With all the new rock bands, indie bands, small rap groups, etc., it is hard to find a band to really like and follow. MySpace.com makes it easier to track your favorite bands and see when they go on tour, as well as assisting new groups in attaining their big breaks.

MySpace.com is a public forum that allows new music groups to post their music, so that fans, record labels and promoters have access to music without working too hard. With MySpace.com, bands are able to quickly reach a large group of people to promote their music. Is it working? There are so many bands on MySpace now that it seems like a competition to see who has more friends or profile views. The music doesn’t even matter anymore.

My problem is when bands send out friend invites to you, and you have no idea who they are. Sure, it is a way to reach the public, but it is similar to those fliers you receive after shows. How often do people actually look at those? It is more likely they make their way more often than not to the trash then to people’s calendars. I guess I should be grateful we are now using less paper and not wasting trees, but instead, bands are now wasting my time by making me constantly decline their invites.

What happened to the good ol’ days when music was about two things – the freedom of verse in lyrical form and the ability to create something truly unique? It has always been a competition. It used to be who was the better band, but now it is who has the most fans on MySpace. Bands on MySpace are now like prom queens or student body presidents. It is a popularity contest rather than a testament to who is truly the more qualified candidate. Since when did bands care about being popular? I guess the goal is eventually to be signed by a label and become a “true” rock star.

If you want to become a rock star, then do it the right way. MySpace is a powerful tool to help you along the way, but don’t go and add everyone that has a similar music taste to your own and see how many friends you can get that way. I don’t add any bands that add me as their friends if I don’t know them personally, enjoy their music already or have been to one of their shows.

Music should be by referral rather than just a popularity contest. Bands need to work harder than just going onto MySpace and adding friends each day. I guess they are practicing for being rock stars, or in the words of Dire Straits, “Money for nothing and your chicks for free.” If I go to a show and an opening band is one I enjoy and would like to help popularize their music, then yeah, I will add them as a friend. But I am not going to add you as a friend if you just send me an invite. That is no way to foster good public relations.

Music is a way of life. It has become increasingly popular to post your musical taste online and show everyone how cool you are. I am guilty of this, but it is not to prove to other people I know of bands they have never heard about. It is, rather, to initiate conversation and serve as a reference point. Music should be spread through friends, acquaintances, concerts and radio, not through MySpace. Bands that have MySpace accounts: Be careful to not abuse the luxury of having it so easy. Make sure you are still focused on the goal and the reason you formed a band in the first place. If it is not for the music, then you are in the wrong line of work. You will end up selling out and becoming the next Creed or Nickelback. Use MySpace for the purpose of a resource, not your only way of popularizing your music.