There is something gratifying about the release of new music by bands that I like. This is different than discovering new music by bands I haven’t heard before, that is a whole different subject. I will talk about that in a future article. No, I am talking about when a group or artist that I have been following releases new music. It doesn’t matter if it is a new single, like Alice Cooper’s Live at the Astroturf or a massive box set, or like Metallica’s massive Ride the Lightning box, I get a thrill knowing that there is new music from someone I like. I can just be merrily living my life and then I hear rumors, “Hey, did you hear Midnight Oil is getting back together to do an album?”, then a pre-announcement. It might be an off the cuff comment during an interview, “We have been in the studio and hope to have something out by next year”, kind of like with U2’s Songs of Experience. That lets me know that there will be something new to look forward to. Or, it might be a surprise album drop when I had no idea there was going to be one, like with Beyoncé’s Lemonade. Then later the media starts to list what releases are coming and eventually dates of release. I start to pay attention to the sites I frequent like All Music and Blabbermouth and pay attention to whether there are any special releases planned, like limited editions, exclusives or picture discs, etc. At the risk of boring everyone I know I put out the word that the release date is coming and they should make a point of getting it the day it is available. And then the day comes and I get it. You may state, and many do, that I am getting excited about something that may not live up to my expectations. But that is not the point. I look at it like its meeting up with old friends. You see, I am not a casual listener. When I start listening to an artist or group I form a relationship with them, if I like what I hear. I find out all I can about them and any bands they were in before, who their influences were and what else might pique my interest. In these days of almost unlimited access to all of recorded music it can be a daunting task finding something that hits me on an emotional level. So when I hear that a band that has already done that for me has something new and hearing what they are now doing is similar to finding out what friends I haven’t seen in a while are doing. And just like with friends from my past some of them will have improved, some will be just like they used to be and some will have taken a turn for the worse. But that is all after I have gotten the new music. When events in life get me down, whether it is a global issue or a personal one, just the fact that I may hear something I like from someone I like can keep me going until the next new release.