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This piece is by Casey A. Malik, the site's editor, or "me." It might be a little lame writing-wise, but I still hope you adopt the technique im describing.

Sturgeon's Law states that "ninety percent of everything is crap," which often seems to discourage people from seeking out obscure hidden gems. Certainly with media where there's a significant money or time investment required to even figure out if something is good, this means if you want to hunt for obscure stuff, you're going to have a hard time of it, unless you can detect crap very, very easily. However, on something like Bandcamp, where people post albums that are under an hour for free, and half the shitty ones were made by guys who bear an uncanny resemblance to Scott Pilgrim, you're not going to have a hard time of digging through the rough. Additionally, games and books both require a certain degree in technical proficiency in programming or English (or whatever language) while music is in general easier to construct and much harder to make good. Therefore, even the crap always has some merit to it: no music is ever unlistenable in the way a game can be unplayable.

Anyways, if you want "good" music, digging around on bandcamp like this isn't the best way to find it (that's what Bandcamp Daily's for: the stuff they choose to lift up is legitimately good and non-mainstream). Rather digging around on bandcamp gives you access to a certain kind of unfiltered id. This is especially true in the experimental tab, which allows individual artists to paint on a canvas without limits. If you listen to some random rock music, there's a 90 percent chance it'll sound at least a little like other rock music you've heard. On bandcamp's new arrivals tab, it's probably more than a little. Meanwhile, with the experimental genre, even if there is a trend towards generic dark ambient or noise, you never quite know what you're gonna hear: the textures and structures are way too distinct.

You find a work by an artist called "please excuse my dark ambient swag" and even if you don't like it, you have to admit it's like nothing you've ever heard before. You can find an album that claims to be a soundtrack to the universe, and even if it just sounds like a film score, the aching sincerity is hard not to appreciate. And you can find an album called badass fishtank, which isn't out yet, but sounds exactly like the soundtrack to a Wii game that takes place underwater (I'm looking forward to this one!). And all of these artists have previous works to dig into, or they're signed to netlabels that have released similar things. I'm not cherrypicking too hard here: all of these albums came out yesterday, or were posted to bandcamp yesterday (at time of writing). Do I think any of these albums should be recognized by Bandcamp Daily? No, but they all have their place, and it's hard to find stuff like this outside of the new arrivals tab. It's one way of broadening your musical horizons, orthogonal to other ways like reading Pitchfork reviews or connecting with other human beings.

Additionally, it seems like everyone has *their* genre, a genre of music that they would listen to anything from. Personally, I'm a dirty little psych pop boy. Well, bandcamp allows you to look at all the new arrivals tagged psych pop, meaning you get an endless stream of works in that subgenre you love. I found Tower of Terra, an album I'd actually recommend (if only to other dirty little psych pop boys), by this method. Bandcamp can be used here in two ways: to get something outsider-y and out of left field, or to get an endless stream of the same thing.

Ultimately, both of these methods have value. If you've been sick of all the music you've been listening to lately, and all the music you've been listening to is by popular artists, it might be because it's good. Let a little bad or mediocre music into your life, and you may fall in love with some raw, unpolished ideas, or at least appreciate the music you already love way more. After all, art is a way of communicating your soul, and the more souls you experience, the more souls in your souldex! I didn't know how to end this piece, just like I don't know how the express the value of this in words: it'd be better if you tried it yourself.

If you wanna do that, I've been talking about using Bandcamp's new arrivals page, but the best way is actually to set up specialized RSS feeds. You can use RSS bridge to do this for any given tag. Then, you can use the Live Bookmarks extension in Firefox (you are using Firefox, right?) to set it up as a folder on your bookmarks bar. The folder should update with the newest releases for each tag at least every hour. Unfortunately, there seems to be no way to get every new release with this method, which is why I was recommending tags to use, but it should work if you can get a broad range of tag. Personally, I'd recommend using the tag for your city, if it has a music scene, as well as the ones I have already.