It’s kind of hard to listen to music in a vacuum, without some sort of preconceptions.
Live there will always be cues, whether positive such as a band playing with someone you like or negative in that you think that the guitarist is a bit of a dick.
And if you have a handle to a song (like the artist’s name) you will likely associate something to that tune, even if you’ve not actually heard the artist before. Even names will conjure up random associations, which more often than not tend to the misleading.
The closest I get to listening blind, as it were, is probably to one of the Uncut CDs. (It had kind of escaped my notice that Uncut seems to be putting out CDs of new music rather than some sort of heritage rock themed collection.) Sure there’s very much a bias in favour of Americana and Americana flavoured stuff but I’ve heard some cool stuff over the years.
The latest CD (the first I’ve listened to properly for some time) flagged up some good tunes, mainly from names I’d barely heard before, and some unexpected stuff. (Who knew that Dirty Projectors sound like Edwyn Collins?)
Most notable of the lot was a pop gem in the shape of the Family of the Year song ‘The Stairs’ (with its genius ‘On your door fucking-step’ chorus) which reminded me of the New Pornographers at their poppiest.
I’ve got a couple of the LPs and will seek out the Bailterspace LP when it comes out later in the month. I’ve have now also worked back to the previous month’s CD. Quite why I’m bothering when I’ve got a HUGE pile of under listened to CDs isn’t clear. Song junkie, I suppose.
Maybe I should stop this nonsense and spend more time listening to the music …