More and more frequently these days, I'm discovering great music from bands who have just recently broken up, having been toiling away for years under the radar for diminishing returns.
It frustrates me because I've missed them when they were active, the first time around. Especially if they were a local band whom I could have seen playing at a venue close to here.
But why am I missing out? You see it's one thing to be a Gen X or Gen Y kid who has just discovered Bob Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited" LP. It's totally another to discover a band last week whose nine year career came to an end 12 months ago.
My hunch is that this is going to be an ongoing phenomenon for me as the years roll on. My theory as to why is this:
As you read this right now, whether it is within a day of two of publication or 2 years down the track, at this very moment there is more music available to each of us in the world right now than there is available opportunities to listen to it. At the time of writing, Spotify and iTunes have libraries of 30 million-plus songs, and while they overlap they're not identical. They don't have copies of everything ever recorded (yet).
There is no way anybody is ever going to be able to listen to all that music. If you did ever listen to it just once, (factoring in the shortest of Guided by Voices tunes and the longest electric Miles Davis live jams to come up with an average song length of 4.5 minutes) it would take you 256.673 years before you started over at the beginning.
Couple that with marketing - nobody can possibly be aware of every new release unless one is totally immersing themselves in release schedules and press releases. And even then...
With those statistics, it's almost inevitable I'll miss something along the way. It doesn't mean I'll stop searching for great new music. But it does explain why I will probably continue to have these "why didn't I discover this earlier" moments when it comes to finding new music.
I just hope the creators of the music don't mind me turning up late to the party...