i mean the thing is i work in generalities. what is a generality? i don't know. but i said i work in them which means i have a general idea, which may or may not be true, but as long as i think that it's true, then it is.
i will at least give you my 'general' belief in generalities so you can taunt me about this later. There are two key points:
1. All of my thoughts are based on the premise 'in general', or meaning on a greater than 50% experience. It basically is tied almost to a binary sense of reality. Like if something happens more than 50% of the time it might as well be 100% of the time in my head. To break down the context of every event that occurs would be, at least in my head, an inefficiency of the time allotted alive. So basically, or 'in general' i see things as black and white even though the reality of that is obviously not so.
2. I totally lost track of my train of thought, if i can remember my second point supporting my 'generalities' philosophy i'll be sure to add it later.
The real point of this post though is that I've come up with a fairly simple equation for helping someone to find good music.
The start of this whole thing relies on some unavoidable randomness. But after you leap over what i would call an obvious randomness factor you can actually figure out how to find quality indie rock music, at least in the current cultural context.
As far as other genres of music I can't really speak to that since I don't have much experience so I'm not sure if my equation would support someone whose tastes are more strongly aligned with different genres.
the gist of the equation goes like this:
1. debut albums (EP's or LP's) are still completely random. You cannot tell, regardless of hype of how well a band's debut album will be until you listen to it.
2. any other album then follows: If the current/new non debut album by a band is immediately hailed as publicized as the band's best album the actual best album will be the one prior to it. This is very closely tied to elitism or hipsterism, but i believe that is a simple way of writing off more statistically relevant facts. Declaring elitism is a simple way of not having to pronounce yourself subject to mass appeal.
In a way it makes sense. A great album allows for more people to listen and enjoy. The album after said great album allows those who thoroughly enjoyed the great album to heap the praise they've been unable to do on a scale they feel is the act's great album truly deserved.
Here's a theoretical situation: Band A releases an album that for the purpose of this argument is their best album (lets just call it great). But no one really knows Band A. They get a few good reviews, but for the most part Band A is not well known and while their album is amazing the fact that it's not really being pushed due to lack of existing fan base / critical acclaim.
In simple mathematical terms: Lets say 10 people know about it, and they tell their 5 friends. There are now 50 friends. But the 5 friends didn't find out about the album lets say for a year. So even though we have 40 more fans of the album the time when they first experienced it is staggered over time and therefore the social awareness is generally a small, slowly growing result.
Now lets say it's been a few years and Band A is ready to release album 2. There are now 200 fans. The album comes out and it's good. This is the first time 190 people are allowed to show their pride in Band A, Album 1, and now Album 2. Do you think they hype machine is going to be a little louder this time?
Do you think there is a chance for an unreasonably high review for the new album? I would say if they band has never had critical success before on a large scale there's a good chance even if Album B is shitty it's probably going to be very highly rated, even if in fact the previous album is better.
The downside to this theory is that it only works in one context which is The Album Prior to the Album with the Highest Critical Praise Out of an Entire Discography Is The Musician(s) best actual album.
There is no working calculation after that. Once critical and social acceptance has been reached it's back to being a very random experience. Though I would say IN GENERAL the album after the highest critical praise is not as well regarded / accepted / enjoyed ... for lack of a better word it's usually not very good ... in any context.