A Tale of Two Sites

…both in the “music discovery” category (sometimes called “Music 2.0”) are worth investigating:

First is a site called MOG “a music asylum run by its inmates,” (with a tip o’the’cyberpen to UTunes Advisory Boardster Andrew Dell’Antonio for pointing it out). MOG uses an impressive amount of social-networking tools and techniques to build a site to (in their words:)

Share

…your songs, music library, videos and thoughts on music with friends and mogger

Participate

…in the Web’s most raging music community.

…both in the “music discovery” category (sometimes called “Music 2.0”) are worth investigating:

First is a site called MOG “a music asylum run by its inmates,” (with a tip o’the’cyberpen to UTunes Advisory Boardster Andrew Dell’Antonio for pointing it out). MOG uses an impressive amount of social-networking tools and techniques to build a site to (in their words:)

Share

…your songs, music library, videos and thoughts on music with friends and mogger

Participate

…in the Web’s most raging music community.

Discover

Get instant recommendations and personalized content at the click of a button.

Most impressive are the pages for artists, which are almost entirely generated by MOG users or wikipedia.

Besides on-demand song, video, and album listings, there are bios, photos, discographies, RSS feeds, commerce links, and links to fan sites and newsgroups. At the heart are easy-to-manipulate tools to contribute all of the above to the site, or to embed them in off-site blogs, etc. Veryy interesting.

And a bit buggy….one of the major drawbacks to MOG is that the audio files don’t necessarily appear in a separate player, so you can’t navigate and browse with a song playing in the background, which would tend to defeat a lot of the purpose. And, as is the case with almost all online music destinations, it’s heavily weightd towards rock/pop/singer-songwriters. For example, a search for violinist Julia Fischer (just named Gramophone Magazine’s Artist of the Year) comes up empty.

(with a tip o’the’cyberpen to UTunes Advisory Boardster Andrew Dell’Antonio for pointing it out.

It’s almost the reverse case with the launch on Nov. 5 of the NPR Music site.

Full disclosure: A lot of this was Co-Project Director Ben Roe‘s blueprint while he was at NPR. So best to leave the prose to one of the participating stations: WFUV in New York.

NPR and 12 NPR member stations, including WFUV, have launched NPR Music, a new, free, comprehensive multimedia music discovery web site. There are five specific genre sections (Pop/Rock/Folk, Classical, Jazz & Blues, World and Urban) to explore, where you can hear songs and concerts, read reviews and interviews, scan the music news we’ve pulled together and find blogs from all over the country.
There are already 3,000 new and archived features, with 200 more getting added monthly. Some of the content will come from NPR and some from the member stations (like our interviews with Patty Scialfa and Gil Scott-Heron).
“WFUV and NPR each have great music resources, and together we can share that love with listeners,” says WFUV New Media Director Laura Fedele. “We’ve had some amazing music moments here in our studios, true personal conversations with artists, and now NPR Music can bring it all to music fans across the country who might not be FUV listeners… yet!” You can access the NPR Music site through our home page at wfuv.org.

Searchable Artist pages are also a hallmark of this site (plenty on Julia Fischer, though the archived content is thus far only scratching the surface of what exists at NPR and across public radio), which, if developed, could be a real boon to researchers and educators interested in editorial commentary, live concert performances, reviews, and first-person interviews with the likes of Terry Gross, Fred Child, Scott Simon, John Schaefer, et al.

Musicovery


Stumbled across a fascinating, if bizarre, new music-recommendation service today, along the lines of Pandora, Last.fm, and (look over to the left of the page) Fine Tune. Only this one, “Musicovery,” is based on moods – when you log on, a little “mood-o-meter” pops up, and you can pop your cursor down somewhere in a four-coordinate “Axis of Angst” – “Dark,” “Calm,” “Positive,” and “Energetic.” And then plug in your genre of choice – Country, Classical, Pop, Electronica, whatever.
So, just for grins, (and being a Goth-Nihilist kinda guy), I thought I’d try out some “Dark Vocal Pop” and see what popped up. Check it out:


So there you have it. Nanci Griffith singing a Richard Thompson song is the Dame of Dark Pop. Okay, the song’s called “Wall of Death” – fair enough, I suppose. But my, what company she keeps: The Carter Family’s “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” a old stoner song from Arlo Guthrie, and….who exactly IS Eros Rammazzotti? Okay, they win….the site’s about music discovery, and today I discovered this Roman hearthrob is “especially popular in in Chile, Germany,Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and most Spanish-speaking countries and has sold over 36 million records worldwide. He has one daughter, Aurora Sophie (born December 5, 1996), with his ex-wife, Michelle Hunziker, a Swiss model and television host.” Oh, and sings exclusively in Spanish and Italian. My bad, Eros – though I love the name, dude.

It gets progressively funnier/weirder/oddly mesmerizing when you try a few more categories. Here’s what slightly calmer darkness looks like in pop music:


Feelings? That late-unlamented make-out music from the ’70s ranked as one of the Worst Songs of All Time? Yeah, verily, dark and brooding. Always On My Mind?

Okay, let’s switch gears and try out some shiny happy “Positive” music – and let’s open it up to a few more genres, shall we?

So there you have it, folks, nothing says “positive energy” like Mars, the God of War, ready to kick some celestial butt and take names. Sheesh.

Interesting to note that they do offer a subscription service for a higher bit-rate audio. In Euros, to boot. Though I can’t imagine who’d sign up for this service just yet. Their catalog looks a little thin – I’m already noting a lot of artists popping up a lot (hello Eric Burdon and the Animals & Stevie Wonder) in a lot of different catergories.