“Music is my boyfriend/ Music is my girlfriend/ Music is my dead end/ Music is my imaginary friend.”
Music keeps us company on long drives and while ignoring semi-acquaintances on the way to class, but if you aren’t careful with your list of favorite music on Facebook, it can keep you from getting a date (she listens to Celine Dion’s “Miracle” . voluntarily?).
But how are you supposed to know what the next chart-topper is going to be? And more importantly, how can you discover the next big pop star before your friends (and thus get to rub in their faces with “Oh, The Shins? I dug them waaaaay before ‘Garden State.’”)? If you want to make your friends jealous of your music knowledge and impressive collection of songs that have only just become hits, look no further than the iTunes Store.
Don’t be an idiot. I don’t mean look at the Top 10 songs or Top 10 albums. Cut right to the chase: free music on iTunes. When I discovered this little shortcut last year, I didn’t fully comprehend the benefits of the superfluous downloads I was filling my collection with until a few weeks later when I started hearing them on the radio and in commercials. Not to name drop or anything, but among those relatively unknown artists were: Corinne Bailey Rae, Amy Winehouse, Paolo Nutini and Shiny Toy Guns. It’s pretty handy when all of your friends are feverishly downloading songs and you have proof that you downloaded it a full three weeks before the song was on a cell phone commercial.
Someone on the iTunes staff is getting paid to search for hip new artists on the brink of stardom, so leave the searching up to them and download cool tunes for free. And even if the songs you have loaded your hard drive down with don’t gain popularity, you can still be the music snob that pretends to hate anything that more than five people like.
That being said, this week you can look forward to the free single “Dangerous” by Kardinall Offishall (does a Kardinall rank higher than a Soulja?). You’ve probably already heard it (and so then, have your friends), but it’s a start.
Allison Baker is an English senior, Mustang Daily columnist and pop-culture enthusiast.