You’re watching TV when you see an actor you feel like you recognize, but you just can’t remember where you’ve seen them before. You reach into your pocket and pull out your phone, and within seconds you know who it is, where you’ve seen them, and everything else they’ve ever done, on and off screen. You find something you really like in a local store, but you wonder whether you can get it cheaper somewhere else. You scan the barcode and immediately know how much it costs at five other stores as well as what everyone who has bought it (and took the time to review it) thought about their purchase.
They aren’t calling it the Information Age for nothing. As long as we have a cell phone signal, we have access to all of the accumulated knowledge of the world with virtually no exceptions. And when we can know everything there is to know about anything we want to know about, we tend to look it up.
For all of the good this does for us, there are some unfortunate side effects. One of these, in particular, negatively impacts independent musicians. When we can instantly gain access to all of the available information about a musician or band, many people begin to use the volume of information as a measure of the band’s musical worth. Said another way, many people begin to believe that if they can’t find a ton of information about a band or artist, it must not be that good.
In the past, people walked into record stores and discovered new, awesome music. Now people walk into a store, see a record by a band they aren’t familiar with, and when their Google search doesn’t turn up an ocean of results, they put it down and move on. But “No info = No ability” is a false equivalency. Every great band gets discovered at some point, everyone has different musical tastes, and some bands make a real effort to remain underground. Just because the pool of information on a band is small doesn’t mean they aren’t good. Don’t let a lack of search results stop you from finding bands you’ll love! Go forth and discover! You don’t even have to go that far; you can find a bunch of great bands and artists right here, for example the Cheap Freaks, (Stop Worrying and) Love the Bomb, Bella Nae, and the Livids.