So you’re a brand new DJ. A little excited, a little nervous to talk aloud to who knows how many listeners. You know the words to every song on The Essential Billy Joel, both discs. In high school, you rode shotgun down two-lane country roads in your friend’s doorless Jeep, sticking your bare feet out the side while the first Mumford & Sons album drowned out the cicadas. No one else in 11th grade had heard of The Decemberists or Regina Spektor. You thought you were pretty cool; you went to public school. But now, in college, the older DJs in WRVU are intimidating, and you don’t know any of the bands they’re talking about. You’re me, freshman year.
Two years ago, I spent a lot of time hunting for new music, though I wasn’t very efficient at it. Pitchfork was the only music journalism site I’d heard of, and I spent lots of time there without understanding the context of most of the articles. If I could do it all over again, here’s the resources I’d have used.