Music To Eat Lunch To –

Let’s skip the reviews for a week ? after all, we’ve got to give the bands a little time to record in the new year! This issue, I want to share a little known online program that the creators have called the “Music Genome Project”. This group of enterprising people have created a set of features for every single song they could get their hands on, and then compiled them into a computer database that groups them into genres according to these features. Basically, two songs that sound the same will have similar features listed, and therefore be grouped together.

What’s the point? Aside from the fact that me and everyone obsessed with music evolution and classification will want a detailed wall chart, the creators of this database have put it to active use online. pandora com is the place to go to use the database to your advantage and tune into your own personalised radio station, created based on your favourite songs or bands. The program assumes that if you like one song, you will like another that has a similar sound, but it isn’t completely based on that; ‘punk roots’ and “rock influences” are also cited as features of many songs. Asking for more information on any song your station plays will let you know why it was chosen, and it’s fun seeing why a list of songs does fit together in words that aren’t your own.

If you’re anything like me, you agree with NOFX when they say “It’s plain to see that the radio still sucks”; there’s just nowhere to tune into when you want to hear punk, ska or even heavy metal. Pandora solves this problem for you. How does it work? All you need to do is set up an account, and then input all your favourite songs or bands ? then sit back and listen to what the online radio sends your way. Take my station, for example: I’ve programmed in Face to Face, Pennywise, Rise Against, Green Day, Rancid and the Offspring. Apart from hearing all of these on the radio, I’ve been presented with Millencolin, NOFX, Blink 182, and the Distillers, plus many more bands that I know and love. The system works!

Give it a try, you’ll be impressed. The more information you give the program, the better it will work for you, so give feedback on every song you hear and input as many bands as you can think of. It’s about time somebody made a radio station that was worth my time ? how funny that it was me.

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