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Have a Blast (Music) at the library

Stop letting that robot tell you what to listen to!

I know. I get it. I am just as guilty as you are.

It is so simple. Pick a song that you want to hear, and your friendly digital companion will use all your previous choices, the time of day, and even your location to predict what you might want to hear next.

Sure, sometimes that robot is correct. From time to time your phone, your laptop, your television, maybe even your refrigerator will present you a new artist that you fall in love with, but more often, it will be a well-worn song that you know, because your robot is averse to risk.

We tell ourselves we don’t have time to find anything new, we tell ourselves all the good music has already been made, or that we really need to finish this week’s grizzly true crime podcast.

All those things might ring true, but I personally miss the hunt. I miss the discovery. I miss finding something that feels like buried treasure; something that feels like it is truly mine, because I dared to go looking for it.

If you find yourself so inclined to go digging through the digital record shelf, I have just the site for you. The hottest music scene in North Alabama is called …The Library.

Specifically, it is Blast Music hosted by the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library. The site provides a platform for artists that reside in the Tennessee Valley. If you happen to be an artist, submissions will be accepted beginning Sept. 1. Blast Music is a repository for artists of seemingly any genre, curated by a dedicated staff with an exceptional ear for good, honest music.

In the span of an hour, I was able to fall in a very strong like with multiple artists that I would have never been exposed to without Blast Music and these curator’s efforts. They don’t even require you to have a library card, or even listen quietly.

I am a sucker for any song with “Alabama” in the lyrics. So I was predisposed to be all in with Anna Kennedy’s “Music in the Water.” The chorus begins, “A simple house in Alabama held a quiet daughter.” The lyric and the song would feel much more appropriate coming from a scratchy gramophone than it did my computer speakers, but the message was conveyed, nonetheless.

From there I moved to the drum, bass, guitar, organ, and xylophone-backed “Ode to Lena” by Culprit C.A.D.O.N, and the bop was undeniable. The accompanying anime-style video added to the jam’s infectious cool.

Want to hear about the trials and tribulations of a forklift driver wresting the repetition of six-day, 10-hour shifts? Lucas Smith provides a modern, working man’s anthem with “Havin’ A Job,” and I can certainly agree that “havin’ a job beats huntin’ one.”

By far, my favorite of the lot was Uncle Emmington’s Alphabet Soup, a 30-song collection of folk pop songs that never over stay their welcome. The 1 minute and 53 seconds of “His Room” sums up adolescent dating succinctly and so well that I could feel the awkward blush described in the lyrics.

https://blast.hmcpl.org/ is a valuable resource for artist and listeners alike. Roll up your virtual sleeves and get digging.

Matt Hankins/256 Today

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