors, but most likely, I purchased music by acts I’d heard on the radio. Without radio, it gets harder to take the plunge.

Here’s an example. Earlier this year, I was tooling around in my car. I flipped through the radio dial and stopped on a bluegrass number. I’m usually good for one or two bluegrass songs, and then I start to fade. Still, this tune, called “Wichita,” was somehow different. It seemed like the most perfect song I’d ever heard. One line made me laugh out loud, “She ain’t broke, but she’s badly bent,” and I knew I had to have it. As soon as I got home, I bought this track off iTunes.

These days, that kind of experience is rare for me. I don’t spend much time listening to the radio, and when I do, I find myself stuck on songs that are decades old.

Without this connection forged by radio, I really count on you to recommend new music. When you tell me about a new (to me) artist, I take your recommendation seriously. I scribble the name down on my pad, check it out when I can.

So, I’d like to know the most compelling music you bought recently. What album, artist, or song did you buy that you like? Pass this info on to me in whatever form you think best. Links are good but not necessary. Give me the name, and I’ll find it.

My contribution is “Wichita.” What’s yours?


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