Dana Krangel
February 12, 2014 1:00 pm

Music is my best friend. It’s there for the good times, the bad times and every awkward moment in between. Heck, I’m jamming out while writing this. We can’t stay apart for long, music and I, which is why it’s crucial to be on the lookout for fresh bands and sweet tunes so your listening catalog doesn’t get too stale.

Back in the day, you would read about a new boy band in Seventeen and buy their CD single (remember those!) on your next trip to the mall and call yourself a fan. Things went up a notch when Napster came into play and you could convince every kid at your lunch table to burn you their favorite CD. Maybe you put a poster on your wall or a sticker on your Razor scooter, but the experience was fleeting.

As you grow up, you develop your own special musical taste. It’s all your own– the sounds you like and the sounds you love become a part of you. And you want more of that on a regular basis. These days, Napster and CD singles aren’t even an option, and for that I am thankful. But with all of our newfangled technology sources, access to music has changed in some profoundly massive ways. Here are the new steps to discovering your favorite music acts.

Step 1. Hear a song on Pandora

Pandora, you do your job so well. That job, of course, being to expose you to new music. When you come across a tune that perks your ears, sometimes it’s worthy of more than a mere thumbs up. It’s the catalyst you need to go down the rabbit hole of music discovery.

Step 2. Listen to the album on Spotify

Now that your obsession with just one song from your latest music experiment has crippled your life into an eternal state of repeat, it’s time to move on to the full record. Luckily, we have Spotify and a world of music available at the click of a mouse. Love for one song turns into your favorite new album in one fell swoop.

Step 3. Like them on Facebook

You know the words to every song, but what do you know about the band? A savvy music fan wants to get all up in that shiz. You want to learn where they are from, how the band formed, when they are recording a new album or filming a new music video. You’re not a real fan until you know the bass player’s name. A simple like on Facebook means they aren’t just pumping out of your speakers, they are a welcome addition to your newsfeed.

Step 4. See them live!

Dancing around your apartment to some slick new jams is one thing, seeing that band live is totally different. It’s an actual experience and you get to share it with hundreds of other people that feel the same way as you. As you shout your favorite lyrics and look around to find everyone bouncing along with you, it’s a special moment– one worth making the trek or saving up for. Good thing you already like them on Facebook so you will be one of the first to know when they announce tour dates.

Step 5. Rock the t-shirt and tell your friends

What’s better than a good ole’ fashioned concert tee? Not too much, I tell ya. Forgot to grab one at the show because you were too busy having the time of your life? No worries, ebay most likely has your back. The band t-shirt is a powerful next step. It says ‘I love this band so much, I want to tell the world about it.’ It’s cementing the kinship you’ve been building since that fateful Pandora morning. And it means it’s time to start back at step 1.

Repeat this process as necessary. You’ll find that it’s well worth the journey. What band have you discovered recently? Share in the comments and help spread the word.

Featured image via wunc.org