Music is a diverse art form that is well enjoyed by many people. A timeless entertainment, music can be used to accompany you on your travels, motivate you throughout the day, give you a sense of relaxation or provide you with an emotional outlet of expression. With all the many different types of music out there, have you ever wondered about ways to discover new music? Casey Rae, CEO of the Future of Music Coalition in Washington, D.C., has five suggestions for doing so.
Casey Rae
Future of Music Coalition
2217 14th St., N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 822-2051

The Future of Music Coalition is a nonprofit organization established in 2000 to support and advocate musicians in a number of ways so that they are compensated for their hard work and talent. In addition to serving as the organization’s CEO, Casey Rae is a fellow musician, recording engineer, music journalist and educator himself. He advocates for musicians and composers in the federal policy arena and has published numerous articles on the impact of technology on the creative community. Additionally, Rae is on the faculty at Georgetown University and Berklee College of Music, is president of the Board of the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture and is also the principal of He also operates LUX Eterna Records and publishes The Contrarian Media.

Go See A Show Or Live Performance

There are terrific musicians in D.C., and pretty much any town that’s big enough to have a live venue or two. Find those hidden gems and buy a CD or some merch. Ask the bands what they’re into. Musicians are obviously passionate about music and they’ve usually got some killer recommendations.

Go To A Local Record Store

They still exist, even in the era of instant access. In fact, when it comes to discovering new music and getting insight on music recommendations you won’t find people more knowledgeable than record store employees. Try to make connections at a local record store, break the ice and get to know the people. Even if they seem a little guarded, if you don’t show fear and keep coming back, you’ll probably win them over.

Ask A Friend 

Most people know someone who seems to always know the coolest new music, or even the coolest old music. The same goes for older brothers and sisters, or that one barista who seems to always be playing interesting stuff. Meeting new people, making new friends and networking are great ways to discover new music. You may even meet some new and interesting people with great recommendations while attending a show.

Related: Best Music Shops In Washington, D.C.

Social Media

From blogs, online magazines and social networks, music is everywhere online. People post so much stuff — licensed and legal — that it can be hard to keep up. If you like a particular kind of music, such as hot jazz, post-rock, death metal or Klezmer, chances are there’s a blog or fansite that’s got you covered. And if you just want to graze, there are sites like Stereogum or Pitchfork, and even old-school mags like Rolling Stone or MOJO that still exist in print and online editions.

Listen To The Radio

Today’s radio takes on many forms. For instance, KEXP in Seattle has a delightful FM station, a webcast, podcasts and a YouTube channel with many live in-studio performances. Actually, there’s a ton of great community and college radio choices, too, and new options like Low-Power FM. Then there’s the blossoming world of playlists on digital services like Spotify and Apple Music, where you can get a steady supply of handpicked music to suit any mood or occasion. We can’t forget “algorithmic radio” like Pandora, which learns your tastes and lets you create instant “stations” based on an artist or song you like. Lastly, there is satellite radio, which plays considerably more songs than commercial FM and has a pretty solid list of genres and eras represented.

Related: Best Places For Adult Music Classes In Washington, D.C.

Laura Catherine Hermoza has a lifelong love for writing. In addition to serving as a contributor to various media publications, she is also a published novelist of several books and works as a proofreader/editor. LC resides in Baltimore County.