Archive: Finding Hidden Treasure

This is an effort for me to catalogue some writing from when I was an intern writing blogs and doing PR for a music studio after I graduated way back in 2010. I’ve managed to recover some old blog posts via the Wayback Machine. I’ve done some light formatting and editing because the typos are embarrassing.

I don’t remember why I was called Companaro Jack.


  • Remember StumbleUpon? StumbleUpon was awesome.
  • I was pleasantly surprised to see that Satellite High, noted in the “forums” section, is still active. I remember when he first made a post on the Something Awful forums about his first album release. Here’s his Bandcamp page.
  • IndieFeed was a great podcast series.

Finding Hidden Treasure
May 5, 2012

Companero Jack here.

What happens when you find yourself bored, or dare I say, jaded, with having the radio as your sole method of discovering new music?

Thankfully, in this age of Facebook and LOLcats, there are plenty of ways to use the internet to track down and discover music. I’m a huge music junkie, with my already massive library growing fairly steadily. The following is a list of methods I usually use to discover music, as well as an example of something that I’ve found with each method (and yes, it’s all hip-hop because that’s what I listen to).

Stumble-esque Sites
If you’re not familiar with StumbleUpon, it’s probably in your best interest to stay away. It is a fantastic time vacuum. Emma will attest. Based on the categories that you choose, it gives you websites that you may be interested in, which you ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ to provide a more refined search. You can search StumbleUpon for music content, or use sites similar sites specific to music. I was recently shown StumbleAudio, and a quick Google search provided this roundup.

Found: The following is an awesome mashup. Tom Caruana’s Wu-Tang vs. The Beatles: Enter the Magical Mystery Chambers.

As a denizen of the internet, I’m a member of a handful of forums. I’m most active in the forums at Something Awful, which cover pretty much every topic conceivable. From time to time I’ll venture into the music threads to see what people are talking about. Or, since SA has a real sense of community, there are occasionally music collaboration projects between members, or just members sharing their own music.

Found: N.A.S.A.’s The Spirit of Apollo and SA member Satellite High’s This Mic is a Pipe Bomb.

Social Media
Of course, this has to be on the list. Blogs, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, or whatever other social media you happen to frequent are filled with artists promoting their music. This is actually all that MySpace is good for anymore anyway.

Found: Crooked I’s Hip-Hop Weekly series. Crooked I’s freestyles have a pretty legendary status, and here he released one a week for a year through MySpace.

I find that podcasts don’t quite get the love that they deserve. I don’t know if it’s that people don’t want to sign up for iTunes accounts to download them, or don’t want to download an MP3 from whatever website and import it to whatever media application (which I absolutely hate doing). My personal favourite is the IndieFeed series of podcasts, which has separate podcasts for Alternative Modern Rock, Indie Pop, Hip-Hop, Electronica, Dance and Blues. Each episode contains a new track from an indie artist and is updated every few days.

Found: I’ve found a ridiculous amount of music thanks to IndieFeed. I had no idea that Felt (Slug of Atmosphere and Murs) existed before IndieFeed, which is odd because they’re two of my favourite rappers.

Crews & Labels
I’m not sure how much this happens outside of hip-hop. Given rap’s collaborative nature, there are a lot of songs with multiple emcees all from the same label or area, or from guys that just happen to be buddies. Take Wu-Tang for example. Not only do they have a standard cast of 9 main rappers, but also what seems like a few thousand friends that all make regular appearances. Sure, they’re not all good, but there’s always the off-chance that you’ll like someone.

Found: QN5 Music is one of my absolute favourite labels. I had initially heard of Tonedeff through a friend and grabbed his album Archetype. It featured a song with his group, Extended F@mm, which introduced me to PackFM, Substantial and Session.

Music Mapping
This is a cool one. There are a few sites like Gnod that take a few artists that you like and provide similar artists based on what other users have put in. Click the ‘Map’ link at the bottom of the suggestion for a visual representation of what you might be interested in. I’m going to include the “You May Also Like…” function from sites like Amazon or the iTunes Store in this category because they’re both usually pretty accurate.

Found: I honestly can’t say that I’ve ever actually found anything new from Gnod. I rarely use it. However, after putting in a few artists that I do like, the results were pretty accurate.

Streaming Radio
For those unfamiliar with sites like or Janga, both are sites that create custom playlists based on what you input. has an option to read your iTunes library and give you results based on what you already have. The more advanced features require a subscription, but just ignore it because this is the era of free everything. I used to use Pandora, which no longer works in Canada. We’re an industrious generation though, so there are ways around it.

Found: Back when it worked, I typed ‘Tonedeff’ into Pandora and it introduced me to Kev Brown.

Unique to iTunes, Genius creates a playlist from your library out of similar songs. This is obviously useless to you when you’re looking for new music. Open up the Genius Sidebar and you’re given a list of songs, albums and artists that, big surprise, you may also like. You can preview them in the sidebar, or click the links to purchase them.

Found: I swear, I’ve used this to discover new music, I just forget what.

YouTube is underrated as a music player. Sure, the quality tends to suck and the comments are infuriatingly stupid, but just try to ignore that for a while. Open up a music video from an artist you like and check out the sidebar. Pick a video at random and watch it. Users will create playlists of videos, which often produce something they like that you haven’t heard of. The YouTube main page will also give you recommendations based on what you’ve watched in the past, so make sure to take a look at it before you start surfing through videos of cats.

Found: I decided to watch Atmosphere music videos one day. The channel for Atmosphere’s label, Rhymesayers, had a link to the Brother Ali video below that I clicked on at random and loved.

And there you have it. Go find something cool.